Welcome to our series on cannabis strains native to their continent. These can live anywhere up to 50° latitude North and South, which is a pretty wide belt around the equator. We will focus in on each continent and look at how the locale has differentiating effects on the plant.
We start in Europe and in particular in Central and Eastern Europe. Here we find Cannabis Ruderalis. Ruderalis is native to Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia and adjacent countries. It is well adapted to the harsher environments found in these locations.
One thing you will notice is that the strains tend to be more CBD dominant and are likely descendants from other regions.
3 Ruderalis strains native to Europe
(curtesy of The Real Seed Company)
Ruderal Siberian Cannabis
Height: 1.5 to 3 metres
Aroma: Intense pine, sweet floral, citrus
Characteristics: Resinous, vigorous, hardy, autoflowering, small leaves, purple coloration, CBD
Ruderal Siberian is a resinous, day-neutral (autoflowering) population direct from Chelyabinsk, close to Kazakhstan. These plants are something of a mystery. The theory among local people is that they may have originated in Kazakhstan. Several characteristics suggest they are descended from an imported hashish landrace: domesticate seed structure, intense resin, powerful aromas, and definite psychoactivity. Conceivably this population originated as a hybrid between an introduced Kazakh landrace and local Siberian ruderal populations. Very fast flowering and hardy, these plants are well-suited for northern latitudes.
Wild-type Crimean Cannabis
Height: 1.5–4 metres outdoors
Aroma: Floral, pineapple, woody, peppery, spice
Characteristics: Early maturing, semi-autoflowering, CBD, purple and black variants, ruderal to intermediate domestication
These strains are still growing wild around the lower slopes of Mount Roman-Kosh in southern Crimea. Wild-type Cannabis populations are highly biodiverse. Their adaptations to environments, pests, and diseases make them a crucial resource from which future Cannabis strains can be developed. Southern Crimean ruderal stands are early maturing (‘semi-autoflowering’), beginning flowering in July and finishing in late-August to the first week of September. The coastal climate along the Black Sea means they’ve evolved resistance to damp and related diseases. Wild-type southern Crimean populations are likely descended from multipurpose Scythian landraces, though they have probably also been affected by Ukrainian and Russian hemp cultivation.
Wild-type Urals Cannabis
Height: 1.5–4 metres outdoors
Characteristics: Early maturing to autoflowering, CBD
These plants grows as day-neutral (‘autoflowering’) wild-types from southern Urals, Russia. They have a strong and sweet aroma, most notably a marked lavender scent. These plants do not have a high psychoactive effect and are CBD dominant. The southern Urals are not known to have a history of cultivating Cannabis for use as an ‘intoxicant’. In other words, these populations could be classified as ruderal hemp.
Next up, we travel to Africa to explore the native strains this vast continent has to offer.