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Cannabis Ruderalis: What Is It and How Is It Different from Sativa or Indica?

Get to know Cannabis ruderalis, a wild-growing species of cannabis that is popular among consumers interested in obtaining higher levels of CBD.

While you’re likely somewhat familiar with sativa and indica strains of medical marijuana, have you heard of Cannabis ruderalis? The often overlooked and less known classification of cannabis has characteristics and benefits that can be useful to some who use marijuana for specific medical purposes.

Here we take a look at Cannabis ruderalis, exploring what it is, its unique characteristics, its cannabinoid makeup, and its unique benefits for users.

What is Cannabis Ruderalis?

While once thought to be an ancestor of other Cannabis varieties, it is now accepted that Cannabis ruderalis is in itself its own species. Ruderalis is a wild, hardy species of cannabis that currently grows wild throughout Central Asia and Russia. It’s also an important species for marijuana breeders, who have been known to cross breed ruderalis with other species to create hybrids that possess some of ruderalis’ characteristics, such as autoflowering.

Cannabis ruderalis is significantly smaller than indicas and sativas, typically growing just 1 to 2.5 feet high. Of the three primary cannabis species, ruderalis plants are stalkier, featuring a smaller number of side branches and narrower palmate-shaped leaves.

Because of its small size and limited branches, ruderalis produces a smaller yield of flower compared to other cannabis species. While for some this may be a disadvantage, the smaller size of ruderalis plants make them a good choice for medical marijuana patients who are interested in growing their own plants at home , but have limited space indoors. Also, unlike other species, ruderalis plants don’t have special lighting needs, which means they’re also ideal for those interested in growing plants outside at any latitude.

Origins of Cannabis Ruderalis

Cannabis ruderalis is thought to have originated thousands of years ago throughout areas in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and specifically Russia, where it continues to grow as a weed.

The term “ruderalis” derives from the root word ruderal, which in the plant world refers to a species that is the first to colonize land that has been disturbed by humans. Even today, wild ruderalis can be found growing near high traffic areas like roadways.

Cannabis ruderalis was first classified in 1924 after Russian botanist D.E. Janischewsky was studying cannabis and noticed a plant with distinct differences in shape, size, and seed than other previously classified cannabis plants.

Ruderalis is Autoflowering: What Does That Mean?

Unlike other cannabis species, Cannabis ruderalis is “autoflowering,” which means that it will transition from the vegetative phase into the flowering phase regardless of whether there’s a change in light cycle.

For medical marijuana patients, the flowering phase is significant, as it’s when cannabis plants produce the flowers that contain high levels of cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds. No matter the light-to-dark ratio, modern ruderalis plants will begin to flower on their own 3 to 4 weeks after they sprout from seeds.

Indicas and sativas are not autoflowering. Rather, they’re “photoperiod,” a characteristic that means they will only begin to produce flowers once they’re introduced to at minimum 12 hours of dark each day. Growers must often trigger the flowering phase with photoperiod plants by changing the lighting settings.

It is generally believed that ruderalis adapted the ability to autoflower after originating far north of the equator, where light cycles are limited and regularly changing.

This means that while photoperiod plants like sativas and indicas will only flower under strict indoor conditions where hours of lightness and darkness are controlled, or during the winter season when light is limited, autoflowering ruderalis plants can grow anywhere and produce flowers throughout the entire year.

Cannabinoid Makeup and Effects of Cannabis Ruderalis

Cannabis ruderalis is naturally higher in cannabidiol ( CBD ), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has grown in popularity over recent years. It also produces very little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that causes a euphoric high.

There are more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis – the most major being CBD and THC . Cannabinoids have been found to interact with cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system , helping adjust the release of neurotransmitters in the brain in an effort to keep the body’s functions in balance.

Because Cannabis ruderalis is high in CBD and low in THC, it’s a more popular choice among those consumers who are interested in the natural benefits of the cannabis plant, but are looking to avoid most of the euphoric effects that are typically associated with marijuana use.

The high concentration of CBD in ruderalis strains have also proven beneficial to breeders, who will cross ruderalis strains with indicas and sativas to produce autoflowering hybrids that contain higher levels of CBD. Sativas, for example, can grow too tall for indoors but be more manageable when they’re crossbred with ruderalis strains.

Learn Even More about Marijuana

Interested in digging deeper into marijuana topics like this?

Visit our Cannabis 101 page to learn even more about the differences between indicas, sativas, and hybrid strains of cannabis , or visit our news feed to stay up with the latest developments in the cannabis industry.

Get to know Cannabis ruderalis, a wild-growing species of cannabis that is popular among consumers interested in obtaining higher levels of CBD.

