Review: The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed

June 03, 2017 | SteveElliott

A review of Seth Matlins & Eve Epstein's 278-page scratch 'n sniff book (illustrated by Ann Pickard)


scratch-n-sniff-book-weed-cover.jpgIt’s been said that you need to have a gimmick to move product. If that’s really the case, then the authors of this book are sitting pretty. I’ve read a lot of books about Cannabis, but this is the first “scratch and sniff” one I’ve ever seen.

It’s a great concept. The execution, however, proves to be a little tricky. Those beautifully delicate terpenes that we all love so much, which provide so much of the pleasure of a Cannabis high, are extraordinarily difficult to reproduce. That’s probably why, on a chart of 12 marijuana strains, only three have actual scratch-and-sniff panels. For the curious, the three scratch-and-sniff strains are Sour Diesel (not even close), OG Kush (a little better), and Blueberry Kush (closest of the three to the actual weed terpenes).

We are presumably left to wonder about the scent of other strains represented on the chart, including such chart-toppers as Green Crack, GS Cookies, Bubba Kush, Jack Herer, Trainwreck and Skywalker OG. Well, at least here in Washington, there’s always the 502 store down the street. But since they can’t crack open a bag, and most shops don’t have any accommodations for smelling the product pre-purchase, you will probably have to part with some cash to find out.

The other scratch-and-sniff panels in the book—which has very thick pages, presumably to hold the scents better—are undoubtedly amusing, but certainly unnecessary. They’re for things like “Cotton candy, because it’s as close to cotton mouth as we could get,” in the “You on Weed” chapter, and “Musk, because sex,” in the “Sexy Time” chapter. 


Happily, scratch-and-sniff isn’t the only attraction of the book. The authors prepared a brief journey through weed’s past, present and possible future. Included in the few pages is a treasure trove of weed-related culture, history, botany, factoids and social and racial justice themes to delight the Cannabis curious and connoisseur alike. Just don’t expect to be able to easily direct any of your friends to a particular page — there aren’t any page numbers. There are 22 pages.

The Scratch & Sniff Book of Weed breaks down the impact of the ongoing legalization battle, noting the overwhelming evidence of marijuana’s benefits beyond its important role as a buzzkill buffer. Despite medical data and years of research to back it up, Cannabis remains a Schedule I substance in the U.S., alongside heroin and LSD, considered more dangerous than Schedule II drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.

Ann Pickard’s illustrations add immeasurable charm and more than a few smiles to the little volume.

The authors are donating 10 percent of their profits from the book to to further the fight for the legalization and decriminalization of Cannabis.

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