We recently had the opportunity to chat with one of the authors of, Cannabis: A Big Sisters' Guide. An informative guide to cannabis, this book is a must-have for anyone looking to learn about the science behind medical marijuana. With over a hundred pictures this is an awe-inspiring resource to help you explore the world of cannabis. We are proud to welcome, Anna May Meade to Hopegrown!
What is your personal story and mission that motivated you to write Cannabis A Big Sister’s Guide?
Six years ago, my sister Mary was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She is very healthy and wanted to use natural alternatives to NSAIDs and opioids. She said they made her feel dopey or like she had the flu.
She asked her son, a millennial, if cannabis could help her manage pain and sleep. He and his friend had done their research and introduced her to cannabis.
The first time she consumed cannabis via a bong, she had no pain, then a comfortable feeling, then a feeling of wellness. That is something that cancer patients rarely feel: wellness.
She wanted to figure out what was the best way to use cannabis. She wanted a coach. Fortunately, I had a life time of experience. Cannabis had just become legal in Massachusetts and I was pursuing business opportunities. Suddenly it was also a way I could help my sister.
I was happily surprised at how much cannabis helped her. She told me. “It helps me relax and get deep restful sleep, which helps healing. In the morning, I wake up clear, without brain fog or exhaustion.
If the only thing cannabis did was allow people to get a good nights sleep it would be amazing. The only side effect is that I wake up with less morning stiffness in my feet.”
We really dove into our research. I took courses at MJ Biz Con, attended many seminars, and on-line trainings. At conventions, many people, especially cannabis nurses, echoed a need for basic cannabis education.
There is so much bad information circulating, from old war on drugs propaganda to commercial hype. The fact that we have an endocannabinoid system to help regulate our body, seems to get lost.
My mother suggested I write a book. I taught chemical safety for decades and wrote vocational textbooks. We crafted a book that is rich in factual and technical information and is broadly accessible.
Over 100 photos illustrate everything from parts of the plant to the function of the endocannabinoid system. There are photos with call outs, definitions, stories, tips, and warnings. On page 49, I described possible vaping illnesses, which later made national news.
The appendix is full of charts and detailed illustrations of the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids and terpenes. It is a textbook, a desk reference, and a fun beach read.
What type of audience will benefit from reading your book?
I wrote this book as a tool for cannabis nurses to educate their clients on modern cannabis, it’s effects, and uses. And it is about cannabis, so I made it upbeat and easy to consume. It is less than 100 pages and full of helpful info. I think everyone has an endocannabinoid system so everyone would benefits from reading my book.
Nurses and doctors buy A Big Sisters’ Guide for their patients. Companies buy it for their new employees for basic training. People buy it for themselves and their parents.
We were also very purposefully inclusive and included stories of people of different backgrounds so everyone could see themselves reflected in our pages.
Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and healthcare providers is lacking?
Yes. From my research very few medical schools are teaching about the endocannabinoid system. Unfortunately, due to federal prohibition, many medical facilities are hesitant to embrace cannabis medicine for fear of funding complications.
About 2/3 of the current research on cannabis in the US are attempts to show harmful effects of cannabis use. In addition, the cannabis used in research was limited to very poor quality cannabis grown by one university.
Thus positive results are limited. However, these limitations are changing. Recent legislation will allow for more types of cannabis to be used for research. Chemical profile is key to how well it works, so available medical research should improve.
However, there is already significant medical research happening in both the US and overseas, especially in Israel. Cannabis can mitigate many inflammatory and auto-immune diseases as well as help manage pain, anxiety, and sleep. Several doctors have written books on cannabis medicine.
As Dr. Grinspoon of Harvard University said: "Cannabis is reasonably safe. Although it is not harmless, it is surely less toxic than most of the conventional medicines it could replace if it were legally available.”
More than half of the people who purchase “recreational” cannabis are using it therapeutically, for chronic pain, anxiety, or sleep. As cannabis is available to more people they will begin to feel comfortable to ask their medical professionals about cannabis.
Many people are drastically reducing the amount of prescription drugs they are taking by using cannabis. I always recommend they speak with a medical professional. Many medical professionals want to learn more about cannabis to they can answer patients questions.
Five years from now, do you see your book sitting on the lobby table of healthcare centers? If, not why or if so, why
Yes, I really do. Cannabis: A Big Sisters’ Guide is currently in many cannabis nurses and doctors offices. Doctors and nurses use my book to help their patients understand modern cannabis, how it is used, and how it can help them. CBSG provides an excellent overview to new consumers of the many options available and considerations when using plant medicine. It also includes warnings, potential dangers, and success stories.
It is designed as a reference guide, a ready source of needed information. The appendix has detailed information about cannabinoids, terpenes, and their effects.
From the anatomy of a bong, how to calculate the dose for homemade edibles, how many grams in and eighth or quarter ounce, the vaporization point of CBD, this book provides practical information cannabis consumers need.
In writing the book, I only included evergreen information that could be supported by science. Although the cannabis landscape is rapidly changing, basic cannabis science and consumption methods remain constant. Indeed, CBSG is ahead of the curve.
In addition, we move consumers away from outdated concepts like indica/sativa and strains. We introduce consumers to terpenes, cannabinoids, and micro-dosing.
The properties of various cannabinoids and terpenes are listed in the appendix. Our book is based in science and the overall industry is evolving in that direction.
What has been one of your most unlikely responses via feedback on your book, that you didn’t see coming? And how did it make you feel?
I was happy when the nurses loved my book. But in Vegas, when the 20 something budtender’s face just lit up when he leafed through the book. He couldn’t stop talking about it! He had found the map to the holy grail. I was delighted to reach across the generations.
In many ways my book is an introduction to modern cannabis. In addition, I included some very detailed scientific information in the appendix for those who wanted to dive deeper. I hoped industry professionals would also find value in my book as a reference.
The positive response from the industry and medical professionals just blows me away. One woman is a medical cannabis caregiver. She has been making cannabis-infused products for herself and others to treat various medical conditions for a long time.
She formulates with different terpenes, cannabinoids, and other herbs. She is well respected in the community. I was very pleased when she told me she loved my book and uses it as a handy reference.
I think my favorite review was. “The Big Sisters Guide is a powerhouse of science, information, guidance, and art.”
You can get Cannabis: A Big Sisters’ Guide in print or eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and at the author’s website www.WhatsThe.buzz Wholesale rates are available.