Stoner MacGyver marijuana book review: Super Charged
Now and then, companies send us medical marijuana-related products ranging from vaporizers to board games to books. We showcase them in our quasi-regular product review section, Stoner MacGyver.
The latest? Super Charged: How Outlaws, Hippies and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana
What is it, dude? A book that attempts to cover the long, detailed history of cannabis use in the United States over the last fifty years.This week, we took a look at a book -- you know, those things with printed sheets of paper bound on one end that people flip through and read? Good. Wanted to make sure I hadn't lost you.
How much coin will it run me? $25 for the hardcover version when it comes out next month.
Super Charged: How Outlaws, Hippies and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana covers both the legal and illegal sides of cannabis cultivation over the past half-century. Author Jim Rendon can normally be found freelancing for the New York Times, Mother Jones and Fortune covering business, science and the environment. But for someone who has never really been a part of the cannabis scene, he does a great job immersing himself in our world and condensing the last several decades into 242 pages by offering a broad perspective on everything from genetics to politics.
The book isn't necessarily for those of you with a decent grasp on cannabis history or knowledge, and Rendon is constantly making asides about things like strain names ("nonsensical"), how breeders only grow female plants, how marijuana must be trimmed before being put on the market, and the differences between growing from seed versus clones and even the various stories behind the "OG" in OG Kush.
But that's not to say you can't learn a few things from reading it.
The book starts by looking into the life of famed cultivator and grow-book author Jorge Cervantes and his path from a clandestine pot farmer in the U.S. to his move to cannabis-friendly Spain in the '80s and '90s, and now his return to California and its friendly medical cannabis laws.
Rendon discusses the growth of the medical marijuana industry in California and how it brought cannabis to the mainstream, but he also gives readers some historical perspective on cannabis use going back thousands of years. He features historical anecdotes about the black market ganja trade, as well. There are interesting footnotes on how seeds from Jamaica and Mexico, along with landrace seeds from Pakistan and Afghanistan, began to be coveted by 1970s-era hippies, who began growing them in their backyards and eventually basements. He discusses the shift from smoking leaves and seeded buds to female sinsemilia buds.
And he does it all in an almost astonished tone -- mirroring, no doubt, the surprise that many non-users will have at how intricate growing cannabis really is. And rightfully so: This is a fascinating plant and culture that is much more sophisticated than many people realize.
Continuing reading our Stoner MacGyver review of Super Charged.