What Are the Hardest Cannabis Strains to Grow?

Knowing which ones are the hardest cannabis strains to grow could point you toward your next cultivation project.

If you want to get the most out of your home grow, you need to be smart about which strains you cultivate. Some are just more difficult to handle than others. Knowing the hardest cannabis strains to grow is a crucial piece of information. It will help you know which ones to avoid if you’re a new grower, or if you don’t want all the hassle. At the same time, if you’re experienced and looking for a challenge, knowing which ones are the hardest cannabis strains to grow could point you toward your next cultivation project.

Hardest Cannabis Strains To Grow: Some General Guidelines

In general, there are a few types of cannabis that tend to be tricky to grow. Of course, none of these rules are hard and fast. There is so much variance between each individual cannabis strain that you can always find exceptions to any rule. With that said, here are some general guidelines.

Sativa strains tend to be more difficult to grow than indica strains. They usually take longer to grow, and they also have long flowering periods. That means you have to be on your A game for a longer period of time. There’s also more time for a plant to get sick, go moldy, or run into some other problem.

Along with all that, sativas tend to grow really big and tall. Obviously, this will be a problem if you’re growing indoors in a small space. But even outdoors, with all the space in the world, these big tall plants can still be hard to work with.

To be more specific, Thai strains, Haze strains, and Mexican sativa strains are all considered some of the hardest cannabis strains to grow. They are all members of the sativa family, and they have all been used to create a huge number of other strains and hybrids. If you can manage them, they and their offspring can be awesome strains to smoke. But they will usually be pretty tricky to grow.

With these general guidelines in mind, here’s our list of the hardest cannabis strains to grow. Not surprisingly, many of them will be either Sativa, Haze, Thai, or Mexican strains.

9. Trainwreck

Trainwreck is a fan favorite. It was created when breeders crossed Afghani indicas with Thai and Mexican sativas. The end result of all this is a strain that will give you a powerful head high complemented by a mellow body buzz. When it comes to growing Trainwreck, be prepared for a challenge. It usually does best indoors. The good news: when you grow it right, it will usually give you big harvests.

8. Super Lemon Haze

You can grow Super Lemon Haze indoors or outdoors, as long as it gets a ton of light. And while it’s pretty resistant to pests and mold, it does not produce very many flowers. If you do grow this strain, though, expect to enjoy bud that smells great, that tastes even better, and that gives you an uplifting, energizing high.

7. Malawi Gold

Malawi Gold is one of the rarest—and therefore most coveted—strains in the world. It can produce some massive plants and when it’s grown right, some incredible bud. But it is super hard to grow. This strain has one of the longest growing periods, and a notoriously long flowering period. On top of that, it is very finicky about its growing environment. It typically only does well in tropical locations, and can be really hard to cultivate anywhere else.

6. Thai

Thai is a classic landrace sativa that has been used to create a bunch of other strains. Mature buds give consumers powerful and euphoric highs, but they can be tricky to cultivate. Thai plants grow tall and can often be difficult to manage and harvest. They do best in hot outdoor grows. The good news is that they usually respond well to organic fertilizer, especially compost, which means you can feed them with your own homemade plant food.

5. Headband

If you like cerebral highs, then Headband is made for you. This strain got its name because the head highs are so intense it starts feeling like you’ve got a headband on. Unfortunately for home growers, it is also one of the hardest cannabis strains to cultivate. Headband can be a hard plant to harvest because it produces tons of small buds of varying quality—some will be covered in THC-rich trichomes and others will be duds. If you try this one, we suggest going with the sea of green technique.

4. Colombian Gold

Colombian Gold is a classic sativa strain. It’s energizing, uplifting, and hard to grow. The plants get big and tall, which makes it hard to prune and manage. They also have very long flowering periods, so you’ve got to stay on top of your plants. But if you can nurture these babies through to maturity, you will be rewarded with a one-of-a-kind head high.


ACDC produces flowers that are extremely high in CBD, which makes it an excellent choice for medical marijuana patients. The only problem is that it is finicky. ACDC plants are sensitive to light and nutrients, and if you don’t give it the perfect balance of everything, it will fail to produce the CBD-rich buds you want. It’s probably best to go with an indoor grow so you have as much control over the growing environment as possible.

2. Chocolate Thai

A successful crop of Chocolate Thai can make you legendary. This strain has a unique and distinctive set of traits. Its terpene profile gives it a distinctive chocolate flavor. Buds often take on a subtle coffee color, and produce powerful cerebral highs that will leave you uplifted, happy, and floating in the clouds. But, like other Thai strains, this is one of the hardest cannabis strains to grow primarily because of its insanely long flowering period.

1. Jack Herer

Jack Herer is a well-known strain that produces pleasantly uplifting and energizing head highs. It grows best in warm, Mediterranean climates. This strain has long flowering periods, but if you keep careful watch it will give you beautiful flowers covered in milky white trichome crystals.

" Nick Lindsey : Nick is a Green Rush Daily writer reporting on all things cannabis. He currently lives in New York City.."