Ruderalis - What Is Cannabis Ruderalis & What Are Its Effects?

16 February 2023
Cannabis ruderalis is the least talked about cannabis species and is what originated autoflowering cannabis.
16 February 2023
13 min read
Ruderalis - What Is Cannabis Ruderalis & What Are Its Effects?

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  • 1. The history of ruderalis
  • 2. Characteristics ofruderalis
  • 3. The effects of ruderalis
  • 4. Ruderalis: the beginning of autoflowers
  • 5. The history of autoflowering cannabis plants
  • 6. Cannabis ruderalis faqs
  • 7. In conclusion

Cannabis ruderalis was considered not worth growing for a lot of years. However, for some years breeders have been crossing Ruderalis to Indicas and Sativas to produce one of the strongest THC-rich cannabis seeds.

1. The History Of Ruderalis

In the botany world, a ruderalis plant is one that can grow despite the environment, being able to withstand harsh conditions. This makes sense as this subspecies of cannabis is highly resilient and enduring. Native to the harsh climates of Russia, central Europe, and central Asia, ruderalis was officially identified in the wild regions of South Siberia by Janischewski, a Russian botanist, back in 1924.


What Is Cannabis Ruderalis & What Are It's Effects?: Cannabis Ruderalis Plant

A ruderalis plant grows despite the environment, being able to withstand harsh conditions.

Some scientists believe ruderalis may have started with Indica genetics, although it is not confirmed. Either way, the characteristics that made this subspecies so famous don’t have anything to do with Indica or Sativa genetics. 

2. Characteristics of Ruderalis

Ruderalis’ characteristics may have developed from their exposure to really harsh climate conditions, including extreme heat or cold, inadequate humidity levels, and weak or excessive light, among others. These conditions can cause deficiencies in cannabis Sativa or Indica. Since ruderalis starts the flowering stage on its own, it is not a photoperiod plant and doesn’t need a particular light cycle to be able to flower.


What Is Cannabis Ruderalis & What Are It's Effects?: Difference between Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis

The difference between Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis plants.

This occurred because ruderalis needed to be able to completely mature and reproduce before it would freeze to death, so generally ruderalis will begin flowering between 3 - 5 weeks into its life cycle.

Main Characteristics:

•  Grows between 30 - 120cm, being much smaller than most Indicas and Sativas.

•  Small and dense buds.

•  Stocky plant with thick stem and branches.

•  Resistant to pests and harsh climates.

3. The Effects of Ruderalis

The original ruderalis landraces contain very low to nothing THC levels. Naturally, ruderalis strains are high in CBD. Just like our CBD Auto 20:1, purely medicinal strain with an extremely high level of CBD 20%.

CBD Auto 201
5 out of 5
I have grown this 3 times now and I always like the result. Each time it has grown slightly different, but I find the effect is always the same.
Verified customer
Reviewed 4 June 2020

Even though it can provide medicinal properties, it will not get you high. For this reason, ruderalis has been crossed with THC-rich Sativas, Indicas, or Hybrids to be able to have a plant that will deliver an effect while also maintaining the non-photoperiodic characteristics it has.

4. Ruderalis: The Beginning Of Autoflowers

Because there was no effect when consuming it due to its low THC levels, ruderalis wasn’t popular among recreational users. But when its characteristics became known, ruderalis became of high interest to cannabis breeders. Breeders started developing ruderalis hybrids that had high THC or CBD levels and only needed around 9 weeks to completely mature. These ruderalis hybrids became known as Autoflowering cannabis, for their ability to flower automatically without needing anything else, like normal photoperiodic strains.


What Is Cannabis Ruderalis & What Are It's Effects?: Close Look at Cannabis Ruderalis Plant

A ruderalis plant grows despite the environment, being able to withstand harsh conditions.

Nowadays there’s not much difference between photoperiodic and auto strains (other than their flowering conditions, obviously). You can find strains with the same THC and CBD levels in both versions (auto and photoperiod). There even are autos that can be stronger than some photoperiod strains, like our Gorilla Cookies Auto, which has 27% of THC.

5. The History of Autoflowering Cannabis Plants

Although cannabis Ruderalis was first described by Russian botanist D. E. Janischewsky way back in 1924, it took over 50 years for cannabis cultivators to really start showing any interest at all in the species. It wasn’t until the late seventies when experimental growers in both Canada and The Netherlands started trying to crossbreed stronger Ruderalis strains with both Sativa and Indica plants. And while they enjoy some degree of success, they were never fully satisfied with the results.  It wasn’t until sometime around the late 1990s when ‘The Joint Doctor’ came into the picture and really changed everything. He was the first breeder to successfully cross a Ruderalis plant with a strain known at the time as “Mexican Rudy”. The result of this breeding program was the first commercially available autoflowering cannabis plant that actually produced a decent level of THC, and grew to an acceptable size.

