Books: They’re not just for rolling joints on. They also can contain cool shit like facts and pictures. Here are five titles that will fill out the backstory on everyone’s favorite plant.
The Hasheesh Eater: Being Passages From the Life of a Pythagorean by Fitz Hugh Ludlow This work is built of a series of remembered exploits detailing Ludlow’s misadventures with hashish candies, available from his local pharmacist for six cents per tin. Ludlow’s 1857 account of his love affair with the drug reads like an H.P. Lovecraft novel, and he may have unwittingly laid the way for future roguish outlaw psychonauts like William Burroughs and Hunter S. Thompson. All at once lurid, chimerical, and unsettling, The Hasheesh Eater is a fantastic Gothic Victorian look at one man’s Emerald Dream.
The Cannabis Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to Cultivation & Consumption of Medical Marijuana by Jorge Cervantes This book covers everything, from the history of medicinal uses to suggestions on how to prescribe cannabis and the best ways to create concentrates and edibles. Almost all of it is dedicated to a thorough description of grow techniques—indoor, outdoor, or greenhouse. At almost 600 pages, with thousands of color photos, this tome is the be-all, end-all guide on medicinal usage, perfect for patients and medical providers alike.
Marihuana: The First Twelve Thousand Years by Ernest L. Abel This long-out-of-print text is a sprawling overview of the deep impact this plant has had on human progress. From Asia and Persia to Africa and the New World, Abel demonstrates pot’s key role in wars, global exploration, and religious beliefs. Written in a conversational manner, Abel presents a few dubious “facts,” but that does not diminish the book’s entertainment and education factor.
The Cannabible 1, 2, and 3 by Jason King These three volumes are, simply, weed porn. The product of four years of global research, they include some pretty cool, albeit obscure, information, including a discussion of the Dutch seed market and a breakdown of marijuana breeding habits in North America. But the meat of this work is King’s superior macro photography skills, used to bring some of the world’s most famous strains into the spotlight. Every curling purple hair, resin-encrusted leaf, and glistening trichome are laid out for all to see across these books’ glossy pages.
The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy by Jack Herer The granddaddy of pot books, TEWNC is the definitive outline of pot’s biggest adversaries in the fight for legalization. Last edited in 2010, just before Herer died, this easy-to-read book is packed with charts and figures. Though centered on weed, it’s really an indictment of the corrupt systems controlling people’s access to information. A scary tale told with good humor, it’s an intensely researched look into the lengths our government and multinational corporations will go to to construct a reality around a preferred behavior—in this case the War on Drugs.