Happiest and haziest of 420s to you all. Whether you partake or just want to educate yourself, there are tons of books on the market.
For those that don’t know, 420 is the national cannabis enthusiasts holiday. The origins of “420” are murky at best, but what’s not murky is the underrepresentation of women and people of color in the burgeoning legal marijuana industry. Much like publishing in general, white men hold the primary positions of visibility and power.
I originally wanted this list to be a diverse celebration of marijuana-related books written by and for women: cooking, growing, general knowledge, etc. What this post ended up being, due to an extreme lack of diversity in the industry and the market, is a list of marijuana books by mostly white women. I wish they weren’t. I personally know several cannabis activists in the industry who are people of color and I hate that they are so underrepresented in this little corner of non-fiction. But in an industry that is up to 99% white and 80% male in some states (numbers are tricky since legalization is state-to-state at this time), and one where stigma has often forced authors to hide behind pseudonyms, it’s not surprising. That being said, I encourage your to check out the work of The Dank Duchess, Mona Zhang, Supernova Women, Shaleen Title, The High Ends, Wanda James, Sue Taylor, The Hood Incubator, and The Minority Cannabis Business Association, among others.
Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women by Cheri Sicard
While I loathe the “for women” in the title, because all the other books don’t say “for men”, I appreciate Sicard taking the time to write a book about marijuana geared specifically toward women. I super appreciate how modern and un-crunchy this book is. It lays out a lot of information, from strain basics, to simple recipes for edibles, to marijuana industry careers, in a clean layout peppered with gorgeous photography. If you like Sicard’s style, I would also recommend her cookbook: The Easy Cannabis Cookbook: 60+ Medical Marijuana Recipes for Sweet and Savory Edibles.
The ABC’s of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (And regular folks too) “Why Pot Is NOT What We Were Taught.” by Shira Adler
Even my ultra-conservative family is starting to dabble in CBD for pain relief. For the uninitiated, THC is what makes weed feel good and makes you hazy, CBD is what makes weed make you feel less pain. CBD is regulated quite differently from its more wild counterpart, and as a result is popping up in topical products for pain-relief worldwide. Adler does a much better job that I just did of breaking down the science and explaining the technicalities, so, yeah, you should probably read this one.
BREAKING THE GRASS CEILING: WOMEN, WEED & BUSINESS by Ashley Picillo and Lauren Devine
This book is a fantastic collection of personal essays from 21 pioneering women in the cannabis industry: Kristi Lee Kelly, marijuana industry financial expert and dispensary owner; Dr. Sue Sisley, pioneering M.D. using marijuana to treat PTSD in veterans; Wanda James, the first black woman to own a dispensary in the U.S.; Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, the founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, the leading cannabis Big Data & Analytics reporting provider in the world; Rachel K. Gillette, leading marijuana attorney; and more.
Ganja Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery by Dee Dussault
If you’re interested in using marijuana to enhance your spirituality or your relaxation, Dussault’s Ganja Yoga is a comprehensive and welcoming addition to your shelves. And if you’re worried this title is going to veer too hippy-dippy for your taste, there’s a solid amount of science and research between these evergreen pages. (I’m really trying to show restraint on the puns…I’m trying so very hard.)
Cannabis Revealed: How the world’s most misunderstood plant is healing everything from chronic pain to epilepsy by Bonni Goldstein M.D.
One of the major platforms for marijuana advocacy is its efficacy in treating the symptoms of various medical conditions. Dr. Goldstein has been practicing medicine in California for years and her book is a fantastically thorough exploration of the way marijuana affects the human body and how it can be used to treat 28 different medical conditions ranging from ADHD to fibromyalgia to glaucoma to schizophrenia.
Laurie Wolf is a legend in the edibles world. The New Yorker has even called her “The Martha Stewart of Marijuana Edibles.” If you’re only going to own one marijuana cookbook, make it this one for its comprehensive palate and delicious recipes. I really love that the focus isn’t strictly on sweets. There are over 70 tasty recipes in this book, some gluten-free and vegan options included.
The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis by Julie Holland
Much like Cheri Sicard’s Mary Jane (see above), The Pot Book covers a broad range of marijuana-related material: medical uses and effects, political and legal information, scientific research, and cultural information. If you want a comprehensive, footnote-laden book to really dive into the deep end on this ganja thing, this is the book to buy.
The Cannabis Spa at Home: How to Make Marijuana-Infused Lotions, Massage Oils, Ointments, Bath Salts, Spa Nosh, and More by Sandra Hinchliffe
Ready to get your kitchen witch on with a selection of preservative- and major allergen–free recipes for pampering yourself? Ready to do all that with the added benefit of pain-relieving and relaxation-enhancing weed? I thought so. Hinchliffe’s book is a solid option for those who may not have access to store-bought marijuana products, or for those who prefer the DIY approach.
However you choose to celebrate 420, remember it’s puff, puff, pass. No one likes a weed hog. Also, consume responsibly.