This opened up a whole new world of weed breeding, and in the ensuing years, the market saw a huge increase in demand for autoflowering plants. This increased demand pushed innovation to a whole new level, and the world of autos has never looked back. These days you can find almost any strain in an auto form. The THC, CBD, and trichome levels now seen in autoflowering plants are on par with their photoperiod cousins, and the market demand has only increased. Why do growers love autos so much? There are a few key reasons why the demand has only increased.

  • The short seed to harvest time. Most auto strains are ready after 11 - 12 weeks, with some taking considerably less time than that.
  • Their short stature is perfect for discreet growing.
  • No need for separate veg and flower grow rooms as the light cycle can be kept constant throughout the entire cycle.
  • Can produce multiple harvests in one outdoor growing season, and can be grown all year round in warmer climates.
  • Less chance of the plants turning into hermaphrodites from light pollution issues.
  • They are inherently easy to grow, and are perfect for beginners all the up to master growers.

6. Cannabis Ruderalis FAQs

What Sets Ruderalis Strains Apart From Indica And Sativa?

  • Lower THC levels but higher CBD levels. Making Ruderalis perfect for medicinal use to treat illnesses such as epilepsy.
  • It can grow almost anywhere. Without the right light and nutrition, Indica and Sativa will not enter a flowering stage, making autoflowers the best strains type to grow in hostile environments.
  • Ruderalis does not depend on light for the flowering process. It instead enters the flowering stage at just 3 to 4 weeks old.


Do Ruderalis Strains Get You High?

Pure Ruderalis strains' only downside is their low levels of THC. But mixed with other weed strains with higher levels of THC, it is definitely more than possible to get high - autoflowering strains are capable of reaching the plus 25% THC mark. It is also known to taste sweet and juicy. Mixed with being easy and fast to grow, Ruderalis is a home run for novice growers.


Do All Autoflowering Strains Have Ruderalis Genetics?

Yes, all autoflowering strains have Ruderalis genetics. But thanks to advanced breeding techniques they are no longer low in THC. Breeders can now create strains that have that perfect balance of Ruderalis to ensure autoflowering, but with higher levels of THC than CBD. Making it possible to grow buds high in THC with the autoflowering trait only Ruderalis can provide.


What Are The Best Strains Of 2023 Containing Ruderalis Genetics?

Gorilla Cookies Auto

The strongest autoflower in the world today. Gorilla Cookies Auto has a whopping 28.5% THC level. It's also no slouch in size, growing to 150cm and producing sticky golf ball-sized buds covered in trichomes. Gorilla Cookies Auto is also resilient and reliable, making it super popular for beginners and veteran growers. Gorilla Cookies Auto offers a synergetic high sure to leave you euphoric and giggling.

Gorilla Cookies Auto
5 out of 5
I got 134g off this gal growing in 3 gal pot with 24 hours of light. i'm stoked with the result! Smells like diesel. Was a great grow overall.
Verified customer
Reviewed 9 December 2022

Gorilla Zkittlez Auto

With a whopping 27% THC and boasting a fast growing time of just 63 days before you can expect top-shelf flowers, there's no wonder why Gorilla Zkittlez Auto is one of the best in the business when it comes to autoflowers. Gorilla Zkittlez Auto also grows to 150cm in size and builds up a slowly building high that sneaks up and leaves you soaring, offering you the chance to taste the power of heading through a busy day untroubled. 

Gorilla Zkittlez Auto
5 out of 5
I went on a holiday for almost two weeks and trusted them to someone else and they survived. Not in the best condition haha but alive
Verified customer
Reviewed 9 January 2023

Wedding Cheesecake Auto

Another rapid producer that is insanely resilient, Wedding Cheesecake Auto grows in less-than-ideal conditions, only takes 63 days from seed to harvest, and can grow up to 300gr per plant outdoors. No slouch in THC level either at 24%, the fruity cheesecake flavors of Wedding Cheesecake Auto offer a more cerebral high that is upbeat and energetic, and at the same time deeply relaxing.

Wedding Cheesecake Auto
5 out of 5
Beautiful plants, and consistent among the three. I topped all of them and got around 115g off each in 2 gallon pots. Very pleased
Verified customer
Reviewed 9 December 2020

7. In Conclusion

Ruderalis was believed to be of no use to recreational users due to its low levels of THC. But breeders did their best to put together the best of both worlds, developing both medicinal and recreational autoflowers that can grow from seed to harvest really quick. The Fast Buds team has a wide selection of autoflowers for every taste, from original old-school strains to our new autoflowering crosses, all of them being top-quality cannabis plants.