While the internet is amazing, it’s not always the best place to go for objective, accurate info. It can be, you know, hit or miss. Sorry! Books on the other hand—while not perfect either—are often held up to rigorous research standards in the way that say, Dank Man 3000’s figurative blog, is not. So while the internet rules everything around us, let’s take a minute to honor weed literature.
That’s right; if you’re really serious about mastering the world of cannabis, whether for personal or professional gain, it’s time to hit the books. But don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you.
Below, you’ll find 20 of the best cannabis-related books around–from the scientific, the political, the “how to” guides, to the memoirs and general lifestyle helpers. And yes, most of them are by women. This is Miss Grass Dot Com, after all. You’re welcome.
Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana by Michael Backes
If you’re looking for an easy read packed full of necessary information, Cannabis Pharmacy has glowing reviews and would be a great place to start. Backes covers the history, science, and medicinal effects of cannabis in digestible prose, and gives grounded evidence on dosage and the ways to approach your use of cannabis. While it might not be a one stop shop for all of life’s ailments, Backes cites many places where the plant could help you out a little and does so while dispelling some of cannabis’s biggest myths in the process.
This guy knows what he’s talking about. David Linden has a PhD from Johns Hopkins where he now runs a lab, and writes New York Times Best Sellers like this in his free time. In this book, Linden explains hardcore biology and complex neurological behavior for those of us who want nothing to do with reading actual textbooks. He also uses plenty of witty anecdotes to explain the science behind some of humanity’s greatest pleasures.
The Science of Marijuana by Leslie L. Iversen
The Science of Marijuana, unsurprisingly, talks a lot about the science of cannabis. Iversen goes in depth into the background and history of the plant, working her way through the book to the modern studies regarding the medical benefits of cannabis use. A professor of pharmacology at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, Iversen has a plethora of resources at her disposal and uses her research to cite accurate and trustworthy evidence in this educational book.
Grow Your Own: Understanding, Cultivating, and Enjoying Cannabis by Nichole Graf, Micah Sherman, David Stein and Liz Crain
It might seem easy to just go on the internet and look up random guides on how to grow your own plants, but getting the information from a reliable source, like Grow Your Own will help you make sure that you make no mistakes in the process. Horticulture can be tough, but these authors makes it easy to understand with diagrams, pictures, and easy to read prose. They give you some cool brownie recipes too. Nice.
This book teaches a lot about CBD specifically for parents. At least that’s who Shira Adler writes for, but The ABC’s of CBD definitely has information for a wider audience too. Adler teaches you what your parents never did about the non-psychoactive chemical in cannabis, and how it can help with things like anxiety and ADHD. It’s funny. It’s informative. It will give you great information. Check it out!
The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis by Julie Holland, M.D
This book really covers it all. Well, not the American Revolution or nuclear physics but definitely cannabis! Julie Holland M.D. teaches psychology at NYU’s School of Medicine, and gets information from a plethora of renowned doctors, psychologists, and pharmacologists in this book. She talks about the various uses of cannabis, how it can help with different ailments, and the complex politics regarding cannabis law. She leaves us with the call for future research, so if you want to get into cannabis research yourself, The Pot Book is a great place to start.
Mary Jane: A Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women by Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard gets a bit more specific to a woman’s needs in this book. She talks about the ways cannabis can be fun, healthy, and stylish for the ~modern woman~ with lots of tips on how to consume and use the product. Some chapters include: How to Host a Pot Party, Grow Your Own Garden, Easy Recipes for Foodies, and Budding Beauty Products. Even if you’re not woman-identified, there are plenty of good ideas in this book for everyone.
Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life by Shirley Halperin
The hardest part about getting into cannabis isn’t necessarily the plant itself, or how to use it, but the culture that can seem so hard to understand from an outsider’s point of view. Never fear! Shirley Halperin is here to tell you all about the various idiosyncrasies the cannabis world has to offer. Pot Culture has all the best stoner movies, music, TV shows, and all the slang you need to jive with the kids down at the skatepark.
