Cannabis ruderalis is a species of Cannabis originating from central Asia. It is less commonly known than its relatives, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, and is characterized by its ability to grow in harsh climates with extreme environmental conditions. Unlike the other Cannabis species, which are photoperiod-dependent—meaning they require specific light cycles to flower—Cannabis ruderalis is autoflowering, and its flowering cycle is triggered by the age of the plant rather than changes in the light cycle. This unique trait has made it of particular interest to cannabis breeders, who often cross ruderalis strains with sativa or indica varieties to create hybrids that can flower automatically and are more resilient to climate fluctuations. Ruderalis plants are typically smaller in stature and have a lower concentration of THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, but they can have relatively high levels of CBD, making them of potential interest for medical applications. The term “ruderalis” comes from “ruderal,” a term used in plant ecology to describe species that are the first to colonize disturbed lands. Thus, the name reflects the plant’s ability to thrive in conditions that would be challenging for many other species.
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