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Build Your Own Cannabis Library With These Must-Read Books About Marijuana

With millions of books published each year, it can be quite challenging having to decide which books to add to your ever-growing list of must-reads. We asked Leafly staff what their favorite cannabis-related books were and their responses varied from educational resources to memoirs and even a few cookbooks.

Check out some of our favorite cannabis-themed books. Have you read any of them?

EDUCATIONAL

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis

By Julie Holland, M.D.

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis

Julie Holland, a physician at the NYU School of Medicine, covers marijuana’s physiological and psychological effects, the complex politics of cannabis law, and its role in creativity, business, and spirituality. All proceeds from the book go towards supporting medical marijuana research.

Marijuana Grower’s Handbook: Your Complete Guide for Medical and Personal Marijuana Cultivation

By Ed Rosenthal

Marijuana Grower's Handbook

Whether you’re just learning to grow cannabis or you’re a vet with decades of experience, the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook provides basic information that a new grower needs, as well as helpful hints and scientific research for the experienced cannabis horticulturalist. Cannabis icon Tommy Chong writes the foreword to this amazing resource containing over 500 pages of color photos and illustrations.

Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible

By Jorge Cervantes

Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible

This classic and #1 best seller in horticulture on Amazon is the most complete cultivation book available today, with well over 1,000 photographs and illustrations featured. Originally published in 1983, the book’s chapters have all been updated with the latest information and a couple new sections.

Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana

By Michael Backes

Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana

Author Michael Backes specializes in cannabis science and policy issues at a Southern California consultancy and is a fellow member of the American Herbal Products Association’s Cannabis Committee. This easy-to-read book provides evidence-based information on using cannabis for ailments and conditions. Backes outlines 29 ailments and illnesses for which doctors commonly recommend medical marijuana, and he provides readers the latest information on varietals, delivery, and dosing.

Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts—Hash, Vaping, Dabbing, Edibles and Medicines

By Ed Rosenthal

Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts: Hash, Vaping, Dabbing, Edibles & Medicines

Beyond Buds details how award-winning artisans make hash and concentrates, and includes modern techniques utilizing dry ice and CO2. The book is a primer on making kief, water hash, tinctures, topicals, edibles, and other extracts from cannabis leaves, trim, and bud bits, and it goes on to explore and simplify the more exotic and trendy marijuana-infused products, such as butane hash oil (BHO), shatter, wax, and budder. Marijuana icon Ed Rosenthal and leading cannabis reporter David Downs guide readers through the best new consumer products, and demonstrate how to make and use the safest, cleanest extracts.

The Cannabis Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to Cultivation & Consumption of Medical Marijuana

By Jorge Cervantes

The Cannabis Encyclopedia

Arguably the most comprehensive book on the market when it comes to cannabis, The Cannabis Encyclopedia explains all the essential techniques to grow indoors, outdoors, and in greenhouses. Cervantes has grown cannabis since the early 1980s and his expert advice and techniques have helped growers all over the world produce high-yield gardens.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy

By Jack Herer

The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy

Renowned marijuana activist and namesake to the popular strain, Jack Herer collected tons of data on cannabis and its medicinal uses. This classic begins with Herer taking the advice of his friend Captain Ed Adair and compiling tidbits of information about the cannabis plant and its numerous benefits. Herer covers marijuana prohibition to therapeutic uses of cannabis and the underlying racial implications associated with the plant.

Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America

By Bruce Barcott

Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America

Leafly’s Deputy Editor, Bruce Barcott, wrote Weed the People, taking readers a step into the future when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. The issues surrounding the legalization of cannabis vary from the trivial to the profound. There are new questions of social etiquette: Is one expected to offer a neighborly toke? If so, how? Is it cool to bring cannabis to a Super Bowl party? Yay or nay on the zoning permit for a marijuana shop two doors down from the Safeway? Plus, there are the inevitable conversations between parents and children over exactly what this adult experiment with cannabis means for them.

Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life

By Shirley Halperin

Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life

Pot Culture encapsulates the history, lifestyle, and language of a subculture that, with every generation, is constantly redefining itself. From exhaustive lists of stoner-friendly movies, music, and television shows to detailed explanations of various stoner tools, to celebrity-authored how-tos and an A-Z compendium of slang words and terms, it’s the ultimate encyclopedia of pot.

FICTION

Jesus Weed: The Misadventures of a Young Man in Search of the Perfect High

By Gerald Taylor

Jesus Weed: The Misadventures of a Young Man in Search of the Perfect High

A good-looking, adventurous young lad, Gerald is driven by a lust for adventure, a lust for women, and a lust for life. Launching himself onto the hippie trail, he travels to Thailand where he comes into contact with Jesus Weed for the first time. This is enough for him to come up with his own personal mission statement, dedicating himself to “the study and use of marijuana in all its myriad forms — how to grow and refine the sacred herb and, wherever possible, get shit-faced in the pot-growing strongholds of the planet.” From there his adventures spiral out of control.

Budding Prospects: A Pastoral

By T.C. Boyle

Budding Prospects: A Pastoral

Budding Prospects: A Pastoral depicts the misadventures of Felix Nasmyth and his buds Phil and Gesh as they embark on a get-rich-quick scheme. All they have to do is harvest a crop of marijuana and half a million dollars is theirs. But of course nothing goes as they planned, and the group encounters all kinds of problems throughout their journey.

MEMOIRS

Growgirl: The Blossoming of an Unlikely Outlaw

By Heather Donahue

Growgirl: The Blossoming of an Unlikely Outlaw

At age 34, Heather Donahue’s life went to pot. Literally. After starring in The Blair Witch Project, she became a household name. But once the afterglow of the movie faded, her acting career stalled. Determined to start a new life, Growgirl follows Donahue’s year living on a cannabis farm in Nuggettown, California, among “The Community” — a collection of growers, their “pot wives,” and the reason for it all: “The Girls.”

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

By Johann Hari

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

A New York Times bestseller by journalist Johann Hari, Chasing the Scream reveals his discoveries over three years from his discussions with people all over the world whose lives have been completely transformed by the War on Drugs. This book will challenge and change how you think about one of the most controversial–and consequential–questions of our time.

COOKBOOKS

Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis

By Chefs Laurie Wolf and Melissa Parks with the team at Herb

Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis

Chefs Melissa Parks and Laurie Wolf have developed recipes that specifically complement and downplay the taste of the herb so that each appetizer, entrée, and dessert will be enjoyed to the fullest. Seasoned chefs and cooking novices alike will revel in creating homemade cannabis-infused treats with over 200 delicious, reliable recipes from the Herb cookbook.

The Ganja Kitchen Revolution: The Bible of Cannabis Cuisine

By Jessica Catalano

The Ganja Kitchen Revolution: The Bible of Cannabis Cuisine

Professional culinary and medical marijuana advocate Jessica Catalano makes it easy for you to create your own top-class cannabis cuisine. Catalano pairs every recipe with a cannabis strain whose flavor complements that of the dish. Readers learn how to match specific types of cannabis with meals to enhance flavor and effects. Featuring 11 different extraction methods and recipes for every meal of the day, The Ganja Kitchen Revolution s is the only marijuana cookbook to harness the flavor and effects of individual cannabis strains to make healthy marijuana meals for patients, adult users, and budding canna-chefs.

Sweet Mary Jane: 75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-End Desserts

By Karin Lazarus

Sweet Mary Jane: 75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-End Desserts

Karin Lazarus, owner of the Sweet Mary Jane Bakery in Boulder, Colorado, made it her mission to bring flavor, passion, and innovation to a cuisine previously best known for pot brownies. Her cookbook includes 75 delectable cannabis-infused treats like Smashing Pumpkin White Chocolate Pumpkin Bars, Sweet Temptation Mango Sorbet, and Chocolate Almond Delights.

What are some of your favorite cannabis reads? Share your favorite books in the comments!