What is Cannabis Ruderalis?

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Source image: RoyalQuessnSeeds

You've heard about Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, but there is another variety of cannabis that you may not know about. Start to learn Cannabis ruderalis and find out why it is a respected member of the family of marijuana.

Cannabis ruderalis is thought to have originated thousands of years ago in areas of Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and in particular Russia, where it continues to grow as a weed today.

Botanists called it "ruderalis" (the word "ruderal" means something that grows on waste land or between garbage) to describe it as a type of cannabis plant with a weedy nature that has escaped human cultivation and adapted to the severe conditions found in these climates.

Ruderalis is sometimes defined as the third form of cannabis along with Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, although botanists are unsure if it is a species in its own right. Genetically, Cannabis ruderalis is between the Indica and Sativa strains.

 

The original autoflowering Cannabis: Ruderalis

During the past, ruderalis did not even have a major role to play. It is not appropriate for use in agriculture or recreation. So, why did people continue to use it? Well, we still have to mention the most sought-after quality of ruderalis; the one that made it a new staple in the cannabis community. Unlike sativa or indica, ruderalis does not depend on daylight hours to bloom, instead of age-based blooming.

Autoflowering weed plants flower on their own after about ~3–4 weeks of vegetative growth. Cannabis ruderalis probably evolved this auto-flowering trait as a reaction to the unusually short yet long daylight hours (22–24 hours) of its native habitats.

Thanks to this autoflowering capability, ruderalis can be used to breed new cannabis strains. Although it may not be desirable for recreational or medicinal purposes on its own, when crossed with high-quality indica/sativa/hybrid cultivars, ruderalis can endow the resulting strain with the autoflowering trait. This significantly reduces stress on the grower, allowing them to keep plants under a consistent 18–20-hour light schedule throughout all phases of growth.

Aside from light schedule, autoflowers offer the advantage of a faster overall grow cycle. This lessens the threat of losing good cannabis to bad weather and allows growers the opportunity to harvest multiple crops per season and per year. Beginner growers and experienced cash-croppers alike have taken to autoflowers (and therefore ruderalis) for these very reasons.