Book Review: ‘A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis’

women's guide to cannabis-book

[Editor’s Note: Are you interested in a gender specific cannabis guide? Before you purchase Nikki Furrer’s book, read this review by K. Astre.]

Author Nikki Furrer provides plenty of information and solid advice — but do women really need it?

When it comes to spending money, the common wisdom goes that women take the cake across the board. That’s why so many companies spend time marketing to this lucrative demographic with special items, hashtags, slogans and promises.

So it’s only natural that the cannabis industry has its fair share of women-centric offerings, from edibles and tinctures to cosmetics to books and movies. But are women truly different creatures when it comes to the basics on cannabis? It’s hard to say — even after reading “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, Sleep Better — and Get High Like a Lady.”

Overall, “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” is a cohesive guide full of basic information that could be useful to anyone. However, author Nikki Furrer intentionally offers a very targeted perspective to women from a woman on some particular parts of consuming and utilizing cannabis. To be clear, men are welcome to read and learn from this book as well — but it seems like it would probably be of little interest to them, outside of the general information, because of the clear gaze meant specifically for women.

cover image: womans guide to cannabis

Furrer says she wanted to help someone like her mother, for example, navigate her first trip to a dispensary or consuming cannabis. This personal desire creates the foundation for the book, which focuses on the stories and narratives of women who have utilized cannabis to manage symptoms or generally improve the quality of their lives.

The six-part book does a good job at covering a wide range of topics and includes recipes for food and cosmetics, a glossary of terms and suggested reading. It seems to be aimed at mature beginners, women over 40 who may be trying cannabis for the first time or returning to cannabis after decades of abstaining. It’s not a forced relatability, but it is predictable. The book touches on topics often found in mainstream women’s publications, like weight loss and beauty, but brushes over less glamorous topics, like cannabis for menstruation or menopausal symptoms, and it doesn’t mention pregnancy at all.

The book also contains some cliched language — for example, the passing mention of a “ladies cannabis clubhouse door” being open to men or the anecdote about a grandmother who had smoked for the first time many, many years ago in her sorority house. Even the subtitle promises to offer insight into how to “get high like a lady” — but what, exactly, does that even mean? I know plenty of women who smoke tough, others who can dab dudes under the table and some who eat 100 mg of THC for breakfast. Cutesy phrases of that nature, peppered throughout the book, can come off as pushing too hard to make cannabis relatable to a one-dimensional idea of women.

Though a millennial woman could find the extensive cannabis information useful, she’d probably realize this book might not be for her after noticing mentions of osteoporosis, AARP or advice on avoiding dispensaries aimed at twenty-somethings. It’s clear, though, that Furrer has nothing but the best intentions for her audience. This is definitely a niche read that could be useful for a novice enthusiast, as well as a budding beginner with more skepticism that curiosity. “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” would be a good gift for your mom, an older co-worker or even your grandmother who appreciates, enjoys and finds value in female-centric guides to otherwise general topics.

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