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Ruderalis

Cannabis ruderalis is a variety of cannabis, like sativa or indica varieties of cannabis. The most noted feature of ruderalis is its short growing cycle, which reaches flowering within 21-30 days regardless of the amount of light the plant receives. Because of this, breeders use it to create autoflowering cannabis strains, allowing for quicker harvests or more outdoor harvests in one growing season. 

“I just crossed cannabis ruderalis with OG Kush to create an autoflowering OG Kush.”

What is cannabis ruderalis? 

Cannabis ruderalis is a variety of cannabis, like sativa or indica varieties of cannabis. But interestingly, scientists can’t quite agree on whether it should be considered a separate species or a subspecies of the cannabis plant. The most noted feature of cannabis ruderalis is its short growing cycle, which reaches flowering within 21-30 days regardless of the amount of light it receives. 

Ruderalis tends to be shorter and stalkier than sativa or indica varieties, usually only reaching 1-3 feet by harvest time. 

What are the effects of cannabis ruderalis? 

Cannabis ruderalis usually has more mild effects than other types of cannabis because it is naturally low in THC, the cannabinoid which primarily drives the psychoactive high of cannabis. It is naturally higher in CBD, which is known for relaxing and pain-relieving medicinal effects without much of a high. 

Cannabis ruderalis is rarely grown on its own for medicinal effects; it is more likely to be bred with other varieties of cannabis to create hybridized strains that grow quicker and with more of the medicinal effects.

How is cannabis ruderalis used? 

The primary difference between indica or sativa varieties of cannabis and cannabis ruderalis is its ability to grow to maturity and flower regardless of the amount of light it receives. Most varieties of cannabis switch into flowering—when buds begin growing—when light reduces to 12 hours a day. Because of cannabis ruderalis’ genes, breeders use it to create autoflowering cannabis strains that also grow and mature in response to time rather than amount of light they receive. 

By hybridizing ruderalis with indica and sativa strains, breeders are able to create strains with more THC than cannabis ruderalis typically has, while still keeping the short growth cycle. These autoflowering plants are used by some to allow for multiple harvests in one outdoor growing season.