Marinol (dronabinol) is a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis. In addition to creating the "high" that many users seek, THC is known to reduce neuropathic pain, relieve nausea, and stimulate appetite.
Marinol was approved by the (FDA) in 1985 to treat nausea and vomiting related to cancer chemotherapy. Its approval has since been extended to include the treatment of weight loss and anorexia in people with advanced HIV infection. Due to its positive impact on people with HIV wasting, Marinol was rescheduled as a schedule III drug meaning that it has an accepted medical use. When used as prescribed, Marinol is considered safe and effective with a low risk of dependence.
Marinol can affect people differently. Some may experience extreme drowsiness, rapid heart rate and dry mouth. Others may experience dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and stomachache as the body adapts to the medication.
Cannabis is most commonly smoked but may also be added to food, ingested in tinctures and oils, or inhaled through vaporizers.While many of the touted benefits of smoked Cannabis remain loosely supported, the evidence regarding its effectiveness in treating chronic nerve pain is perhaps the most well documented.
A 2012 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal concluded that smoked Cannabis delivered over the course of 11 days was as effective in reducing spasticity and even more effective in reducing pain in people with MS compared to a placebo.
Smoked Cannabis has a rapid onset of action, bringing almost an immediate relief of symptoms and "doses" are easier to control than oral medications like Marinol. There is a variety of types (strains) to choose from, some of which have fewer psychoactive effects and may be more effective in stimulating appetite, fighting fatigue, or curbing depression or anxiety.