Top 6 Cannabis Grow Books

Coffee table with a book, coffee cup, ashtray with a joint and a cup with dried cannabis

There are hundreds of grow books out there, both good and bad; some are aimed at beginners, some at more advanced growers. Of these, just a few have truly stood the test of time, and are truly worth every penny. Here, we have selected the six grow books that stand out head and shoulders over the competition.

A good grower doesn’t just have a shed full of garden shears, fertilizer, soil and gardening gloves. A real grower also has a huge library full of trusted books that they can refer to anytime they need. Not just books that fill up space on the bookshelf either, but books that are game-changers when it comes to what you know about cannabis.

But the big world of books isn’t the easiest to navigate. So please let us take some of the difficulty out of finding a good cannabis book for you. Here is our list of the top 6 cannabis books to add your library.

The cover of the Sinsemilla technique book in a book store

1. The Sinsemilla Technique (1992) by Kayo

An early classic, Kayo’s The Sinsemilla Technique is aimed at beginner to mid-level growers, and maintains a readable, conversational and low-on-jargon tone throughout. In the early ‘90s, the now-ubiquitous method of separating the male and female plants to avoid pollination was unknown to many growers in the Western world.

As the technique started to become established, it enabled growers to reduce the size of their plots while increasing the quantity and potency of the cannabis they produced. As the book explains, decreasing the size of grows and switching to indoor cultivation became necessary as law enforcement grew increasingly vigilant and well-equipped.

Although The Sinsemilla Technique lacks a certain level of sophistication, it more than makes up for it by supplying a wealth of useful information, including growing charts and abundant diagrams. It is illustrated with dozens of photos, and packed with real-life stories of growers, their tactics, and their brushes with the law. The Sinsemilla Technique was in fact the very first grow book this author ever read, and it doubtless inspired a generation of young growers just as it did me.

The book cover of the Cannabis Grow Bible

2. The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana for Medical and Recreational Use (2004) by Greg Green

Twelve years later, and this landmark book was the first notable publication to thoroughly describe another revolutionary technique, the now-ubiquitous Screen of Green (SCROG) — in which plants are pruned and trained to produce an even canopy, so that light penetration and yield are maximized.

The Cannabis Grow Bible is targeted at a wide range of skill levels, with detailed information of every aspect of growing from basic to very advanced. However, beginners may find it easy to get bogged down in the details, as the breadth and depth of the topics covered is staggering.

Both indoor and outdoor cultivation are covered in detail, and a range of budgets are catered for, with suggested equipment and materials ranging from high-end and expensive to low-cost and even DIY. Overall, this is a comprehensive and no-nonsense guide to cannabis cultivation, with particularly good layout and formatting making it well-presented and easy on the eye.

The book cover of the Cultivating Exceptional Cannabis

3. Cultivating Exceptional Cannabis: An Expert Breeder Shares His Secrets (2004) by DJ Short

DJ Short is renowned in growing circles, with 40 years of experience and a selection of greatly beloved strains such as the Blueberry and Flo. DJ Short has a thoughtful, caring approach to gardening, and offers advice on how to maximize flavor and quality with minimal environmental impact, rather than focusing primarily on potency and yield as many grow guides do.

As a breeder, DJ Short has extensive advice on selection, pollination and stabilization of strains for the purpose of creating strong, true-breeding new varieties. As well as this, there is a strong emphasis on organic cultivation, and plenty of advice on how to fine-tune your set-up so that resources such as electricity and nutrients are not wasted. Each main aspect of growing is explained in a simple yet effective manner, with gorgeous photographs of Short’s strains as illustration.

Cultivating Exceptional Cannabis is an excellent addition to any grower’s library, but given its short length, it does not go into every aspect of growing in great detail. More than a complete guide, it is a supplementary work that will allow growers to take their existing knowledge to new heights.

The book cover of the Marijuana Horticulture

4. Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible (2007) by Jorge Cervantes

Jorge Cervantes’ Grower’s Bible is perhaps the most comprehensive and exhaustive book on cultivating cannabis that has ever been published. A weighty, inch-thick brick of text, diagrams, charts and photographs, the Grower’s Bible offers simple, easily-understandable directions on every aspect of growing you can think of, along with another hundred you hadn’t!

Excellent layout and formatting makes it easy to navigate around the numerous sections; each chapter is broken down into subsections and thoroughly indexed, and for such an encyclopaedic work, Cervantes’ writing style makes finding answers to your questions surprisingly enjoyable and interesting.

