What is Cannabis Ruderalis?
You’ve probably heard the terms Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. But have you ever heard about the species of Cannabis known as Ruderalis? Many stoners’ll say no. That’s because until very recently Cannabis Ruderalis has been dissed by most breeders and growers because of its extremely low THC levels. However a few of it’s unique characteristics, including the ability to flower automatically, is helping Cannabis Ruderalis gain popularity quickly.
The Origin of Cannabis Ruderalis
A ruderal species refers to any plant that is the first to colonize land. Ruderalis strains first appeared growing in the wild in places like Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic. It’s a versatile and very hearty plant that has spread it’s roots all the way to China and the Caucasus mountains. Ruderalis marijuana plants don’t grow to be very tall. In fact they’ll max out at around a couple feet. And when compared with other varieties of weed its leaves are smaller and fewer in number.
Ruderalis strains are unique because they flower earlier than Indica and Sativa strains. But what makes it useful to breeders and cultivators is that it can withstand harsher climates than Sativas and Indicas and it will produce flowers based on its age, rather than the light cycle. This type of flowering is known as autoflowering.
Characteristics of Cannabis Ruderalis
Ruderalis weed plants produce very little THC. In fact, they’ve been found to possess a chemical profile similar to Hemp. However its autoflowering characteristics have allowed breeders to create many hybrids that retain their Indica or Sativa characteristics but are heartier, grow faster and flower automatically. This makes them great for cultivating outdoors. That’s because growers can net more than one harvest a season. Popular Ruderalis seeds include LowRyder, Easy Ryder, Fast Haze, White Express, Speed Ryder, Quick Fruit and Low Diesel.
Cannabis Ruderalis Effects
Because of its low THC content, straight Ruderalis weed makes really lousy smoke and delivers negligible effects. However, Ruderalis autoflower hybrids retain the effects of the Sativa or Indica strains they’re bred with. This means breeders can get develop Ruderalis seeds with high THC/CBD content that benefit from all the advantages of autoflowering plants.
New Cannabis Classifications
In 2014 John McPartland, a researcher affiliated with GW Pharmaceuticals, presented a study at the 2014 meeting of the International Cannabis Research Society proposing a new nomenclature for cannabis. Apparently the dude who first created the taxonomy for cannabis in the 1970s, Richard Evans Schultes, got it wrong. He misidentified a Cannabis Afghanica plant as a Cannabis Indica plant. And that single mistake has continued to cause confusion to this day. According to McPartland Cannabis Sativa should have been identified as Cannabis Indica, because it originated in India—hence indica. Cannabis Indica should have been identified as Cannabis. Afghanica, because it actually originated in Afghanistan. And Ruderalis is actually what people mean when they refer to Cannabis Sativa.