Cannabis may still be federally illegal in the United States, but reading about it certainly is not. Each year, the literature available on this revered plant becomes more and more informed, and with a number of additional states legalizing adult-use and medical cannabis in 2020, education around it is more important than ever.
Weed books published in 2020 cover such a broad range of subjects that this list has been broken down by consumers you might be shopping for this holiday season. Because just like strains of pot and the books being written about it, no two cannabis consumers are the same.
For Your Romantic Partner: Merry Jane’s The CBD Solution: Sex: How Cannabis, CBD, and Other Plant Allies Can Improve Your Everyday Life
By Ashley Manta
This beautifully designed book, one of three in a series by cannabis magazine Merry Jane, dives into the multitude of ways in which cannabis and specifically CBD can be used to rev up your experience in the bedroom. Author of the book Ashley Manta says CBD can help address the things that get in the way of enjoying sex, like pain and anxiety.
“This book is for people who are curious about how to incorporate CBD and other cannabinoids into their solo and partnered pleasure explorations. It meets readers who are approaching with a beginner’s mind, but quickly moves into advanced insights, techniques, and reframes for maximizing your erotic potential,” says Manta. Two of the author’s favourite ways to incorporate CBD and sex are by using CBD topicals and tinctures, the former to be applied for intimate stimulation and the latter ingested to easy anxiety. “If you can quiet down whatever is swirling in your head, it makes it much easier to feel present in your body,” she says.
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For the Green Thumb: How to Grow Marijuana: The Easiest Guide to Growing Weed
By Murph Wolfson
There are many books on the market that explain the process of growing cannabis, but with so many different approaches to growing, this one stood out for being the most up-to-date. Written by Murph Wolfson, a master grower who has grown cannabis since he was 13, it’s a great choice for beginners that may already be familiar with gardening but are interested in learning the finer points of growing cannabis, such as picking seeds and seedlings, germinating, the differences between hydroponics, outdoor growing and indoor growing, as well as options around pest control.
The blunt, practical handbook features straightforward instructions, detailed definitions and diagrams that help break down what can be a challenging and complicated process into a fun hobby that can save you money.
For the Cook in Your Life: Alternative Alchemy: Recipes and Mindful Baking with CBD, Herbs, and Adaptogens
By Jamie Hall
Jamie Hall’s elegant and modern cookbook will leave any memory you might have of overpowered “special brownies” in the dust. Hall is the founder of Alternative Alchemy, an L.A.-based baked goods company, and began using CBD to help treat her postpartum depression. She releases some of her best-kept secrets to the world in a collection of wholesome recipes that integrate CBD oil, herbs and adaptogens. Just a few flips through this thoughtfully photographed compendium of CBD baked goods (complete with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options) are sure to leave your mouth watering.
The book begins with a handy section on essentials, including easy-to-follow recipes for different nut-based milks, butters, and creams, followed by a chapter on drinks that includes recipes for lattes, kombucha, and smoothies. But the real gems in this collection are the baked goods, an incredible range of delicately spiced cookies, bars, cakes, pies, tarts, and puddings that are only made better by the addition of CBD and adaptogenic ingredients like cocoa, maca, turmeric, and others.
For the artist: High on Design: The New Cannabis Culture
This book isn’t exactly heavy on words, so I won’t be either. Add High on Design to the list of perfect coffee table books for the artist or designer in your life who has an affinity for cannabis. Berlin-based publishing company gestalten has found a visually orgasmic story in the way modern aesthetics have redefined what society now puts under the “cannabis culture” umbrella, trading in Cheech and Chong bongs for crystal pipes and issues of High Times for the smooth, matte pages of Broccoli.
To appeal to the “marijuana-inclined millennial,” according to High on Design, companies “promote pot as a medium for higher education and intercultural understanding.” That sentiment is reflected throughout the colorful pages of this book, which showcases new brands, designers, and creators behind the ongoing (and growing) cannabis movement.
