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MAPS- Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies & their Struggle to Bring Medicinal Marijuana Research to the Masses

MAPS- Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies & their Struggle to Bring Medicinal Marijuana Research to the Masses

One organization that is doing amazing research into the therapeutic effects of cannabis as well as other substances, is MAPS- Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. MAPS has been around since 1986 as a 501c3 non-profit  ran by Rick Doblin Ph.D. MAPS has received regulatory approval to conduct a study on marijuana administered through smoking. The study will research marijuanas effects on the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans of war. On March 14, 2014, the U.S. Public Health Service approved the study which was in the works for 22 years. “On December 17, 2014, MAPS was awarded a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to complete the study.” This study has the full approval of the DEA, FDA, and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and began January of 2017 in Arizona. GO SCIENCE! 


I personally highly recommend the following podcasts if you are interested in the work MAPS does and their hurtles, or the founder Rick Doblin. They are amazing 3 hour podcasts with The Powerful Joe Rogan and you will really get a feel for what Dr. Doblin is fighting for. 


JRE Episode #371

JRE Episode #782


MAPS has been in a very long drawn out battle to obtain an approved supply of marijuana in order to conduct research into the potential therapeutic effects of both smoked and vaporized marijuana. What obstructs their procurance is NIDA-National Institute on Drug Abuse has a monopoly of the research approved supply. NIDAs supply is of insufficient potency than is on the market today and tends to favor  research exploring the harmful effects of marijuana usage rather than therapeutic effects, but MAPS still needs them due to them having all the power. NIDA has refused MAPS a supply on 2 separate sponsored protocols despite FDA approval. 


MAPS is working on launching a legitimate drug development research program which would take about 10 years and 10 MILLION dollars, but first gaining access to an independent source of legal medical grade marijuanna is necessary. MAPS has worked since 2001 in unison with Prof. Lyle Craker, UMass Amherst Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences to gain permission from the DEA to establish a medical marijuana production facility to grow highly potent FDA approved medical marijuana. WOW what a struggle 17 years!


MAPS ultimate goal is to bring FDA-approved prescription marijuana forward as a medicine to market under a nonprofit pharmaceutical model comparable to Population Council’s development and distribution of RU-486.


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MAPS is also trying to bring a FDA-approved marijuana vaporizer in order to conduct a drug development research program to perform clinical research that would suffice the, “Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for a non-smoking delivery system with a system that uses the organic plant rather than chemical extractions or synthetic chemicals.”



MAPS Timeline-Legal Battles

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FUN FACT: DEA Officials have recommended Syndros, a synthetic liquid form of THC be approved for s schedule II drug under federal law, inadvertently admitting THC has a medical benefit. THE FDA determined in 2016 that it was safe and effective for patients with cancer and AIDS. Syndros is the first synthetic liquid cannabinoid to be approved by the FDA for use by prescription.

Syndros is made by Insys Therapeutics, who donated 500,000 last year in order to defeat Arizona's Proposition 205, a statewide ballot initiative to regulate the adult use, cultivation, and sale of cannabis. The measure failed. The company is also seeking to bring a synthetic version of cannabidiol to market. 

Dronabinol (AKA Marinol), and Nabilone, are synthetic forms of THC. Dronabinol is scheduled III, while Nabilone as a scheduled II. 





Want to know the history of the United State relationship w/ Marijuana? Click HERE

Want to know about the common Myths and Facts about Marijuana? Click HERE

Want to know more about the Regulatory Barriers Preventing Research into Marijuana? Click HERE

Photo by Professor25/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Professor25/iStock / Getty Images









Why is Research into Marijuana's Potential Therapeutic Effects so Hard?

Why is Research into Marijuana's Potential Therapeutic Effects so Hard?