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You have probably heard of sativas and indicas, but did you know that there is also a third variety of cannabis that not many people are familiar with?

We are talking about cannabis ruderalis, a member of the marijuana family that has recently been gaining popularity. 

Not everyone agrees that it’s different, though. According to Jorge Cervantes, the author of the Cannabis Encyclopedia, “Botanists disagree as to whether cannabis ruderalis qualifies as a separate species”.

But what exactly is cannabis ruderalis? 

If you are one of the thousands of cannabis enthusiasts asking yourself this question, you’re in the right place. 

We will find out everything about this oft forgotten type of cannabis, and why so many people love it.

Top Facts About Cannabis Ruderalis

Unlike cannabis sativa and indica, ruderalis is not that widely known, despite being just as old as the other two. 

Let’s look at some of the top facts about cannabis ruderalis:

1. There’s a reason why it’s called ruderalis

If it were an animal, we would call cannabis ruderalis feral – as in wild or living in a wild state. However, plants are seldom called feral, and instead we use the term ruderal.

Ruderal refers to plants that grow on waste grounds, among refuse and in extreme environments. It is often used to describe a weed that is growing in a place where it is not wanted, and in competition with other, cultivated plants.

Thus, the word ruderalis is not slang, but an actual scientific term used to describe a pesky, unwanted plant.

Cannabis ruderalis is also called C. ruderalis, or simply ruderalis, and commonly grows near roadsides, on farmlands, or any other land that has been disturbed and then left alone by humans.

2. C. Ruderalis originally grew in Russia and its surrounding areas

Nowadays though, you can find cannabis ruderalis in nearly all parts of the world. However, scientists agree that ruderalis was quite common in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, and especially in Russia. 

In fact, many people believe that ruderalis initially originated in Russia and then spread east and west into the surrounding countries, which today include:

  • Mongolia
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Afghanistan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Ukraine
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Uzbekistan

In many of these areas, ruderalis still grows as a weed in competition with other cultivated crops like wheat and corn.

However, C. ruderalis isn’t all that common in the western hemisphere, especially since it has only got one or two specific uses here. 

3. It is related to sativas and indicas

While many botanists do include ruderalis as a third type of marijuana, next to the more commonly used indicas and sativas, many other experts aren’t too sure. 

It’s a really difficult task to figure out if ruderalis is a sibling or cousin of the more widely used varieties, or if it is a species of its own or descendant of the other two.

You see, genetically speaking, ruderalis falls somewhere between sativa and indica strains, but has totally different effects. 

Indica strains deliver a lethargic and lazy, body wide high that is commonly used to treat conditions such as anxiety, stress, body pain and spasms. On the other hand, sativa strains produce an energetic, head high which makes users feel much more creative, alert, and happy.

As you’ll find out, cannabis ruderalis does none of this. 

4. It grows fast (and without much help)

In fact, cannabis ruderalis grows very fast. Unlike the typical sativa or indica flowers which take anywhere between 4 and 6 months, the cannabis ruderalis plant will be ready (from seed to flower) in as little as 10 weeks. 

It is also the smallest of the cannabis plants. Unlike the 20 feet sativas and the 6 feet indicas, ruderalis only grows up to two-and-a-half feet tall. Many botanists think that this is because of the harsh and varied conditions that the plant needs to thrive.

Plus, it doesn’t even need a lot of help from humans. As stated earlier, ruderalis is basically a weed, and is going to grow whether you like it or not. 

It is because of these qualities that so many breeders today are interested in C. ruderalis.

5. It contains low THC but high CBD content

“How much THC does this baby have?”

This is a question that has no doubt crossed your mind when it comes to cannabis ruderalis. 

Unfortunately, the answer is very little. Typically, ruderalis has less than 3% THC content, which is nowhere near the amount needed to produce a noticeable body or head high.

On the other hand, C. ruderalis does contain a fair bit of CBD content, and is often used  by breeders to increase the CBD count in newer strains.

CBD has numerous medicinal benefits, and more are being discovered every day. Here are just some of the uses CBD is famous for:

  1. Promote bone growth
  2. Prevent the growth of cancer cells
  3. Slow bacterial growth
  4. Help repair arteries and prevent blockages
  5. Treat psoriasis
  6. Prevent degeneration of the nervous system
  7. Reduce blood sugar levels
  8. Help treat insomnia
  9. Reduce seizures and muscle spasms
  10. Relieve anxiety and stress
  11. Stimulate appetite
  12. Reduce pain and inflammation

For many patients, availing these benefits without the psychoactive usually associated with weed is nothing short of a medical miracle.

Will Cannabis Ruderalis Get You High?

Well, that depends. Unless you’re a complete newbie, and have spent your whole life avoiding stimulants and psychoactive of all kinds (including coffee, tea, and excessive sugar), you probably won’t feel a thing.

However, if you are like the unicorn mentioned above, well then, you might just be in for the ride of your life. Though if you are looking for some powerful medicinal relief, you might just need to gradually move on to some of the more common strains like OG Kush, Gelato, or Blue Dream.

That being said, it’s always best to take things slow, and only increase the THC content gradually. And since C. ruderalis typically contains less than 3% THC content, there really is no chance that it will get you high.

However, you might feel some medical effects, as in relief from anxiety or a reduction in pain. But this is mostly due to the high CBD content included in cannabis ruderalis.

Bonus question – Is C. Ruderalis the same as hemp?

No it’s not, but we get where the confusion comes from. After all, both ruderalis and hemp are quite well known to contain extremely low amounts of THC content, and are also close relatives of indica and sativa plants.

There are many differences between hemp and ruderalis, the biggest one being the THC content. Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC content, and between 0.5% and 2% CBD content. Ruderalis contains a lot more CBD, and its THC levels can go up to 3%.

Hemp is also a very versatile plant, and is quite commonly used by manufacturers to produce everything from shampoos and plastic to ropes and paint. Its seeds are also high in polyunsaturated fats , vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins.

Ruderalis on the other hand, is not such a nutritious plant. Nor can it be used for industrial purposes. In fact, apart from its genetics and growing properties, it doesn’t have any uses at all.

And there you go. Now you know everything about cannabis ruderalis! 


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