Vireo Videos: Introduction To The Endocannabinoid System

As a physician-founded and patient-focused cannabis company, Vireo’s goal is not only to help patients, but also to help educate patients and others about medical cannabis and how it can help safely provide relief for many health conditions.

Vireo has many experienced healthcare professionals on our staff – doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, researchers, and more. So we are excited to launch a new series of educational videos, live online events, and Q&A sessions featuring our many healthcare providers!

First up is Dr. Paloma Lehfeldt, our Director of Medical Education, who filmed a quick, easy-to understand talk about our body’s amazing Endocannbionoid System, its function, and its components. You can watch the video by clicking the image below or read the transcript at the bottom of this page.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmNrI_Wyi2E&feature=youtu.be

 

Transcript of The Endocannabinoid System Video:

Hello, my name is Dr. Paloma Lehfeldt. The medical team at Vireo Health remains dedicated to bringing education to our patients across the country during this time. Even though many upcoming conferences have been postponed or canceled, our physician-led company remains dedicated to bringing content to our patients.

Today I will be talking about the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system or ECS is our body’s way of maintaining balance and regulation throughout. When our cells are firing too much, our ECS is how our body slows them down. This process is easy to think of as similar to adjusting the volume on your stereo or the temperature on your thermostat.

The ECS consists of different components. 1. Endocannboinoids which our body produces 2. The receptors that they bind to and 3. The enzymes that metabolize and recycle them. An example of an endocannbinoid is Anadamide which is responsible for the feeling of a runner’s high. Ananda is the Sanskrit word for Bliss and my personal favorite endocannabinoid.

For more information on the endocannabinoid system and other medical cannabis topics please visit www.vireohealth.com and follow us on social media. If there is topic you would like to learn more about, please let us know.

Vireo Health’s Medical Education Team Newsletter, Issue: 1

Vireo Health’s Medical Education Team Newsletter, Issue: 1

As we continue to monitor and protect the heath and safety of our patients and team members, it is important for our physician-led company to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 related news. We want to share the below information and resources to help keep you better informed!

– Paloma Lehfeldt, MD and Sarah Overby, LPN

HELPFUL COVID-19 RESOURCES

The best resource for continually updated information about COVID-19 is the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The links below take you to the COVID-19 hubs on both of these organizations’ websites.

Other Useful Information & Links:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19

Q: What are the main symptoms of the novel coronavirus?

A: The three most common symptoms are fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Q: If I feel any of the symptoms what should I do?
A: Contact your health care provider, maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from anybody.

Q: How is coronavirus spread?
A: The virus is spread mainly by person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets but may also be spread by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.

Q: How do I prevent the spread of coronavirus?
A: Wash your hands, clean and disinfect surfaces, cover your coughs/sneezes and stay home if you are sick.

Q: Should I be tested for coronavirus?
A: Learn more about when to be tested – or not tested – at this Virtuwell blog 

Next week we will be discussing COVID-19 and Mental Health, providing important resources to help you protect your mental well-being.

We hope you and your family are staying positive, safe, and healthy in these difficult times!

Paloma Lehfeldt, MD

Vireo Director of Medical Education

Sarah Overby, LPN

MinnMed Director of Medical Education

MinnMed Launches Dosable Cannabis Tablets

New product line provides patients with a familiar medicine format and precise dosing

MINNEAPOLIS – April 9, 2020 – Minnesota Medical Solutions (“MinnMed” or “the Company”), a physician-founded, science-focused medical cannabis company in the State of Minnesota, today announced that the Company has launched a new line of dosable medical cannabis tablets. MinnMed is the only medical cannabis company in Minnesota offering the familiar format of tablets to licensed patients.

MinnMed’s tablets are water soluble and have a faster absorption rate compared to other ingestible formats of medical cannabis. Tablets may be a desirable option for medical cannabis patients who prefer a traditional medication format that can be easily divided into smaller doses. The tablets provide numerous other benefits to patients including being longer acting and more discreet, while providing additional conveniences such as not requiring refrigeration.