The first edition of the phenomenon that was to evolve into the present-day Grower’s Bible was published in 1983, with the name Indoor Marijuana Horticulture. The first edition was just 96 pages long, with black and white photos, and bound together with staples! Now in its fifth edition, the Bible has grown to comprise 512 colour pages with 1,120 photographs and diagrams.

The book cover of the Marijuana Growers Handbook

5. Marijuana Grower’s Handbook (2010) by Ed Rosenthal

The “Ask Ed” edition of the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook has it all. As exhaustive and in-depth as Cervantes’ Grow Bible, with the added extra of a Q&A column packed with problems and solutions sure to be relevant to any grower, the Handbook is perhaps the most beloved of all cannabis grow books.

Ed Rosenthal’s humble yet authoritative style has won him an army of fans, and with good reason. His extensive experience in both growing and activism has cemented his status as a hero of the legalization movement, and his obvious enthusiasm shines out of his books and videos. The Handbook is even used as official course materials at the University of Oaksterdam!

The Handbook is another publication that has stood the test of time, with its first edition appearing in the mid-80s and a revised edition released in 1989. Since then, there have been several new editions, ensuring that all content is up-to-date and relevant in the rapidly-evolving world of cannabis cultivation.

The book cover of the True Living Organics

6. True Living Organics: The Ultimate Guide To Growing All-Natural Marijuana Indoors (2012) by The Rev

The list simply wouldn’t be complete without a book that outlines, in great detail, what’s involved in having an organic marijuana garden. When The Rev decided to convert his synthetic-fertilized hydroponic growing system into an organic indoor system, he also chose to write this book about it.

In this book, The Rev goes through the exact process of having an organic indoor marijuana garden. He also outlines the kinds of things you have to do to convert an already-existing indoor setup into an organic one.

Aside from the detailed instructions, there are also over 200 images in the book to illustrate every topic that The Rev talks about. In fact, The Rev even gives invaluable information about making your own organic fertilizers, pesticides and more.

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive! We think these are some of the greatest cannabis books out there, but there might have been a couple that we miss. If you’ve got a favourite cannabis book that we haven’t mentioned, let us know in the comments!


30 thoughts on “Top 6 Cannabis Grow Books”

  1. lagarde sylvain

    have you these books in french edition, i just know “fumee clandestine” bust it was just for canabis story and beginers growers!

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi there,

      Unfortunately we have a limited selection of books at this time, and they are only in Dutch and English. I know that ‘Indoor Marijuana Horticulture’ by Jorge Cervantes is available in French, it’s possible that you can order it online or at an independent bookshop. Sorry I can’t help you further!

      With best wishes,


  2. Hey guys I’m new to this site but am really wanted to grow my own bud but not to really sure where to start I was looking into a book but wasn’t to sure which one would help without confusing me.if anyone can help please recommend

    1. Hey man ….the holy bible ….by Jorge Cervantes is where we all start ….it’s a bit all over the place …i.e to look up temperature you can look on page ten and the page fifty then back to page 31 but with the weed he grows who can blame Jim ???? good luck it ain’t easy until you know what your doing but so rewarding when you do ? .

  3. Hi this is kabita – an employee of GKN International.

    It’s Really informative.

    I am also introducing everyone our free Marijuana and Health Related Publications.
    Our aims to bring you the latest and greatest publications in agriculture, healthy living, and modern society.

    1. Mike STATNYK

      Hi Kabita;
      Just read your post on stating you had free marijuana and heath related publications. I was wondering if these were still available?
      I am a medical user in Canada and would love to read them if available. Willing to pay postage if it’s a problem?
      Thank You in advance.
      Mike STATNYK

  4. Hello all
    I am new and looking for loads of experience, I am from south Africa and I want to head to Holland or somewhere where I could live and learn from the best? I know this doesn’t often happen but I am way to passionate and broke to do it on my own! Please feel free to email me?
    Kind regards

  5. These books are old and out dated. The newest and best book on the market right now is 7 Steps To Grow Cannabis by Mr. Grow It

  6. best book on what is actually happening, just saw on torrentz
    …and it is a free ebook – The Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cannabis sativa for Growers and Gardeners

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hello Brad,

      Thank you for your comment ? Unfortunately we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered. I hope this helps.

      With best wishes


  7. I’m tring to find out how to pick the male’s from females.and how many females to male’s and where do I plant the male’s.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hello James, thank you for your comment

      Here are some articles on our blog that should answer your questions: Cannabis Gender: what determines it? (has good clear pictures of male and female plant sex organs)

      Males – not as useless as we think with some great uses for male plants

      What percentage of seeds will be female? from our FAQ, applies to regular seeds only, of course. If you haven’t ordered yet and you want the easiest option, you could consider getting feminized seeds, which should all flower as females under normal growing conditions.

