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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!