Dr. Thomas Cook is a board-certified psychiatrist.
He went to medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago. In 2009, he came to Hawaii to work at Queens Hospital in Honolulu. He now runs a full time private practice in Honolulu.
He is a specialist in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, and more.
Almost a quarter of his patients are veterans, and three quarters are from the general public. He is very familiar with how cannabis interacts with psychiatric medicines. He has spent the past couple years helping combat vets transition off of psychiatric medicines, with the help of cannabis. He can guide a patient into the world of cannabis, giving them advice on how to stop using ambien, which types of cannabis to use, which are best for PTSD, and much more.
How is our medical marijuana clinic different than others?
Dr. Cook started out certifying only a hundred or so of his own existing patients, many of them combat veterans. He did not set up a clinic for the sole purpose of giving out marijuana cards. This is different than most of the other clinics where you get a card. These clinics are “card clinics”.
Whereas Dr. Cook has a genuine private practice. When you are seen there, you are seen in the same clinic where Dr. Cook sees his regular patients.
Keep in mind when choosing a clinic to get a card!
Hawaii state law is very clear that marijuana-certifying doctors must take an “ongoing responsibility for the care and treatment of a patient’s condition… the physician/APRN provides follow up care and treatment, as medically appropriate, to the qualifying patient…”
Make sure that the clinic where you apply for your card is a clinic where you can be seen regularly, under your insurance, for routine care. When you schedule with a marijuana card clinic, ask if you can be seen for routine care.
We can certify a patient for chronic pain or PTSD, but we are a clinic that specializes in mental health, stress, and trauma disorders. Dr. Cook can diagnose PTSD on his own, without past medical records brought in by you. However, if you have chronic pain, it helps for you to bring in past records. If you don’t, Dr. Cook can verify your pain with a short physical exam.
As far as PTSD, what are the symptoms of a chronic stress disorder? Examples include: history of emotional trauma, irritability, moodiness, anxiety, insomnia. You don’t have to be a combat vet to be certified. For instance, a trauma history of witnessing a dangerous event (or physical or chronic emotional abuse) might be enough.
Dr. Cook will provide the latest information on cannabis. He reads O’Shaughnessy’s, a medical cannabis journal, and he regularly reads articles by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Dr. Ethan Russo, Dr. Bonni Goldstein, and other medical experts on cannabis.
For instance, it is known that you have a natural cannabinoid in your body already, called anandamide. This endo-cannabinoid is present in high amounts in breast milk, and is spiked by certain foods, such as chocolate, nutmeg, and saffron. It is often deficient in mothers with colicky babies. There was a federal NIDA study done on Jamaican mothers, whose babies have very low rates of colic. Another interesting piece of information: THC, the marijuana compound that causes a “high”, also reduces the “set point” for your body’s thermostat, in the hypothalamus. This will actually lower your body temperature. This is why some people who feel hot all the time, and have a lot of inflammation in their body, usually find that taking cannabis greatly improves their quality of life and their metabolism. For instance, Dr. Cook has multiple sclerosis patients with a lot of fatigue. They can’t stand being outside in the heat. Cannabis helps them greatly, by gently cooling the body. THC quite literally is anti-inflammatory: it cools the body.
Dr. Cook has a lot of cutting-edge knowledge about cannabis and depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. Some of this is directly from Dr. Cook’s experience and cannot be found in the literature. For instance, some patients with panic disorder do very well on cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which has anti-panic properties.
There are a lot of types of marijuana that will be sold at dispensaries. Dr. Cook does not recommend going in and trying them blindly. To get a good result, we recommend you educate yourself on cannabis research and your condition, along with an ongoing discussion with Dr. Cook, who stays informed on research happening right now around the world.