Cannabis ruderalis was first found in the wilds of South-East Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic. It is a versatile plant and has spread further into the reaches of China and the Caucasus mountains. All of the countries it has been found to grow wild in are above 50 degrees north of the equator. Until very recently, it was dismissed as useless by most serious and prominent cannabis breeders and cultivators.
Cannabis ruderalis is a very small, fast growing plant, only ever reaching heights of around 90cm. It has very narrow leaves and only a small amount of side branches and flowers. Not only this, the THC content of cannabis ruderalis is extremely low.
You may ask, why would anyone grow this then? What is the advantage of such a small, weedy plant that has not THC? Well, cannabis ruderalis has a secret weapon. She is autoflowering. Unlike cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis does not require certain light patterns in order to flower. It flowers automatically as it grows regardless of the amount of light it gets. This means that it is age, not light that dictates its cycle.
The autoflowering characteristic of cannabis ruderalis has allowed for the appearance of autoflowering strains on the market in recent years. Breeders have been able to create hybrids, mixing popular sativa and indica strains with a small amount of ruderalis to produce autoflowering strains that still retain their indica or sativa characteristics.
There is a huge advantage in this for outdoor growers. Due to its quick growth and automatic flowering, a smart cultivator can obtain a harvest several times a year. In optimal conditions you could get as many as 3-4! There is nothing more satisfying than reaping great rewards in a fresh, outdoor setting!
As previously mentioned, the size and THC content of cannabis ruderalis make it almost worthless to smoke it its pure form. Smokers will be very disappointed with its negligible effects. However, due to the efforts of breeders the world over, it is possible to obtain ruderalis hybrids. The versatility of ruderalis offers breeders a lot of great options. You will find that ruderalis hybrids retain the effects of the sativa of indica side of the mix, whilst allowing the strain to flower automatically. This means you get the advantages of both autoflowering and high THC/CBD content.