“As a physician-led and patient-focused medical cannabis company, we strive to make medical cannabis more familiar and more accessible for our patients,” said MinnMed Founder, Kyle Kingsley, M.D. “Tablets offer another option for Minnesotans to access this vital medication while providing our patients another safe consumption method alternative to vaping.”   

The new tablets contain 5 – 10 mgs of active cannabinoids and are now available in five of MinnMed’s most popular formulations – Red, Extra Strength Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue! The launch of MinnMed’s tablets comes following other recent announcements by MinnMed to make medical cannabis more accessible and affordable for patients. MinnMed recently announced the launch of the Company’s eCommerce shop and substantial price cuts on many medical cannabis products by as much as 30% for all patients.

In addition, MinnMed is focused on assisting new patients with access to the medical cannabis program by providing a 50% discount for all first-time patients on purchases up to $200 and other discounts for existing patients. For more information about MinnMed’s medical cannabis tablets and other products, please visit www.minnmed.com.

About Minnesota Medical Solutions Minnesota Medical Solutions (“MinnMed”) is one of two licensed medical cannabis companies in Minnesota. MinnMed operates four Cannabis Patient Centers across the state and a greenhouse facility near Otsego, MN. MinnMed is a subsidiary of Vireo Health International, Inc. (“Vireo”). Vireo’s mission is to build the cannabis company of the future by bringing the best of medicine, engineering and science to the cannabis industry.  Vireo’s physician-led team of more than 400 employees provides best-in-class cannabis products and customer experience. For more information about MinnMed, please visit www.minnmed.com.

COVID-19 Update MinnMed is considered an “essential service” by the State of Minnesota because we are a healthcare company that provides important medication to patients. In order to protect our patients and employees while remaining open, MinnMed has implemented a variety of enhanced measures, including additional cleaning and sanitation policies, new standard operating procedures and a “workplace distancing” policy. We are also offering a variety of ways for patients to order, pick-up and pay for their medicine in the safest ways possible. For more information on these efforts please visit: https://minnesotamedicalsolutions.com/minnmed-will-remain-open/

Contact Information

Media Inquiries

Albe Zakes

Vice President, Corporate Communications

albezakes@vireohealth.com

(267) 221-4800

MinnMed is an Essential Service and Will Remain Open

The global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) grows more widespread every day with cases increasing exponentially across the United States. Our thoughts are with all who have been affected.

We have received many questions about our status and ability to stay open to serve our patients. Therefore, we wanted to provide more information about our open status and our increased efforts to protect health and safety.

MinnMed is considered an “essential service” by the State of Minnesota and Governor Walz because we are a healthcare company that provides important medication to patients. Therefore, we will remain open so that we can serve our patients and provide continuity in their medicine.

Our Compliance Team is actively monitoring new information and any guidance issued by state regulators to make sure we are closely following all new regulations to ensure public health.

MinnMed has already implemented a variety of enhanced measures to protect patient and employee safety. These efforts include additional cleaning and sanitation policies and a “workplace distancing” policy. To further protect our team members and our patients we have also implemented several new Standard Operating Procedures. See below for important updates on our new standards and processes.

Effective Thursday 4/2, we are happy to share we have implemented the following new procedures for your safety and convenience.

Curbside option for medication pick-up now available – to utilize curbside pick-up, patients must order online using our eCommerce shop. Please make sure to place your order online ahead of time, in the Pharmacist Notes please request Curbside Pick-Up and provide the make/color of the Car you will arrive in, and then you’ll be able to pick up your medicine without leaving your car or having to enter the cannabis patient center.*

Please remember: to help ensure a smooth experience, please make sure to complete your state-mandated self-evaluation survey (this is different from the patient experience survey) prior to your appointment time – log in to state registry to access survey at  https://cannabis.web.health.state.mn.us/.

*This allowance from the Governor’s office is not permanent and should be considered a temporary option for patients. 

  • Bloomington: (952) 800-4404; Minneapolis: (612) 999-1615
  • Moorhead: (218) 206-6600; Rochester: (507) 481-3140

Please be ready to provide 1) your name, 2) location outside (patients must be parked in front of our location *Minneapolis location parked in rear parking lot), and 3) vehicle description. A patient care coordinator will come to your vehicle to accept payment and provide your medicine. If possible, we ask that you pay via CanPay to avoid the exchange of cash.  Debit cards are not accepted for curbside pick-up.

