Cannabis is legal in Canada, and that has a lot of Canadians picking up bongs, pipes, and old-fashioned joints for their very first time. From indicas to sativas and edibles to shatter, there’s a lot for a virgin smoker to catch up on. Luckily, Amanda Siebert’s Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life is here to help you out (and it’s a perfect size for holiday stockings). The Vancouver-based author recently answered three of the Straight’s burning questions.
Q. How did you begin to look at cannabis as a health supplement?
A. In my early 20s, I realized that even when I used cannabis “recreationally”, I experienced improved sleep, reduced stress, and relief from anxiety and depression. As a journalist, hearing firsthand accounts of the multitude of other ways cannabis can be used for health and wellness convinced me that it had therapeutic value.
Q. What does your book have for someone who has never tried cannabis?
A. My book explores topics like sleep, stress, pain management, sex, opioid dependence, cancer, aging, and even creativity. Using a mix of case studies, expert testimony, clinical research, historical context, and practical advice for consumption, I hope to offer novices the opportunity to suspend their disbelief about the plant and rethink any misinformed notions about the “dangers” of pot use.
Q. The holidays can be a tough time for mental health. How can cannabis help?
A. During these dreary December days, I find cannabis to be an excellent mood lifter and anxiety reliever. It can also serve as a great sleep aid for those nights spent wide-awake worrying about unchecked lists and overdrawn bank accounts. If, like me, you’re averse to the excessive amounts of alcohol at family gatherings and holiday parties, swapping that eggnog for a joint can ease social anxiety and keep drunken egos in check. A bonus? No hangover!