Marijuana: Getting the MMJ Basics From Cannabis Pharmacy

The author of Cannabis Pharmacy, Michael Backes, will be discussing and signing the book at 7 p.m. this evening at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. So what can readers expect from this "sensible guide to medical marijuana?"

See also: Marijuana: Reviewing The User's Guide to Colorado Marijuana Law

Actually, that "sensible guide" descriptor hits pretty close to the mark. There isn't a lot of preaching happening either way in Cannabis Pharmacy. Instead, the book briefly overviews the historical use of medical cannabis before delving into how cannabis is absorbed and removed from the body, potential adverse effects and a look at the endocannabinoid system.

The science in the book isn't exactly college-textbook level, but there are chemical diagrams of various molecules found in cannabis for those who might find that interesting. There's also quite a bit of information about extracts and proper storage of cannabis, plus dosing and delivery.

The second half of the tome deals with specific strains and medical disorders. Backes takes a little over two dozen strains and explains medical uses, genetics, similar varieties, ease of cultivation, aroma and taste information, as well as information about how the strain typically affects various areas of the body. This section is followed by a list of medical conditions, from Alzheimer's disease to stress, and details about cannabis and adolescence, preventive medicine, women's health and other related topics. The author recommends dosage, methods of ingestion and popular varieties for the assorted conditions.

All of the information in the book is allegedly based on evidence-based medicine. This could be a valuable reference book for medical dispensaries to use when patients have (brief, relatively easy-to-answer) questions about specific strains or conditions -- or even to set out in a waiting room for patients to browse themselves. But physicians, caregivers or others who are deeply involved in caring for medical cannabis patients might find that they need more granular information about each specific condition than this book provides.

Still, if you're interested in cannabis from a medical perspective, don't know much about it and need a thorough primer to explain the basics, this would be an excellent place to start.

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen