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Hi, I have a friend whose father has cancer. My friend says that because the chemotherapy is making him feel nausea and vomit his father takes marinol. He has explained that marinol is actually a synthetic form of marijuana. I was wondering if this is true, does marinol cause the same effects as marijuana. Can a person get high with marinol?

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Hi, it is true that marinol is drug used to help cancer patients deal with nausea that chemotherapy can cause them to feel. It is also true that this is a synthetic drug. But it is not marijuana. Marinol is actually a synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The difference between marijuana and marinol is that marinol contains only one synthetic THC while in marijuana scientists have found a much greater number of natural cannabinoids. These substances can provide more relief, but since marijuana contains not only cannabinoids, but other less helpful compounds, its use for medicinal purposes is very restricted. Marinol on the other hand, doesnt contain these harmful substances, but contains a high dose of THC that can be addictive. However, since marinol usage can be controlled, it is much more acceptable for medicinal use. If a patient uses the high dosages of marinol over a long period of time addiction can occur. Also, some of the side effects of marinol are hallucinations, paranoia, feeling of false wellbeing and feeling high. Since these effects can be experienced if a person smokes marijuana it can be said that marinol and marijuana have the similar effects.
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