In a digital world where anything and everything can be found online, it’s a nice change to turn off the electronics, get back to basics and pick up a good book. Paper is good for more than just rolling, you know.
Whether you want to learn all about the wonderful world of edibles or you’re looking for insight into plant cultivation, there are plenty to choose from. Today, we’re delving even deeper into the realm of non-fiction cannabis books and reviewing a few about real people, real events and the history surrounding our beloved wonder plant, marijuana.
Without further ado, here are a few of our favorite cannabis history books:
Let’s start with a classic. Written by Jack Herer — yup, he’s a real person, not just the name of a fantastic strain of weed — this is inarguably one of the most influential books on cannabis ever written. Published in 1985, when the First Lady was campaigning for everyone to “Just Say No,” Jack wrote an authoritative historical record about the conspiracy against marijuana.
As an early cannabis liberation advocate, Jack released one of the greatest books on hemp and illustrated how he believed it could save the world. Jack was so committed to getting the truth out there (as opposed to making a buck) that later, he published the entire book online. Now in its 14th edition, this thoroughly researched and scrupulously annotated book covers how and why cannabis prohibition began, who profits and benefits from the criminalization of cannabis and the straight dope on the actual effects smoking marijuana has on the body. This is considered one of the most popular hemp books out there, and it’s well worth a read.
While both White and Black Americans consume and sell cannabis at about the same rate, the fact is that Black people are three times more likely to be arrested for a drug-related crime. When educating oneself on the history of weed in America, you would be remiss in not exploring how the War On Drugs disproportionately affected and continues to affect people of color.
Since it was first published in 2010, Michelle Alexander’s book spent almost 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, won numerous prizes such as the NAACP Image Award, helped inspire the creation of The Marshall Project and spawned a whole generation of criminal reform activists and organizations. Named one of the most important non-fiction books of the 21st century, this is one that should be next on your reading list.
Prior to medical marijuana legalization, retired power engineer Rick Simpson suffered a severe head injury and explored every treatment and medication within the Canadian medical system, only to discover they did him nothing but harm. It was only when he turned to the use of self-produced cannabis extracts that he found any relief, and he began a decades-long fight to repeal all the laws concerning cannabis use regulation, with the aim of making it freely accessible to all. This is one of the best books on cannabis history, the story of Rick Simpson, how RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) came to be and the medical miracles that followed.
Subtitled “The Unlikely Story Of How Marijuana Went Mainstream,” this book draws on interviews and adventures with some of the biggest names in the world of cannabis to explore the social, economic and political forces that led to the commercialization of weed while it is still federally illegal. Former ABC news correspondent and award-winning reporter Heather Cabot takes us on a deeply reported journey of an astonishing rebranding with one of the best cannabis history books around.
Amid all the books on cannabis history and books on legalizing weed, we present to you the ultimate in cannabis how-to books, “How We Roll.” This book is all about the art and culture of rolling joints and how to roll to impress your friends.
This lively guide features clever illustrations and clear instructions on how to roll not only your classic joint, but for mouth-droppers and eye-poppers like The Scorpion, The Braid and The Holy Cross.
But, wait! There’s more! It has interviews with cannabis lovers of note like Tommy Chong, Wiz Khalifa and Dawn Richard, who give their personal tips and tricks for rolling a most exceptional J. This also makes a great gift, especially if you’re looking for one of the best books for budtenders as a way to say thank you at the holidays.
There was a time when the world turned to Emily Post as the last word on social conduct and proper manners. Now, as the stigma surrounding cannabis fades and we enter a post-prohibition era, Emily’s great-great-granddaughter Lizzie combines the long-standing norms of pot culture with the tried-and-true principles of the Emily Post Institute to present a guide on how to be a thoughtful, respectful and responsible cannabis consumer. This primer covers everything from how to behave at a dispensary to how to give weed as a gift and to how to tackle pot faux pas like canoed joints.
When it comes to marijuana legalization books, many focus on the past, some focus on the future, but few, if any, focus on how today’s cannabis is affecting our environment.
As legalization is unfolding across America, cannabis plant cultivation is anything but green. Author Nick Johnson presents an agricultural history of cannabis with consideration of it more as a plant than as a consumable, and shows that the biggest consequence from our decades-long federal marijuana prohibition is environmental degradation due to negligent farming practices such as indoor growing. “Grass Roots” exposes the past chronology of cannabis to make sense of present regulation and highlights current efforts to make the industry more environmentally sustainable before it’s too late.
Sometimes, words can be a lot. If you want to look at a whole lot of pretty pictures, this one’s for you. Cannabis photomicrographer Jason King started collecting pics of his favorite plant as a passion project, which led to him journeying around the globe for four years while he sampled and photographed more than 1,500 strains of weed.
“The Cannabible,” one of the best books for budtenders and anyone else who has a deep love of the green, focuses on the best 200 strain varieties with 400 high-resolution, full-color photos of nugs that are so freakin’ beautiful, you can almost smell them.
Find the Best Cannabis History Books at CannaCon
If you are looking to get lost in some great non-fiction cannabis books, this list is a perfect starting place. If you are looking to interact with real-life people with similar interests, check out the CannaCon calendar for their next event.
CannaCon is the nation’s leading B2B expo offering dozens of speakers, hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees who share a mutual love and appreciation for cannabis. Getting an early bird ticket saves you cash so you have more to spend on a new book…which you can perhaps share with a new friend. Live the kind of life others would want to read about by planning your CannaCon visit today.