best marijuana grow 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.

Marijuana Grow Books Review

Table of Contents

Marijuana Garden Saver: Handbook for Healthy Plants by J.C. Stitch (all about diagnosing and helping sick plants)

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz – Advanced – Only get this book if you already understand the basics of growing cannabis!

Growing Elite Marijuana by Ryan Riley (online e-book)

Here at, we are dedicated to providing the best information and resources on how to grow marijuana so that things are as easy as possible for you, the grower.

In fact, we are dedicated to making our website the best marijuana grow bible in the world.

The truth is, good marijuana grow guides can be hard to come by. That fact is actually the inspiration that caused us to create this website. We really believe that weed can be easy to grow, but you need the right information or plants can seem impossibly difficult to grow and finicky.

However, we know that we cannot be everything to everyone and lots of people prefer hard-copy books! Even so, we still want to guide you to finding a reputable growing resource that works for you!

There are many marijuana growing books out there, some are incredible marijuana grow bibles, while other marijuana grow books are little more than endless rambling.

But which one is the best marijuana grow book?

For those interested in reading a book about growing marijuana, the following book reviews may help you decide which one will work best for you…

by Ed Rosenthal

This is one of my favorite growing cannabis books. Ed Rosenthal has been teaching people how to grow marijuana for 40 years now, and it shows. He has a clean and measured approach to growing that I appreciate. He doesn’t fall prey to hype, and I like that he doesn’t seem to exaggerate.

Unlike some of the other grow bibles, you don’t get the feeling he’s trying to sell anything except his knowledge.

It’s over 500 pages long, and has full color photos and clear illustrations about every topic. This book covers everything from the standard beginner’s grow guide to much more advanced techniques. It has info about both indoors and outdoors, and all types of growing from soil to hydro. It’s surprisingly comprehensive.

This book is structured almost like a college textbook, with clearly defined sections full of pertinent and well-organized information. There is also a glossary at the back that has almost every keyword you can imagine, so you can look up a specific term like “foliar feeding” or “cloning” and be brought to the exact page.

I actually still refer back to this book sometimes to get a second opinion, because the science is sound and Ed offers a uniquely experienced perspective on growing marijuana.

Insider info: I know that Ed Rosenthal is currently in the process of writing a completely revamped and updated encyclopedia about growing, which should be released sometimes in early-to-mid 2017! This book is great, and you should still get it, but just know that a new one is coming!

“Marijuana may not be addictive, but growing it is.”

This book can be considered an “all-in-one” grow bible, but I’d say the one downside is the information leans more towards bigger gardens than smaller closet grows.

Additionally, this book contains an extreme amount of information, which is what really qualifies it as an inclusive “marijuana growing handbook”. However, because of this, if you’re just getting started and only want to grow just a couple of plants, this grow book may be total information overload.

On the flip side, if you’re thinking about starting your own, larger-scale grow, or if you already have some experience growing and want to expand your knowledge, you seriously should invest in this book and flip through it sometime. You won’t regret it ?

by Jorge Cervantes

This book by the legendary grower Jorge Cervantes is hands-down one of the most comprehensive marijuana growing books ever written… but is not necessarily meant for beginners.

The newest version of this grow bible was published in 2006 and contains 512 full color pages with over 1100 full color photographs and illustrations.

Though the book would be far shorter if they’d skipped the pages of ads.

There are hundreds of incredible pictures of plants and buds are eye-candy for any grower, and I think these pictures really are what makes this book fun to flip through.

There is so much information, and it’s usually pretty easy to find what you’re looking for. Even after buying several other grow books, none quite compares to the total comprehensiveness of this book.

Now, I don’t totally agree with everything Jorge says, especially when it comes to how he deals with bugs, but he does present the information in a way that leaves you able to come to your own conclusions.

As I said before, this book is probably not the best choice for beginners who are still learning the basics. Though comprehensive in every other way, Jorge assumes that you already have at least one grow under your belt and doesn’t include a beginner’s step-by-step guide. Read the comprehensive Grow Weed basics guide here ?

It’s available in hard copy, or as a digital book:

by Logan Edwards

They should change the name of this book to “Grow Great Hydroponic Marijuana Indoors For Dummies” and everyone would know exactly what it’s about.

This book is not a comprehensive grow bible, yet it is definitely a complete and straightforward beginner’s manual for those growing hydroponic weed indoors.

If you feel like you have gaps in your knowledge of the basic process of growing, or if you want a simple, easy-to-understand guide to gently walk you through your first few grows, this book will serve you well.

While this is a great guide for hydroponic grows (including coco coir and other soilless mediums) it doesn’t have information about growing in soil.

When it comes to grow lights, the author Logan Edwards focuses only on high intensity lights (which I also recommend but aren’t right for everyone), and does not offer much information for those who want to use alternative grow lights like CFLs or LEDs.

Topics include setting up your grow room, equipment, light schedules, grow room security, the life stages of marijuana, and the harvesting/curing process.

One of the things people love and hate about this book is Logan Edwards chopped out most of the “behind-the-scenes” science of growing, so you’re left with just what you need to know to successfully grow your crops.

