Pills or tablets are the most common way to take any medicine. But it might not be the best when it comes to medical marijuana.
The use of marijuana as medicine is still controversial, although the active ingredient in marijuana is regularly prescribed in Canada and the US
In fact, drugs containing THC pills, such as Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone), are often recommended as a substitute for marijuana.
While it is easy to think of as equal treatment, the research shows some important differences.
A study conducted last year in the New York State Psychiatric Institute was the first time a pill THC, dronabinol compared with smoked marijuana for pain control.
In the study, smoking a joint full effect was taken in 15 minutes. Dronabinol, on the other hand, took 60-90 minutes to reach its peak.
As a Florida physician Dr. Heather Auld noted in a recent article that a lower starting time is better for patients with pain.
Duration of effect
Although marijuana and dronabinol reducieron pain, the study found that the effect of dronabinol lasted longer.
In this case, experts say that a longer-acting treatment is preferable.
The biggest advantage of smoking marijuana is the ability of patients to self-adjust the dose. Due to the shorter time to onset, patients can easily adjust the dosage taking additional puffs when necessary.
Moreover, delayed effects of THC pills, combined with its long-acting, makes it difficult and dangerous for patients auto adjust the dose.
Studies show that both smoked marijuana and dronabinol suffer from inconsistent bioavailability, which also makes it difficult for doctors to predict dosing. This makes the flexibility offered by smoking even more beneficial.
Moreover, while it may be inconvenient a joint every two hours, vaporizers are widely preferred by physicians and provide easier for patients to take marijuana all day manner.
A study published last month concluded that the patients are placed both dronabinol as they do from smoking a joint.
On the other hand, some believe the delay in the start of dronabinol psychoactive effect could make it less subject to abuse.