The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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Cannabis and Cannabinoids
8/17/16: Table 1 has been added.

In the US, 25 states and the District of Columbia now permit some medical use of botanical marijuana (Cannabis sativa).1 It has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, but non-standardization of dosage makes available data difficult to interpret. Cannabis contains >60 pharmacologically active cannabinoids.2

Two oral prescription cannabinoids are available in the US. Dronabinol (Marinol, and generics) is a synthetic form of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis; it is classified by the DEA as a schedule III controlled substance (less potential for abuse or addiction than schedule I or II drugs; currently accepted medical use). A liquid formulation of dronabinol (Syndros) was recently approved by the FDA. Nabilone (Cesamet) is a synthetic analog ... more      

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