- Julia Sumpter/Leafly
Yes, a real-life book, made from actual tree pulp
Leafly is an app and website that, along with Weedmaps, is fairly well known to consumers of cannabis, be it medical or recreational. It's great for finding dispensaries nearest to your GPS location, and can show you the menus, prices and customer reviews of individual dispensaries and their products. It's popular AF, receiving 10 million monthly visitors and 40 million page views on both platforms combined. Yet for many, myself included, it's real value are the News and Strains sections.
The content in the News section is well researched and written, and a great way to keep up with cannabis happenings around the globe. The Strains section is a goldmine of information. You can sort through hundreds, if not thousands, of strains and filter your search by strain name, moods and activities, medical conditions and nearly 100 other filters. It's a very comprehensive repository of information that you would otherwise need to source out from various other sites.
In addition, there's an equally valuable and often even more useful section comprised of user reviews of strains and products. It's both remarkably unbiased and specific about the benefits and effects consumers obtained from individual products.
Now Leafly has assembled a "book." Millennials, let me explain: It's like an uber-analog Kindle, upon which you can consume content, but it uses dead tree pulp to make "pages" that you "turn" using your "fingers," much like swiping. Ask your parents.
I'm in love with this book. It's rare that you find a cannabis guide that would be of interest and have value to both the neophyte and the seasoned veteran. Many are too focused on just one area, and become pot porn tomes with lots of pictures of very pretty buds and plants. I like pretty, too, but substance always trumps it. And this is a substantive book.
I've been giving away and loaning out the additional copies provided to my medical marijuana patients, as it could conceivably answer any questions they might have for me, and actually give better information. The chapters include:
Understanding the Basics, covering cannabinoids, terpenes, genotypes and phenotypes, and tips for beginners
Smoking, covering how a grinder works, how to pack a bowl, what is shake and the difference between joints, blunts and spliffs
Edibles, Topicals, Oils and Concentrates, Buying and Consumption tips, and even a Troubleshooting chapter with a section on what to do if you get too high.
It's a hefty 227 pages, but beautifully produced. Tons of color photos make the science you're reading about easier to understand, and it is science heavy, albeit extremely accessible. The authors help the reader appreciate and understand cannabis in ways that they've never known or may have forgotten.
Example: "If you find yourself combating paranoia and anxiety...and too much cannabis has you on the verge of freaking out, just sniff or chew on a few black peppercorns for almost instantaneous relief." I didn't know this, but I'm now including a small container of peppercorns in the cannabis I provide to patients who are prone to unpleasant side effects of consumption. For those using cannabis to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or geriatric patients with limited experience, this can be an easily accessible safety valve.
As with anything that has been demonized and prohibited, education and experience is how cannabis is gaining wider understanding and acceptance. This book is a great tool to that end.
(Full disclosure: The box with review copies of this book from Leafly also included stickers, pins and socks. As I'm not a 6-year-old girl, at least not on the outside, I gifted the stickers and pins and kept the socks, the only item I might perceive as bribe-worthy. I've written several pieces for Leafly, but that was well over a year ago. In other words, I have no favoritism toward this book even though the company that produced it gave me a couple pairs of socks. If you have an item you would like considered for review, please don't send socks with said item with the expectation that they will garner you a review.)