- Interview with Rick Doblin - MAPS, Research medicinal cannabisand legalization timeline
Dr. Rick Doblin, Executive Director of Research MAPS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to clinical research into the healing potential of cannabis, MDMA, and other psychedelics, is perhaps the greatest enthusiast in the US to stop cannabis prohibition.
Thanks to earlier, obMAPS has received official permission from the US Federal Government to carry out Phase III trials on MDMA and the success of Phase III trials hempfor the treatment of severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Obtaining permission to test illegal substances of this type is a huge step towards future understanding and implementation of effective therapies using these substances.
Therapeutic researchthe potential of cannabis has so far been even slower in the US than psychedelic research such as MDMA. In the United States, the biggest obstacle is the bureaucratic pitfalls of the National Drug Control Institute (NIDA).However, Rick Doblin has never been afraid of NIDA, and has been a pioneer in researching promising, psychedelic substances for over 30 years.
"Cultivating valuable science should always be free from politics, especially when it comes to alleviating human suffering." Rick Doblin
The editors of Leafly have recently managed to reach Rick and ask him a few points of interest.
Leafly: How long has MAPS been trying to research medicinal cannabis?
Rick Doblin: For the first time I have researched cannabisu he started trying in 1991. It took me another year to get someone to do it with me. At that time, NIDA monopolized cannabis much more than today, and research into therapeutic effects made it hard for us. However, if you wanted to investigate the harmful effects, you got the permission all right.
You succeededin the nineties to examine anything at all?
The first doctor to agree with my proposal was Donald Abrams. At that time we wanted to start exploring mainlythe effects of marijuana on patients suffering from appetite loss caused by HIV. (More in the articlet "Treating HIV with cannabis" However, before starting the research in 1992, NIDA refused to provide us with samples of medicinal cannabis, which obviously upset us.
Until 1996, when California and Arizona enacted cannabis for treatment, NIDA offered us to provide one million dollars for research if we focus on the risks of using cannabis treatment and omit the research of the positive effects. We approached the offer at that time, especially because we didnt have much choice and we wanted to start somewhere.
What happened then?
The results of the study showed us that the effects of cannabis do not have any negative effects and interactions with the anti-HIV drugs then applied. The secondary result was increased appetite and patient weight. Right after that, we tried to investigate the effects of cannabis on migraines. We got federal permission, but NIDA refused us poskytnout cannabis samples.
Then we wanted to explore and compare the effects of vaporization and marijuana smoking. For seven years, we have tried in vain to buy 10 grams of medical cannabis from NIDA. The company we worked with at that time gave up on us and we were back at the beginning.
Jif, after such frustrating events, your subsequent strategy to develop a government license for cannabis research has developed?
NeusThe persistent temptation to get research permission was, and still is, very important to me, as I firmly believe that cultivating valuable science should always be free from politics, especially when it comes to alleviating human suffering.
Along with trying to find a bureaucratSo we had to start thinking about what kind of patient group and condition was most likely to gain political support. This has led us to investigate the effects of marijuana on chronic, post-traumatic depressive disorder (PTSD), which is most common in war veterans.
MAPS then gets itand permits to investigate the safety and efficacy of cannabis for PTSD symptoms. So how is it medical cannabis able to help in case of PTSD?
Marijuana is a great aid for PTSDckou. It is not a PTSD drug but rather a tool that helps to dramatically reduce symptoms. One of the biggest troubles associated with PTSD are the fearsome memories and nightmares. Cannabis helps veterans sleep peacefully and healthy sleep is ultimately a key factor in PTSD treatment. Even in the case of this study, it took us 7 years to get permission! But now, finally, we can move a step forward, which we are very excited about.