Book Review: Ed Rosenthal’s ‘Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits’

Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits Cannabis Now

Cultivation icon Ed Rosenthal’s new “Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits” distills 400 strains into 95 essentials for any type of gardener.

The “Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits” pulls the strains that have withstood the test of time into the glistening light of the new era of legalized cannabis.

Out in September worldwide, the newest edition to cultivation icon Ed Rosenthal’s “Big Book of Buds” series stands as a guide to the origins, effects and ideal growing conditions for the 95 strains featured, interspersed with informational tidbits from breeders and experts in the growing field, pun intended.

From Green House Seed Company’s Super Lemon Haze to Sensi Seed Bank’s Jack Herer, you can grow every strain in the book, which focuses on commercial seed availability. More and more states are allowing adults to legally start a pot garden. Armed with this guide, anyone with dreams of growing their own supply can now do so under the attentive gaze of the Guru of Ganja himself.

The strain information in the “Greatest Hits” comes directly from the breeders who crafted the strains, meaning the data comes from experts rather than a crowd-sourced poll, and includes invaluable insights on each type of cannabis such as ideal growing conditions and flowering time. Pulled from over 400 varieties in the “Buds” series, these strains are “the ones that make you want to light up again and again,” said Rosenthal — who for 40 years has led the cannabis gardening revolution with his “Marijuana Grower’s Handbook” and related titles, which have cumulatively sold over one million copies.

In addition to highlighting specific types of marijuana, the book is interspersed with informational material. Explore terpene profiles with legendary cannabis breeder DJ Short, and learn exactly how cannabis gets you high. Simply taking the time to read through the section explaining the strain icons will give beginners the basic direction they need to understand a plant grown by mankind for 3,000 generations — a rogue plant Rosenthal calls his “ally.”

“Like the corn, potatoes, wheat or tomatoes we eat, we now experience the efforts of only the last generations, those who built on the work of untold, unknown generations to bring us this precious, even sacred produce,” Rosenthal writes in the book’s introduction. “Here the knowledge of these generations is distilled in the varieties described, each also distilled from a single seed so tiny.”

Within the introduction, Rosenthal also takes readers through four distinct waves of breeding, beginning with the first wave of landraces and hybrids, “modified to ripen outdoors or be grown indoors.”

“During this period ’90-day wonders’ suitable for growing indoors were considered cutting edge. These include Afghani and other indicas often crossed with South African (Durban Poison), Mexican or Thai,” he writes.

Complex hybrids define the second wave of breeding, which includes perennial favorites such as Silver Haze and White Widow.  After breeders had successfully adapted growing habits, made the plants more productive and raised potency, a third wave of breeding saw the “beginning of attempts by breeders to target specific effects,” Rosenthal explains. “Some of the most popular varieties are the Diesel family, Jack the Ripper and Cheeses.”

Big Book of Buds

Our current fourth breeding wave, which relies on new sets of breeding stock such as modified Hazes, Headband and Blue Dream, is coming to an end, Rosenthal explains. A new era of lab-testing allows modern selectors to use “science to guide them towards their goals.”

Along with the inclusion of lush new images, this book enters the pantheon of essential marijuana reference material. Readers are advised not to get swept away in the Green Rush, but rather utilize the “Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits” to sprout your own seed.

Note: Ellen Holland is the Chief Editor of “Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits,” and the Senior Editor of Cannabis Now Magazine.

Originally published in Issue 23 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE.

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Ellen Holland started working at Cannabis Now Magazine on April 21st because she was busy on 420. Holland is the senior editor at Cannabis Now and has also been featured on AlterNet, Reset.me and The San Francisco Chronicle's Green State. She served as the chief editor of the Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits as well as This Bud's for You with the legendary guru of ganja, Ed Rosenthal. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @hollandbuds

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