      I hope this helps 🙂 , and happy growing!

      Best wishes,


      1. Hello Scarlet and James

        I truly appreciate all the knowledge you guys share here, I really need to ask if you Scarlet, will be ok if we keep in touch as I am looking into going into business as a grower.. I am in Houston, will be moving back to California, before the end of the month.

        Please keep my email and let me know if I can reach out to you for any questions.


      2. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

        Hi there,

        I’m glad you like the blog and hope you continue to find it enlightening 🙂 Unfortunately we cannot respond to grow questions on the blog, but we do have the Sensi Seeds Forum where you can ask a thriving community of gardening fans for advice, share your experiences, and see if your question has already been covered.

        Additionally, you can find me on twitter @ScarletSensi and Facebook so you can always say hi there 🙂

        Good luck with your new endeavours!

        With best wishes


    2. look out for little hooks, they will start to form wherever a new stem sprouts from the stalk. and they will be all over the thing. best thing is to seperate them. move them into isolation away from females as they will cross pollinate and ruin the rest of your crop. and be very careful when moving them as the risk of cross contamination is so high. but yeah like said harvest the seeds an turn a shit situation into something a bit better, hopefully not all your plants will turn male though 😉

  8. I have not read Short’s book. However I have read the others. Most of the information in these books is good for novices but some is misleading if not wrong.
    For example Cervantes book is poorly edited and is confusing. The book is out of date….
    Cervantes claims that cannabis will suffer tissue damage if temps are below 40 degrees F.
    I tested this theory out a couple of years ago. I live in Colorado where the temps in winter can be in the 50-60s I started out by leaving a plant in increasing cold weather the plant (Durban/swazi) eventually was able to stand temps in the mid 20s F. It turned purple and calyx production was inhibited. The bud leaves became very frosty. It smelled like carmel.
    I grow in the dirt out side. My plants are cultivated rather than just grown. Last year I had flowering plants exposed to 30F on 2 or three times this in October. The only damage was to fan leaves which were dying any way. The freeze came October 8. Around noon on 10/7 It was in the 70s buy midnight it was zero F.
    I grew Mexican (nirvana) Nevil’s skunk,(nice), Hash plant haze (DNA) all of these strains did exceptional despite the cold weather. I grew some indicas also CA indica (the fastest drying plant I’ve ever scene).
    The book I have been waiting for is from Trichome Technologies. I personally belive that America ( Colorado in particular) has over taken Europe in all aspects of breeding and growing.
    In Mexico a kilo of pot sells for $25. IF you go back to the east coast CO pot sells at a premium. We ended the import market for marijuana.
    I do have a book that I recommend and use to this day. Marijuana Garden Saver by J C
    Stitch. I could go on but cultivating awaits.

    1. MauiMedicine

      California was, is and always will be ahead of Colorado in the field of Cannabis.

      1. Not if they dont mandate testing for mold, pesticides, etc. I’m allergic to mold, I dont want to consume it! I sure don’t want to inhale it. Same with any other contaminant.
        Quality of the bud doesn’t matter if it’s poisoned in some way.
        I understand Cali will require testing beginning 1/1/18.
        Then you can brag responsibly. ;^)
        In the meantime, Oregon bud is safe.

        Question for moderator: How can I be “posting comments too quickly” if it’s the first comment I’ve tried to post? Stupid bot won’t let me comment. :^(

      2. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

        Hi B2CISME,

        Moderator here, I’m not sure why you got “posting comments too quickly” remark, I’ll look in to it. Comments do need to be approved before they show up, all being well, and this generally only happens on Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri when I’m on duty. I hope you’re enjoying the blog despite this!

        With best wishes,


      3. Rietha Crafford

        Can anybody please give me a company in California where i can learn how to grow Hemp for industrial uses and medicinal marijuana

        we are interested to do both as hydroponics/aquaponics system

        Rietha Crafford

    2. CO should be known for the worst weed in the country! Visited a couple months back and all the top shelf at every shop I visited was not good enough to be mid to bottom shelf of any other med or rec state Ive visited. Overpriced doo doo. CO weed is overpriced bunk. The only good quality I found was from private small craft growers. Shit the one shop I visited had PM on the flower they were tring to sell

      1. Come to BC, it gets cold as fuck and we still have alot of killer medicine.

    3. From your experience, which book is the best when it comes to clear and factual information?

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    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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