Monday, July 21, 2014

Cannabis Resources for Librarians serving Medical Patients and Others

[Disclaimer--I am not a doctor, nor am I a lawyer--I am merely a librarian trying to help patrons who need this kind of information.]

Recently I have been thinking about Cannabis very much. It has been in the news, and has recently become "legal" in WA and CO. I began to think about the relationship between Libraries and Cannabis, particularly in states where it is now legal for recreation use. What got me thinking about this was a blog post by The Librarian in Black on Home Brewing information and how to sessions in the library.  I began to think of the information needs of medical cannabis patients and also for recreational users.

These information needs are gleaned from some informal field work I have undertaken--I have asked some patients, and some recreational users what kinds of information would be helpful to them and to a new patient or recreational user.  The information can be broken into the categories below.  The information presented is not meant to be exhaustive, nor authoritative, but helpful to those librarians and others who may need to help people who have cannabis information needs.  It is meant to be an example and a place to begin.  Due to the illegal nature of cannabis in many places--resources have been hard to come by and also solid scientific research is only just beginning.  




The primary effects are on thoughts and feelings. Sativas tend to produce stimulating feelings, and many prefer it for daytime use. Some noted therapeutic effects from use of Sativas:
  • Stimulating/energizing
  • Increased sense of well-being, focus, creativity
  • Reduces depression, elevates mood
  • Relieves headaches/migraines/nausea
  • Increases appetite
Some noted Side-Effects from use of Sativas
  • Increased anxiety feelings
  • Increased paranoia feelings


The primary effects are on the body. Indicas tend to produce sedated feelings, and many prefer it for nighttime use.
Some noted Therapeutic Effects from use of Indicas:          
  • Provides relaxation/reduces stress
  • Relaxes muscles/spasms
  • Reduces pain/inflammation/headaches/migraines
  • Helps sleep
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces nausea, stimulates appetite
  • Reduces intra-ocular pressure
  • Reduces seizure frequency/anti-convulsant
  • Some noted side-effects from use of Indicas:
  • Feelings of tiredness
  • “Fuzzy” thinking


Strains bred from crossing two or more varieties, with typically one dominant. For example, a sativa-dominant cross may be helpful in stimulating appetite and relaxing muscle spasms. Crosses are reported to work well to combat nausea and increase appetite.

Cannabis Mediums


The buds, or flowers of the cannabis plant. 


"Hash and concentrates have the same goal of removing the plant matter and extracting the resin glands, which contain the THC.  The technique for the extraction of resin glands differs from one concentrate to the next."  


Edible Cannabis in a variety of formats from cookies to soda pops.

     Tinctures, Topicals, etc...

"A tincture is typically an alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution of such or of a low volatility substance (such as iodine and mercurochrome). To qualify as an alcoholic tincture, the extract should have an ethanol percentage of at least 25–60% (50–120 US proof).[citation needed] Sometimes an alcohol concentration as high as 90% (180 US proof) is used in such a tincture.[1] In herbal medicine, alcoholic tinctures are made with various ethanol concentrations, 25% being the most common."


Information from Safe Access Now about mediums:

Delivery Methods


A traditional method.


"Vaporization is a technique for avoiding irritating respiratory toxins in marijuana smoke by heating cannabis to a temperature where the psychoactive ingredients evaporate without causing combustion."

Cannabis foods (including hash brownies and space cakes), more informally known as edibles, are food products made with cannabis in herbal or resin form as an ingredient. They are consumed as an alternate delivery means to experience the effects of cannabinoids without smoking orvaporizing cannabis or hashish. Instead, the cannabinoids are put into cake, cookie, brownie, or other foods, and are consumed for recreational or medicinal purposes.

Side Effects

These are some negative effects of Cannabis.  Due to the unscientific research conducted by most agencies about the negative impacts of cannabis, I am wary of listing any others.


     Faster Heart rate

     Red eyes

     Dry mouth


Leafly's Wonderful Dispensary Finder:

Weed Maps Dispensary Finder:

Cultivation Methods 

Amseterdam Marijuana Seed Banks Marijuana Growing Pages:

MI Medical Marijuana Program's Grow Help Pages:

Ed Rosenthal's Marijuana Growers Handbook:

Cannabis Resources for Librarians:

Information on Strains


Seed Finder :

Safe Access Now's Research Pages: 

 Seed Finders Research Pages:


WA State's Marijuana Business Daily:

National Cannabis Industry Association:

Cannabis Business Alliance:


Canna Law Blog:  

Canna Law Group: 

Marijuana Policy Project: 

NORML: Legal Issues:  

Lets help libraries improve on this document and help serve patrons who need these resources.  Librarians should be sponsoring programs in libraries that convey information needed by medical cannabis patients and, in legalized states,  for consumers.  


rama said...

i appreciate with it.

Max Macias said...

You can read about Canada and cannabis here:


Anonymous said...

Psst... I think that comment from November was mostly just to post a spammy link.

Max Macias said...

Thanks so much--zapped it!

Sapphire Medical Clinics said...

Thanks for the great article about cannabis and marijuana, got to know a lot new and interesting facts about it. Appreciated your work.