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Weed Reads 

What to read before—and after—you get high

Do you enjoy reading? How about reading about cannabis? I ask because if you're reading this column (or if it's being read to you by a service monkey using typing-to-speech-recognition software), it seems like you might enjoy some books on cannabis. I certainly hope so, because this week's column is about four of them. You could get them all through Powell's or many local, independent booksellers.

Big Book of Buds: Greatest Hits: Marijuana Varieties from the World's Best Breeders

The Big Book of Buds series has always had a place on my bookshelf, examining cannabis strains with large, beautiful photos of—you guessed it—buds. Written by ganja guru and former Ask Ed High Times columnist Ed Rosenthal, this collection gathers 95 strains and covers how each gets you high, tips on growing and harvesting, and details on terpenes, cannabinoids, and more. A sidebar of colorful icons for each gives you extensive insight to the lineage, effects, grow times, and expected yields. Less a how-to-grow manual than a cannabis varieties guidebook, this would be a perfect gift for the weed nerd in your life. This is like Pokémon Go for the pot enthusiast, except they don't need to leave the house and won't get run over or robbed searching for the strains.

The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook

This is a wide-reaching collection of recipes from a handful of chefs and mixologists, running the gamut from appetizers to main courses and cocktails to desserts. Beautifully photographed, it dedicates the first 100 pages to giving the reader a broad understanding of strains, storage, decarboxylation and more. The book reaches the next level of culinary cannabis, though, with recipes for: green tea, cannabis and coconut brownies; cannabis sweet potato fries with hemp seeds and kelp flakes; and mary jane daiquiris. (The recipes are low dose, so as to avoid a "nom nom nom, oh God, what have I done" scenario.) The resource guide and glossary sections are well curated, with listings for growing, storage, websites, and recommended reading. If you're looking for a book to make you stoned and well fed, this one's for you.

Homegrown Marijuana: Create a Hydroponic Growing System in Your Own Home

Geared toward the home cultivator, this book is a great step-by-step guide to building your own hydroponic grow system. Its clear photo instructions take the guesswork out of the process, and the book covers everything you would need to get up and running with your four personal pot plants. Tips on cloning, CO2, watering systems, nutrient solutions, and production techniques make this a stellar handbook for the novice hydro grower. The author points out that a hydroponic cannabis garden isn't that different from other gardens you're tended. If you enjoy using cannabis and a power drill, but not at the same time, this is the book for you.

The Stoner Puzzle Stash: An Activity Book for the High-Minded

As the back of this book succinctly puts it, "You're high, now what?" This is a fun collection of mazes, word searches, crosswords, hidden pictures, color-by-numbers, "DIY Inaction Figures," and 82 full-color stickers. There are some true stoner activities like "Trace Your Face!" (a blank page along with the instructions, "Place your face on the blank space, then trace!") or a Mandela Mandala (allowing you to color in a mandala of the late, great South African leader), and "fun facts" about Art Garfunkel. Silly stuff, yes. This would be a great activity book for those who get giggly after consumption. There are some very uptight people who are going to complain that this book is geared toward children, as only those 10 and under should be allowed to color. Ignore them, as they aren't happy people and never will be. Burn one down and bust out your coloring toolkit.

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