If you’re familiar with cannabis you already know that the two primary strains are indica and sativa. But what is Cannabis Ruderalis?
Cannabis ruderalis is a wild species native to Russia and some areas in Asia. A “ruderal” species refers to a plant that is the first to populate an area that has been disturbed, and is able to adapt to extreme environments.
Unlike indica and sativa, cannabis ruderalis does not require certain light patterns in order to flower; it flowers automatically as it grows. This is called “autoflowering.” Modern ruderalis hybrids start to flower between 21 and 30 days after planting the seeds.
Cannabis ruderalis plants are stalky and short, growing only 1-2 feet tall. There are fewer leaves and the leaves are smaller compared to other strains of cannabis. Additionally, ruderalis typically yields a negligible amount of THC.
So why would anyone bother to smoke this kind of cannabis? In its pure form, smoking produces no psychoactive effect. The appeal of cannabis ruderalis is this: It can be used to create a hybrid that delivers all the effects of indica or sativa in a fast-blooming (autoflowering) plant. Some popular hybrid strains that are of ruderalis descent are Low Ryder, Easy Rider Low Diesel and Fast Haze.
After having been shunned for years, cannabis ruderalis is making a comeback. Many have noted that its stability and short lifecycle “make ruderalis versatile and attractive to breeders who want to take advantage of its autoflowering trait.” Ruderalis gives cultivators the ability to have marijuana crops maturing at any time during the growing season.
So next time you head into a dispensary, you may very well be buying a ruderalis hybrid.