Ruderalis: A Primer

Summary and opinion by John Fouts.

Ruderalis is a subspecies of cannabis that was initially found in the mid-1920s in central Russia.  It was found by D.E. Janichevsky, a Russian botanist.  So what makes Ruderalis different from Sativa and Indica?  Well, it has smaller club shaped leaves, and fewer of them.  It also differs by the way in which it flowers. Ruderalis is ‘autoflowering’ meaning it does not depend on the amount of light it receives each day to begin flowering. Most cannabis will begin to flower when it receives 12 hours of darkness. Ruderalis only needs about one month of growth prior to beginning the flowering process.

The reason for the autoflowering nature of Ruderalis is thought to be due to the harsh environment it was exposed to in nature where the growing season was short.  Some dispensaries may offer Ruderalis for sampling, or seeds are available at various sources online. A lot of efforts have been put in to breeding Ruderalis with other types of cannabis to facilitate strong hybrids that are more vigorous.  As this breeding has taken place over many years, a lot of progress has been made to overcome the low THC nature of Ruderalis.  Now there are many strong hybrid strains available which have Ruderalis as part of their genetic makeup. 

My opinion:  At one point in time, I grew hundreds of grapevines in my life.  Through that life experience, I learned about the benefits of hybrids.  In many cases, hybrids, can offer synergistic benefits or allow plants to thrive where not otherwise possible.  That seems to be the case with Ruderalis.  A shorter growth period, with less fuss about light cycle seems like it makes the growing process easier.

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