Please also feel free to come to our front window to let us know you have arrived! Provide us with your medical ID and form of payment, & we will bring your medicine right out to your vehicle for convenience.

Window pick up for all medications – patients will no longer be able to enter the waiting room area or dispensary. We will be dispensing all medications for patients at our front vestibule windows or via curbside. We will validate all patients ID, collect payments, and dispense at the vestibule window.

All new patient and existing patient consultations will now occur by video conference or telephone. Upon booking consultation appointments, patients will be provided a link to our video conference portal which will allow you to engage with our pharmacy team at your scheduled time. If you have a smart phone with camera function – we are pleased to share you will now be able to complete your video conference consultation from your phone.

Patient Certifications that expire as of March 31, 2020 will be extended – and now expire on August 1, 2020, or 60 days after the end of the peacetime emergency, whichever date is later. If you have have questions about the state’s caregiver program, please contact health.cannabis@state.mn.us or call 651-201-5598 (metro area) or 844-879-3381 (toll free).

Patients can register emergency temporary caregivers to assist in accessing medical cannabis – an emergency caregiver may be added through a patient’s Medical Cannabis Registry account.

Also please note our new hours of operation as of March 25th:

All four locations: Please note that from 12 pm – 12:30 pm each day we will not be able to process orders and dispense medicine. This is due to staffing restrictions. We will reopen the doors promptly at 12:30 pm each day.

Bloomington: Now open 8 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week!

Minneapolis/Moorhead/Rochester: Normal hours, except for 12 pm – 12:30 pm closure.

Minnesota allows patients to purchase up to a 90-day supply of medication. We suggest doing so to reduce unnecessary travel and decrease exposure risk.

If you have a fever or are experiencing other symptoms, please send a caregiver to pick up your order. Learn more about the caregiver program here.

You can also volunteer to be a caregiver or be partnered with a caregiver via Sensible Minnesota.You can request an emergency caregiver and learn more about the program, including how to sign-up as a volunteer, at the link below. https://sensible.mn/what-we-do/emergency-caregivers/

Due to recommendations from the CDC we have decided to cancel the Cannabis Collective (formerly our Support Groups) for the time being to reduce the risk of spreading the Corona Virus.

**If you do not have an online account, please call us and we will assist you in placing an order for pick-up over the phone.

Have a question? We’re here for you! Send us a message via our Contact Us Page here, and someone on our team will be in touch with you shortly.

How to Order Online With Minnesota Medical Solutions

Running short on time? Want to limit the amount of time you spend in public right now?

We understand! Thankfully, MinnMed’s online ordering system lets you take advantage of pre-orders and curbside pickup that can make your life easier and limit your exposure to other people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How can you order online? Check out this quick step-by-step guide to online ordering through MinnMed.

Sign In To Your Account

The first step to placing an online order is to sign into your account. From the home page (or any page on the site), simply click on the “log in” button found on the top right of the page. From there you will be directed to the login page where you can sign in to your account, or make a new account if you don’t currently have one.

 

Enter the Shop and Choose Location

After you have successfully logged in, enter the shop page by clicking on “Shop” from the menu along the top and then select patient care center on the top left side of the page.

 

Add To Cart

Check out the menu on the left for easy navigation through all of the items that we currently offer. Begin adding the desired items to your cart by simply clicking the “add to cart” button below the product name.

 

You can also view a product’s description by clicking the product name, photo or “show details” button. To add product to your cart from the product description page, simply select a quantity and click the “add to cart” button.

Review Your Cart

After you are finished shopping, click the cart icon at the top right of the page to review your order and apply any coupons.

Questionnaire and Pickup Time

Once you have reviewed your cart, scroll down to complete the state mandated questions and choose a time for pickup.

