Healing with Cannabis: The Evolution of the Endocannabinoid System and How Cannabinoids Help Relieve PTSD, Pain, MS, Anxiety, and More.

Available from your local bookstore, Amazon and Skyhorse Publishing.

Healing with Cannabis

My new book, Healing with Cannabis

An informative read for an audience interested in why and how medical cannabis helps treat a range of illnesses—maybe all of them.

With cannabis approved in 11 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories), medical cannabis approved in at least 35 states, and hemp (very-low-THC cannabis) off the controlled substances list, millions now treat their ills with medical cannabis or non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBD. But lots of them don’t know why or how cannabis works in the body.

Healing With Cannabis shows and tells readers about an ancient biological system newly discovered in every vertebrate on the planet—the endocannabinoid system—and how it’s the only reason cannabis works in the body explains why cannabis is effective in a broad range of disorders.

The book offers an informal tone, a little humor, interviews with some of the most knowledgeable cannabinoid scientists, color images, and a selection of research and clinical trials to recount the story of the endocannabinoid system, its origins in the earliest forms of life on Earth, the evolution of its elements, and the discoveries, millions of years later, of more of its elements over time.

Healing with Cannabis explains the surprising reasons why evolution conserved the endocannabinoid system over a billion years, and tells specifically how cannabis has positive effects on some of society’s most devastating illnesses, including neurodegenerative diseases, posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, movement disorders, cancer and chemotherapy, and addiction.

The book also shows how medical cannabis, widely available, will change the face of public health, and how nearly everyone can benefit from this versatile medicine that has a 5,000-year history of safe and effective use.

How Cannabis Heals is available from your local bookstore, Amazon and Skyhorse Publishing.


Trips: How Hallucinogens Work in Your Brain (1998, Seven Stories Press NY)

French translation, Éditions du Lézard. German translation, AT Verlag

Trips explains in words and pictures the history of psychedelic drugs, focusing on scientists and their research into the workings of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, DMT and others in the brain and body. The book includes the cartoon art of Robert Crumb and the other brilliant artists who created ZAP Comix beginning in countercultural 1968. Read what some of the reviewers said about Trips:

Review: GoodReads

Clip from GoodReads review

” … The history of psychedelics in America kicks things off and goes from interesting to terrifying to depressing to hopeful more or less decade by decade. The science of what is actually going on in your head when hallucinogens have been ingested follows and ended up being my favorite section of the book. All the molecular structure diagrams and trippy comic art compliment the information well. Hearing from people who study these chemicals and not just peers who take them was certainly eye-opening. …”

Review: Erowid

Erowid is a nonprofit educational resource with 60,000 pages of online information about psychoactive drugs, plants, chemicals and technologies, including entheogens, psychedelics, new psychoactive substances, research chemicals, stimulants, depressants and pharmaceuticals.

Clip from the Erowid review:

“One delightful consequence of our changing attitudes towards drugs is Cheryl Pellerin’s recent book Trips: How Hallucinogens Work in Your Brain. Only a few years ago, Trips would have been unthinkable: a popular account written by a “legitimate” science reporter, published by the independent but still “respectable” Seven Stories Press (the same people that had the courage to bring us Gary Webb’s unjustly maligned story of CIA’s sordid involvement with crack cocaine). Even better, it is illustrated throughout with classic cartoons by R. Crumb and the Zap Comix crew, carefully chosen to provide an ironic running commentary on the text. My favorite is the heading for a chapter of interviews with various government regulatory officials: An uptight “suit” frets, ‘I must maintain this rigid position or all is lost!’” …

… “Pellerin is so witty, and sounds so reasonable, that it is easy to forget just how radical her message will be to some who read Trips. She flatly demolishes every conditioned “do what we say” reflex response, and insists at every turn that the reader must think. And that, really, is all that needs to happen. As Pellerin makes clear, a large part of our drug problem is our inability to address it in an effective and compassionate manner. For a first book on drugs in general, Weil and Rosen’s superb text (Chocolate to Morphine) reigns supreme, but for those whose interests lean towards psychedelics, however, Trips has much to recommend it.”

Review: Wired

In the book Trips: How Hallucinogens Work in Your Brain, Cheryl Pellerin delves into the the neuroscience of psychedelia. Even better, she does so with the aid of scientific illustrations by Zap Comix cartoonist R. Crumb, which should add color to the notorious bad trip. Release: January. Seven Stories Press.


medical cannabis resources

See the resources page for some of the websites I’ve found most useful in researching my books and articles and getting the best information about many aspects of the fast-moving medical cannabis cosmos.