Cannabis is an annual plant. This means that, in nature, cannabis plants grow from new seeds every year, mature, and then die at the end of the flowering process. The majority of cannabis cultivars are “photoperiod”, meaning that they are used to receiving a certain amount of sunlight and darkness throughout the day depending on what season it is. Typically, indoor systems are designed to mimic the natural summer-time outdoor cycle of approximately 18 hours of sunlight and 6 hours of darkness. Most photoperiod strains will transition into flowering when the hours of daylight dip below 15 (signalling in nature that fall/harvest time is approaching).
Ruderalis, however, is an “auto-flowering” plant, which means that it doesn’t depend on seasonal changes to begin flowering. Regardless of the amount of light exposure, auto-flowering cannabis will start to flower approximately 21 to 30 days post-germination. Ruderalis varieties also typically mature faster and are therefore ready to harvest earlier than other species of cannabis.
Ruderalis varieties adapted to their local climate and are used to thriving in short, cool summers. Ruderalis seeds detach easily and can survive an entire season in frozen ground until conditions change to allow for growth. Ruderalis seeds are much more durable than those from sativa or indica plants. These seeds have evolved to survive being stepped on and cracked open by animals or humans.
Cannabis ruderalis has long been a wild cannabis breed. However, in recent years, ruderalis has been cultivated and bred with other strains to create new hybrids.
Ruderalis is typically bred with other cultivars to capitalize on its auto-flowering properties. Mixing ruderalis with any other strain will essentially turn that strain into an auto-flowering variety. Ruderalis strains also have a strong resistance to pests and diseases. Additionally, growers will breed ruderalis to control the potential size of their plants and speed up the growing process, as ruderalis varieties mature faster than other hybrids.
Ruderalis hybrids include: Northern Lights Autoflowering, Gorilla Glue Autoflowering, White Widow Autoflowering, Royal Bluematic, Amnesia Haze Autoflowering, AC/DC, Alaskan Thunder Fuck, CBD Critical Cure and many more.