Ten Marijuana Books for the Weed Nerd in Your Life

Some tokers are happy with smoking bud and leaving it at that, but others are interested in the historical and political context of the plant, as well as its medicinal properties. Whether you're shopping for someone who wants to learn how to grow, extract or cook with cannabis, this list should provide some helpful gift ideas.

1. The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy
As he explores the history of cannabis, Jack Herer gives an overview of where the plant came from and the many things it's been used for. He also dives into the governmental and commercial conspiracy against cannabis in the United States. The book is colorfully illustrated, and Herer's humorous, lighthearted tone guides readers through heavy topics without dragging them down. This book is continually cited as one of the best books on cannabis, both by people who are new to the plant and those who are highly knowledgeable members of the cannabis industry.

2. Sacred Bliss: A Spiritual History of Cannabis
It's well known that marijuana affects your consciousness; it's part of spiritual and religious traditions in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In Sacred Bliss, Mark S. Ferrara details how cannabis has been used to expand spiritual awareness for thousands of years. Citing sacred texts from all over the world, he explores how the plant has been used to expand perception and also discusses how it's being used today. He dives into its medicinal use and ponders whether cannabis can treat the mind along with the body.

3. The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Use
With the results of the recent election, 28 states now permit the medicinal use of marijuana and eight states allow recreational use, and many people are exploring the idea of growing at home. The Cannabis Grow Bible offers detailed techniques for indoor and outdoor cultivation, as well as practical advice on how to maximize the amount of bud on your plant. Greg Green, a growing aficionado himself, covers everything new growers need to know, including how to deal with pests, plant genetics, and the difference between growing in soil versus hydroponically. It's a great resource for newbies who are just getting started and for professional growers who might like a resource guide.

4. Cooking With Cannabis
For all the foodies out there, Cooking With Cannabis is the perfect meld of marijuana and munchies. Step-by-step photos detail how to make each of the seventy recipes featured in the book, including a variety of gluten-free and vegan options. You'll learn ways to use marijuana as seasoning, and about the various strains and what effects they might have on you.

This book is great for the recreational user, but it's even better for the medicinal user. Most patients don't ingest their medicine by smoking, and many prefer edibles to other methods. Cooking With Cannabis can help everyone incorporate cannabis into their everyday diet without sacrificing good food. The recipes can also be made without cannabis, so the book doubles as a simple cookbook.

5. Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?
Colorado voters legalized marijuana in part because of a campaign touting the drug's safety over alcohol. Marijuana policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert, co-authors of this book, explain why alcohol can be more dangerous than marijuana.  For users looking for a persuasive argument as to why they opt into the recreational use of marijuana over alcohol, this book could be key.

6. Marijuana: Medical Papers
Tod H. Mikuriya is a full-time research consultant at the N.I.M.H. Center of Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies, and in this book, he explores how much medical professionals knew about cannabis and kept quiet for the past 130 years. He's gathered a collection of all the medical papers on marijuana that have been published since 1839, when the plant was first introduced to Western medicine. Marijuana has been used for a variety of therapeutic uses for more than 2,700 years, and he makes a well-researched argument for its medicinal properties.

7. The Cannabis Health Index: Combining the Science of Medical Marijuana With Mindfulness Techniques to Heal 100 Chronic Symptoms and Diseases
If you like the idea of Mikuriya's book, you'll love The Cannabis Health Index. This source book provides insights from more than 1,000 cannabinoid studies and provides evidence-based background on how the herb can be used to treat over 100 chronic symptoms and diseases. The book was written by a former paramedic with a Ph.D. in alternative health care. Organized alphabetically by condition, the book provides ratings on how effective cannabis is for each symptom, and makes the case that many illnesses and ailments can be managed with the plant instead of pharmaceuticals.

8. The Big Book of Buds: Marijuana Varieties From the World's Greatest Seed Breeders

If you love weed porn, look no further than this book. In stunning photos, if offers a full-color guide to the variety of cannabis types around the world.  Each photo has information about the strain, where it's grown, its growing characteristics and bud quality.

9. Beyond Buds: Marijuana Extracts — Hash, Vaping, Dabbing, Edibles & Medicines
Concentrates and edibles are quickly replacing flower as the highest-selling marijuana product. This book walks readers through the process of making hash and concentrates, as well as instructing them how to use the plant's leaves and trim to make tinctures, topicals and edibles. It also dives into simpler ways to make shatter, wax and budder.  Each of these products require their own consumption accessories, from dab rigs to vaporizers, and all of those are also explained.

10. Hashish
This book explores one of the oldest forms of marijuana: hashish. Robert Connell Clark traces the origin of the substance and takes us through the history of its use, from the earliest record to the present.
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Kate McKee Simmons interned at the National Catholic Reporter, was a reporter for the New York Post, and spent a brief stint in Israel learning international reporting before writing for Westword.