This book is for the elegant lady, or probably just the one who wants to get rid of some stress. A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis offers tips and tricks on how to get high for just the right reasons, with a whole bunch of tasty recipes as well. Furrer is a cannabis lawyer, and also started her own brand of cannabis products with a focus on women’s health. She cares about women’s needs, and makes sure to give educated advice about dosage and intake.
First of all, Jack Herer is a great strain of cannabis. He’s also a great author apparently. This book talks all about the prohibition of cannabis, and how the plant has been a part of American life while being condemned by the United States government. It opens one’s eyes to the injustices people have faced as a result of cannabis’s prohibition. Be prepared.
The War on Drugs: A Failed Experiment by Paula Mallea
The Emperor Wears No Clothes highlights cannabis’s plight, but Mallea goes even bigger into the problems that surrounded the war on drugs. She talks mainly about her home country of Canada, but delves a little into US politics as well, discussing the massive amounts of governmental waste that went into the futile campaign. She discusses many different topics, giving a great overview on all the different inequities, and how the war affected various groups.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness by Michelle Alexander
Black men have faced enormous injustices in the wake of the war on drugs. In her book, Michelle Alexander argues that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” She dives deep into the racial aspect of cannabis that we as a nation often ignore in this new era of acceptance, and it’s our duty as users of cannabis in 2019 to understand the history that many of us never had to face.
A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition by Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian
Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian do a deep dive into the history behind cannabis prohibition, outlining the political and social reasons barring the plant from the legal sphere. They look into the legalization process, specifically in California, and showcase the steps it took for even the most outlying people to come around to the prospect.
Addiction isn’t a part of the drug world that we often like to talk about, but Johann Hari takes us on a trip, both literally and metaphorically through his, and others’ experience with addiction. He profiles famous lives as well, like Billie Holliday and Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (who also had a morphine habit). Hari talks to drug addicts, dealers, police, and lawmakers while he travels around the world writing this book. This book is immensely personal, and a great read for those who want to learn about the states of addiction.
Something’s in the Air: Race, Crime and the Legalization of Marijuana edited by Katherine Tate, James Lance Taylor and Mark Q Sawyer
This book also talks about the minority population left behind in the conversation surrounding cannabis legalization. Katherine Tate discusses the various prospects the legalization of cannabis could have. How will the changes affect the lives of minority groups? Will the legalization be enough to safeguard these families against a lifetime of hardship and injustice? Tate tries to answer these questions in her book, so if you need some answers, check it out.
Did you know that the underground cannabis market already exceeds that of corn? Well Doug Fine did, and he wrote a whole lot more about the economics of the up and coming cannabusiness. He dives deep into all the money surrounding the plant, and how the economics have changed in the age of legalization. The people Fine finds are great too, he interviews a bunch of interesting characters in the business; from farmers to sheriffs to “ganjapreneurs.”
Growgirl: The Blossoming of an Unlikely Outlaw by Heather Donahue
You probably know Heather Donahue, but not from cannabis. She starred in the Blair Witch Project, but afterwards had little place to go. She followed her boyfriend to a cannabis farm, where she lived among the “pot wives” and helped build grow rooms and farm the plant. This book is filled with funny anecdotes and interesting accounts about her life in the community.
Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed and Business by Ashley Picollo and Lauren Devine
This book features the accounts of 21 women in the cannabis industry, and tells of some of the struggles and hurdles they have to overcome to achieve success. Breaking the Glass Ceiling showcases the accolades of some of these women, and how they’ve helped to pioneer this industry. Not only have they risen to a level of ___ but paved the way for future women to further build a dynasty.
The Art of Weed Butter: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Cannabutter Master by Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey
Edibles are fun. You get to enjoy the effects of CBD or THC in the comfort of your favorite treat, but it’s not as simple as sprinkling some weed into your brownie batter. You’ll need to make something called cannabutter, and this book tells you exactly how to make the perfect batch for any type of snack. It’s got anecdotes, beautiful photographs, and great recipes for all your cannabis baking needs.
This is another good book if you’re looking to tell your friends or parents that cannabis can actually good for you. Bonni Goldstein makes the typically dense, scientific information easy to read, and shares tons of delightful anecdotes about the plant’s use cases. She has a degree in medicine, and tons of experience working in California as a reputable physician, and owner of several medical cannabis centers throughout the state.