States across the nation are looking to make marijuana legal. In fact, more than half of the states already have. But others are not quite on board. And some people believe this is because of large pharmaceutical companies. You see, legal marijuana means less of a dependence on pharmaceuticals for some. A large number of Americans are beginning to consider the possibility of a more holistic approach to medicine. One that focuses on overall well-being, and ways to achieve that without using multiple different medicines and chemicals to achieve it. So, the natural progression for some? Marijuana. But, the natural progression for pharmaceutical companies is to try and replicate in form of synthetic marijuana. But, so far, they have been nothing short of harmful.
Synthetic Marijuana: Dangers and Potential Uses
The belief is that big companies fear what legalizing marijuana will do for their business. Many small growers and operations are on the scene now, slowly gaining more and more business as each state legalizes. Large pharmaceuticals had no business in the game while it was not legal on a big scale. Or so we thought. But as more states work to make it available to the public, big companies are looking for a way into the world of creating a medical marijuana alternative.
One company received permission from the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to begin creating a synthetic marijuana. This could be a game changer for small growers. As this company works to produce the drug, they will have the business and support of big medical groups behind them, which is something that medical marijuana lacks. They will have access to an entire medical system. And it could potentially be the drug doctors within that system prescribe. After all, they will be able to mass produce on a time line determined in a lab instead of a field. That is, if they can start creating a product that is not harmful to the public.
The dangers of synthetic marijuana
When creating this new ‘bigger, better’ version of marijuana, they made a few missteps. The thing about natural cannabinoids is that the potency stays within a certain range. Typically the highest strains being around 30% THC. This makes dosing and picking your potency much easier. But, when they started to create this synthetic marijuana, mainly for testing, they forgot to observe this important factor. And in doing so, they created a product that was tenfold the potency of your every day marijuana. Which, in turn, introduced an entirely new drug with effects that were extremely different than that of natural marijuana. From psychosis, self-harm, and violent outbursts— the effects of synthetic marijuana severely outweigh those of natural cannabis and cannabinoids.
Where does the future lead for synthetic versus natural?
Some people believe this is causing the hold up in legalizing marijuana. There is an idea that officials want to wait until there is a big company producing a successful synthetic version that is backed by large medical systems before they make a decision on the green rush. This threatens existing and potential medical marijuana industries. Think about it, if big pharma is able to replicate medical marijuana— while pushing their own interests and increasing revenue, they will find a way to do so. And ultimately, the fight against big pharma would be a nasty one. Small growers possess none of the same resources and not nearly the same amount of income.
So, for most growers, the plan is to hope that people can see the benefits of a medicinal substance that is not made of different chemicals. The main attraction to marijuana for most is that it is entirely natural. To create a synthetic version would undermine the entire purpose of choosing marijuana as your medicine. In the meantime, as labs fight to try and replicate the true effects of marijuana, not the effects of past synthetics, prohibition is ending in many places. Even Canada, which has found their niche in corporatizing marijuana. So, what does the future hold? Only time will tell.