The Best Cannabis Books, Reviewed: Fiction

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Papers: they’re for more than just rolling. You can read ‘em, too. With loads of content now offered digitally, there is still something to be said for a good old-fashioned book, the kind that you can hold in your hands and flip the pages.

For insight into plant cultivation, how-to instructions for cannabis edibles or delving deep into marijuana and its history, books are a great alternative to the hum and buzz of all things electronic. With an estimated 5,200 English language books in print on the subject of cannabis, there are plenty to choose from. Today we’re exploring cannabis fiction books and the escape they can provide.

The Buddha of Suburbia

This novel by Hanif Kureishi is tops when it comes to stoner reading, and it’s definitely one of the best cannabis fiction books to read while high. Navigating heavy themes like racism, religion and sexuality with empathy and wit, Kureishi definitely captures that feeling of young adult angst and the journey of reinvention and self-discovery. This award-winning story was so well received that it inspired a BBC series that featured a soundtrack by David Bowie. So toke up on some Thai stick, put on some Ziggy Stardust and check this one out.

The Fan Man

A cult classic when it comes to the best fiction cannabis books, this story penned by William Kotzwinkle follows befuddled garbage hoarder Horse Badorties on a farcical adventure circa 1970 through the streets of New York. With a unique stream-of-consciousness prose, this style of writing truly pushed the boundaries of literature when it was released in 1994. A devastatingly funny novel, it was re-released in 2015 with a foreword by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and also makes the list of top cannabis graphic novels with its illustrated edition. The rhythm and beat of the writing are the true genius of this book.

Inherent Vice

When it comes to cannabis mysteries, this lively yarn by Thomas Pynchon is about as good as you can get. Published in 2009 with a story that takes place in 1970s California, this is a dark crime comedy that was turned into a Paul Thomas Anderson film in 2014. Smoking a bowl and following pothead Detective Larry “Doc” Portello on this psychedelic romp is entertainment of the highest order.

Budding Prospects

This contemporary American cannabis fiction novel by T.C. Boyle, originally published in 1984, is a laugh-out-loud satire of the sinsemilla outlaws looking to get rich quick in the early 80s. This paranoia-infused concoction is like a mix of Hunter S. Thompson and Cheech & Chong that results in a fabulously fun read and one of the best cannabis fiction books you can enjoy while high.

Brave New World

This profoundly important classic piece of world literature by Aldous Huxley has to make the list of cannabis science fiction, even if the drug in this dystopian future isn’t marijuana, but a pill by the name of Soma that the government provides to its citizens to keep them pharmaceutically anesthetized in an effort to uphold an authoritarian ruling order. Published in 1932, Huxley had insight about the dark side of genetic engineering that was way ahead of his time, and his prophetic work is as brilliant and provocative now as it was back then.


From the fertile mind of musical superstar Ziggy Marley comes this primo cannabis graphic novel about an otherworldly hero who gets his powers from marijuana and is on a mission to save his planet. This tale of high adventure is a fun, silly read with a unique flavor and feeling.

A Half-Baked Murder

The first book in what is set to be a full series of cannabis mysteries, this fun little romp follows a young California pastry chef as she opens a cannabis café where she can use her Michelin-star skills to create gourmet pot edibles…until she is sidetracked by murder.

Elder millennial author Emily George not only checks off all the boxes for what is required in great cannabis fiction books and lays a foundation for a series that feels fresh and full of surprises, but she also includes cannabis-infused recipes as a delightful bonus.

The Adventures of the Great Neblinski

From author Jrr Tokin, this tome of cannabis science fiction is an epic journey of high adventure. Following a tiny pot-smoking subterranean G’nome who befriends a band of misfits that include a dinosaur-riding lizardman, a legendary warlord, a joke-telling sasquatch, a spliff-smoking ratman and a heroic teenage monster, book one, entitled A New and Improved Hope, has been hailed as hilarious, heart-wrenching and suspenseful. At more than 300 pages, this is a great way to get lost in a world outside our own.

It’s Just a Plant

When it comes to the best fiction cannabis books, man oh man, does this one piss off the “Just Say No” crowd! This is a children’s story written and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés, which begins when a young girl named Jackie becomes curious after discovering her parents smoking a joint in their bedroom. An amazing opportunity to explain what can be a complex topic to kids, this is the perfect way to educate in a factual and non-judgmental way so the mystery of pot does not further spark a child’s curiosity. It’s a good read and a great conversation starter.

Get Lost in the Best Cannabis Fiction Books

When indulging in some premium bud and getting lost in an alternate universe sounds fun to you, this list of best fiction cannabis books is a  good place to start. But when you want to mingle with others of like mind who share your great love for all that is green in the real world, that’s when you head to a CannaCon event. Just like with books, there are lots to choose from —  with CannaCon Expos taking place in 2024 all across the country. Speakers by the dozens. Exhibitors by the hundreds. Attendees by the thousands. CannaCon is the nation’s leading B2B conference and offers an experience unlike any other. So go ahead – read about different worlds and all the excitement they hold – and then go live a life that’s worthy of being written about. Get your tickets for a CannaCon show today.

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