books on growing cannabis

The Top 10 Books On Cannabis

There is an old saying that knowledge is power, and when it comes to cannabis there could not be a truer statement. So to help you on your quest for understanding, we have a list of essential reading.

In the digital age of video and audio, books often get scoffed at. Online articles and YouTube tutorials seem like more efficient ways to obtain information. However, these sources pale in comparison to the detail and volume of information found in books. If you’re looking to increase the size and quality of your harvests or learn about the health benefits and history of the herb, books are invaluable tools.

Books also keep your attention locked in. When browsing the internet for cannabis information, it’s too tempting to open another tab and begin scrolling social media and checking your emails. In contrast, slowly turning the page of a good book—joint in hand—tames the brain and immerses you into a world of new information. The mind evolves after reading a book, and your perception of cannabis will be forever changed.

The cannabis book market is booming. The available tomes cover every topic within the field. No matter what you’re looking for, a host of contemporary and classic authors have got you covered.

Below is a list of the top 10 cannabis books we recommend. Don’t miss out on learning something new!


The legalization of cannabis in several countries has led to an explosion of scientific research and discovery. Cannabis and its constituents—cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and so on—have been explored in cell, animal, and human studies. Many of the results look promising, and the future of cannabis medicine is undoubtedly a bright one. The books featured below are incredible resources if you’re looking to learn more about cannabis, health, and medicine.


The Cannabis Health Index is an in-depth book that harnesses over 1,000 scientific studies to explain how cannabis, along with mindfulness techniques, is useful for over 100 chronic diseases and symptoms. Penned by Uwe Blesching, PhD, no stone is left unturned when it comes to the herb’s impact on common and more severe ailments.

Readers can use this comprehensive, evidence-based book to learn about cannabis as a medicine, and how it could help them in their health battles. If you’re curious about the impact of cannabis on specific conditions, you don’t have to trudge through the entire volume. It’s divided into different sections according to pathologies, such as inflammatory diseases, neurological diseases, and cardiovascular health.

Blesching has done a superb job translating the difficult and often confusing scientific literature into a reader-friendly format. Get ready to have your mind blown as your cannabis knowledge expands considerably.


This book is both informative and practical. It equips users with crucial information about CBD and how to prepare and use it. Juliana Birnbaum details the safety of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid and its many proposed health benefits and medicinal applications.

As well as discussing pharmacology, the book details the botany of the cannabis plant and explains how specific cannabinoid formulas can target certain ailments more effectively.

Birnbaum explains how CBD, alone and in combination with other cannabinoids, may work to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, arthritis, inflammation, seizures, pain, and other conditions.

The book also provides dosage outlines and guidance on oil infusions, tinctures, capsules, and CO₂ concentrates.


Written by cannabis expert Michael Backes, Cannabis Pharmacy offers up-to-date information regarding medicinal cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. The book explores the chemical constituents of the plant and how they work in the body to exert effects.

Backes explains the role of the endocannabinoid system and how the network of receptors influences emotion, appetite, and memory. Backes also discusses dosing and delivery methods. You’ll learn precisely how to use cannabis in your own life for medicinal purposes. These pages contain information on 21 ailments and conditions, and how cannabis can be used herein.

The book also features a foreword by Dr Andrew Weil MD, a practitioner and teacher of integrative medicine.


Growing cannabis is both a science and an art. The following books will help novices get started on their growing journey, and intermediate and advanced cultivators hone their techniques. They offer information on everything from lighting and nutrients to breeding and harvests.


Marijuana Horticulture is 512 pages of pure wisdom. It’s the quintessential guide to growing weed, and has been a bestseller since 1983. The current Fifth Edition provides 1120 colour images that put all of the concepts on display.

World-renowned cannabis expert Jorge Cervantes penned the book. It provides all the information you need to know to reach a successful harvest. Cervantes will teach you how to set up a growing environment with the resources you have on hand—from grow rooms to greenhouses. He also covers what lighting to use, how to secure your grow, and how to feed your crop correctly.

