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Cannabis Ruderalis: What Is It?

Cannabis Ruderalis: What Is It?

Although cannabis ruderalis has been in the shadows of its more well-known siblings, sativa and indica, it is gradually gaining recognition among weed consumers. Less talked about but fascinating in its own right, this 3rd type of weed possesses unique characteristics that set it apart. Our guide explores everything you need to know about this marijuana variant to help consumers make informed decisions when acquiring them. This includes the ruderalis leaf, plant, and flower. It also delves into the distinct ruderalis buds and the variety of cannabis ruderalis strains.

What is Ruderalis?

Originating from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and specifically Russia, Cannabis ruderalis is a wild species of cannabis. It is known for its robust nature and ability to thrive in harsh climates where other types of cannabis might struggle to survive.

The ruderalis plant is smaller and bushier compared to sativa and indica, often growing to a height of only 1 to 2.5 feet. The leaves are usually large and hefty, expressing their resilience. This compact structure, paired with the uniquely shaped ruderalis leaf, makes it easy to identify. 

The Ruderalis Plant and Flower

Unlike sativa and indica plants, which require a change in the cannabis light schedule to induce flowering, cannabis ruderalis is an autoflowering species. Therefore, the plant automatically begins to flower based on its age rather than light conditions. This characteristic is a survival trait, enabling it to reproduce efficiently in the challenging environments it naturally inhabits.

The ruderalis flower are modest in size and resemble miniature pine cones. They are densely packed with ruderalis buds, which despite their size, are potent and highly aromatic. A key distinguishing feature of Cannabis ruderalis is the speed of its growth. Developing from the first marijuana plant’s growth stage to maturity typically takes around 70 to 110 days, much shorter than other cannabis species.

Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis: A Comparative Look

When discussing “sativa, indica, and ruderalis,” one can’t overlook the differences between them. While sativa strains are known for their uplifting and cerebral effects and indica strains for their soothing and sedative impacts, ruderalis strains have a unique place in the cannabis family.

Although ruderalis strains generally contain lower levels of THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis), they have higher CBD levels. This makes Cannabis ruderalis particularly valuable for medical and therapeutic use, providing relief without the intense high often associated with other cannabis types.

Cannabis Ruderalis Strains and Crossbreeding

The most notable impact of Cannabis ruderalis in the cannabis world has been through its introduction to crossbreeding programs. Breeders have successfully combined the autoflowering trait of ruderalis with the higher THC levels of sativa and indica, creating potent weed variants that grow quickly and efficiently.

As a result, Cannabis ruderalis strains have become popular among growers who prefer quicker harvest cycles. These strains have also gained traction in northern climates, where the short summer season aligns well with the fast-growing nature of ruderalis.

Hemp vs Cannabis: The Role of Ruderalis Species

The debate of hemp v.s. cannabis often overlooks the role of the ruderalis species. While the difference between hemp and cannabis typically hinges on THC levels, ruderalis holds a unique position. It naturally contains low THC levels, aligning it more with hemp. However, when crossbred with THC-rich strains, it falls within the realm of cannabis.

Final Thoughts

While the popularity of Cannabis ruderalis might not match that of sativa or indica, its unique properties, particularly its autoflowering trait, make it a crucial player in the cannabis world. As we move forward, the importance of this resilient weed type is only set to increase, particularly for medicinal use and in regions with challenging growing conditions. From its distinct leaf and robust plant structure to its swift flowering and versatile buds, cannabis ruderalis is a testament to nature’s adaptability and diversity.

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