The Lifted Library – A Dozen Books for Marijuana Mavens
September 6th is National Read a Book Day. In observance, we’ve collected a dozen great books of interest to both Cannabis patients and connoisseurs.
I stumbled upon a first edition of the original 1960s version of this book back in the 1990s at a used book store. As a college student who was just getting familiar with cannabis, it was hilariously outdated but informative. The raw bulk of trivia I gleaned from the book proved to be useful banter in numerous smoke sessions, covering everything from the Indica Sativa divide, to rolling joints and how to make sure you don’t get ripped off when buying a lid. There is an updated version for the 21st century, but grab an old copy and get ready to laugh out loud, or cry when you see the prices they quote.
If you have ever wanted to roll one of those amazing joints you see on Instagram, this book is a good start, however, being nearly a decade old (older than recreational legalization) joints have come a long way. Regardless, it’s a fun book and a great gift for the extravagant joint smoker in your life.
Jorge Cervantes is the undisputed godfather of grows. If you have no interest in growing, this book is still useful, as you begin to understand the environmental conditions that can affect marijuana. If you have ever considered trying your hand at home grown, there is NO OTHER book that comes close to being as thorough as the book that is simply known as “The Bible” among growers. Frequently updated, filled with thousands of full color pictures, diagrams and charts, the few dollars you spend on this book will be paid back the first time you are able to stop leaf droop, powedery mildew or a spider mite infestation.
More mature, and more informative than a Child’s Garden of Grass, this well documented and researched book features Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML as co-author. A quick and easy read, this is a great book for new patients who do not have a personal resource to go to.
Jack Herer was a household name long before the strain named in his honor became known as one of the most forgiving plants to get started growing. The Emperor Wears No Clothes was one of the first books to truly catalog the madness behind federal prohibition, and seek to get to the root causes of it.
While reliable and consistent edibles are easily available, there is still a particular joy in making your own. High Times, the undisputed source for cannabis information and entertainment, really raises the bar in this cookbook, moving beyond pot cookies and brownies to such treats as “Sativa Shrimp Spring Rolls”. While the recipes are pretty simple, what shines is the indepth first part of the book explaining how to properly prepare and infuse Cannabis.
This book is a must for anyone interested in advocating for Cannabis in any form, from hemp to concentrates. An incredibly well researched book, with surprising anecdotes about historical figures and celebrities and their use of the plant, as well as one of the most well documented deep dives into the motivations behind prohibition and it’s effect on the global economy.
Abbie Hoffman, the prankster behind “Steal This Book” went into hiding in the 70s after the trial of the Chicago Seven. Coming out of hiding in the 1980s, he once again stepped into activism to protect rivers. During this second career, he penned “Steal this Urine Test”, a manual for passing drug tests, as well as a blazing indictment of the very practice. While the information is dated, Hoffman’s personable and biting writing style makes this well worth a read.
In 1857, Fitz Hugh Ludlow penned The Hashish Eater, documenting his initial fascination with and later his ‘addiction’ to Hashish, which he was eating in pill form. More of a window into the victorian times in which is was penned, it made its way into this list for being one of the first books of so called “Addiciton Lit”, paving the way for later works by Burroughs, Nin and Miller.
While the previous cookbook focused on making your own edibles, this book focuses on liquids. From infusions to tinctures, this is more than a recipe book for mixed drinks. Warren Bobrow does a fantastic job explaining how to properly decarboxylate cannabis as well as how to properly infuse cannabis into a variety of liquids without diminishing it’s potency.
If you have never been part of the cannabis community of growers, this book will break your stereotypes. Casting a wide net to explore the farmers, scientists, breeders, and geniuses behind the best flowers at cannabis cups, Mark Smith comes back with an engaging look into the culture and motivations behind this eclectic group of risk taking pioneers.
If you can pack a bong, or roll a joint, this book is probably a bit below your grade level. But for complete newbies interested in trying recreational cannabis for the first time or old time smokers that need to catch up on new advances before they walk into a dispensary, this is a perfect first book to start with. Written in an easy conversational style, it is a quick read and gives you enough information to follow along in a conversation. However, if you are a cannabis connoisseur, your eyes are going to roll at some of the small misses. OG does NOT stand for Outdoor Grown!
This one makes it a baker’s dozen. As a father of a young child working in the Cannabis industry, I cannot in good conscious recommend this book for reading to your kids, but it it a fascinating look at Marijuana prohibition that used a child’s mindset to highlight the ridiculousness of it all. By the author of “Go the F**K to sleep”, the book is a refreshing way to look at a topic that has been written about thousands of times.
There are literally thousands of books about Cannabis out there, from Poetry to Politics. So find a comfy sofa, a stony sativa and sit down for story time.