The DEA has designated Syndros, a synthetic THC drug, with the status of Schedule II in relation to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Syndros is a medicine derived from Insys’ synthetic cannabis.
The objective is to have cannabis derivatives accepted as medicines that offer low risk of dependence or abuse.
Schedule II Drug
Insys had requested the DEA to loosen the regulations on the production of synthetic cannabis extracts, namely the THC drug compound as well as cannabidiol.
This led to the approval of Syndros by the DEA. Syndros is a chemical version of THC, which is used in the treatment of nausea and vomiting as well as loss of weight caused by AIDS or chemotherapy treatments.
After preliminary approval of the synthetic cannabis, the DEA has listed the drug Syndros and its generic variants under Schedule II of the CSA along with other painkillers and opioids such as morphine.
Issues with Synthetic Marijuana
In the past, many healthcare personnel have requested for a ban of synthetic cannabis such as Spice, K2, and a few others.
These are being sold at the smoke shops throughout the country, and more than thirty people had overdosed using such synthetic marijuana in July 2016.
On the other hand, natural cannabis has not caused any deaths due to overdosing and still remains under the Schedule I classification in the CSA.
However, before people can jump with joy that cannabis has been declared to be a medicine, jubilations will have to wait. The decision by the DEA merely drives big pharma more deeply into controlling the cannabis market.
Many seem to think that whole thing seems rigged as Insys, which is located in Arizona, had donated around $0.5 million dollars for preventing the legalization of cannabis – and it was not passed in Arizona during this year.
Insys Therapeutics had funded around 10% of the money that was raised for the Responsible Drug Policy campaign in Arizona, opposing the recreational marijuana measure that was proposed in the 2016 elections.
Insys was the only company that had donated to the opposition of legalizing the cannabis, and voters rejected the bill.
It offered backing to the anti-marijuana campaigns, claiming that legalization of the cannabis plant would not offer safety to citizens and children of Arizona.
In total, there were 9 states that were up to vote regarding cannabis during the election season, and Arizona was the only one that had failed.
Insys had also advocated restrictions on marijuana, especially medicines that used the psychoactive THC.
In short, a company that had donated $500,000 dollars for opposing marijuana has now received an approval by the DEA for the production of Syndros, which is a synthetic cannabis, THC drug.
About Syndros and Insys
Syndros is offered as a liquid medicine and is an oral version of Marinol, being a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol. Insys’ drug was first approved by the FDA in August 2016 for potential use in treating AIDS-related anorexia and cancer.
Insys had expected this status to be given to the chemical version of the synthetic THC. This will help the company bypass some obstacles and issues that typically accompany the production involving Schedule I drugs, namely cannabis.
Earlier, the company had petitioned the DEA for changing Syndros from classification in Schedule I to Schedule IV, which would imply that Syndros offers low risks for dependence and abuse.
It was not given such a low scheduling, however, and was awarded a Schedule II – not the ideal outcome, but better than Schedule I.
However, there are very few such cannabis products available in the market, so Insys will surely see good returns on Syndros, and expects the drug to net around $200 million during the peak annual sale periods.
Pharmas Win the Battle
It is ironic that the medical value of a synthetic THC has been validated, and the natural source of the drug, marijuana, remains invalidated.
This seems to be against common sense and has resulted in pharmaceutical companies winning the battle by producing synthetic cannabis. Big Pharma will continue to make profits if the actual cannabis remains illegal and people are not allowed to grow it.