LCCC Medical Marijuana: Tribulations and Trials

The newest issue of Journal of Psychoactive Drugs includes an article which describes Dr. Donald Abrams' struggles to get a medical marijuana study started,including the role of MAPS in this effort:

Abrams D, "Medical Marijuana: Tribulations and Trials," Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Vol(30(2) April-June 1998, pp 163-169.

The JPD phone number is 415-565-1904 if you'd like to obtain a copy.
From MAPS Bulletin, Vol.8 No.2
Summer 1998
Marijuana Research

In May 1998, MAPS donated $1,000 to Dr. Ethan Russo, University of Montana, for the preparation of a grant application to the National Institutes of Health for a study investigating the use of smoked marijuana and oral THC in the treatment of migraine headaches. Dr. Russo is currently the only researcher in the United States (of whom we are aware) trying to obtain an NIH grant to study the medical use of marijuana in a patient population. Dr. Russo's previous NIH grant application was rejected and he is submitting a revised application for the July 1 deadline. This latest $1,000 grant is for a statistician to do study sample size calculations for the revised protocol. MAPS has previously awarded Dr. Russo two grants for the preparation of the NIH applications: $1,500 in March 1998 and $3,500 in 1997.

The medical marijuana research of Dr. Donald Abrams, UC San Francisco, has finally begun. Dr. Abrams' protocol, 'Short-term Effects of Cannabinoids in HIV Patients,' was approved and awarded a $978,000 NIH grant in September 1997; a supply of marijuana will be provided by NIDA in conjunction with this grant. This study will take about two years to conduct. Subjects taking protease inhibitors will be hospitalized for almost a month, administered either smoked marijuana, oral THC or placebo, and extensively evaluated. An article by Dr. Abrams about the five and a half year effort to obtain approval for this study appears in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Vol. 30, No. 2, April-June 1998. (To obtain a copy of this issue, you can contact the JPD at 415-565-1904.) A comprehensive MAPS report on this effort with links to supporting documents, including the approved protocol, is online at

In other marijuana research news, MAPS and California NORML have co-sponsored an analysis of samples of marijuana used by medical marijuana patients around the country. Samples are being tested for levels of THC, CBD and CBN. Details will be reported in an upcoming MAPS Bulletin.

-------------------, a member service of the ultidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (see To subscribe, send email to with the message text, subscribe maps -forum youraddress


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