Ruderalis is a hot topic within the cannabis community and botanists in terms of how to classify it. Some consider it a separate species while others consider it a subspecies. Either way, it is a bit of the underdog in the cannabis community, and this marijuana strain is just starting to get its foot in the door. With a little bit of knowledge and research, consumers are beginning to respect Cannabis Ruderalis as a genetic category that can stand with the big dogs.
Russian botanist D. E. Janischewsky first researched Cannabis Ruderalis in 1924. He came across it growing rapidly and could tell by sight alone, that it was neither hemp nor any other drug type he had ever seen. He first determined this plant to be a third species.
Janischewsky classified ruderalis as a species that grows in spite of its environment being populated by humans. It can grow notwithstanding being otherwise altered by naturally occurring disturbances around the area such as earthquakes, floods, tornadoes or storms.
The term ruderalis is a Latin word meaning rubble or lump. A ruderalis species is any plant that first colonizes after a disturbance eliminating competition, such as a wildfire, avalanche, and mining. It is because of this reason the overall plant has an overgrown weedy nature.
The Ruderalis strain originated from Russia and has also been found in Asia and Central/Eastern Europe. Botanists here first used the term ruderalis to describe hemp breeds that escaped human cultivation and began growing in untouched environments on their own. Areas where hemp was once prevalent show ruderalis growth abundantly, and it is for this reason some consider it to be a subspecies of Indica. In America, ruderalis grows in the Midwestern region due to a cooler climate.
The first successful generation of Ruderalis bred with an Indica+Sativa strain was done by Dutch Passion and was referred to as “Automatic”. Automatic strains were bred to be fully feminized and are therefore referred to as the “AutoFem” strain. Other companies tried to cross Ruderalis with Indica+Sativa strains and were plagued with inconsistent growth, hermie problems and lack of potency issues.
Cannabis Ruderalis Plant
To say cannabis Ruderalis is a short and stalky plant would be an understatement. They grow between 1 and 2 feet in height which makes it ideal for any in-home growers, especially people who live in apartments where space is limited.
The plant grows in a rugged and shaggy pattern producing leaves that are a light green color and wide in shape, similar to the Indica leaves, but not as bushy. There is no comparison in looks with Sativa plants, as they grow more tall and thin, like a tree. Some growers consider the leaves similar to Indica, in such a way that it has to be a subspecies of Indica, while others say the growing pattern of the plant itself makes it its own species.
A small plant is going to surprise no one at producing small buds, but they are still chunky in size overall. Ruderalis yields are typically 25-50 grams of great bud when grown in a small space and 100-200 grams is regularly achieved when nutrient-rich soil is present.
Ruderalis stands out because of its flowering cycle that is unlike any other cannabis, because it is induced according to its maturity, instead of being activated by the photoperiod. They will flower between 20 and 30 days no matter what light cycle it has been introduced to, thus another characteristic of being an “auto-flowering” plant. For those unfamiliar with growing, that is the fastest maturation, when compared to any other species of cannabis.
Growers like to mix ruderalis with Indica strains to produce an auto-flowering plant that can hold a high THC content with more hardiness and less height. Success with mixing Ruderalis with both Indica and Sativa strains have produced plants with a shorter overall flowering time of 10 weeks, that is also more resistant to pests and mildew.
Cannabis ruderalis has a low THC content on its own, so recreational growers typically stay away from it unless they are cross-breeding it. They are however high in CBD which makes it an ideal choice for medical marijuana growers. More research is being done on ruderalis every day with a focus on how it can be mixed with other cannabinoids to get new and improved marijuana strains.
THC is not high in this strain because the plant thrives and grows in cold climates. This causes a problem for growers in the US because many of the colder midwest climates still consider marijuana, medically and recreationally, to be illegal.
Those who do choose to grow the strain like that it can be hidden and grow amongst other plants or weeds. This is ideal for people who choose to grow outside but may have conservative neighbors they don’t want to cause problems with.
Popular Ruderalis Cross-Breeding Strains
Northern Light Auto is one of the most common cross-breeds grown and is broken down into 20% ruderalis and 80% Indica. Another common mix is combining all three common cannabinoids into a super hybrid mix consisting of 10% Sativa strains, Royal Bluematic, and Sweet Skunk Automatic, 60% of any Indica strain and 30% ruderalis.
Ruderalis effects can be comparable to the effects of any marijuana strain with a high CBD count and a low THC count. Typically, people trying to treat medical issues use ruderalis. It is not used much by those looking to use it recreationally for a psychedelic effect.
Stomach issues are the number one thing ruderalis helps fix. Great for chemo patients or those with gastronomical issues due to its ability to jump-start hunger and soothe stomach pains. Those who need assistance in controlling vomiting and diarrhea can find much-needed comfort after the use of ruderalis.
Ruderalis is more commonly used when mixed with other Indica or Sativa strains and are harder to purchase purely on their own. It is not impossible to find pure ruderalis strains, but it is strongly suggested you do some research and call around to make sure the dispensary you are going to will have them.
People are often hesitant to use things they don’t know much about. Hopefully, this article has helped answer your questions and you can start to benefit from the use of ruderalis. With the growing popularity of this species, more studies, tests and trials are being done. It is predicted that ruderalis will be just as popular as it’s cousins in no time, and it might just provide users with more benefits than consumers originally thought possible.
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