Book Review: ‘Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana’

Green Cannabis Now Magazine

Book showcases the beauty of buds.


From the perfect wisps of tiny hairs to the sparkling crystalline particles and endless spectrum of shades of beautiful green, there’s so much to love about just the sight of a carefully cultivated and expertly cured cannabis plant. While it’s true that the relaxing, euphoric and sometimes pain- and anxiety-relieving qualities that result from actually consuming cannabis play a huge role in garnering the plant’s global appreciation, there’s also so much to be said for a really, really ridiculously good looking shot of a killer bud. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

That’s where “Green” comes in with page after exquisite page of excellently shot, tightly-cropped images that showcase the simplistic yet jaw-dropping beauty of a well-trimmed nug. The book, written by Dan Michaels, opens up with an introduction and overview and covers some basics and not-so-basic foundational information that allows the reader to develop a deeper appreciation for the plant before hopping into the drool-worthy images.

Readers can learn about major and minor active cannabinoids, plant anatomy and phenotype, which is the observable characteristics of a plant and how to spot the differences between strains cultivated indoors or outdoors. “Green” also covers a handful of the 20,000 terpenoid compounds in cannabis, the importance of landraces and ways to responsibly consume marijuana.

marijuana harvest

The bulk of the book focuses on the stunning pictures of super high-quality buds. Photographer Erik Christiansen has a stellar eye for what makes a good image and adheres to a strict standard to ensure the most aesthetically pleasing photo makes it on the page. Like the 360 degree, rotating images from his awesome website Nugshots, he uses specialized macro photography and color correction techniques that let people views nugs as if they were under LED lighting.

“I like shooting the best of the best,” Christiansen says.

And it’s quite apparent. Even a quick glance through the collection of nugs is noteworthy and, at some points, breathtaking. From A to Z, the book shares a variety of some of the best-looking strains around including frost-covered Dead Head OG, Purple Dawg with its kaleidoscope of orange and deep lavender hairs and dense, CBD-rich Harlequin.

In addition to dazzling photos, there’s useful information included with each strain like the lineage, smell, flavor profile, common effects, medicinal uses and other strains with comparable characteristics. Some of Christiansen’s personal favorites include Shire, a sativa bred from a cross of Super Silver Haze and Sour Diesel that enhances the mood with its strong cerebral effects. He also likes Triangle, a rare OG Kush strain that’s helpful in alleviating stress and anxiety.

Books like “Green” elevate the art of cannabis photography by revolutionizing the way we view the healing, medicinal plant with all of its bewitching intricacies. These up close and personal shots are not only lovely to look at, but the hunt for some of these strains will undoubtedly keep readers busy for quite a while after they’ve perused through the treasure chest of emerald, nuggy goodness.

Originally published in Issue 16 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

TELL US, would you buy a coffee table book about cannabis? Why or why not?

K. Astre is a California writer with a global appetite for art, music and culture. She fuels her creativity with tea, yoga, meditation and, of course, cannabis.

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