Original cannabis journalism for Canadians

A little book with a big goal: Making medical cannabis approachable

Cannabis journalist Amanda Siebert is the author of the upcoming title The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life (Supplied/Greystone Books/Jackie Dives)

Cannabis journalist Amanda Siebert is the author of the upcoming title The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life (Supplied/Greystone Books/Jackie Dives)

A popular assumption about cannabis legalization in Canada is that it will inevitably lead to more people using cannabis, whether for recreational or medical purposes.

But years of marijuana prohibition and anti-drug messaging have left lots of Canadians skeptical about whether the Devil's Lettuce serves a purpose beyond simply "getting high". So, what does it take to get those doubters to come around?

Author Amanda Siebert thinks she has the answer. On October 17, Greystone Books will publish her pocket-sized, ultra-accessible exploration of the plant's potential benefits, The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life.

Siebert is the former cannabis editor at the Georgia Straight, a free weekly newspaper in Vancouver. But even as a journalist, she's not afraid of taking a firmly pro-cannabis stance.

"I'm sure there's going to be some people that are like, 'Oh, well how are you a journalist if you're drawing such a line in the sand,'" Siebert tells The Leaf News.

"I guess for me, I'm kind of excited by the idea. I like to be a little bit rebellious, and I think this book does it in a way that is not too aggressive."

She's right — The Little Book of Cannabis manages to avoid being preachy. Siebert compassionately guides readers through ten areas where cannabis could have therapeutic benefits: as a sleep aid, a stress reducer, a creativity booster, a metabolic agent, a "superfood," a sex enhancer, a pain reliever, and as a tool for cancer patients, the elderly and their caregivers, and people with substance addictions.

"I've written it for someone who has absolutely no idea about what cannabis can do," explains Siebert.

"And I really, when I was writing it, was thinking about people of different age groups and different demographics, people with different opinions on cannabis. What would someone who maybe hasn't consumed since the '60s, what would they think about this? Or someone who's never consumed at all? That was what I was going for — broad strokes, but definitely in support of the medicinal use of cannabis."

Each chapter sticks to an engaging formula: A case study of a cannabis user who relies on the drug to improve an aspect of their life, followed by an easy-to-read exploration of existing scientific research that includes historical perspective on how humans have used the plant in the past.

Cannabis literature is often marketed to existing cannabis users, but Siebert hopes The Little Book of Cannabis will find its way into the hands of weed neophytes in Canada, the U.S., and the United Kingdom.

"Thank goodness for my wonderful publishing company. It's going to be in Chapters and on Amazon, and all of these different, front-facing, big companies that are selling books," she says.

"I feel like it's an accessible little stocking-stuffer or what have you, and at $15 it could be like that impulse purchase."

In the meantime, Siebert's already in talks about writing her next cannabis book.

"And I'm hoping that down the line I could write more about psilocybin or other plant medicines that are definitely coming up in popularity," she says.

"I feel like cannabis is really opening the door for some of that."


New on The Leaf

  • Ontario's Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli speak about new legislation for selling marijuana. (Mark Blinch / The Canadian Press)

    Ontario's Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli speak about new legislation for selling marijuana. (Mark Blinch / The Canadian Press)

    House rules: Can landlords ban cannabis smoking in apartments? As usual, it depends on where you live in Canada.
  • A place to toke: Ontario's new government plans to loosen the rules around where cannabis can be used after legalization.
  • CBD's a Crazy Big Deal: Big companies like Coca-Cola have their eyes on the cannabinoid that's got everyone talking.

Elsewhere on the Weed Wide Web

  • Sinsemilla suite: Ontario's new cannabis consumption rules could be a big plus for the province's tourism industry, reports Marijuana Business Daily's Matt Lamers.
  • No cannabis for Calgary cops: The Calgary Police Service is snuffing out its members' dreams of herbal relaxation on their days off.
  • Under the Boardwalk: Major Alberta landlord Boardwalk won't let any tenants grow or smoke cannabis on its properties.

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