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Grow Q&A: I’m A Beginner Grower, How Do I Breed My Own Pot Strain?

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Dear Dan, I'm extremely interested in growing and creating my own strains of marijuana. I am a beginner. I know nothing. But, I want to learn about the plant itself, the medical use, psychological effects and benefits, the basics of growth, and cross breeding. My goal is to create my own strains, so that I can medicinally help people. So here goes: my questions are about the basics of the plant. You've listed plenty of times in your web posts what the best books are for a beginner looking to cultivate. Even some for the biology. But, are there any good beginner books for the medicinal use and psychological affects of the plant? Are there any good beginners books that explain/inform in depth how to create your own strains? And are there any good beginners books that may inform, or give an idea of what you would have to do, to have your strains be studied? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I don't want to go into any of this blindly. I want to know everything, and read up on as much as possible. I know a lot to cultivating is trial and error, actually growing it, and finding your own technique. But, I figured by asking you about the basics, maybe I could get a better idea of where to start. – Ellie

Dear Ellie,

Wow, that sure is a lot of questions! Let’s start at the beginning. For cultivation books, I highly recommend Jorge Cervantes’ Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible and K from Trichome Technologies new book, Marijuana Horticulture Fundamentals. Both go into great detail on growing pot and have great photos and illustrations to help get you started.

You will need to grow your own for quite some time before you start creating your own strains. Breeding is a complicated and precise process that can take quite a while to perfect. The breeding books I recommend are Robert Connell Clark’s Marijuana Botany and The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible by Greg Green. Also, get yourself a regular plant breeding book (not a pot one) to get a basic understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish. Wikipedia is a great resource as well so start with Gregory Mendel and his pea pods and take it from there.

Like you said however, there’s no substitute for doing the work and learning on the job. You can read all the books about surfing ever written but you won’t master the art without spending many hours flailing around in the waves. Get some seeds and a growlight and start growing. Good luck!

Have a grow question? Ask at deardanko@hightimes.com

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