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Ruderalis - What Is Cannabis Ruderalis & What Are It's Effects?

Cannabis ruderalis is the least talked about cannabis species and is what originated autoflowering cannabis.
05 May 2022
4 min read
Ruderalis - What Is Cannabis Ruderalis & What Are Its Effects?

  • 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. 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 strains.

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. 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.

05 May 2022