Cannabis Ruderalis: A Journey Through the Rare and Intriguing Subspecies

Written by Review Weed Cannabis & Health Enthusiast
Updated: 2023-08-28
Cannabis ruderalis plant

Table of Contents

Cannabis Ruderalis is a rare and often overlooked member of the cannabis family. While many people are familiar with the popular Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica varieties, Ruderalis remains a lesser-known subspecies. This article will explore the unique traits of Ruderalis, offering a wide understanding of this distinct plant and its uses.


A distinct subspecies

Cannabis Ruderalis is a distinct subspecies of the cannabis plant, setting it apart from its more well-known relatives, Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Originating from Central and Eastern Europe and parts of Asia, Ruderalis has adapted to thrive in harsher climates, making it a resilient and versatile plant.

Ruderalis comes from the word ‘ruderal,’ which refers to plants that grow in disrupted areas – either by humans or nature. This only highlights the resilience of this cannabis variety in harsh conditions.

In fact, many botanists argue that Ruderalis can be a distinct species of cannabis on its own, while others remain divided.

Physical characteristics

Cannabis Ruderalis plants are generally smaller in size, reaching heights of only 40-70 centimetres. The plant has a bushy and compact appearance, with thick stems and broad, fan-shaped leaves that are typically a lighter shade of green.

It is also unique in that it often exhibits a three-leaf structure, unlike the more common five- or seven-leaflet pattern found in Cannabis Sativa and Indica varieties

The flowers of Ruderalis plants are small, dense, and have a more conical shape when compared to Sativa and Indica.


One of the most unique features of Cannabis Ruderalis is its auto-flowering nature. This means the plant does not have to rely on the photoperiod (length of daylight and darkness) to initiate the flowering stage – instead, they rely on age.

Ruderalis typically has a shorter flowering period than Sativa and Indica plants. The flowering period of Ruderalis can range from as little as 21 days to 70 days, depending on the specific strain and growing conditions.

This short life span and autoflowering capability make Ruderalis an attractive option for growers seeking a quick harvest or those dealing with limited daylight hours.

Ruderalis flowers have unique traits that make them popular among growers.

Cannabinoid and terpene profiles

Cannabis Ruderalis is known for its low THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, which is the primary psychoactive chemical in cannabis. While Sativa and Indica plants can have THC levels of up to 30%, Ruderalis plants generally contain less than 1% THC.

However, Ruderalis is often high in CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with numerous therapeutic benefits. Additionally, Cannabis Ruderalis has unique terpene profiles, which contribute to its distinct aroma and flavour and may offer additional therapeutic benefits.

Breeding and cultivation

Breeding and cultivation developments involving Cannabis Ruderalis have opened up new possibilities in the world of cannabis genetics. By crossbreeding Ruderalis with other subspecies, breeders are creating innovative strains that combine the desirable traits of each plant.

This has led to the emergence of autoflowering indica or sativa varieties with high THC content, expanding the range of options available to cultivators and consumers alike. That’s why many marijuana seeds you see online have autoflowering listed as a feature.

These hybrid strains of cannabis, derived from Ruderalis, are particularly attractive to growers seeking quick harvests without sacrificing potency or therapeutic benefits.

C. Indica v C. Sativa v C. Ruderalis

Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are often grown for their psychoactive properties and medicinal benefits. Sativa plants are typically taller, with thin leaves and a longer flowering period, while Indica plants are shorter, bushier, and have a shorter flowering period.

In contrast, Cannabis Ruderalis is a smaller, hardier plant that does not rely on photoperiods for flowering, which sets it apart from the other cannabis species. In a way, it can be thought of as a mix of the two.

You can check out more marijuana strains in our directory.

Varieties of CannabisCharacteristicsGrowing environmentEffectsHeightFlowering cycle
SativaTall and slim plants with long, thin, finger-like leavesHot climates with ample sunCerebral head high that is energetic, creative, uplifting, and euphoric. Best for daytime use1-3 metres10-12 weeks
IndicaShorter and bushier plants with wider leavesBetter suited for colder climatesPhysically relaxing body high that induces sleepiness and stimulates appetite. Best for nighttime use0.8-1.5 metres8-10 weeks
HybridVigorous growth with qualities of both sativa and indicaCan adapt to various growing environmentsEffects can vary depending on the specific hybrid strainVariesVaries
RuderalisShort and compact plants with small, chunky budsAdapted to extreme environmentsContains low levels of THC but high levels of CBD. Used for medicinal purposes40-70 cms6-8 weeks

Popular ruderalis strains

Cannabis Ruderalis has been used to create a variety of popular strains, each with its unique set of characteristics. These strains can be categorized into two main groups: CBD-rich and THC-rich.

  • CBD Auto Charlotte’s Angel: This strain is known for its high CBD content and minimal THC levels, making it ideal for those seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects.
  • Auto AK-47: A cross between Ruderalis and AK-47, this strain combines the autoflowering properties of Ruderalis with the high THC content of the AK-47. It’s popular for its uplifting and energetic effects.
  • Amnesia Haze Automatic: This hybrid strain inherits the potency and cerebral effects of Amnesia Haze while incorporating the autoflowering capabilities of Ruderalis. It’s favoured for its creativity-enhancing and mood-lifting properties.

That said, it is rare to find a strain sold as pure Ruderalis. Instead, it is used to breed autoflowering cultivars or hybrids, so you are more likely to come across them when buying seeds. Any strain you see with the word Auto/ Automatic/Autoflowering next to it has got Ruderalis genetics in it.

Medical and Therapeutic Uses

Cannabis Ruderalis, with its high CBD content and low THC levels, has been gaining attention for its potential medical and therapeutic applications. Its high CBD content and non-psychoactive properties make it an ideal candidate for medicinal applications and medical marijuana users.

High CBD strains are known to provide relief from various ailments without the psychoactive effects associated with THC, such as:

  • Pain relief
  • Anxiety and stress management
  • Treating seizures


Cannabis Ruderalis has a fascinating history that spans thousands of years. The plant is believed to have originated in central and Eastern Europe and parts of Central Asia, including Russia, China, and Mongolia. Due to its hardy nature and ability to thrive in harsh climates, Cannabis Ruderalis has successfully adapted to a variety of environments, demonstrating its resilience and versatility.

Interestingly, the term “ruderalis” was first introduced by the Russian botanist Dmitrij Janischewsky in 1924, who discovered this unique cannabis subspecies growing wild in the Volga River region of Russia.

Throughout history, Cannabis Ruderalis has been used for a variety of purposes in different cultures. While its low THC content may have limited its use for recreational purposes, its high CBD content and unique terpene profiles have made it valuable for traditional medicine and other applications.

Legal status in Thailand

The marijuana laws of Thailand make cannabis flower legal, but that is subject to change. Technically, Ruderalis falls in the same category as your regular buds, so they are legal.


Cannabis Ruderalis has emerged as a remarkable and versatile plant with a rich history, unique characteristics, and a wide range of applications. From its role in the evolution and domestication of cannabis to its potential medical and therapeutic benefits, Ruderalis has proven itself to be an invaluable addition to the cannabis family. The development of new strains, both CBD-rich and THC-rich, showcases the plant’s versatility and potential for improving the lives of those who use it.

As research and interest in this extraordinary subspecies continue to grow, we can expect further innovation and exploration into the untapped potential.