Marijuana Horticulture doesn’t stop there. The book is an extensive guide on using growing techniques such as sea of green to optimise yield. It also explains how to clone, flower, and harvest cannabis plants. Once you’ve trimmed your buds, you’ll learn how to dry and cure them, and even how to make hash.


Ed Rosenthal—“the guru of ganja”—is a leading cannabis horticulture authority. As one of the co-founders of High Times Magazine, he’s an accomplished cannabis educator and author. In the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, Rosenthal covers all the bases from beginner knowledge to advanced cultivation skills.

The book starts with an introduction to the cannabis plant: its active constituents and numerous subspecies. Next, Rosenthal offers a concise plant biology lesson and covers the topics of photosynthesis, light, carbon dioxide, nutrients, temperature, and humidity.

Equipped with this crucial information, you’ll be ready to learn how to set up your growing space; and in the following chapters, you’ll learn how to harvest, dry, cure, and restart your garden if you grow outdoors.


It’s no secret that cannabis is a controversial crop. The plant has been subject to vicious propaganda campaigns and crushed under prohibition. However, its past isn’t all dark. The herb has been used as a medicine for thousands of years and has played an essential role as an industrial crop. Read these books to learn about the history of weed.


The Emperor Wears No Clothes is one of the most famous cannabis books of all time. The book was written by American cannabis activist Jack Herer on the many uses of this enigmatic plant. His work had such an impact on the cannabis community that there’s even a strain named after him.

Also referred to has “The Hemp Bible”, the book documents the historical suppression of hemp by large corporate interests. Herer details how the petrochemical industry sought to lobby the government and outlaw hemp.

Herer discusses the seemingly endless uses of the renewable crop. He covers its ability to provide resources for paper, energy, food, textiles, and medicine.


In this book, Martin Booth delves deep into the history of the cannabis plant. It’s a stellar read for those looking to understand where cannabis came from and how it has impacted both modern and ancient cultures.

Booth starts the timeline back in the Neolithic period and works through to the present day. He touches upon how cannabis has played a role in advancements in medicine, religion, politics, human rights, music, and art.

The book also covers the complex tale of how cannabis was targeted and prohibited in the modern Western world. The United States government once encouraged the cultivation of cannabis, only to incarcerate people for possession years later.

This book is for readers looking to learn every last detail about the history of cannabis.


Smoke Signals explores the “great American pot story”. Author Martin A. Lee takes readers through a cultural exploration of cannabis. Readers will learn about the legal history of cannabis in the country, its prohibition, and the movements that opposed it.

Lee delves into the implementation of draconian cannabis laws, their social impact, and the culture war surrounding such legislation.


Cooking with cannabis is more than just throwing buds and leaves into a cake mix. It’s an intricate art filled with nuances and technique. Learn about extracts, decarboxylation, and all things culinary with these cannabis cookbooks.


The Easy Cannabis Cookbook showcases just how far edibles have come. Edible cannabis used to be defined by brownies and cookies, yet now spans into every nook and cranny of the culinary world. If you’re an established or aspiring cannabis chef, this book will quickly become a valuable ally.

Writer Cheri Sicard covers cannabis 101—an explanation of the history and medicinal use of cannabis. She also provides an accurate dosing guide and a list of essential equipment when cooking with the herb. The Easy Cannabis Cookbook features over 60 different medicated recipes, including banana bread and cheese fettuccine alfredo.


The Cannabis Cookbook is designed to enable herb-lovers to cook up edibles with ease. Cannabis writer Tim Pilcher has put together over 25 delicious recipes, including “Stoned Starters”, “Mashed Main Courses”, and “Doped-Out Desserts”.

It’s the perfect book to draw inspiration from before cooking up a three-course meal for your cannabis-loving friends. There are even recipes for medicated drinks.

The Cannabis Cookbook goes above and beyond just recipes, and includes notes on the science and history of culinary cannabis.

Books sharpen the mind and deepen knowledge. Learn everything there is to know about cannabis history, growing, cooking, and medicine with these 10 books!

Top 6 Cannabis Grow Books

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.

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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!

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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!

A fine, well-rounded collection of books is essential to any novice or experienced grower. We’ve rounded up six books that belong in your cannabis library.