The best books for people who are curious about cannabis

Robyn Griggs Lawrence Author Of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Edibles, from Tinctures and Cocktails to Entrées and Desserts
By Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Who am I?

I discovered cannabis as good medicine in 2009, when my gynecologist recommended it for severe dysmenorrhea. When I couldn’t find a cookbook offering healthy, sophisticated cannabis-infused recipes, I decided to write one. As an amazing group of cannabis chefs taught me how to cook with cannabis and shared their recipes, I fell in love with the plant as well as the open-hearted community that supports it. I followed the Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, published in 2015, with Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis, a textbook tracing the plant’s culinary history to ancient Persian and India, in 2019. I’ve learned how to grow my own, and I write regularly about cannabis trends and liberation.


I wrote...

The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Edibles, from Tinctures and Cocktails to Entrées and Desserts

By Robyn Griggs Lawrence, Povy Kendal Atchison (photographer),

Book cover of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook: Feel-Good Edibles, from Tinctures and Cocktails to Entrées and Desserts

What is my book about?

Top chefs from across the country reveal their secrets for healthy cannabis cuisine in The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, an empowering guide for harnessing the herb’s unique flavor profile and medicinal benefit through mouth-watering recipes. Packed with full-color photos and recipes, including many that are raw, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, this enlightening book also includes invaluable information about growing, processing, and selecting the finest cultivars, navigating the new retail environment, determining desired effects and comfort level, and mastering infusions and tinctures.

The books I picked & why

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The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy

By Jack Herer,

Book cover of The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy

Why this book?

I came of age during the “just say no” ‘80s, and I didn’t know any better until this book, published in 1985, opened my eyes to the hypocrisy, greed, and racism behind the drug war. Here, an early cannabis liberation advocate, who has a popular strain named after him, shows how valuable the plant has been throughout history as food, fiber, and medicine and explains how it came to be vilified and outlawed. He was so committed to spreading the truth that he published the entire book online.


The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis: Its Role in Medicine, Politics, Science, and Culture

By Julie Holland,

Book cover of The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis: Its Role in Medicine, Politics, Science, and Culture

Why this book?

There’s so much to love about this book, a comprehensive guide with information from leading experts like Dr. Lester Grinspoon and Dr. Andrew Weil. Written by a leading psychiatrist, it covers everything from the physiological and psychological effects of cannabis to the politics surrounding its vilification and its re-emergence as medicine. This book was a breakthrough when it was published in 2010—before adult use had been legalized anywhere—and it has become a classic.


Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific

By Martin A. Lee,

Book cover of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medical, Recreational and Scientific

Why this book?

Published in 2012, before cannabis liberation had truly begun to take hold, this is a lively look at the illicit cannabis market as it’s morphing into a legitimate industry. Irreverent and richly written, this book tells it like it is, tracing the racist roots of marijuana prohibition to its popularity among Mexican immigrants and jazz musicians and teasing out the vast implications of the US government’s attempts to eradicate it. Everyone needs to know this history, whether they enjoy cannabis or not.


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

By Ed Rosenthal,

Book cover of Marijuana Grower's Handbook: Your Complete Guide for Medical and Personal Marijuana Cultivation

Why this book?

This is the home grower’s bible, written by an OG. Everything you could ever want to know about growing cannabis—but didn’t know to ask—is packed into these 500 pages, and the photos are pure plant porn. Before Rosenthal walks you through the growing process, from garden design to post-harvest, he provides a comprehensive guide to the cannabis plant and how it grows. This book gave me the confidence to grow my own medicine, and that changed my life.


The Lotus and the Bud: Cannabis, Consciousness, and Yoga Practice

By Christopher S. Kilham,

Book cover of The Lotus and the Bud: Cannabis, Consciousness, and Yoga Practice

Why this book?

My friend Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist, medicine hunter, and yoga master, discovered decades ago that thoughtful ganja intake can enhance yoga practice and pave the way for a life of peace, health, and well-being. This book offers an in-depth guide to blending yoga with cannabis as well as a killer sequence of cannabis-enhanced postures and instructions for breathwork and meditation practice. I refer to this book again and again.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in cannabis, medicine, and Hatha yoga?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about cannabis, medicine, and Hatha yoga.

Cannabis Explore 15 books about cannabis
Medicine Explore 54 books about medicine
Hatha Yoga Explore 13 books about Hatha yoga

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission 1893-94 Volume 1 Report, Cannabis: Global Histories, and The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World if you like this list.