The FDA has recently approved the production and distribution of a new kind of Liquid THC or dronabinol in the form of a synthetic THC for people suffering with cancer and AIDS. The medication, which will likely be sold in pharmacies under the name Syndros, is estimated to bring in close to $700 million dollars a year in sales. So what will Syndros do for patients? Syndros has been approved to fight anorexia due to weight loss in AIDS patients and nausea and vomiting experienced by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Although many patients have already tried the pill form of dronabinol, the new liquid THC form is absorbed quicker into the system which alleviates the symptoms of the sufferer sooner, making it appealing to consumers.
Despite the hypocrisy of having the cannabis plant classified as a Schedule I substance (dangerous and without medical benefits) and the synthetic version of Liquid THC classified as a Schedule III substance (low risk of abuse and containing medicinal properties), the federal government continues to let pharmaceutical giants like Insys and GW Pharmaceuticals bring synthetic medications to market and thus generate hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. Many patients, however, have reported that plant based medications still work better than their synthetic counterparts, so it is clear that more research needs to go into these medications to ensure patients are receiving effective treatment.