Citation: Julie F.. "Nature's (Legal) Cannabinoids: An Experience with Dronabinol & Cannabis (exp98075)". Erowid.org. Aug 31, 2017. erowid.org/exp/98075
'Where do you get 'it' from?'
Most patients don't get asked where they get their medicine. That's because everyone knows people get their medicine from a pharmacy. But I have to get my medicine otherwise. I have to safeguard my 'source' because my medicine is cannabinoid based — and that makes it almost illegal. — But not today. Today I can answer the source question openly because it is my local pharmacy — with drive-thru service and open to dispense medicine 24 hours a day. I drive up and push a big, yellow smiley-faced button to gain access — a soft automated voice comes over the speaker to verify that I am in the right place in order to pick up my prescription. Next, the typical professional looking person — white coat with badge — slides open the window asking my name and what I need.
'I'm picking up a prescription for Julie F.'
They return with a baggie and bottle containing 30 synthetic cannabinoid capsules dosed at 5mg each — that's right, legal cannabinoids!
30 Marinol (Dronabinol) capsules. Marinol is a cannabinoid prescribed from my doctor — and I am going to test it against the herbal cannabinoids I have been baking into my brownies for six years now.
The pharmacist hands me a white paper bag containing the Marinol prescribed for my Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Stapled to the top is a typical handout with cautionary medical information. The small amount (150mg) of the synthetic cannabinoid THC costs $370 — or more than $69,000 per ounce!
I sign my name on a distribution sheet and pay my $3 Medicare co-pay. The government, meaning our tax dollars, pays the other $367 for my medicine. Now I am ready to go — but not before my 'synthetic cannabinoid' dealer informs me of possible side effects. She warns me to be on the lookout for — 'dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, feeling 'high,' an exaggerated sense of well-being, lightheadedness, headache, red eyes, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, clumsiness, or unsteadiness.'
Geez — sounds like a lot of potential adversity on my chemically sensitive body. From personal experience, I know that the herbal cannabinoids do not cause these side effects in my body. The pharmacist did mention one noticeable side effect that I have had with eating cannabis brownies: dry mouth — which is hardly a problem when considering the overall benefits of the medicine.
When I get home I open the bag to take a look at the Marinol. The pills are a deep maroon color and perfectly round. They remind me of Boston Baked Beans — as they look exactly like those candies. One thing is for sure: synthetic cannabinoids do not look anything like herbal cannabinoids — the ones from the plant itself. The distinct medical difference of popping pills versus the variations and qualities of consuming natural cannabis cannot be understated — and surely won't be by me. After a week of taking one pill a night before bed, as the doctor prescribed, I do not notice any positive effects from the Marinol.
After a week of taking one pill a night before bed, as the doctor prescribed, I do not notice any positive effects from the Marinol.
It makes me hungry — but that was never a problem in the first place. However, it is my first legal cannabinoid and that is what counts, right? — Not whether it works, just whether it is legal, right?
Here is what I know. I have been self-medicating with herbal cannabinoids for six years to provide relief from MS, which I have had for 24 years. During that time I went through the long list of prescribed pharmaceuticals. The relief was minimal. The problem was (and is) the side effects, which became unbearable over time. I felt like a slave, dependent on a cycle of pharmaceutical use which abused my body and left me in the most depressed, hopeless, and flattened state.
I finally said enough of the pharma-tinkering with my body and the MS and tried baking herbal cannabinoids into brownies. In doing so, my alternative treatment made me a criminal. I began to eat a small cube of cannabis brownie three times a day. Within the first month my insomnia disappeared, my bladder issues calmed, nerve tingles of the arms, legs, and feet stilled. I was no longer breaking out in upper body tremors after being out in the world of loud noises, traffic, and the everyday racing of life. The MS was quieter. I found I wasn't contemplating suicide and I felt hopeful about my life again — but realized I had become a chronic criminal.
Cannabinoids are clearly medicinal to our bodies. But there is a strange distinction between which cannabinoids are effective and which ones are legal. In the case of my MS, appetite stimulation has not been a problem — which is what the Marinol is usually prescribed for. Marinol simply did not work for me. There are other pharmaceutical cannabinoids — such as Nabilone and Sativex — available in other countries, but they remain expensive and less effective than herbal cannabinoids. Nature created cannabis and the mammalian ECS, not you or me — and it was through the use of herbal cannabinoids that I was able to wean myself from a life of pharma-cocktails and move toward a healthier life. — Just as nature designed.
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