The world of cannabis is extremely rich, intriguing, and sometimes appears as complex. You may have heard of or tried marijuana, enjoyed its mind-altering effects or have read about cannabis in general, but it turns out that there is so much more to the plant that we have probably not really imagined before.
With the increased amount of research being carried out around the topic of cannabis, more and more countries are starting to appreciate the medical potential of the herb. As a result, cannabis is increasingly being legalized across a number of countries and more information is available on the topic than ever before. However, there may still be confusion when it comes to separating marijuana from hemp, sativa from indica, and cannabinoids from terpenes, or example.
Most of you have probably heard of sativa and indica as the two main varieties of cannabis available today. Those of you who have experience with marijuana will also probably be aware of the differences between the two in terms of the effects on the mind and body. While indica strains usually offer a sedating and relaxing effect and are mostly consumed at night, sativa strains can give you a real uplift and offer an invigorating and creative experience. The two types of cannabis also carry their own, unique cultivation preferences and have significantly diverse characteristics from a medical perspective.
However, there is a third variety, known as ruderalis, which you probably haven’t heard of. Ruderalis will be our main area of focus in this article with the aim of exploring what the cannabis variety is and how it can be used.
Cannabis Ruderalis – What is it?
It may come as a surprise to some, but cannabis ruderalis is actually a less-known type of cannabis, similar to the popular sativa and indica types. Although it is not as popular as the two dominant types, ruderalis carries its own set of characteristics and is especially attractive for growers. The plant is extremely resistant and can survive in conditions in which other cannabis sorts would certainly die.
Ruderalis cannabis first originated in Asia and Central/Eastern Europe, where the weather is unfavorable for the other two cannabis types – sativa and indica. The seeds of ruderalis can survive severe cracks or other damage. Even when cracked open, the ruderalis seed continues living, making the plant an exceptional survivor. In addition, the seeds can also continue living in a dormant state in frozen areas, for instance, and wait until the weather is once again suitable for the seed to start growing.
What Does Ruderalis Mean?
The name of the cannabis type originates from the word rudera, meaning rubble from Latin. If we look into the worlds of plants in general, we can see that ruderal species are those capable of growing in environments which are highly populated by humans or in other words have gone through a disturbance in their natural balance.
There have been suggestions that ruderalis actually descends from indica genetics, which were adapted to the severe weather conditions of the northern parts of the world and their limited growing seasons. Ruderalis was first described as a wild breed of cannabis but has later been adapted to the indoors and has been used to produce new hybrid sorts.
Features of Ruderalis Cannabis
Just like sativa and indica, ruderalis cannabis carries its unique set of characteristics, which can help you separate it from the rest. You don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree in botanic studies to be able to tell the difference between this sort and the rest. Let’s look at some of the top traits of the plant which visually set it apart from the rest.
For starters, the ruderalis cannabis plant is the smallest in size, when compared to other cannabis types. It will only reach a height of between 1 and 2.5 feet throughout its lifecycle and will grow with thick stems and wide leaves colored in light green nuances. Because of their limited height, they are considered to be quite chunky and their buds are significantly smaller than those of sativa and indica.
The real difference when it comes to ruderalis cannabis can be seen in its flowering cycle. While sativa and indica cannabis must receive special lighting manipulations to be able to begin their flowering process, ruderalis cannabis works in a completely different way. Their flowering activity will commence automatically once they have reached the 21st to 30th day of being planted. In simple words, ruderalis cannabis will flower based on its maturity rather than its photoperiod. This is why the plant is often referred to as an “auto-flowering” strain.
Serving as an inspiration for breeders, ruderalis cannabis has started an innovative evolution of new auto-flowering strains appearing on the market. In contrast, sativa and indica strains require exposure to certain amounts and types of light in order to bloom, making the process more demanding and vulnerable.
It takes about a month after the flowering process has started for the ruderalis plants to be ready for harvest. In most cases, it takes between 70 and 110 days after the planting for the plant to become ready for harvest.
How Does Ruderalis Cannabis Make You Feel?
Ruderalis cannabis contains significantly low levels of THC (the psychoactive substance in cannabis) and will therefore not get consumers high or expose them to mind-altering or psychotropic effects. This is the main reason why the cannabis type is not particularly popular among marijuana enthusiasts. Especially from a recreational point of view, there is little to no interest in the sort as consumers usually seek an experience, which is not offered by the sort.
The cannabis type is also not available for purchase in dispensaries, meaning that if you do want to try the herb chances are that you will have to grow it by yourself, which is not a possibility everyone has.
Although ruderalis cannabis may not be a winner in terms of psychoactive properties, it contains high doses of CBD (cannabidiol), which makes it an intriguing cannabis type from a medical point of view. CBD provides a range of medical benefits to patients suffering from different conditions and has become a point of interest in the medical industry. The compound is especially beneficial for those suffering from anxiety, depression, nausea, and more. The best part is that treating patients with ruderalis cannabis will not expose them to the risk of getting high, ensuring a safe approach to the condition.
The CBD dose in ruderalis cannabis is also beneficial for breeders. Cannabis growers can use the ruderalis strains to cross with indicas and sativas with the aim of creating new auto-flowering hybrids, which are richer in CBD.
Is ruderalis cannabis legal?
Different parts of the world apply their own and independent regulations regarding cannabis. Countries such as Canada, Italy, Chile, a number of U.S. states, and more have already opened up their mentalities towards the plant and have legalized it, at least for medical purposes and in some places even for recreational use. Ruderalis cannabis may be a different strain in comparison to sativa and indica but it still classifies as part of the cannabis family, which may mean that it remains illegal in the majority of the world.
However, due to its low consistency of THC, the herb may be allowed in certain regions. For example, cannabis-related products in the USA such as CBD oil are legal, as long as THC levels don’t exceed 0.3% of the product. This is mainly due to the vast amount of research available today proving the medical potential of cannabis’ cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC.
Remember to check the cannabis regulations in your area before trying related products or growing the plant. If you have set your eyes on ruderalis cannabis as a potential treatment for a certain medical condition, a discussion with a medical expert is highly recommended as different conditions require different approaches.
We hope that this article has shed more light on the less popular ruderalis cannabis and has helped you understand the main differences between the sort and others such as sativa and indica.