How Leaf411 is Helping With the COVID-19 Response

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Back in early January, we planned the month of March to highlight nurses—especially cannabis nurses—on our blog. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 as the year of the nurse, and we were eager to highlight the incredible work being done by our Leaf nurses as well as other nurses working in the cannabis space.

Little did we know that an emerging novel virus, COVID-19, was poised to rapidly spread across the world, touching every aspect of life. 

Now, many of us are doing our part to “flatten the curve” by staying at home and limiting close contact with anyone outside of our immediate household. For our Leaf nurses on the hotline, that means working from home.

Not everyone has the option to work remotely, however.

A hospital nurse wearing a face mask puts on gloves to protect herself while caring for COVID-19 patients.

Acknowledging the Work of Nurses and Healthcare Professionals

Today, we’re acknowledging the healthcare professionals, including nurses, who are already on the front lines providing care to COVID-19 patients, often in stressful environments with limited resources. Many other nurses stand ready, waiting in the wings to help as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise.

One of the best ways you can help healthcare workers is by doing your part to flatten the curve. Limit your exposure to other people, even if you feel well. 

You can also check out this link for other ideas on supporting nurses who are working long hours on the front lines.

How Leaf411 Hotline Nurses Are Helping to Increase Capacity

Our Leaf nurses are helping to take pressure off the hospitals and primary care clinics by opening up our free Leaf411 hotline (1-844-LEAF411) to your COVID-19 questions. Our nurses’ backgrounds extend far beyond cannabis nursing, with clinical and hospital experience.

We cannot provide diagnoses or order tests—that falls outside of our scope of practice as RNs. However, we can point you to the best resources based on your specific concerns and needs. We’re also able to answer general questions about COVID-19 and provide context for the emerging research and recommendations.

Check out our Leaf library as well for resources like general guidelines for reducing risk of infection as well as Dr. Dave’s input on cannabis and coronavirus.

Of course, we’re still available to answer your cannabis questions, too. With dispensaries switching to online ordering and curbside pickup, consumers will no longer be able to chat with budtenders about different cannabis products.  

For example, if you’re switching from smokable cannabis to edibles or tinctures, we can provide guidance to help make that transition as successful as possible.

Recognizing All the Frontline Workers Providing Essential Services

We also want to recognize other non-healthcare frontline workers who keep essential services up and running. This includes employees at grocery stores, distribution centers, gas stations and restaurants, as well as delivery drivers and truck drivers.

States and cities are designating marijuana dispensaries as “essential” as well, recognizing that many people rely on cannabis medicine to manage health conditions like pain, nausea and PTSD. While we’re thrilled about this designation, we also know it means that dispensary employees take on increased risk to maintain our access to safe, legally-compliant cannabis. To help out dispensaries, Leaf411 developed Preparedness Plans which we’re sharing with both member and non-member dispensaries through the end of the month.

We’re Ready to Help With Your Questions

Our Leaf nurses are available to answer your questions, whether you’re a clinician, dispensary representative or member of the public. Call us for FREE at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411).

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.