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What's the buzz?

Weed Science is a comprehensive book about cannabis written for the average person, that is coming out July 1, 2020.

If you have ever wondered why your body is full of weed receptors, why different people have widely different subjective experiences from cannabis, or the risks and benefits of this complicated plant, then this book is for you. The United States is very likely to legalize recreational marijuana in the next few years. This book is an entertaining and readable guide to what we can expect.


Godfrey Pearlson is an award-winning psychiatrist and neuroscience researcher.

He is also a certified Master Gardener and a former child of the 1960s.

Although he has published over 700 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, and numerous scientific book chapters Weed Science is his first venture into popular science writing.




Peter Maguire PhD, author, Thai Stick, Facing Death in Cambodia, and Law and War, "Godfrey Pearlson's Weed Science: Cannabis Controversies and Challenges is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on marijuana. Pearlson, an award-winning physician, psychiatry professor, and neuroscientist argues persuasively that the study of cannabis should be based on scientific facts rather than emotion. Authoritatively and even handedly, Weed Science examines marijuana's botany, neuroscience, chemistry, toxicology, epidemiology, and its effects on psychology and human behavior. Pearlson's book also serves as an important curative to journalist Alex Berenson's shrill anti cannabis screed, Tell Your Children. Weed Science should be mandatory reading for anyone who is attempting to sort marijuana fact from fiction"


Midwest Book Review, "An impressively informative and exceptionally well organized and presented contribution to our national dialogue over the use and regulation of cannabis, Weed Science: Cannabis Controversies and Challenges is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Social Issues collections in general, and Cannabis Studies supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular".


Dr. Raphael Mechoulam MD, award-winning Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products, Hebrew University, and the grandfather of cannabis research
     "I found that your book is an outstanding presentation of the history, science, use (and abuse) of Cannabis and the personal and social aspects related to its use. I was particularly impressed by its description of the changes of consciousness under the influence of cannabis. One can really ask, after reading your book: Are the levels of endogenous cannabinoids a major factor in our personality profile?
I expect that your book will be widely read. It is indeed outstanding."


Joe Dolce Author, Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis

     "That's why this book is so valuable. Godfrey Pearlson has managed to turn down the volume while increasing the scrutiny of the science. In doing so he has produced something that every legislator, policymaker, medical professional and truth-seeking individual should read. It couldn't be coming at a better time".



Philip Salfield, Ph.D. author and clinical psychologist

     "There is an urgent need for a scientific appraisal of exactly what effects marijuana has on the brain and the body and to make any political platforms based on scientific fact rather than on jingoistic hysteria. This is exactly what Yale neuropsychiatrist Godfrey Pearlson presents in this in-depth study of every aspect of marijuana. It is one of those rare and brilliant books where the author tackles a complex problem yet succeeds in making it an enjoyable read."


Michael Milburn PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts/Boston. Expert on cannabis-impaired driving

     "Expanding swiftly after over 100 years of prohibition, the legalization of cannabis in the US has raised many political issues and concerns in the public.  Whether you are pro-cannabis or anti-cannabis, you need to read Weed Science.  In this book, Yale neuroscientist Dr. Godfrey Pearlson presents a well-written, balanced and scientifically-based approach between the full and immediate legalization of cannabis, that many in the cannabis industry support, and the anti-marijuana positions of groups like Smart Approaches to Marijuana.  Filled with information based on an extensive career in neuroscience, Dr. Pearlson addresses questions and concerns about cannabis that many readers have, but for which the answers are buried in the scientific literature."


Kent Hutchison, PhD, Professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Founder of the Center for Research and Education Addressing Cannabis and Health. Dr. Hutchison served on the 2016 National Academy of Sciences committee that published a comprehensive report on the health effects of cannabis.
     "Dr. Pearlson clearly does not have an ax to grind nor does he come across as a proponent of legalization. This book reads as if the author enjoyed writing it, and not surprisingly, it is a book that is fun to read. The book is informative – even for someone who already has expertise in this area – covering topic as diverse as how to evaluate research on the health effects of cannabis and how cannabinoids work in the brain and body. I can totally see my students enjoying this book. For my future cannabis and health courses at the University of Colorado as well as my courses on Coursera, I will be recommending this book!"

