We’ve seen how certain things that have been around forever evolving and undergo revival thanks to modern-day applications and advanced research.
The Cannabis Ruderalis plant falls in the same category. Here’s a great example of one of the best-known phenomena known in the marijuana industry.
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While the plant itself is thought to be ancient in nature, its unique characteristics and amazing features continue to affect today’s weed industry than ever before.
Here’s a comprehensive overview of Cannabis Ruderalis and why the marijuana family values it dearly:
What is the Cannabis Ruderalis Plant?
Well, the name itself comes from ruderal or rudera, meaning this is a hardy cannabis species that can grow in some of the harshest environmental conditions.
The Ruderalis is a wild cannabis species native to Central Asia and Eastern Europe. And due to its characteristics, it’s classified as a separate marijuana species.
However, the most noteworthy feature of the Cannabis Ruderalis plant is its auto-flowering ability. Generally, the plant can initiate bloom automatically after a predetermined period. It doesn’t rely on a change in the light cycle to flower like other photoperiod cannabis strains (Sativa and Indica).
Cannabis Ruderalis developed this auto-flowering ability independently due to the shorter days and lack of sufficient sunlight in its native habitats.
In 1942, Janischewski, a famous Russian botanist, noted a new cannabis strain while working with plants in Southern Siberia. Janiszewski, along with other botanists, concluded that it was a third cannabis species as it looked and grew differently.
Today, the Cannabis Ruderalis is trending more than ever due to some of its key differences from the known Sativa and Indica strains. More on that later in the post.
What is Ruderalis Used for?
The Cannabis Ruderalis plant’s auto-flowering characteristic is perhaps the main reason why this particular cannabis subspecies is so popular. Most growers use it to create auto-flowering hybrid strains, which is not uncommon in the cannabis industry.
Cultivators started experimenting on Indica and Sativa strains and hybrids as early as the 1980s in Amsterdam. They found that the offspring exhibited auto-flowering traits as the Ruderalis plant while preserving the Indica and Sativa plants’ high THC concentrations.
You will hardly always find high CBD levels in most cannabis strains, making the Ruderalis strains list all the more unique.
This characteristic makes the Cannabis Ruderalis hybrid strains excellent for beginner growers because they don’t require too much hassle, especially light exposure. The light deprivation method allows growers to induce the flowering phase for their Indica and Sativa hybrids.
You can also harvest the Ruderalis hybrids several times within one outdoor growing season, making them even more popular. Every time you see cannabis strains auto-flowering, know that they are most likely wild Ruderalis seeds or hybrids of the plant.
Another critical reason for mixing the Cannabis Ruderalis genes with the Sativa strain, in particular, is its height. Generally, you find that the Sativa strains are too tall for indoor cultivation. However, you can comfortably grow the Ruderalis/Sativa hybrids indoors without much hassle.
Is Ruderalis Legal?
Although the cannabis Ruderalis plant has very low THC levels (approximately 2.5%), this percentage is still higher than in hemp, which contains only about 0.3% THC.
This brings us to the next question: what is the legally allowed limit for THC in cannabis?
The high THC percentage in the Cannabis Ruderalis strain makes it illegal in states and countries where the percentage benchmark is higher than in the Ruderalis plant.
As such, you find that the Ruderalis plant is legal in states and countries where cannabis is legal (whether for recreational or medicinal purposes) – and illegal in countries and states where cannabis hasn’t yet been legalized.
In other words, the “Legal Medical and Recreational Use” of cannabis is the most inclusive – including the Ruderalis plant.
Because the Ruderalis plant has a low THC content, it may be legal in most states. But still, it’s always best to check the numbers. You never know. If the THC limit of that state is below 3%, you should be golden and try the Ruderalis plant with impunity.
Is Ruderalis High in CBD?
The Ruderalis strain naturally produces higher CBD amounts than THC, with the latter being almost non-existent in its chemical composition compared to the Sativa and Indica strains. These are the main reasons that make Ruderalis buds desirable for growers looking to harness their health benefits without the ‘high’ of THC.
Overall, the increased CBD levels found in the Ruderalis plant produce calming and relaxing effects. That’s why most strains high in CBD are often recommended for patients suffering from insomnia or anxiety.
Other major benefits of using CBD-rich cannabis strains include lowering high blood pressure, pain relief, inflammation reduction, and more. CBD can counteract the psychoactive THC effects, making the Ruderalis strains list even more desirable.