For the THC-Averse: The CBD Bible: Cannabis and the Wellness Revolution that Will Change Your Life
By Dr. Dani Gordon
This CBD-specific look at how cannabis can be used to improve health is written by Dr. Dani Gordon, an American board-certified doctor and integrative medicine physician based in the U.K, where she works as a consultant to cannabis clinics. Gordon takes a deep dive into what has arguably become the world’s most in-demand cannabinoid, first explaining the history of cannabis use, the plant, and the path its compounds take in the body. Although the book does focus on CBD, it offers a look into the other valuable compounds found in the cannabis plant, not to mention an entire chapter dedicated to addressing the safety of the compound.
The second part of the book discusses the multitude of potential uses for CBD from a clinical perspective, and includes 12 chapters on brain health and neurological disorders, stress and fatigue, improving sleep, managing pain, better gut health, epilepsy and seizures and more. (Each chapter offers references to clinical research and papers for eager readers who want to verify information for themselves.) These chapters also offer guidance around different methods of consumption including appropriate dosages and application methods.
For the DIY Enthusiast: The Cannabis Apothecary: A Pharm to Table Guide for Using CBD and THC to Promote Health, Wellness, Beauty, Restoration, and Relaxation
By Laurie and Mary Wolf
In The Cannabis Apothecary, author Laurie Wolf and daughter-in-law Mary Wolf of the award-winning edibles company Laurie + MaryJane give readers an easy-to-digest introduction into how cannabis can be used, in short, to feel better. Complete with everything from information about its medicinal uses to sections on strains, growing and even bath soak recipes, it’s an all-encompassing look at the multiple at-home uses of the cannabis plant with a feminine touch.
The 129-page book also includes a generous selection of recipes and several ways to enhance existing practices such as yoga and massage. Laurie Wolf’s history as a food stylist shines in this book, as husband Bruce Wolf’s expertly styled photographs beautifully complement Laurie and Mary’s clear language and the book’s simple design.
For the Doubter: Cannabis Is Medicine: How Medical Cannabis and CBD Are Healing Everything from Anxiety to Chronic Pain
By Dr. Bonni Goldstein
If Dr. Dani Gordon’s look at CBD is a little too focused, this brand new publication by renowned cannabis specialist Dr. Bonni Goldstein is the book for you. Goldstein has been working with cannabis since 2008, helping thousands of patients in the state of California access the medicine they need to overcome conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, or one of the 23 other conditions or symptoms she covers in the book. The comprehensive look at cannabis as medicine first offers a deep dive into the science behind the plant, explaining the body’s endocannabinoid system, the medicinal effects of cannabis and its compounds, and the potential risks associated with its use.
Part II gives readers an in-depth look at the many ways in which cannabis has been shown to improve specific symptoms and ailments, and offers educational and practical insights into the best ways cannabis can be used to improve them. Goldstein’s honest and informed look at the subject is a refreshing perspective from a physician and one recommended for anyone who might still have doubts about how effective a medicine cannabis can be.
For the armchair historian: Highly Inventive: A High Brow History of Man’s Quest For Weed
By B.S. Wederman and Ted Trones
Because every list of books—and particularly one about cannabis—requires something comical. Highly Inventive is an offering that packs up all the potentially true historical references of cannabis use you’ve ever heard into a well-illustrated, humorous book that you might find in a stoner’s bathroom reading collection. A highlight includes an early entry in the chronological book that describes King Tut’s use of cannabis, suggesting the Ancient Egyptian king was particularly thankful for “cannabis suppositories, which allowed him to conduct his business ‘on the throne’ more easily.”
Later entries describe everything from the first-ever Zig-Zag paper, a version of the Spanish folk song La Cucaracha popularized during the Mexican Revolution, and even the origin story of Cheetos’ Chester Cheetah, weaving weed in at every turn. Consider it a choice stocking stuffer for that friend of yours who is chock full of sometimes-funny and generally useless trivia.