Igor Grant MD Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at UC San Diego.
     "Weed Science concisely and clearly lays out a breadth of information concerning marijuana and the biological systems upon which it acts, ranging from the history of its use to the evolutionary biology of the endocannabinoid system. Complex topics such as the possible causal role of marijuana exposure to schizophrenia are presented in an analytical evidence-based manner reminding us that correlation is not the same as cause and that in this case common underlying factors might be at the basis of both mental illness and drug use, while the two can then interact and amplify each other. The potential medicinal properties of the principal cannabinoids, THC and CBD, are examined in detail while reminding us that effects could depend on dosage as well as underlying condition. This book is written in a manner that is both accessible to the literate lay reader, to the interested student, and the academic. I plan to recommended Weed Science as a must read at UC San Diego's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research."

Bryon Adinoff, MD Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (retired). Clinical Professor, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Executive Vice President, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
     "Weed Science is a highly informative, engaging and up-to-date journey through the history, epidemiology, toxicology, psychology, neuroscience, and economics of cannabis. Dr. Pearlson is a superb writer who cleverly engages us with an informal, down-to-earth, and accessible style that takes us through a thoughtful journey of all things cannabis. Unlike the usual dense tomb of complex words and overwhelming facts that can quickly dull a read, Dr. Pearlson shares his experiences, knowledge and own research with a twinkle in his eye, cleverly pacing the reader through light and engaging narratives with more science-oriented sections. To end the book, Dr. Pearlson presents a well-considered set of policy recommendations for cannabis regulation."

Bradley Conner PhD. Director of Addiction Counseling, Associate Professor, Colorado State University
     "In Weed Science, Godfrey Pearlson summarizes the vast amount of scientific literature on cannabis comprehensively, concisely, and with humor. It is rare to read a scientific report that is so entertaining, that summarizes the current state of the science on cannabis comprehensively and concisely. Godfrey uses his wit and intelligence to condense the body of literature on cannabis into a very enjoying and approachable read. The book is almost entertaining enough to forget that it is informative. One of the most entertaining scientific reports that I have ever read."

William Iacono PhD. Regents Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Co-Director, Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research.
     "It's hard for me to wrap my head around how (the author) ever managed to pull so much diverse information together, going deep, and making it easily digestible. It's quite an accomplishment."

Matthew Kurtz PhD. Chair, Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University
     "Scientists aren't often known for their skill in relating a gripping narrative that educates in equal measure to how it entertains. World renowned neuroscientist Dr. Godfrey Pearlson prodigiously demonstrates that exact skill in his remarkable and highly accessible new book "Weed Science". With succinct, in-depth analyses of ethnobotany, plant biology, and brain and psychological science as it relates to marijuana, Dr. Pearlson spins a remarkable yarn. The book is full of illuminating and memorable human-interest detours about the rich history of marijuana-culture interactions, and a crystal-clear, easy to understand depiction of the science behind the weed's often profound effects on psychological experience. Dr. Pearlson whacks through the thickets of cant surrounding marijuana legalization in the US and shows us how our scientific understanding of marijuana's biological and psychological effects should inform public policy around legalization so that it is done carefully and safely. A splendidly written, engrossing and timely book that will be of crucial interest to anyone interested in how we press forward towards safe legalization of marijuana."

Matthew R. Pearson PhD, Research Associate Professor, Center on Alcohol, Substance use, And Addictions (CASAA), University of New Mexico; Founding President, Research Society on Marijuana (RSMj)
     "The book....is....awesome!
As a research psychologist focused largely on addictive behaviors, I was poised to evaluate Godfrey Pearlson's book, Weed Science, from a purely scientific perspective. Is the book fair? Is the book honest? Does it provide a nuanced perspective? Are the gaps in our understanding made clear? I was pleased to find that the answer to all these questions was a resounding 'yes.' I was pleasantly surprised by the creative analogies and the personal touches to this highly informative book. In the Introduction, Dr. Pearlson likens cannabis to a "large, generally friendly dog that occasionally bites and needs to be leashed." Throughout the book, he discusses the range of harms and benefits of the drug in an even-keeled fashion. I learned something, often many things, about Cannabis from each and every chapter. Given the breadth and quality of information presented, this book has just become required reading for newcomers in my laboratory. I will never teach about estimating prevalence rates without referring to Bulgarian pig populations. I chuckled when learning about "tiny G-spots." I conclude that Dr. Pearlson is a truly rare human with broad and extensive scientific knowledge of Cannabis, and I am grateful that he expended the enormous effort to put together this book."

Cinnamon Bidwell PhD, Co-Director, Center for Health and Neuroscience, Genes, and Environment at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
     "Dr. Pearlson is an expert in the neuroscience of cannabis and an honest purveyor of a complex science. This book provides a scientific backbone to allow readers to understand and address the most important controversies surrounding cannabis today."