What Is Cannabis Ruderalis?
You’ve heard of indica, sativa, hybrids, hemp… but have you heard of cannabis ruderalis?
Cannabis ruderalis is the lesser known cousin of the marijuana plant. According to a 2005 study, the cannabis ruderalis plant possesses gene characteristics that are a cross between a sativa and an indica.
History and Origin of Cannabis Ruderalis
The species of ruderalis was first discovered in 1924 by Russian botanist D.E. Janischevsky. He came across cannabis plants that were growing like weed around Russia. These plants looked different from the hemp and other indica and sativa strains that he knew about at the time.
Although the ruderalis plant originated from Central Asia, it began spreading as people began cultivating it as a crop. Some botanists assume that ruderalis may actually be a wild ancestor of the modern cultivated cannabis that we know about. Even if it were an ancestor, in its modern form it would still possess stark differences.
Characteristics of Cannabis Ruderalis
The ruderalis hails from central and southeastern Russia, although it only results in poor yields and has a low THC content. Because of this, most people find the ruderalis variety invaluable for recreational use. The term “ruderalis” is derived from the word “ruderal”, a term in botany used to refer to hardy plants, including weeds. In fact, the ruderalis is so hardy that it can withstand the harsh conditions in Russia that neither indica nor sativa plants would be able to survive in.
Cannabis ruderalis grows short stalks, sitting between 1 and 2.5 feet at the time of harvest. The plant has wide, light green color with small and chunky buds. Ruderalis plants are harvested based on maturity, unlike the photoperiod cycle which dominates the harvest time for its sativa and indica cousins. Ruderalis plants typically flower 21 to 30 days after planting its seeds, no matter what the light cycle is. This makes most ruderalis plants autoflowering in nature, which protects it from seasonal changes and any dangers that harsh weather may bring.
Despite possessing low levels of THC, ruderalis plants do have some medicinal value because they contain CBD. These days, more people are discovering the value of cultivating ruderalis plants for its CBD content, which has proven effective in the treatment of epilepsy, seizures, and many other serious conditions without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Ruderalis strains are also used by professional cannabis cultivators to create hybrids that autoflower and grow fast. Since ruderalis plants are also short and more on the stocky side, they are ideal for discreet indoor grows. When hybrid strains with ruderalis are cultivated properly, these can result in excellent strains possessing the genetics of ruderalis while providing the best of a sativa or indica strain, and a potent amount of CBD. In other words, ruderalis plants can be used to create cannabis plants that are extremely therapeutic while also being fast in growing.
Ruderalis cannabis plants also help cultivators create auto-flowering seeds, which bloom no matter what the light cycle is. Both sativa and indica varieties only flower when exposed to specific kinds of light in the right amount. When grown outdoors, ruderalis plants flower throughout and can be expected to produce buds and colas by late August which marks the end of its traditional growing season, which is much shorter than other varieties. Unlike other varieties, ruderalis and hybrids that it’s crossed with produce buds that don’t ripen; what happens instead is that their stigmas will become brown although the ovary won’t swell. If any, the mild high that is produced by a ruderalis plant can be described as a foggy buzz, which can later on develop into a headache. There are only a few ruderalis hybrids known to deliver a good high.
While indica, sativa, and ruderalis strains are clearly 3 very different types of cannabis strains, it’s completely possible to interbreed them. Today there are many cannabis strains that possess qualities of each variety of cannabis strains, allowing seed banks and cultivators to easily customize the desired qualities of their strains for specific recreational or medical qualities.
Have you ever tried cannabis ruderalis? What was it like? Share your experience with us in the comments below.