Q- What medical documentation should I bring?

A- It is important for you to bring any medical documentation (from previous physician visits, ER visits, chiropractor visits, etc.) that supports your diagnosis. This includes: recent medical records, prescriptions, physician’s letter, chiropractor’s letter, x-rays, MRI’s or any other documentation that you think can help.

Q- How can I obtain my medical records?

A- Call your physician or the hospital where you were treated and tell them you want copies of your medical records. They will tell you the process and typically have you sign an authorization to fax to them.

Q- How private will my medical records, and the things that I discuss with the physician be?

A- We take privacy issues very seriously. All of the patient records are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality. We respect that our patients have chosen marijuana as an alternative medicine for their condition.

Q- Do I need to have a referral from another physician?

A- No. We can evaluate anyone who feels that they can benefit from Medical Marijuana.

Q- Do you use Physician Assistants?

A- No, all evaluations are conducted by a qualified California medical licensed physician.

Q- Do I have to pay the fee if I do not receive a recommendation?

A- No, your fee will be returned to you (minus administrative cost) if you do not receive a recommendation.

Q- Will my name be on a state or federal list if I get a Medical Marijuana recommendation?

A- Absolutely not! We consider your privacy the utmost importance. We follow HIPAA guidelines to ensure patient privacy.

Q- Will insurance cover my recommendation?

A- No.

Q- Can you tell me the process of getting a recommendation?

A- When you arrive at our office, you will be asked to fill out a medical history form, along with some other documents and disclosures. You must provide a valid photo ID or Driver’s License prior to your evaluation. You will then meet with our physician who will evaluate you for the recommendation. If you qualify, you will receive everything you need that very same day.

Q- Will I get any sort of cannabis card at the time of my visit?

A- YES, if the determination that cannabis may be right for you. You will be issued a medical marijuana photo verification card. (The unique holographic logo and the numerous security features prevent unauthorized duplication of this card. This card will conveniently fit in your wallet.)

Q- I’ve heard that vaporizing is supposed to really benefit patients, can you tell me how?

A- Cannabis vaporizers eliminate the harsh smoke that most people associate with the use of marijuana. A vaporizer turns THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, into a fine mist, or vapor. It doesn’t actually burn the plant material. Our doctors highly recommend vaporizing as a much healthier alternative to smoking, especially for our patients with asthma.

Q- What are the side-effects of using medical cannabis?

A- Unlike prescription pharmaceuticals, the cause of more than 20,000 deaths due to unintentional overdose every year, medicinal cannabis has no such reported deaths. Side-effects are few and include intoxication and effects upon the nervous system leading to slowed reaction time and loss of coordination. This may last for several hours after ingestion. As a result, these effects make driving a car or operating machinery hazardous. These activities should not be undertaken while under the therapeutic effects of medical cannabis.

Cannabinoids (such as THC) also produce cardiovascular effects. Immediately after inhalation the heart begins to beat faster, the blood vessels dilate and blood pressure may drop. In some people this can cause dizziness and heart palpitations.

Smoking plant material creates tars and combustion byproducts that may be harmful to the lungs, although cannabis is significantly safer than regular tobacco. There are many ways to use medical cannabis without smoking it such as vaporization, tinctures and edibles (e.g. cookies and brownies).

Q- What are the long-term effects of using medical cannabis?

A- There is documented, but usually mild, withdrawal syndrome associated with cessation of medical cannabis. Cannabis may be psychologically addictive but is generally not considered physically addictive. In any case, it is not a common reaction.

Symptoms of withdrawal may include irritability, insomnia, mood swings and mild depression.

Reports of cannabis being a “gateway” to harder drugs have been proven to be unfounded.

More Questions?

Here are two easy ways to contact at Milan L. Hopkins MD, A Medical Corporation. First, simply call 707-275-2366 an operator will help you immediately. And if you prefer you can also fill out the form below and submit it to us online. Our representative will be replied to within 2 business days.

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