Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana by Michael Backes
Date read: 08 January – 06 February 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2014 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Source: Deschutes Public Library [615.7827 BACKES MICHAEL] [Updated]
This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it for all public and academic libraries. It would be even more useful in states with medical cannabis laws but would be an excellent educational resource even in those without.
- Part 1: Cannabis as a Medicine
- Historical Context
- The Cannabis Plant
- How Medical Cannabis Does and Doesn’t Work
- How Cannabis Works Within the Body
- Adverse Effects of Medical Cannabis
- The Endocannabinoid System: A Brief Primer
- Phytocannabinoids and terpenoids—The Principle Active Ingredients of Medical Cannabis
- Genotypes, Phenotypes, and Chemotypes of Medical Cannabis
- Part 2: Using Medical Cannabis
- Metabolizing Medical Cannabis
- Dosage: A Short Introduction
- Storing Cannabis
- Cannabis Contaminants, Pathogens, Pesticides, and Adulterants
- Forms of Cannabis
- Delivery and Dosing
- Using Medical Cannabis in the Workplace
- Part 3: Varieties of Medical Cannabis
- What Makes a Cannabis Variety and Why It’s Important
- … [Information on 27 specific varieties (see below)]
- Part 4: Medical Uses of Cannabis
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- … [Information on 27 other conditions]
- Cannabis and Adolescence
- Cannabis and Children
- Cannabis and Pregnancy
- Cannabis and Preventive Medicine
- Cannabis and Women’s Health
- Cannabis Dependence and Withdrawal
- Selected Bibliography
Not an all out pro-Cannabis stance by any means. Cannabis use—like anything we can put in our bodies—comes with risks. This book takes a clear-eyed look at all of them—as best as possible within our current knowledge. He discusses contaminants, pathogens, pesticides, and adulterants, THC tolerance, dependence and withdrawal, which terpenes do (or may) exacerbate which conditions, along with Cannabis use by adolescents, children, and pregnant women.
Backes also discusses the direction research (and the medical Cannabis market) seems to be heading. As he writes in the Intro:
“The research collected herein is drawn from hundreds of recent studies, but this book hopes to present this evidence in an accessible manner for the layperson. Cannabis Pharmacy is designed to encourage further inquiry, so I have attempted to avail myself of as many open and accessible sources as possible in its creation, so that patients and physicians wishing to dig deeper may do so easily and inexpensively” (9).
Bravo, sir! And speaking of those references, there are 63 citations in Part 1, 11 in Part 2, and 235 in Part 4; 15 pages in total. The Selected Bibliography covers 5 full pages of the same small but legible type.
The basic template for each strain, all of which cover two pages (or more), is a couple opening paragraphs, a couple paragraph Notes section, a Medical Uses breakout box, and comments on each of the following items: type, species, breeding date, genetics, similar varieties, availability, ease of cultivation, aroma, taste, potency, duration of effects, psychoactivity, analgesia, muscle relaxation, dissociation, stimulant, and sedation.
Taste usually includes comments on smoking and vaporizing. The last six comment sections are, of course, relating the effect of that strain in that arena; so, the stimulant effect, for instance.
The Medical Uses section covers 29 disorders and some borader information in 5 sections under the head of “Cannabis and …,” along with one on dependence and withdrawal.
The disorders covered are: Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety disorders, arthritis, asthma, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, autoimmune disorders, cachexia and appetite disorders, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gerontology, glaucoma, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, insomnia and sleeping disorders, migraine and headache, multiple sclerosis and movement disorders, nausea and vomiting, neuropathy, pain, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, seizure disorders, skin conditions, and stress.
The five “Cannabis and …” sections are listed above in the Contents listing.
Well-balanced and as up-to-date as is currently possible. I hope that the author, or at a minimum the publisher, keeps this book current by revising it in the next couple years.
Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries, along with anyone interested in/concerned with medical cannabis; either as a patient, a caregiver, or a doctor or other medical folks.
This is the 8th book in my