Cannabis Ruderalis
Whether you’re new to cannabis or not you have probably heard of the indica and sativa strains. You may be surprised to find out that there is a lesser-known third strain named ruderalis. So what sets this mysterious hemp plant apart from the other cannabis strains? Keep reading to find out! 

The Origin Story 

This hardy plant was originally considered to be a type of wild cannabis but has since been used indoors to create new hybrids. It originated in Russia thousands of years ago and even today grows along the sides of the street like a weed. Ruderalis cannabis eventually made its way through other countries such as: Mongolia, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, and others. Russian Botanist, D.E. Janichewsky, was in South Siberia when he discovered a new strain of marijuana. This plant didn’t look anything like its relatives as it was much
smaller with broad, light green leaves, and large seeds. In 1924, this previously anonymous strain got the name Ruderalis stemming from the root word ruderal. In the plant world, ruderal is a classification of plants that can grow in harsh environments. This type of hemp strain escaped human cultivation and adapted to some of the most aggressive environments on our planet. Until recently people believed that the ruderalis strain was a distant relation of indica cannabis but this was disproven. 

The Characteristics of Ruderalis Cannabis 

Cannabis ruderalis is the smallest of all of the strains. These tiny plants only grow to 1-2 feet tall in comparison to sativa plants which can grow up to a towering 20 feet. Botanists believe this happened because of the extremely harsh climates that this plant originated from. They are found in places with no shade, high winds, pests, and bad soil quality. People often refer to this strain as dwarf cannabis or bonsai cannabis. These smaller plants look most like the stereotypical pot leaf which is ironic since it does not actually create a “high”. They are recognizable by their size, their light green leaves, and their thick stems. Because these plants have limited branches due to their short stature it creates very few flowers. This can be an advantage as it makes them much easier for people with less space to grow them indoors. 
How To Pick Cannabis Ruderalis Out Of a Crowd (of Other Cannabis Plants):
  • Only grows 1-2 feet tall making it the smallest cannabis plant. -Small, dense buds. 
  • Thick stems and branches. Fewer flowers.
  • Is ideal to grow indoors and outdoors.
  • Can survive harsh climates, pests, and strong winds.
  • Does not create a high.
  • Light green, thick leaves.

The Effects

Good news CBD lovers: this could be the strain for you. It naturally has a very low amount of THC so is perfect for people that want the medicinal effects of the cannabis but not the high associated with it. The only euphoria it will make you feel is that you’re improving body health. This makes this strain perfect for helping to treat anxiety, body pain, migraines, seizures, depression, and nausea.
Cannabis Ruderalis

Growing and Auto-flowering

The most appealing trait of the ruderalis strain is the fact that it is an auto-flowering species. This means that they will transition from their vegetative phase to the flowering phase within 20-30 days no matter the light cycle. Another bonus is that they can flower anytime throughout the year. This is different from the indica and sativa strains which are “photoperiod.” This means that they’re a lot more demanding with the type of light they need daily. Without at least 12 hours of dark each day, they will not be able to flower at all. Growers usually have to trigger the flowering phase by changing the light settings. Another downfall is that they have to be grown indoors or during the winter seasons when there is less sun. This amazing ability to grow through any condition came from their home far north of the equator where the light cycles are limited and always changing. These plants are perfect for high yield, high CBD crops which is perfect for growing medicinal cannabis. If you take all of these fabulous traits and combine them with other strains some really interesting things can happen. These hybrids are popular because now we can have those balanced THC/ CBD plants that auto flowers for faster and easier growing. Creating hybrids is not an overnight process though, the selective and breeding processes have to be carried on over several generations. If done well the new version will reflect all of the distinctive traits of the original plant.

Isn’t Cannabis Ruderalis the Same Thing As Hemp?

The simple answer to this is: no, they are not the same thing. They do both have very low THC levels but that is where the similarities end. Hemp is related to the indica and sativa strains and has been specifically bred to have a low THC level. Not only does it have low THC but also low CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids. You might then be wondering why we even bother to grow hemp at all. It may not have the benefits you would expect but it is used as a health food item as well as an industrial product. Health-wise, hemp seeds are high in Omega 3, omega 6, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B1 and B2. Industrially hemp is used to make everything from rope to clothing. Cannabis ruderalis is not nearly as dense and can not be utilized in the same ways. If, like me, you enjoy a high CBD marijuana to wind you down and release stress then this under-appreciated strain may be for you. Ask about the different strains at your local dispensary or save your self some time and browse through Pure Green Express online.