NEW PRODUCT HELPS PATIENTS MODERATE MEDICAL CANNABIS SIDE EFFECTS
Special Vaporizer Cartridge Helps Patients Only Get As Much THC As Needed
Minneapolis, MN (August 31, 2016) – Minnesota Medical Solutions (MinnMed) today announced that it had developed a new product that will help patients moderate the delivery of THC, the primary psychoactive chemical found in the cannabis plant that can cause side effects, such as sensory distortion and lowered reaction time.
The Company’s new “MinnMed Silver” product is a prefilled vaporizer cartridge containing a formulation of natural ingredients and a small amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), one of the two primary medicinal chemicals in cannabis. This special formula was created to minimize the various THC-related side effects experienced by many patients. It is the only product of its type available to Minnesota patients.
“Seniors and other patients are understandably wary of side effects,” said Kyle Kingsley, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of MinnMed and its parent company Vireo Health. “While the side effects associated with cannabis are much milder than patients have with opioid pain killers, our new MinnMed Silver formulation will help patients go slow and only get as much medicine as they need.”
For patients that don’t need THC for effective treatment, such as patients with conditions involving seizures, the THC-free MinnMed Violet formulation can be used. However for other patients, such as pain patients, THC is necessary to provide relief. For pain patients, the MinnMed Silver formulation can ensure that patients without experience with cannabis don’t get more THC than then they need.
MinnMed Silver is being released at a time when many new patients suffering from pain are trying medical cannabis, often as an alternative to opioid-based medications. As of August 1, 2016, Minnesota patients with pain that can’t be relieved using conventional treatment methods are eligible to purchase medical cannabis.
The heaviest users of opioids are seniors, according to a December 2014 Express Scripts report. At the same time, they are the age group with the least experience with cannabis, according to a July 2015 Gallup survey. To date, Minnesota seniors, age 65 and above, have been underrepresented in the State’s medical cannabis program. While seniors represent 18 percent of the State’s adult population, ages 18 and above, they only account for 12 percent of the active adult patients in the State’s medical cannabis program.
“As an emergency medicine physician, I saw that many seniors were opioid victims,” said Kingsley. “With seniors disproportionately suffering from pain and suffering opioid-related tragedies, we need to help them overcome their cannabis-related concerns.”
In April, MinnMed released the FREDOM (Flexible Reduction and Expedited Discontinuation of Opioid Medications) protocol as a potential tool for physicians to help patients struggling with chronic or intractable pain replace opioids with medical cannabis.
“Dosing by milligram is one of the most important differentiators of a medical approach to cannabis-based medicines. Observing patients who respond to very low dosing, yet are cautious or sensitive to the psychotropic effects of THC, inspired the development of MinnMed Silver,” said Stephen Dahmer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Vireo Health of New York. “This product is aligned with our ‘Start Low. Go Slow.’ protocol by providing patients with a medical cannabis product containing much lower levels of THC. While MinnMed Silver could be used by patients of all ages, the impetus for this new offering has been informed by interactions with senior patients in our Cannabis Patient Centers.”
MinnMed has four Cannabis Patient Centers located in Bloomington, Minneapolis, Moorhead and Rochester.
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