Submit Order

After the questions are complete and a pickup time is chosen, scroll down and be sure to include any special notes (such as “curbside pickup” and the make/model of your vehicle) in the notes before clicking the “Submit Order” button.  Once you have submitted your order, await confirmation to ensure we’ve received your request.

 

Once you receive a confirmation, make sure to log in to the medical cannabis registry and complete your state mandated self-evaluation before coming to visit us!  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Inforum: Patients: Medical marijuana effectively treats pain, post-traumatic stress

MOORHEAD — Amy Wieser Willson has suffered for years from chronic pain so severe that some days she couldn’t get out of bed. On those days, even contact with her bed sheets was painful.

Wieser Willson, whose ailments include fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, now can take a capsule of medical marijuana before bed and, most mornings, wakes up pain free. Occasionally, when she has a flare-up, she uses a vaporized form of the medication, which relieves her pain.

“While pain may not be visible, it can absolutely be deadly,” she said. Despite her pain, she refused to take narcotic painkillers. Two friends died from opioids; one by accidental overdose and the other by suicide.

Read more here.

KVRR: Moorhead Medical Cannabis Patients Share Treatment Stories

MOORHEAD–Moorhead medical cannabis patients are sharing their treatment stories.

Minnesota Medical Solutions Patient Care Center in Moorhead is currently treating 400 patients to medical cannabis.

Patients can obtain medical cannabis by falling under an eligible condition.

Two of the most common conditions include PTSD and chronic pain.

Medical cannabis is not covered by insurance and patients spend between $100 and $200 per month on their specific dosage.

Read more and watch the story here.

Dr. Kyle Kingsley: To make medical cannabis more affordable, allow patients access to marijuana flower

Check out this op-ed in the MinnPost from Vireo Health CEO Dr. Kyle Kingsley about expanding access to more patients.

*****

Minnesota has a highly successful medical cannabis program that is helping thousands of seriously ill patients. We have a program that is effective for the majority of participating Minnesota patients, according to patient data published by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Despite these very encouraging results, affordability remains the major challenge facing Minnesota’s three-year old program. While we’re celebrating our clinical success, we can’t turn a blind eye to the affordability problem.

Our company is doing all we can to keep medicines affordable for as many Minnesotans as possible. We offer substantial discounts to low-income patients and veterans, even though our company continues to lose money. Three years of operational experience have helped our operations to be more efficient. Consequently, we have reduced prices for all of our patients during this time.

Read more here.

Star Tribune: PTSD is added to Minnesota’s medical pot program

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is being added to the list of conditions covered by Minnesota’s medical cannabis program, effective next August.

The expansion, announced Thursday by Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger, adds an option for the estimated 8 percent of Minnesotans who, at some point in their lives, will suffer PTSD, a condition that can cause people to relive the emotion of traumatic experiences through panic attacks, nightmares and severe anxiety.

Minnesotans also petitioned to add arthritis, depression and six other conditions, but Ehlinger said the research to date didn’t support the others as strongly.

“PTSD presented the strongest case for potential benefits and a relative lack of good treatment alternatives,” said Ehlinger, who has discretion under state law to enlarge program coverage.

The medical cannabis program already covers seizure disorders, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Tourette’s syndrome and intractable pain — which was added earlier this year and resulted in a surge of patients.

Roughly 3,500 Minnesotans with qualifying conditions are certified to receive medical cannabis, which for now is provided only in oil or pill form in the state. Ehlinger also said Thursday that the state will permit the use of medical cannabis in a topical form, such as patches or creams, starting next year.

Read more here.

MPR News: Minnesota OKs medical pot for post-traumatic stress disorder

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Minnesota will allow the use of medical marijuana to treat people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, state health officials said Thursday.

The Minnesota Department of Health had been weighing requests to expand the use of medical cannabis for PTSD, autism, arthritis, depression and other conditions.

“While the process of reviewing these potential additions was difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence, PTSD presented the strongest case for potential benefits,” Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger said in a statement.

“PTSD also has few effective treatment alternatives available for some patients with the condition,” he added.

Currently, 16 states list PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and three others, plus Washington, D.C., give doctors “broad latitude” to recommend it for any serious conditions.

Read more here.