This simplification is perfect if you find other grow guides too complicated and want something simple, though the knowledge-hungry may want to learn more about what’s going on down at the cellular level.


Illustrations on how to germinate seeds, take clones, harvest and properly cure your weed

Easy to understand and step-by-step; no scientific charts or huge words, not a lot of unnecessary information

Everything you need to know about growing weed indoors via hydroponics or a soilless medium like coco coir

Explains what equipment is needed including grow lights and nutrients

How to plan and set up your grow room

Complete explanation of all phases of growing


Doesn’t explain some of the cheaper growing options like growing marijuana with CFL grow lights

Doesn’t cover soil or outdoor growing

Doesn’t go very deep into the “science of growing marijuana” which can leave you hanging if you run into a problem (check out our picture problems guide if you run into any problems).

In addition to the hard copy version, if you have a Kindle, Android phone, or iPhone and want to have this grow guide with you at all times, there’s a kindle version available too.

by J. C. Stitch (Author), Ed Rosenthal (Editor)

This book is unlike any other marijuana books on the market. It’s one of the first marijuana grow books I bought and definitely was a huge help!

If you’re just starting out, or even if you’re an experienced grower, there’s TONS of useful information and pictures in this slim little book.

Definitely formatted like a handbook, you can quickly and easily find whatever it is you’re looking for.

While we offer a comprehensive guide to plant problems on our website, we know a lot of people prefer getting their information in book form.

If that’s what you’re looking for, this contains detailed information on how to diagnose and fix most problems you may face while growing marijuana, whether you grow in water or soil, indoors or outdoors!

This book explains you’re experiencing your problem, how to prevent it in the future, and all the different ways you can go about fixing it. (Or check out our free online Diagnose Your Sick Plant tool!)

So whether you have questions about….

  • Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Mold
  • Viruses
  • Bugs
  • Just about any other marijuana problem…

This book has what you need in book form!

by Daniel Chamovitz

This book is not technically about growing cannabis, though I highly, highly recommend that every grower read this book if they want to get a greater understanding of how plants grow and what makes them tick.

I feel like I got more from this book than some of the other cannabis-specific growing books. If you’ve already got a grasp of the basics of growing cannabis, and want to expand your scientific knowledge of plants in general, this book is for you!

The author, Daniel Chamovitz, Ph.D., is the director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University. He has served as a visiting scientist at Yale University and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and has lectured at universities around the world. His research has appeared in major scientific journals.

The book debunks a lot of the common myths perpetrated about plants, including some of the famous experiments/results from The Secret Life of Plants. The books goes on to explain in detail how plants can “see” (how they sense and are affected by different types of light), what types of things they can “smell”, how they sense / react to touch, and so on.

Despite his very science-y background, the content of the book is presented in a very clear easy-to-understand way that is enjoyable to read. Even though the book is not about any particular plant (it focuses on plants in general) I learned quite a few pertinent facts that have already been helping me increase yields and plant health in my own garden. Plus it’s just neat to understand why the plant is doing something!

I know you are dedicated to growing the best marijuana possible or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

As you probably know by now, marijuana plants are quite a bit more complex than a regular house plant, but learning how to grow isn’t as crazy complicated as a lot of growers make it seem.

Still, you need to learn this plant’s language if you want to grow high-quality buds and get great yields.

So you could spend years and years learning from trial and error…

Or you can take the shortcut to consistently producing outstanding results by learning from real growers who have done all the work for you.

Every experienced grower has their own grow style, and over time as you get exposed to more info, you will begin to finely tune your personal grow style.

Now, there is a lot of great info in Ryan Riley’s Growing Elite Marijuana book. If you read the entire thing from front to back, even a totally experienced grower will learn something, and probably a whole lot of things. For a beginner, this book has literally everything you will need to know.

As you probably know, the growing forums can be a rough place to learn how to grow weed, You must be on the lookout for bad information and will always be second-guessing whether this or that person in the forums actually knows what they’re talking about. That’s why investing in growing books by known pros will pay off in the long run.

I’ve read several marijuana books over the last decade (read some of my reviews about the best growing marijuana books), and learned a lot from all of them. Each book I’ve read has leveled up my growing skills.

Now the price tag for this resource is pretty high, so it’s only recommended for growers who want to go pro with their growing skills. Still, I’m glad that I invested in this book, and I definitely have gotten my money’s worth out of it via increased yields and saved time/frustration. If the price of this book is going to kill your growing budget, than you are going to have a tough time growing elite marijuana anyway. ?

This book isn’t for you if you’re just looking to grow a small amount of buds to smoke a few times a year.

Yet if you’re a daily smoker like me and are dedicated to growing a constant supply of buds for as cheap and easy as possible, you’ll be glad you invested in Ryan Riley’s ultimate guide to growing.

More Best Marijuana Grow Bible and Other Growing Book Reviews coming soon!

Read our detailed marijuana growing book reviews by expert grower! is dedicated to teaching growers (on any budget) how easy it can be to grow marijuana out of your closet.