Wild weed hemp (aka Cannabis Ruderalis) has not attracted the attention of botanists and growers for a long time. It was first described as a separate subspecies only in 1924, as a weed growing in areas of the Southern Urals and Kazakhstan. By that time, high-yielding hemp varieties were cultivated in agriculture, and varieties of Indian hemp, known since ancient times, were used as a source of psychoactive substances. Weed hemp, on the other hand, could neither boast a high THC content (tenths of a percent) nor was it attractive for agriculture – its dwarf size precluded its use as a technical raw material for hemp and rope production.
Hidden Possibilities of Weed Hemp
During the twentieth century, weed hemp spread, taking root in Eastern Europe, North America and Central Asia. The plant’s special flowering mechanism, different from the photoperiodism of the Indica and Sativa varieties, contributed to its spread to areas with cold climates and short but very light summers. Weed cannabis begins flowering without reference to the diurnal cycle of day and night, as soon as the plant is physiologically capable of beginning to form inflorescences. This often happens very quickly, after the plant has taken root and released its first couple of leaves. Usually two to three weeks after the seeds have germinated. As soon as this property was discovered, interest in weed hemp shifted from the realm of academic botany, to the applied research of growers, breeders and breeders.
The first attempts to use weed hemp
In the 1970s, the meaningful creation of marijuana varieties with predetermined properties was only in its infancy. Local varieties imported from different countries and freakish hybrids created on the creative urge of amateur breeders were mostly in fashion. It is fair to say that many varieties created at that time are still popular and have become a golden fund of genetic material for future breeders.
At the same time, the first attempts were made to use weed hemp to give autoflowering properties to cultivars with high THC content. But neither in Canada, where a group of enthusiasts experimented with this species of cannabis and Indica, nor in Holland, where a similar hybrid was attempted by the then already famous Neville Schonmaker, were they successful – they never succeeded in creating a stable variety that would reproduce stably when propagated.
Creating autoflowers based on weed hemp
A breakthrough in the creation of a cannabis hybrid was achieved by Joint Doctor. Using Mexican Rudy as a carrier of the autoflowering gene (a plant whose roots of origin were never found out, but certainly with an admixture of Eastern European dicots), he was able to obtain several male plants with stable hereditary traits.
Later, using the method of multiple cross-pollination, he was able to bring the consumer qualities of the new hybrid to acceptable values as well. The main efforts were aimed at increasing the THC content, increasing the yield and improving the taste of autoflowering cannabis. These experiments gave rise to the famous Lowrider, a variety that started the popularity of autoflowering and hasn’t gotten off the ground to this day.
Not just autoflowering
Another trait inherent in weed hemp and inherited in the creation of autoflowering hybrids is the unpretentiousness and survivability of this plant, capable of adapting to the harshest conditions of growth. Unlike cultivated varieties, for generations cherished and nurtured by growers, weedy hemp was forced to fight for existence, overcoming the hardships of homeless existence.
As a result, dichka has developed a resistant immunity to common cannabis diseases, resistance to frost and dampness, and less damage from fungi and pests. Today, autoflowering varieties with weed hemp genes are the most acceptable option for outdoors cultivation in the cool climate of the Midlands.
The flip side of the coin
For all its wonderful qualities, weed hemp also has a number of not so pleasant qualities. First of all, it has lower yields. Despite all the efforts of breeders, even with perfect care, autoflowers cannot compete in this respect with photoperiodic varieties. Secondly, they are practically impossible to clone – for those who are planning to start growing on a stream, the constant purchase of seeds will become an additional expense. Thirdly, their THC content is not as high. Although autoflowering hybrids are already approaching photoperiodic plants in this respect, they have not yet managed to equal it. And fourth, the characteristic dichka flavor which is more or less present in the bouquet of most autoflowering cannabis varieties. Although, for taste and color…
All in all, in assessing the contribution of weed cannabis to modern marijuana cultivation, it must be said that it is extremely large. Almost all popular strains today have autoflowering counterparts which are inferior in some respects to the originals, but which have very good consumer properties. At the same time they are much easier to grow, which is important not only for beginners but also for all those who are not ready to devote all their time to the care of plants and creating ideal conditions for them.
If we try to single out the main event of the XXI century in hemp farming, it will undoubtedly be the use of the gene pool of weed hemp and creation of autoflowering hybrids on its basis.