Cannabis Ruderalis. What is it?

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Written by Joseph Okonofua on 06/14/2022.
Data Last Updated: 05/31/2024.

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Cannabis Ruderalis. What is it?

How many species of Cannabis do you know? You must have heard of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, but did you know there is a third specie? It is called Cannabis ruderalis. 

In this article, you will get to learn everything that makes Cannabis ruderalis special amongst others. 

What is Cannabis Ruderalis?

The nature of this type of marijuana is revealed in its name. The word “ruderalis” is of Latin origin, meaning weedy or growing among waste, and that is precisely what it is. Cannabis ruderalis is a unique species of cannabis regarded by breeders from all over the world as a weed strain of medical marijuana

Ruderalis was classified in 1924 and has occupied its botanical niche ever since. It originally grew on waste and abandoned ground, but today, it is considered a good option for medical cannabis.

Attractive features of ruderalis varieties include their high endurance and relatively low plant height. Cannabis ruderalis also matures quickly, which makes it a very interesting strain in terms of the profitability of cannabis farming.

The Difference Between Ruderalis and Indica and Sativa

The difference between ruderalis and indica and sativa

Here are some major differences between Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis Indica.

  1. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Content: Sativa species generally have the most THC levels, followed by indica. Cannabis ruderalis has the least THC content among the three strains. Cannabis ruderalis contains about 3% THC. 
  2. Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is higher in Cannabis indica than in the sativa specie. Cannabis ruderalis also contain high levels of CBD, which makes it a good source of CBD.
  3. Effect: As a result of its low THC content, Cannabis ruderalis generally create a calm effect when taken, compared to indica and sativa. 
  4. Origin: Cannabis ruderalis is indigenous to Asia, Central/Eastern Europe, and Russia. Cannabis sativa is native to Eastern Asia, while Cannabis indica is believed to have originated in the Hengduan Mountains in China. Nevertheless, today, all species of marijuana have spread around the world.                 
  5. Growth: The growth characteristics of Cannabis ruderalis are one of the major characteristics that put it on the lips of every grower. Cannabis ruderalis has an auto-flowering ability. Cannabis sativa and indica, on the other hand, depend on environmental factors. 

What does Ruderalis look like?

Ruderalis and CBD

The ruderalis strain has a short, bushy appearance with broad leaves and tiny blooms. Its leaves are somewhat lighter in color than that of Cannabis indica and have three major points and two very small ones. The flowers are white or pale green in color, with an average height and breadth of about 2 inches. While Ruderalis buds are tiny, they have robust, supporting stems. The plant is hardy and pest and disease-resistant. Cannabis ruderalis has very little THC and a lot of CBD.

Is Cannabis Ruderalis Good for Recreational Use?

Cannabis ruderalis contains low THC when compared to Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. As a result, it is not often regarded as the best recreational marijuana option. However, if crossed with other marijuana types to create automatic flowers with much higher THC, cannabis ruderalis is capable of getting a person high (especially modern hybrids).

Is Cannabis Ruderalis Legal in the US?

The laws guiding marijuana use in the US are not peculiar to the different species. Therefore, Cannabis ruderalis is only legal in states where marijuana has been legalized. This also implies that Cannabis ruderalis is illegal at the federal level. 

Can I Grow Cannabis Ruderalis at Home?

Everyone wants to be able to produce their own cannabis; unfortunately, this is not yet possible all through the US. Only a fraction of states where marijuana has been legalized allow the growing of weed at home. Even at that, you have to check with the local laws to verify the number of weed plants you are permitted to grow. Anywhere marijuana home cultivation is permitted, Cannabis ruderalis can be grown as approved.

Currently, US states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, and a few others, permit growing weed at home in controlled quantities.

Benefits of Cannabis Ruderalis

In contrast to the more popular sativa and indica species, Cannabis ruderalis belongs to the weed subspecies of Cannabis, which has a number of advantages over “softer” varieties. One of the most important advantages of the ruderalis subspecies is its high immunity, which enables it to perfectly survive in an unfavorable environment. Ruderalis will please the grower with its resistance to infections, quick adaptability to the environment, and auto-flowering. 

Breeders use its auto-flowering ability to develop auto-flowering cannabis strains, resulting in faster harvests. Today, Cannabis ruderalis is used to develop varieties of medical and recreational cannabis that are resistant to adverse conditions.

The plant is used not only as medical marijuana but also as an industrial hemp crop. Hemp is utilized for a variety of uses, including the production of textiles, paper, biofuel, and health supplements. 

Cannabis ruderalis blooms regardless of the quantity and mode of light. Using the ruderalis subspecies genetics in the production of medicinal cannabis varieties allows you to optimize the content of cannabidiol (CBD) while limiting the psychoactive effects of cannabis by lowering the quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Medical Potential of Cannabis Ruderalis 

Cannabis ruderalis contains more cannabidiol (CBD) than other cannabis varieties. CBD has no psychoactive properties and is responsible for marijuana’s medicinal effects. CBD acts mildly and does not provoke states that expand consciousness. As a result, Cannabis ruderalis is actively employed in medicine as a variety that is ideal for marijuana users who are primarily interested in the plant’s health advantages and wish to avoid the euphoric effects of marijuana. 

The concentration of CBD in this variety is maximum. Accordingly, it is used to make CBD-containing drugs for treating pathologies such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy. Cannabis ruderalis’s CBD can significantly slow the progression of the disease and reduce chronic pain. At the same time, cannabis ruderalis stimulates appetite and normalizes sleep. It also acts as a natural painkiller.

Hence, the plant is actively popularized among progressive medical practitioners. At the same time, CBD’s effect on the body is not fully understood, especially in the context of specific pathologies. Therefore, the use of ruderalis and other varieties should be under your doctor’s strict control.


Cannabis ruderalis is a weed subspecies of cannabis that does not cause a noticeable psychedelic effect due to low THC content. The therapeutic possibilities of ruderalis, due to the high content of CBD, are incredible.

Geneticists also use it to produce more tenacious strains of Cannabis of indica and sativa varieties. Though little in demand, it is distinguished by its high content of CBD, auto-flowering ability, and high immunity. These are the major reasons behind Cannabis ruderalis is so much loved amongst marijuana enthusiasts.

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