Cannabis ruderalis is a species of Cannabis originating in central Asia. It flowers earlier than C. indica or C. sativa, does not grow as tall, and can withstand much harsher climates than either of them. Cannabis ruderalis is purported to go into budding based strictly on age and not on changes in length of daylight. This kind of flowering is also known as auto-flowering.
Cannabis ruderalis has a lower THC content than either C. sativa or C. indica; thus, it is less psychoactively potent. However, the common statement that it is uselass as a drug is completely false. THC is the main psyschoactive compound of Cannabis, but it is not the most medicinal. Yes, it has its benefits, but the most medically valuable Cannabinoid that we have studied; CBD (Cannabidinol) Is present in higher amount in C. Ruderalis than C. Indica or C. Sativa. CBD is also one of the main compounds responsible for the sedative effect of Cannabis. Thus, C. Ruderalis is actually more medicinally benefitial, and when crossed with C. Sativa pr C. Indica, THC Levels are drastically increased, while maintaing high level of CBD.
The term 'Ruderalis' was originally used in the former Soviet Union to describe the varieties of hemp that had escaped cultivation and adapted to the surrounding region.
Similar Ruderalis populations can be found in most of the areas where hemp cultivation was once prevalent. The most notable region in North America is the midwest, though populations occur sporadically throughout the United States and Canada. Big wild ruderalis plantations also reigning in the center and eastern Europe, most of them in Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia and around of these countries. Without the human hand aiding in selection, these plants have lost many of the traits they were originally selected for, and have acclimatized to their locale.
Though they contain little THC, these plants hold large potential for use in breeding, both in hemp and marijuana applications. Early flowering and resistance to locally significant insect and disease pressures are but a few of the important traits present in these feral populations.
Despite years of US government sponsored eradication programs, these wild plants still remain in bountiful abundance.
- Greg Green. 2005. The Cannabis Breeder’s Bible. Green Candy Press 14