The 5 Most Challenging Cannabis Strains to Grow

Although growing cannabis is not all that challenging with the proper planning, some strains are more difficult to cultivate successfully than others. Before choosing a strain to grow at home, cultivators should carefully evaluate their growing space, experience, budget, and patience. It could make all the difference.

When people decide to grow their own cannabis, there are usually a few factors they focus on to help them choose the best strain. Firstly, you might consider climate if you’re planning to grow outdoors. You will also probably think about how big the plants are likely to get since there’s limited space, depending on whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors. Most people will also consider the effects they want from the strain they cultivate.

But one of the most important factors to consider is how challenging a strain is to grow. Newbies certainly aren’t going to be looking to tackle the trickiest strains. Even advanced cultivators probably don’t want to spend every minute worrying about or tending to their plants.

However, if you’ve conquered most of the popular cannabis strains and are looking for more of a challenge, look no further.

Here are five of the most challenging cannabis strains to grow at home.

1. Dr. Grinspoon

This landrace sativa is known for its delicate stems and brittle, wispy characteristics. It’s named after Harvard professor and longtime cannabis advocate Dr. Grinspoon. Despite its dainty features, the plant grows very tall, and you will need to manage its height in small spaces.


Dr. Grinspoon is a well-known, flavorful variety that is celebrated by connoisseurs. It’s a pure sativa strain that provides incredible cerebral effects. Some people note that the effects are somewhat professor-like in the sense that they cause deep introspection. But before that, at the onset, it first gives a mood-altering sensation that is uplifting and induces happiness.

Dr. Grinspoon is tricky to grow because of its bud structure. Training and pruning are very important practices, but it gets more complicated when she begins her flowering journey.

Due to the weight of the developing colas, the delicate stems are prone to weakening and may snap off prematurely. You might want to use supports to suspend the stems through this crucial stage of life. The next challenge is getting the buds to fully mature since the plant is also known to develop outlandish bud structures. When mature, the colas look like compact green and reddish-brown beads. Typically, the journey lasts around 90 to 100 days.

2. Colombian Gold

Colombian Gold is a landrace sativa strain from the Santa Marta mountains of Colombia. It’s an indigenous strain that wasn’t crafted by breeders on a cannabis farm, which is one reason why it may be particularly challenging to grow. Colombian Gold is classified as a landrace sativa that only thrives in tropical outdoor climates.


Colombian Gold’s large stature and long flowering periods make it a difficult strain to grow. To cultivate Colombian Gold indoors, you must be on top of your pruning game because its growth takes off and will quickly overrun your space. She gets tall and bulky, which makes it nearly impossible to contain indoors unless your pruning game is on point. A large greenhouse is the best option.

The flowering time for an indoor grow is 70 to 90 days. Outdoors it’s usually ready for harvest towards the end of November. The lengthy flowering cycle increases the chance of error. But if you can handle this strain, you will achieve a classic quality landrace strain that has an exceptional high which electrifies the senses.


ACDC is a sativa-dominant hybrid that is very particular when it comes to growing conditions. It likes a consistent and stable climate of between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and is highly sensitive to the amount of water, light, and nutrients you give her. The inability to perfectly balance these elements will diminish overall growth. Signs of distress will be seen almost immediately through her leaves.


As a high CBD strain, ACDC is quite sensitive to overfeeding. During the vegetative stage, it’s best to feed her half the recommended nutrients. You can increase to full feeding during the flowering period.

Successfully attending to her needs will result in thick, flowering colas. However, the thin-stemmed branches will struggle to support the heavy buds that are produced. Proper roping and the guidance of vertical supports will help the plant through this important phase of its life. An indoor growing environment is recommended for maximum control and close inspection.

4. Trainwreck

Trainwreck is a super satisfying, pungent, and powerful seed. However, because it’s a sativa strain, it tends to grow tall and thin. Although it’s known to leave users feeling uplifted, relaxed, and happy, you will be none of these things if you aren’t ready for a high-maintenance crop.


Trainwreck can quickly become too much for a newbie grower. The strain’s canopy tends to grow quickly and spread wide. Neglecting to train her will cause light burn as the plant reaches closer to the grow lights. The stem will thicken, making it nearly impossible to perform any low-stress training (LST) on the branches.

For optimal results, Trainwreck should be grown indoors. If you treat her right, you will be rewarded with a big harvest. The best time to harvest her goods is from late October to early November.

5. Headband

Headband is an indica-dominant hybrid strain that originates from OG Kush and Sour Diesel. Cannabis connoisseurs love this strain for its high THC content, lemongrass aroma, and relaxing effects. However, it’s known for being quite sensitive in the grow room.


Headband is notorious for its stubbornness in producing decent-sized buds. If you don’t perfectly hit all the right growing conditions, you’re just wasting your time. This strain produces small buds that blanket the plant. For this reason, getting a decent yield with consistent quality may be difficult.

Furthermore, she’s very sensitive to humidity, wet climates, and frost. She’s the type of plant that enjoys warmth and sunshine all the time.

To improve her canopy coverage, you can experiment with various training methods, such as LST, SCROG, or Lollipopping. If you monitor her growing environment and do your best to keep her warm, she should be ready for harvest after 70 days.

Looking for something simpler? Here are some of the easiest marijuana strains to grow at home

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