Process of Medical Evaluations

Starting a medical cannabis treatment can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it. A key part of this journey is the marijuana evaluation. This is a detailed check-up done by a healthcare professional to see if medical cannabis is right for you. In this article, we’ll explain what happens during these evaluations. 

We’ll talk about the first appointment, why you need regular check-ups, and how these evaluations help make sure your treatment is safe and works well for you. Our goal is to make this process easier to understand, so you can feel more confident as you start your medical cannabis treatment journey.

Table of Contents

The Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is the first step in the marijuana evaluation process in New York. This is a comprehensive appointment where a certified healthcare provider meets with the patient to discuss their health history, current symptoms, and potential use of medical cannabis as a treatment option. This consultation is crucial as it sets the foundation for the patient’s medical cannabis treatment journey.

Gathering Patient History and Current Symptoms

During the initial consultation, the medical marijuana doctor will gather detailed information about the patient’s medical history and current symptoms. 

This includes understanding past and present illnesses, treatments, and medications. The provider will also ask about the patient’s symptoms, their severity, and how they impact the patient’s daily life. This thorough understanding of the patient’s health status is crucial in determining whether medical cannabis could be a beneficial treatment option.

Discussion of Previous Cannabis Use, if any

If the patient has previously used cannabis, either medically or recreationally, this will also be discussed during the initial consultation. The healthcare provider will want to know about the patient’s experiences with cannabis, including any benefits or side effects they may have experienced. This information can provide valuable insights into how the patient might respond to medical cannabis treatment.

Evaluating the Potential for Cannabis as a Treatment Option

After gathering all the necessary information, the healthcare provider will evaluate the potential for cannabis as a treatment option for the patient. This involves considering whether the patient has a qualifying condition as defined by the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. 

The provider will also weigh the potential benefits of medical cannabis against any possible risks or side effects, taking into account the patient’s overall health status and specific symptoms. If the healthcare provider determines that medical cannabis could be beneficial, they will issue a certification, which the patient can use to apply for a New York State Medical Marijuana Card.

Follow-up Consultations

After the initial marijuana evaluation and the commencement of medical cannabis treatment, follow-up consultations become an essential part of the patient’s healthcare journey in New York. 

These consultations allow the healthcare provider to monitor the patient’s response to the treatment, make necessary adjustments, and address any concerns or side effects that may arise.

Discussing Response to Treatment

During follow-up consultations, one of the key topics of discussion is the patient’s response to medical cannabis treatment. The healthcare provider will ask the patient about any changes in their symptoms, improvements in their condition, and their overall satisfaction with the treatment. This feedback is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of the treatment and making any necessary adjustments.

Adjusting Dosage or Strains Based on Patient Feedback

Medical cannabis treatment is highly individualized, and what works for one patient may not work for another. Therefore, based on the patient’s feedback, the healthcare provider may adjust the dosage or switch to a different strain of cannabis. 

These adjustments aim to optimize the therapeutic benefits of the treatment while minimizing any potential side effects. The goal is to find the ‘sweet spot’ where the patient receives the maximum benefit with the least amount of side effects.

Addressing Any Side Effects or Concerns

Another important aspect of follow-up consultations is addressing any side effects or concerns that the patient may have. Medical cannabis, like any medication, can have side effects. 

During these consultations, the healthcare provider will ask the patient about any adverse effects they may have experienced, such as changes in mood, appetite, or sleep patterns. The provider will also address any concerns the patient may have about their treatment, providing reassurance and making necessary adjustments to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety.


In conclusion, the process of marijuana evaluations, encompassing both the initial consultation and follow-up appointments, is a critical component of medical cannabis treatment in New York. These evaluations provide a comprehensive framework for assessing a patient’s suitability for medical cannabis use, monitoring their response to treatment, and making necessary adjustments to ensure optimal therapeutic outcomes. 

They also offer a platform for addressing any side effects or concerns, ensuring that the patient’s treatment journey is both safe and effective. By fostering an ongoing dialogue between the patient and the healthcare provider, these evaluations play a pivotal role in personalizing medical cannabis therapy, enhancing its benefits, and improving the patient’s overall quality of life.