Marijuana Pills | Marijuana

Marijuana Pills


One of the biggest benefits of medical marijuana is the alternative it offers patients to highly addictive and damaging opioid pain pills. Pills can cause long-term stomach and liver issues when abused, or even worse, which leads many to the much safer alternative of cannabis. However, not everyone is comfortable smoking, and other methods of consumption such as edibles and concentrates are too strong for some. For those patients looking for yet another alternative, there are marijuana-based pills. With around 44 people dying a day from opioid painkiller overdose in our country alone, it’s time to weigh the options.

Currently, there are two FDA-approved options on the market in the US for patients seeking a marijuana-based pill.

The most common variant is Dronabinol, more commonly referred to as Marinol, is made from  synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). First approved by the FDA all the way back in 1992 for medicinal use, Marinol is primarily used in the treatment of cancer and AIDS patients. Marinol eases nausea and vomiting that chemotherapy causes in those stricken with cancer, while AIDS patients use the pill to stimulate their appetite. Marinol is currently one of only two marijuana-based pills approved for prescribed use in the United States by the FDA, along with Cesamet.


Courtesy of

Nabilone, sold as Cesamet, is not as widely prescribed as Marinol but is also used in the treatment of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. While Marinol is comprised of synthetic THC, Cesamet is made of a synthetic cannabinoid similar to those found in the plant. Originally the first synthetic marijuana pill to be approved in the United States in 1985, Cesamet was eventually pulled from shelves before reappearing on the market in 2006 upon reinstatement by the FDA.

While these pills are a decent option for those looking to avoid more harmful drugs while not smoking, medical experts still believe that whole plant cannabis is a far more effective option. For example, a Marinol pill can take anywhere from 90-120 minutes to take effect, whereas smoking a joint gave patients relief in as little as 15 minutes. One advantage to ingesting the pill rather than smoking is longer lasting effects, as anyone who has consumed an edible can attest to.

The main downside to these synthetic marijuana pills is they only utilize one component of the plant, if they even do that. Experts argue that the true medicinal value of marijuana is found in the whole plant, providing a myriad of cannabinoids and terpenoids that each work in synchronicity to heal the mind and body from the inside out.

If you want to skip the synthetic and make your own marijuana pills from whole plant marijuana, it’s easier than you may think. Follow the steps below and see which method of marijuana consumption works best for you.

You will need:
1. Oil (coconut, sesame, or virgin olive work best)
2. Cannabis (your chosen amount, but remember you’re eating it)
3. Grinder
4. Oven
5. Mixing bowl
6. Empty pill capsules
7. Smallest spoon you can find

Step 1: Marijuana Dosing
Break out your basic math skills for this step, as incorrect dosing will leave you either greatly disappointed or not knowing what planet you’re on. For example, if you’re making 10 pills using 2 grams of 25% THC flower, each pill will carry a 50mg dosage (1g @ 10% THC = 100mg). Only you know your tolerance, so weigh accordingly and be precise.

Step 2: Decarboxylation (from our tincture recipe)
The decarboxylation process allows you to convert the THCa or CBDa found in cannabis to THC or CBD. This process will make your oils, edibles, and tinctures more potent. You can decarb your flower to THC and CBD depending on the temperature and length of time. For example:

THCa –> THC 245° F decarbing 60 minutes

CBDa –> CBD 245° F decarbing 90 minutes

Start by preheating the oven to 245° F. Break up the cannabis flowers or buds into smaller pieces with your hands or grinder. Place the broken up cannabis pieces evenly on a baking sheet with a rim to prevent pieces from falling. Rotate the cooking pan every 15 minutes to ensure an even toast.

Step 3:
Once your decarbed flower is out the oven, add just enough oil to saturate it, then mix this in your bowl for about a minute. Heat up a pan on the stove and transfer the mixture. Heat your mixture in the pan for about 15 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too hot (you do not want it to bubble, remember your flower is already decarbed).

Step 4:
Cool your mixture.

Step 5:
With your smallest available spoon, distribute your mixture into the empty pill capsules and fasten them securely.

Cover Image Courtesy of  funnyangel

About Author

Used to write about music for XXL, Elevator, Complex, Genius, and a few other outlets. Follow @LongLiveTheDuke on Twitter if you'd like to read way fewer words by me.


  1. Anita S. Rossi on

    Dear Duke, I’ve had interesting experience with Marinol and doctors! Over 5 years ago I lost my appetite. A private psychiatrist thought it would be a good fit for my appetite, arthritis and fibromyalgia pain, major depression & anxiety disorder. In SE PA just below Phila, medicare wasn’t approving it. I had to leave that dr due to a $700 bill. I went to local mental health clinic and no dr would write the Rx even after PA set up a free Rx drug assistance program. “Not the proper venue”, I was told. I got Rx last June from a retiring neurologist. IT WORKED GREAT!!!! For 6 months I felt almost like myself before becoming sick in 1996. That doc didn’t retire but would not rewrite Rx. In the meantime, I’d been to my primary, “nobody wants to be scrutinized”, & many other drs who just said know. PA just legalized medicinal mj products. Still ‘NO” from clinic psychiatrist (director has put it on ‘drugs no Rx can be written for). While in touch with they told me they don’t do ‘anything’ with Marinol because it’s NOT a derivative of Marijuana. I’m still without a Rx, PA may get going in 24 months. Going on 6 years now without appetite, etc. Doctors are too ignorant and arrogant. I’ve been looking for a decent primary doctor for 8+ years without any luck. Fifteen minute appointments and no interest. Not 1 doctor I’ve seen has told me they don’t know about CFS, FIbro, Chronic Lymes, etc., but they’d look into them. NOT ONE! I’m on SSDI with minimal support so I can’t travel all over PA or other states to receive proper medical care.

  2. Interesting article about marijuana pills and their medical benefits. The marijuana is a best medicine for headaches, migraines and pain. Now day’s marijuana is available in infused with cookies, drinks and oils edibles.

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