Tokin Woman

Celebrating famous female cannabis connoisseurs throughout herstory to the present day. All contents copyrighted. “Bright Leaf” artwork by Jean Hanamoto http://www.camomoto.com

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford’s Pot

Retweeted by Fisher just before she died.

“You have the eyes of a doe and the balls of a samauri,” Harrison Ford told Fisher during the filming of Star Wars. She finally revealed her three-month affair with Ford in her 2016 book, The Princess Diarist, where she wrote of “the brutal strength of Harrison’s preferred strain of pot,” adding, “After that, marijuana was no longer possible for me—it had such a powerful, all-consuming effect on me that I have never used the drug again.”

Fisher’s 2008 book Wishful Drinking reveals that she first tried smoking pot when she was 13, after renters at her family’s Palm Springs house left behind a baggie. When her mother Debbie Reynolds found it, she said, “Dear, I thought instead of you going outside and smoking pot where you might get caught and get in trouble—I thought you and I might experiment with it together.” But Reynolds promptly forgot about it so Fisher and her friend May tried it on their own in their backyard treehouse.

“And you’ve got to figure I enjoyed it, because I ended up experimenting with marijuana for the next six years until it suddenly—and I think rather rudely—turned on me,” Fisher wrote. “Where at the onset it was all giggles and munchies and floating in a friendly have—it suddenly became creepy and dark and scary. This was when I was about nineteen, while I was filming Star Wars. (It ultimately turned out to be Harrison’s pot that did me in.)”

“I’d rather smoke a doobie.”
Ford has never publicly admitted to smoking marijuana (although Bill Maher has challenged him to). According to the book Harrison Ford: Imperfect Hero by Garry Jenkins (Citadel Press, 1998), one day in the 1970s, Ford was in the UK, simultaneously giving an interview with Britian’s Ritz magaine while he did a photo shoot for GQ at photographer David Bailey’s studio. When Litchfield asked why Ford was rolling his own cigarettes, he responded, “You want a toke of this all-American reefer?”

“Can you work on this stuff?” Litchfield asked. “Nope. I can’t even admit it exists,” he replied, then went on to say he was smoking a strain of pot from Humboldt County, California. “This is not Cannabis indicta, [sic] or Cannabis sativa, this is Cannabis rutica,” he said. “A real strong dope.”

There is no such thing as Cannabis rutica; Nicotiana rustica, however, is a hallucinogenic form of tobacco. A kif made with cannabis and nicotiana rustica is used by Moroccan fisherman to improve their night vision. N. rustica is the tobacco Columbus was introduced to by the Taino Awawak Indians of Hispaniola and Cuba in 1492, with the milder and modern form N. tabacum introduced to the Yucatan by the Spaniards around 1535. I have never heard of N. rustica being grown in Humboldt county, but it’s not impossible: seeds are available on the internet.

In college, Ford smoked a Calabash (Sherlock Holmes-style pipe) and often said he wanted to open a pipe shop. During his days doing bit parts as a “rent-a-hippie” at Universal Studios, Ford was often “seen sniffing from a small case he carried in his jeans. Turns out he was sniffing snuff.” (Jenkins)

Fly, Thumbelina, fly.
Maybe his powerful mixture of pot and hallucinogenic tobacco was more than the 19-year-old Fisher could handle. She turned to hallucinogens and painkillers (a bad combination), and Reynolds enlisted Cary Grant to speak with her. Grant famously took LSD while it was still legal, and found the experience illuminating. Grant called Fisher and chatted about nothing in particular, she wrote.

She endured electroshock therapy during her life, having been diagnosed as bipolar. Heart disease is a potential side effect of electroconvulsive therapy.

Asked by Rolling Stone this year, “Are there any upsides to doing drugs?” Fisher replied, “Yes. Absolutely. I don’t think I was ever suicidal, and that’s probably because of drugs. I did have … do have this mood disorder, so it probably saves me from the most intense feelings from that. I was able to mute that stuff. And I loved LSD. That was fantastic.” She added that she wished she’d never snorted heroin. Paul Simon’s new biography says the couple participated in an ayahuasca ceremony in Brazil in the 80s.

Rolling Stone asked Fisher, “Do you fear death?” and her response was, “No. I fear dying.” Our fearless Princess now has nothing at all to fear.

Don’t cry for me while I be gone
Though it an eternity seems
While we be apart I’ll follow my heart
And come to you in your dreams

Tokin Woman Celebrating famous female cannabis connoisseurs throughout herstory to the present day. All contents copyrighted. “Bright Leaf” artwork by Jean Hanamoto http://www.camomoto.com ]]>