There are more than plenty of marijuana strains on the modern market. All of them have their own qualities and traits. Overall, cannabis plants are customarily divided into the indica and sativa varieties. However, there is also the ruderalis kind that comes from Central Asia.
Specialists believe that indica and sativa differ a lot from each other. For example, indicas are usually short, bushy, and provide stoners with a relaxing high. Sativas are taller and thinner; people look for them to boost their energy level and elevate their mood. However, after all these years of crossbreeding, most modern strains have become hybrids in their nature and now possess the qualities of both varieties.
Ruderalis is the third type of marijuana that is rarely mentioned in the weed culture. Some scientists are convinced that all cannabis strains are parts of one species and that indica, sativa, and ruderalis are the subspecies. The theory is supported by the fact that all of them can be easily inbred. Others consider ruderalis a completely separate species. The second theory is quite believable due to a set of qualities of these plants that neither of their relatives possesses.
First of all, Cannabis ruderalis is a wild type of the herb that can be found in Russia and Central Asia. There are two theories of its origins. The older one states that ruderalis is a feral ancestor of both indica and sativa strains. Another origin assumption is based on a completely opposite belief—it is their hybrid that escaped cultivation.
In 2005, a study on the genetic evidence for speciation in cannabis claimed that the gene pool of ruderalis lied somewhere between the drug-type varieties of the plant and hemp. This type of cannabis was classified back in 1914 by the Russian botanist Janischevsky. The name of this species derives from the botanical term “ruderal” that is used to mark non-domesticated plants that prefer disturbed soils.
No matter the ancestry of ruderalis, this species is quite peculiar. It differs both in appearance and effects from its “home-grown” relatives. The herb is usually very short and does not grow taller than 2.5 inches. The leaves are short and wide with fewer fingers. It is highly resistant to pests and adaptable to the cold climate.
One of the major differences lies in the flowering period of the plant. This cannabis variety is auto-flowering, meaning that the herb starts this period itself after reaching maturity (on average, after 21-30 days of growing).
The main downside for recreational stoners is that ruderalis contains very little THC and does not provide the desired high. However, this type of marijuana became quite popular due to high levels of CBD. Though the herb is considered to be not as useful as its relatives, it is still used by breeders. Mainly, it is combined with the sativa pool genes to create a perfect balance. These hybrids get great protection from pests when grown outside and have a more manageable height, which helps when they are cultivated indoors. To maintain decent levels of THC, the breeders cross it with the most potent sativas available.
When it comes to the indica-based hybrids, ruderalis can serve as a CBD booster in creating strains with high medicinal efficiency.
Auto-flowering is also appreciated by breeders and amateur growers.
All in all, there are a lot of things about this cannabis variety that are unknown and deserve special attention. Whether it will continue its way to success among recreational and medical consumers is up to breeders and scientists.