Want to Get Your Mom to Try Pot? Give Her This Book

Before Nikki Furrer was a cannabis writer and professional, she had another dream job: owning an independent bookstore. While she says her business venture as a bookseller was ultimately untenable, it did open her eyes to how much she enjoys “matching the reader to the exact book they’re craving.”

This zest for matchmaking is evident in her book 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis.' As the title suggests, 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis' is for women who are curious about cannabis. A more appropriate title, however, might have been a 'A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis.' Though Furrer touches on applications for the plant that are specific to women—relief of menstrual pain or beauty (though her belief that cannabis is a beauty product because it makes you appear more well-rested seems relevant to both men and women—much of the information in the book is relevant to anyone who is totally inexperienced with cannabis, apprehensive about trying it and needs a run down of the basics.

Furrer’s guide is quite comprehensive and helpful for beginners. And anyone with a parent or older family member who may benefit from using cannabis to replace things like alcohol or prescription medication should consider giving them this book. Concerns that may be common among people who grew up believing cannabis was a dangerous drug are compassionately allayed. She recounts anecdotes in which she assured customers that “[m]arijuana can prevent symptoms of dementia, even decades later.” (There is research to support that claim, so Furrer missed an opportunity to further legitimize the plant’s healing properties by simply citing those studies.)

Furrer also provides a brief survey of the history of medicinal cannabis use, and does an excellent job breaking down the many conditions that can be treated with cannabis: depression, anxiety, pain, inflammation and even weight loss. She also breaks down the difference between indica and sativa by way of a pretty infographic: sativas are for things like Crossfit, and indica is for Netflix. The healing properties of CBD, which may be totally foreign to someone who hasn’t dabbled with cannabis since the Vietnam war, are explained clearly and simply: while THC is the popular girl who “decides how long the party will last,” CBD is the “valedictorian” who is “at home getting her work done.”

Womans Guide to Cannabis Flat Cover

Furrer's dosage suggestions

Perhaps most comforting for newbies is Furrer’s overview of the many ways in which cannabis can be consumed and dosed. She walks through everything from why sublingual strips work faster than edibles, to practical advice that experienced consumers may gloss over - such as what tools you need for a smoke session.

As a proponents of moderation, Furrer is staunch in her belief that cannabis is most effective and beneficial when consumed in proper doses — a useful lesson for newcomers as well as seasoned consumers. While she sees cannabis as a wonderful treatment option for depression, she cautions that overuse can actually increase depressive symptoms, and breaks down what she believes is the appropriate dosage for various issues. Want to be more focused at work? Furrer suggests 5 mg of a 1:1 THC/CBD strain. Looking to enhance sexual pleasure? Try a couple vapes of indica that’s 10mg THC/10 mg CBD.

The recipes included at the end of 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis' appear to be geared toward women primarily because of their names. There’s one for 'Book Club Wine Gummies' and a 'Sunday Brunch Strawberry Balsamic Pate De Fruits.' Again, however, the information Furrer provides seems relevant for both men and women who aren't familiar with edibles. The recipes are easy to follow, and will feel familiar and nonthreatening to someone who’s spent more time in Sur La Table than in the sort of dispensary where Furrer used to work. 

Ultimately, 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis' is an excellent way to bridge the information gap between experienced cannabis consumers who often take their knowledge of the plant for graned, and newcomers who have spent most of their lives digesting inaccurate information about cannabis.

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I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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