Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies


Since 1995, The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has disbursed over three million dollars to worthy research and educational projects.  Medical marijuana has been a major part of MAPS' research efforts.

MAPS' goal is to initiate and fund a serious drug development research program aimed at proving to the satisfaction of the FDA that marijuana is safe and efficacious for specific medical uses and should become a legal, FDA-approved prescription medicine.

Prior to initiating a serious drug development research program that would require an estimated $5 million and 5 years, MAPS first needs to obtain access to an independent source of supply of marijuana that is legal for medical research.  MAPS, in association with Prof. Lyle Craker, UMass Amherst Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences, is in the midst of what is now a three year struggle seeking DEA permission to establish a medical cannabis production facility to grow high-potency marijuana for FDA-approved research.

At present, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can be used in research, provides low-potency material, and only makes it available to projects it approves.  MAPS needs its own independent source of supply since NIDA's arbitrary and lengthy review process for providing marijuana essential to research can derail any drug development plan.  NIDA has refused to supply marijuana to two MAPS-sponsored protocols that the FDA had already approved.  In addition, on July 21, 2004, MAPS, Prof. Lyle Craker and Valerie Corral filed lawsuits against the DEA and also against HHS/NIH/NIDA for obstructing MAPS-sponsored medical marijuana research.  The lawsuits were discussed in an article in the journal Nature.  Despite NIDA obstructionism, MAPS has been able to provide some analytical data about the constituents of the marijuana vapors produced by vaporizers to Dr. Donald Abrams, UC San Francisco.  Dr. Abrams has used this data as part of his successful application to FDA to conduct a study evaluating subjective effects, cannabinoid blood levels, and carbon monoxide levels in subjects who smoke marijuana and then at a different time inhale marijuana vapors from a vaporizer. Dr. Abrams received a $137,000 grant for this study from California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). All the necessary regulatory approvals for this historic study have been obtained and the study will start enrolling subjects in summer 2004.  The initiation of FDA-approved clinical research with a marijuana vaporizer was MAPS' second prerequisite to starting a serious drug development research program. so that clinical research could be conducted both with smoked and vaporized marijuana. T hat way, we'd be able to produce data that would compare the risks of smoking v. vaporization and could address the Institute of Medicine's recommendation for a non-smoking delivery system with a system that works with the plant itself. At present, only the ending of NIDA's monopoly on supply (which it doesn't have for MDMA, LSD, psilocybin or any other Schedule 1 drug) stands in the way of an active effort to develop marijuana into an FDA-approved prescription medicine. 

Follow these links for information about MAPS' sponsored Medical Cannabis studies.

  1. UMass Amherst MMJ production facility project

  2. MAPS/CaNORML vaporizer and water pipe study

  3. Medical cannabis potency testing project

  4. MAPS marijuana  Orphan Drug Designation project

  5. Donald Abrams, MD: Short term effects of cannabinoids in HIV infection study.

  6. Ethan Russo, MD: Cannabis in migraine treatment study

  7. MAPS (Other Medical Cannabis Research)

Other Medical Cannabis Research    

  1. Medical Cannabis & Brain Tumor Research

  2. Schaffer Drug Library 

  3. Ethan Russo, MD:  Chronic Use Study

  4. Ethan Russo, MD:  Book Chapter on Cannabis in Pain Management 

  5. Ethan Russo, MD: Two Articles on Cannabis in  Headache Treatment:

  6. Article 1 and Article 2

  7. Ethan Russo, MD: Article on cannabis in OB-GYN

Ethan Russo, MD's Book Links:

Cannabis Therapeutics in HIV/AIDS


Cannabis and Cannabinoids


Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science, and Sociology


Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics Links



Ethan Russo, MD 900 North Orange Missoula, MT 59802 
Voice: (406) 327-3372 Fax: 3355 
E-mail: erusso@blackfoot.net

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