Cannabis Ruderalis could be considered a “dwarf” variety of cannabis plant that grows wild in Mongolia, Russia and central Asia. It has adapted to and thrives in colder regions and has an extremely short growing cycle; ruderalis plants cycle from seed to harvestable flower in just 10 weeks. The name “ruderalis” is derived from the Latin word “rudera” meaning “rubble.” Fitting because ruderalis refers any plant that’s the first to grow after soil has been disturbed and exfoliated, in true weed-like fashion.
Cannabis is thought to have evolved on the steppes of Central Asia around what is now Mongolia. Cannabis was used by the Russians in their folk medicine and used by the Scythians, for an entirely different reason. These nomadic people used cannabis ritualistically/recreationally, building a small teepee and burning cannabis flowers and leaves in order to inhale the smoke. Their discarded seeds and liberated domestic crops are what populate the current, wild ruderalis grows in central Asia. Wild ruderalis populations can also be found in India, the Midwestern United States and Central and Eastern Europe ― all areas where hemp farming was prevalent.
Initially ignored because of its low THC content, ruderalis has become a hit with breeders and novice growers because of its discreet size, auto-flowering capabilities and short grow cycle. When used in a hybrid pairing with an Indica or Sativa strain, Ruderalis can produce close to half a pound of quality flower in ten weeks.
Addendum: With the growing acceptance of cannabis in society, there is new focus on the category and the plant, from every angle. This scrutiny has not spared vernacular taxonomy, or how we classify and refer to cannabis varieties right down to the original base strains. This has resulted in an ongoing nomenclature re-examination. That said, the preceding classifications in this series are an interpretive snapshot of where we are at the moment.
To get an overview of the taxonomical dust-up, please click the link.