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Do drugs / products that include synthetic cannabinoids have a therapeutic effect?


"Cannabis apple" with plastic

Why does it never occur to anyone to use a decorative plastic apple as a food product , however, the buyer calmly perceives the fact that any product / product that enters the human body and is of a synthetic nature will be perceived by the digestive system as a plastic apple as well.

Pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations , biologically active additives , as well as food products , which include synthetic cannabinoids, are actively distributed on the market of our country . In order to understand why synthetic substances can not be compared with natural ones, we will try to find out why synthetic cannabinoids, whose formula is similar to natural ones, cannot appear in a natural way, and using them in various products is a marketing move that uses the created excitement around therapeutic properties of cannabis leaves and inflorescences for earnings, which borders on the concept of fraud.

We need to start at least with the fact that the chemical and pharmacological properties of synthetic cannabinoids are largely known exclusively to scientists working on their creation within the laboratory. Those. in fact, there are no reliable, repeatedly tested clinical trials confirming the effectiveness of their use for the treatment of any diseases. In addition, a significant factor is the number of side effects of the use of synthetic cannabinoids, which are often much greater than the therapeutic effect , which is predetermined by the possibility of using products made with their use.

The market for synthetic cannabinoids appeared in the early 2000s due to existing bans on the use of therapeutically active elements of hemp of plant origin and technological advances that have simplified access to research in the field of pharmaceuticals and chemical production. Products which include synthetic cannabinoids are packaged and labeled in such a way that the buyer expects the effect of their use with the one received by the buyer / patient from the use of hemp plant leaves and inflorescences as a therapeutic agent . 

Synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol

Marinol is a pharmaceutical preparation based on synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol. It was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1985. At that time, it was allowed to be used exclusively for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. For many years, the drug continued to be used as a therapeutic agent for people suffering from weight loss as a result of anorexia or a progressive human immunodeficiency virus. Let's try to understand how marinol differs from natural cannabinoids, and why the pharmaceutical industry generally produces artificial tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The active ingredient in marinol is dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC. This is key in understanding that hemp is in no way associated with the production of the above drug. That is why pharmaceutical companies can, without any particular difficulty, produce or sell this drug despite the fact that natural tetrahydrocannabinol, according to international law, is classified as a particularly dangerous narcotic drug, the circulation of which is prohibited. 

Despite the synthetic nature of marinol, this drug has several disadvantages that make its use absurd in nature (a more expensive and less effective alternative to the therapeutic components of hemp ):

- The average cost of a monthly course of taking marinol is about $ 600. That is, in the case of the use, officially acquired in the pharmacy chains of leaves and inflorescences of medical hemp , legally used as a medicine (for example, in Germany ), their cost will be less than marinol;

- Marinol consumers lose their ability to use the full range of biologically active elements contained in the plant. For example, in Frontiers of Neurology published in 2018, researchers provided patients with epilepsy with a full range of hemp plant cannabinoid compounds (leaves and inflorescences) or drug-free cannabinoid extracts. Despite the fact that two-thirds of the studied patients reported a general decrease in the number of seizures - 71% of those taking leaves and inflorescences of the plant , reported improvements, compared with 36% using extracts. Based on the data obtained, the researchers concluded that “the leaves and inflorescences of medical hemp have a better therapeutic effect than individual plant extracts”.

At the moment, scientists argue that the medicinal properties of hemp are most effective when the human body uses the full range of therapeutically active substances that have an “ensemble effect”, i.e. Dozens of therapeutically active compounds of hemp plants (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) act on the human body better together than if they are used for therapeutic purposes separately.

Since Marinol is based on a synthetic form of THC, this means that the drug does not contain any other cannabinoids. Thus, it can be argued that the synthetic formula for THC is in marinol as an “isolated synthetic cannabinoid”. 

Synthetic cannabidiol

In 2018, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals officially introduced synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) to the market. Zygel is a drug based on a chemically identical CBD substitute called H2CBD (or 8,9-dihydrocannabidiol). While Zygel as a medicine is not known on the Ukrainian market , however, according to our foreign colleagues, its effect is essentially the same as that of marinol.

Commentary experts of the Association "Ukrainian industrial hemp"

Why does it never occur to anyone to use a decorative plastic apple as a food product , however, the buyer calmly perceives the fact that any product / product that enters the human body and is of a synthetic nature will be perceived by the digestive system as a plastic apple as well.

There are several good reasons to question the effectiveness of pharmacological agents, cosmetics , dietary supplements, and foods that include synthetic cannabinoids. Particularly well, one can observe the lack of a proper therapeutic effect in comparison with the use of plant leaves and inflorescences as a medicine . Despite the ineffectiveness of pharmacological preparations made on the basis of synthetic cannabinoids, medical personnel in economically developed countries prefer to offer the patient a prescription for legitimate ineffective synthetic alternatives to hemp, since they do not want to face the problems of an unregulated regulatory framework for the use of plant leaves and inflorescences , which suggests the possibility of criminal prosecution. A similar approach is for government officials and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry - why amend the current legislation if you can sell “synthetics” using the hype spun around the therapeutic properties of various plant elements .

Marketing or fraud

Recently, the thesis that therapeutically active elements that are in hemp are present in a number of plants has been actively promoted in the media. For example, extracts of non-drug cannabinoids from hops make it possible to obtain pure substances comparable in their properties to cannabis extracts. According to representatives of enterprises engaged in this kind of activity, the key property of these extracts is the absence of even a trace amount of THC, which is present in any extracts made from hemp leaves and inflorescences , which allows the above extracts to be freely sold on the Ukrainian market. The answer is how true this kind of statement was the information provided by the famous Ukrainian breeder, doctor of agricultural sciences, co-owner of the Center for Cannabis Breeding Company I. Laiko. The scientist breeder claims that “In the study of alternative sources of therapeutically active elements of industrial hemp , the question of the possibility of using substances with medical properties, in particular obtained from hops, was studied. During the experiments, it was possible to establish that in this plant there are trace amounts of phenolic compounds, but there are no cannabinoids in the plant. Therefore, the statement that cannabidiol extract or other drug-free cannabinoids can be obtained from hops is no more than a marketing move, which is framed in the criminal code. ”

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