A certain image – or, rather, aroma – comes to mind when one hears the title, The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed.
But the new release by husband-and-wife team Seth Matlins and Eve Epstein is a whole lot more than just a “guide to strains.”
Instead, it’s a “psychological, neurological, botanical, sexual, political and cultural history” of the “amazing” cannabis plant – spanning 22 pages and 20 scratch-and-sniff scents.
“Cannabis is a multi-sensory experience... it enhances your sense of touch, smell, taste and sound," Matlins told Civilized. "We wanted a book about cannabis to be multisensory, as well."
Marlins said that while the original idea for the book was indeed more strain-centric, it evolved into something much greater as he and Epstein “started doing research and realized how much” they didn’t know about the plant’s history.
The result, according to a press release ahead of the board book’s 4/20 launch, is a “treasure trove of weed-related culture, history, botany, intriguing factoids, and social and racial justice themes sure to delight the cannabis curious and connoisseur alike.”
While some of the scents in the book are directly strain-inspired – a section titled ‘The Garden of Weed-en’ includes scents like diesel to represent the strain Sour Diesel, while hints of blueberry and lemon summon Blueberry Kush and OG Kush – many simply serve as whimsical, “sniff-tacular” companions to the book’s various thought-provoking narratives.
A passage about the smoking side effect of cottonmouth, for example, allows readers to sniff the scent of cotton candy. Another section depicting cannabis and its influence on pop culture gives readers a whiff of Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress.
“For us, it became a process of exploring the entire olfactory world around weed – all the various elements that come together in order for weed to smell and be experienced the way that it is,” said Epstein, adding that she and Matlins had fun figuring out how to represent the “many terpenes and mixtures that give weed its aroma.”
While the book is inescapably political at its core – “it defies data, logic and reason that this substance remains illegal”, offers Matlins – humor is undoubtedly its backbone.
“As much as anything else, the sniffs and the words and the illustrations are intended to provoke a bit of thought and a bit of a smile,” said Matlins. “The world’s a tough place. Cannabis makes it easier, and we wanted our book to make it easier, too.”
You can order your copy of The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed for $19.95 here. Ten percent of the book’s profits go toward DrugPolicy.org to further the fight for legalization and decriminalization.