Indica and sativa are the most familiar cannabis variants. There is a third variety, however, which easily gets overlooked: cannabis ruderalis. Ruderalis originated in inhospitable environments, allowing it to survive in conditions where other kinds would perish. Cannabis ruderalis is used to breed autoflower strains – find out why below.
The Birthplace Of Ruderalis
The deepest roots of cannabis ruderalis come from the harsher regions of Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia. It is a native species commonly found along roadsides and on fallow plots of farmland. This highly robust plant can grow in harsh climates. They are able to survive in conditions that would be absolutely lethal to other types of cannabis.
The name ruderalis is derived from Latin ‘rudus’, which means rubble or debris. Ruderal plants are able to grow and thrive on soil rendered inhospitable by human activity. Examples include barren fields, railroad embankments and abandoned construction plots.
As you can see, cannabis ruderalis is a real survivor. Even its seeds are tough: they can remain viable after being crushed underfoot and cracked open. They have an innate ability to remain dormant in the soil for a long time, waiting patiently until the right conditions for growing present themselves.
Cannabis Ruderalis Autoflower Genetics
What makes cannabis ruderalis truly special, however, is its autoflower ability. Other cannabis variants and in fact most other plants depend on changes in daylight hours to switch from the vegetative growth stage of their life cycle to the flowering stage. Non-autoflower cannabis plants only start to develop flowers after the summer solstice, when the days start to grow shorter as the summer starts to make way for autumn (northern hemisphere).
Ruderalis cannabis strains, by contrast, start to flower automatically irrespective of daylight hours – hence the name autoflower. This useful property developed to allow these plants to thrive in areas where days are short and sunlight is scarce. For growers, these autoflower characteristics are very useful indeed.
The Properties Of Cannabis Ruderalis
Clearly, ruderalis plants have very different qualities than their sativa and indica counterparts. Ruderalis cannabis strains differ from the other two in terms of growing and flowering as well as by their effects.
In the wild, cannabis ruderalis is much shorter than indica and sativa plants. It usually grows to between 30 and 75cm, featuring thick, firm stems and broad leaves.
The flower buds or colas of ruderalis plants tend to be small, although they are usually compact and firm.
Of course, the true distinguishing feature of cannabis ruderalis is its autoflower capacity. Sativa and indica plants depend on light to trigger the process of flowering. Ruderalis plants, by contrast, start to flower automatically; usually around 21 to 30 days after sprouting.
Often, ruderalis flowers can be harvested a month after flowering starts. Roughly speaking, growing ruderalis autoflowers means raking in a cannabis harvest between 70 to 110 days after the seeds germinate.
With some luck, autoflower strains can even grow and flower outdoors in wintertime, making cannabis ruderalis a very useful addition to the family indeed!
Effects: No True High
Cannabis ruderalis hardly contains any THC at all, which means they will not cause much of a psychoactive high when consumed. This explains why you’re unlikely t find ruderalis in its pure, native form: cannabis consumers probably wouldn’t appreciate the lack of high or stoned effects. Most autoflower cannabis strains are hybrids combining ruderalis, sativa, and indica genetics.
Ruderalis tends to be rich in CBD (cannabidiol), however, which is known for its soothing, relaxing properties. This is why people sometimes use pure ruderalis as medicinal cannabis, usually for treating sleeping problems or anxiety issues.
The Advantages Of Growing Cannabis Ruderalis
At first glance, cannabis ruderalis seems an unattractive plant for growers. Judging by its low THC percentages, low terpene content, small size and modest productivity, it seems logical to just leave ruderalis to grow on the barren fields where it feels at home.
Yet in spite of its apparent unattractiveness, ruderalis autoflower variants can make a huge difference to cannabis growing. The key to its contribution is in creating crossbreeds. Crossing cannabis indica or sativa strains with ruderalis generates powerful new strains that combine the advantages of both parent plants.
This is the secret behind autoflower cannabis ruderalis hybrids that start flowering after 21 to 30 days, irrespective of lighting cycles. Such variants can pack a powerful THC and terpene punch indeed.
In addition to their swift grow characteristics, ruderalis autoflower seeds are also highly interesting for novice growers. They make popular genetics that are hard to cultivate more accessible for less experienced growers, too.
Ruderalis crossbreeds bring exactly what easy-going growers want: ease of growing, a plant that starts flowering automatically, and all the power, fragrance, and flavour of the indica or sativa genetics underpinning the autoflower cannabis strain.
A major benefit of autoflowers is their ability to grow all year long, except in freezing weather. Of course, spring is still the best time for outdoor planting. This is when soil conditions are optimal, with plenty of sunshine to help promote full growth and flowering.
Autoflowers: Best Of Both Worlds
Even though cannabis ruderalis may not be very attractive to growers in its pure form, autoflower crossbreeds with sativa and indica genetics offer a wealth of options for growing beautiful strains with attractive properties and great grow convenience.
Autoflowers literally combine the best of both worlds, merging tough ruderalis genetics and broad growing and flowering potential with short life cycles, allowing for multiple cannabis harvests per year or even season.
Ruderalis genetics offer strong resilience to pests and disease, and can handle temperature changes quite well. At the same time, they carry the full range of flavours and effects of the indica and sativa strains that sired them. All in all, then, ruderalis based autoflower cannabis offers growers all they could possibly want, with seriously reduced hassle.
Ruderalis Autoflower Cannabis Seeds
Anyone interested in growing ruderalis strains will find more useful information and smart tips in our grow blogs. Of course, our best autoflower seeds are available from our online store, but this blog highlights our most popular ruderalis based strains.
If you want to know more about the other genetics we use to create our ruderalis autoflower cannabis seeds? Be sure to check our blogs on sativa and indica strains, or our haze and kush blogs for instance.
If you just want to get going and grow a premium quality ruderalis hybrid strain, then head straight for our autoflower seeds selection and enjoy the pinnacle of cannabis comfort on your next grow!