One of my favorite books lately — as in, I keep getting it back out again and again — is The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains. Penned by the knowledgeable Danny Danko, senior cultivation editor at High Times, the book offers not only a wealth of information on more than 125 varieties of cannabis, it is also absolutely gorgeous.
Photos of each strain, along with info on awards, genetic lineage, flowering time, and where you can get seeds, make this book a potent tool in the hands of the modern cannabis connoisseur.
Danko talked with breeders all over the planet, and they talked about their secrets to creating Cannabis Cup winners. Most of the world’s top pot varieties are covered and lovingly described, from odors and flavors to potency levels and medicinal properties (there are certain notable omissions, such as the absence of one of my favorite pain-killing indicas, Afgoo).
No less an authority than the estimable Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Harvard cannabis researcher and author of Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine has said “If you wish to become more sophisticated about the large number of strains now available, you will be hard-pressed to find a better written and superbly photographed little compendium than this book.”
“In the rarefied world of pot connoisseurship, we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all strains are not created equal, than an indica-dominant and stony Afghani Hash Plant is worlds apart from a Cambodian Haze with extreme sativa-like characteristics,” Danko writes. “We dissect the intensity and effects of the highs, preferring one variety for a daytime smoke and another one entirely for a nightcap.”
You can learn some great trichome trivia in this tome. For instance, I recently got an excellent strain (from Seattle dispensary The Green Door
) called Crimea Blue. I knew nothing about the genetics of this strain, other than it was an indica.
But by using the Field Guide, I learned that Crimea Blue boasts a rare Ukrainian Hash Plant pedigree combined with DJ Short’s popular Blueberry strain (itself a sativa/indica hybrid of Thai and Afghan). It’s also interesting to note that CB took second place in the indica competition of the 2007 Cannabis Cup.
You get the idea — pick almost any strain you can think of, and nine times out of ten, you’ll end up knowing more about it after looking it up in the Field Guide.
The Official High Times Field Guide To Marijuana Strains
sells for $14.95 and is available at your local independent bookstore or directly from High Times by clicking here