Ideally, one of the main benefits of Cannabis Ruderalis is its ability to heal without the high.
Still, you’re unlikely to find pure Ruderalis strains on any dispensary shelves. The Ruderalis male or female pure Ruderalis seeds are even rarer. Luckily, you can now find most marijuana genetics with Ruderalis origins.
The Ruderalis plant’s naturally occurring properties make it a highly sought-after strain for cannabis breeders looking to create even more hybrid auto-flowering strains.
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How Tall Does the Cannabis Ruderalis Plant Grow?
As with all other cannabis strains, it’s essential that you know how to grow Ruderalis to enjoy its maximum benefits. The plant itself is very short in height, usually between 30cm and 80cm when fully grown.
Ruderalis also produces just a few branches with wide-fat-bladed leaves like those of the Indica strain.
Growing to between two to three feet, its small and compact size makes it ideal for auto-flowering and cultivating in limited spaces. Several studies attribute this feature to the Ruderalis’ need to thrive in harsh environments and varied conditions. These include areas with no shade, poor soil, and exposure to pests and winds.
Thus, the need to have a small, sturdy fixture is much suited to these environments than the taller plants.
They have only five narrow blades in every leaf. As a result, the Ruderalis plant has a shorter lifespan and stature. Consequently, it yields smaller flowers – but hybrid auto-flowering strains are really catching up.
When flowering begins, the Ruderalis plant gains even less height, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as dwarf or bonsai cannabis.
There’s More to Ruderalis: Characteristics of Cannabis Ruderalis
As mentioned above, the Cannabis Ruderalis plant’s features may have developed as a result of exposure to harsh climatic conditions, including inadequate humidity levels, extreme heat or cold, weak or excessive light, among other characteristics.
Such harsh climatic conditions can cause deficiencies in other cannabis strains (Sativa and Indica). And since Ruderalis starts auto-flowering itself, it isn’t a photoperiod and doesn’t need a specific light cycle to flower.
These are just a few special features that make the Ruderalis plant unique.
Here are other traits of the Ruderalis strain that makes it unique and desirable among growers:
· Autoflowering Genes
We’ve explained the auto-flowering feature of the Ruderalis in detail in this post.
Several studies believe that the plant acclimatized to its environment and learned to auto-flower. This special trait allowed the Ruderalis to flourish and reproduce in some of the harshest environments regardless of the time of daylight.
Today, cannabis flowers use this characteristic to create hybrids that are quick to bloom and naturally hardy.
· Compact Size
The Ruderalis plant is also more compact and sturdier than the Indica and particularly the Sativa strain. This makes it the perfect strain for stealthy grow ops because it typically doesn’t grow above 3 feet in height. It boasts thick stems with wide leaves and sturdy buds. Therefore, it is ideal for cannabis growers looking to grow the plant discretely or in a limited space for flowering plants.
· Exceptional Resilience
Due to the Ruderalis strains’ origins, it’s extremely and naturally hardy, unlike most Sativa and Indica strains, which can be finicky to grow. Wild Ruderalis seeds can withstand breaking or cracking, and its plants can endure strong winds and colder temperatures.
· Faster Harvests
Thanks to its resilient genetics, knowing when to harvest Ruderalis is critical because it’s often ready to harvest in just ten weeks, sometimes less. In comparison, the Sativa and Indica plants’ growing cycles range between 12 to 32 weeks. Then again, their harvest cycles depend on strain and location. The Ruderalis’ short harvest period allows growers to benefit from harvesting it multiple times in a season.
· Light-Independent Flowering Cycle
Thanks to its origin, the Ruderalis plant starts flowering automatically between 21 to 30 days from the time of planting its seeds. This makes it ideal for growers who don’t want to constantly monitor and control lightbulbs or room temperature in their grow rooms. Ruderalis literally allows you to focus on other stuff because it isn’t as demanding as the Indica or Sativa strains.
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The Future of Cannabis Ruderalis Plant
Although the Ruderalis plant is still the least-known cannabis strain, it certainly doesn’t lack the benefits and characteristics that make it desirable. The unique qualities of this cannabis species will continue to grow as more cannabis lowers and users know about it.
While Ruderalis is really just a weed, knowing that it can grow in just about any environment – and do so quickly without too much human interference – makes it even more valuable to the cannabis family.
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