Brave New Weed by Joe Dolce takes you into the uncharted world of Cannabis. Personally, reading this book was an adventure for me. For I have no idea of what these herbs, plants, drugs – whatever you call them, are. I have never used them and do not know anyone who uses them. I have hardly read anything around it. So, I knew whatever this book has to offer would be a learning for me.
Joe Dolce through ‘Brave New Weed’ argues for the medicinal use of Cannabis or Marijuana. He traces the history of use of the weed in ancient cultures across the world including China and India. He talks about cultural acceptance as well as the medicinal use of the plant. With primary audience being in America, he talks about the laws that criminalize the use of weed. He takes us through the history of lawmaking wrt Weed. He compares the USA with the places that have decriminalized Cannabis and how people have not become addicts since then.
I liked the flow of Brave New Weed. Dolce goes from one place to another opening up one aspect of Marijuana each time. He begins in the USA with the laws, takes you to Amsterdam where you discover this fair of Marijuana breeders. It looks like a science fair where everyone is showcasing their lab results. I had no idea the importance of Amsterdam in the Weed world. The city apparently has a Green Light district housing a The Hash Marijuana & Hemp Museum. Amsterdam is also known as Cannabis Castle.
Did you know Dr. Sanjay Gupta did a path-breaking documentary on Weed for CNN?
Joe Dolce then takes us to Denver for the Brave New Weed. He tells you that Denver is to Cannabis what Detroit is to the auto industry or what Silicon Valley is to technology. Colorado is one of the states that allow people to grow weed is attracting all kinds of experiments.
In Israel, where the research is being conducted on Weed, Joe Dolce takes us through the laboratories and the clinical trials. He says Israel is at the nucleus for cannabis research. He takes us to hospitals where the marijuana is being used for medicinal purposes. With many case studies, he tells us how it is making the world of sick and elderly happy. He does caution us that we still do not know any long-term impact of consuming weed. However, he repeats it a million times in his book that – In the recorded history no one has ever died from consuming Marijuana. Not even from its overdose.
Throughout the book he tries to deduce what led to banning of cannabis in the USA and why did they put it on Schedule I drug list. He observes – Western Medicine’s unilateral approach to healing dismisses much of knowledge that other countries have accumulated for centuries. This dismissal is not because other systems don’t work, but because Western medicine doesn’t yet understand how they work. Acupuncture is a prime example.
He brings out the innate traditional knowledge even by hippies like eating the certain type of mangoes before talking THC quickens the uptake into the brain. He talks about the difference between a researcher and a healer. Highlighting the fact that of all modern medicine’s accomplishments – one of the least advanced areas is pain relief.
Brave New Weed is full of stories of cannabis helping people with terminal illnesses that media ignored. There is an exploration of why many creative professionals ta the e weed and how it helps them.
Joe Dolce talks about the states of the USA that have decriminalized weed but are yet to make laws to regulate use. He takes you to a dispensary and shows you the tight controls that need to be maintained to keep the potency of the plant. He emphasizes that you need to understand the dosage of the weed, and that can be done if the public understands the measures just like they do with alcohol.
A happier part of the book takes you to the world of weed connoisseurs. Just like wine tasters, there are weed tasters. Dolce warns though – Tasting wine is easier, you can’t spit out the weed. He takes you behind the scenes of many social media networks of weed growers, suppliers, and consumers. It almost sounds like an open secret kind of revolution underway. They are out there in the open, but not many people talk about them. Green Rush is here it seems.
I am glad he talks about synthesis as I think next few decades and centuries will belong to synthesis more than analysis.
Interesting quotes from the book:
- The brain chemical that mirrors the impact of THC is called Anandamide – derived from Sanskrit ‘Ananda’. It was done by Jewish scientists and when they were asked why not a Hebrew name. The answer was – Because in Hebrew there are more words for sorrow than happiness. ????
- Holland and Israel are the only countries where insurance covers medical Cannabis.
- The action of an animal in seeking out intoxicants was a natural behavior in the animal kingdom.
- Western Culture favors rational thinking over this more mysterious and spiritual thought. But by stressing the rational, we sacrifice a certain amount of receptivity to the natural world around us.
- Smoking while vacuuming makes vacuuming better but smoking while sitting on the couch makes vacuuming harder.
Since the weed is as old as civilization, as mentioned by Dolce in the book, is the Title ‘New’ justified? Probably for the American population – yes, for rest of the world it would be going back to the weed.
The Brave New Weed is written in a very conversational style. Joe Dolce mostly begins with his personal experience and goes on to explore the hypothesis with a scientific rigor, talking to various people working in that space. For someone like me who knew nothing, it was a great education on the plant, its history, chemistry, sociology, anthropology, legality, medicinal use, recreational use and its potential future.
Buy Brave New Weed by Joe Dolce from Amazon
Some Cannabis resources that Joe Dolce shares:
Read it if the subject intrigues you.
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