Cannabis Ruderalis is one of the primary subspecies of the cannabis plant, alongside Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Although less known than its counterparts, Ruderalis plays a significant role in the cultivation of modern cannabis strains, particularly auto-flowering varieties.
Origin and Physical Traits
Cannabis Ruderalis is believed to originate from regions in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, where it adapted to environments with harsh conditions and shorter growing seasons. The term “ruderalis” comes from “ruderal,” a term used in the botanical world to refer to species that grow despite their environment being disturbed or unoccupied by other plants.
Compared to Sativa and Indica, Ruderalis plants are smaller and hardier. They typically grow between 1 to 2.5 feet tall at maturity, making them more similar in stature to a small shrub than a towering Sativa plant. Their small size is an adaptation to the challenging climates in which they naturally grow.
Ruderalis plants have light green, thin-fanned leaves and, despite their size, can produce quite a lot of branches. Their buds are generally smaller and less dense than those of Sativa and Indica plants.
Perhaps the most important characteristic of Cannabis Ruderalis, from a cultivation perspective, is its auto-flowering trait. Unlike Sativa and Indica plants, which require a change in light cycle to switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage, Ruderalis plants automatically begin to flower based on age.
This unique trait has made Ruderalis genetics highly valuable in breeding programs. By crossing Ruderalis with Sativa or Indica strains, breeders have developed auto-flowering hybrids that maintain the desirable effects and characteristics of Sativa and Indica, but with the added advantage of a shorter, more predictable growing period.
Ruderalis plants typically contain lower levels of THC (the psychoactive component) compared to Sativa or Indica plants. On the other hand, they often contain relatively high levels of CBD (a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with therapeutic properties), which has increased their interest for medicinal use. However, the cannabinoid profile can significantly vary depending on the specific strain and growing conditions.
While Cannabis Ruderalis might not be as popular or well-known as Sativa or Indica, its unique traits have made a significant impact on cannabis cultivation. The auto-flowering characteristic of Ruderalis has revolutionized cannabis breeding, leading to a diverse array of strains that are easier and faster to grow. As cannabis research and breeding continue to advance, the potential of Cannabis Ruderalis is sure to be further explored and utilized.