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Does Marijuana Grow In The Wild?
Cannabis leaves

Wild marijuana (also known as feral marijuana) grows almost everywhere in the world.

Have you ever been driving along the highway, or taken a hike through a forest, and thought you saw a plant that looks an awful lot like marijuana?

Chances are, whether you were aware of it or not, you have encountered marijuana growing in the wild.

Wild or feral marijuana occupies every continent on Earth apart from Antarctica.

Wild marijuana thrives particularly well in climates that are warm and humid, although it originated in the cool and dry mountainous regions of the Himalayas in Asia. The plant does not tolerate hot and dry desert climates.

Wild marijuana today is quite common in non-urban regions. It can be found in many areas of North America, Africa, and Asia.

Ditch Weed

Ditch Weed
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

“Ditch weed” is a type of wild marijuana that grows in North America. The term is used primarily in the United States to describe marijuana plants that have no evidence of being planted, fertilized, or tended by humans.

As the female plants are often pollinated by males, there are many seeds found throughout the flowers of the plant. This makes it unappealing for anyone looking to use it to get high.

In 2003, this form of wild marijuana accounted for 99% of the marijuana that was eradicated by the DEA.

Although the U.S. government has allocated much time, money, and resources to removing this wild form of marijuana, ditch weed does not have any significant psychoactive effects.

This is because ditch weed is a decendent of industrial hemp, which was bred and cultivated in the mid 1900s for its fiber, not its THC content.

Wild marijuana in the United States occurs predominantly in Indiana, where a state police spokesman said: “You can eradicate ditch weed as well as you can eradicate dandelion.”

Ditch weed seeds are spread by birds, animals and wind, and can reach great distances. The seeds can then stay dormant for up to 10 years before growing into mature plants, meaning no matter how many plants are killed, the seeds will continue to grow in the future.

Cannabis Ruderalis

Cannabis Ruderalis
Female ruderalis plant growing wild in Russia (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

While most marijuana used for recreational purposes is either indica or sativa, there is another kind of marijuana found in the wild called Cannabis ruderalis.

Cannabis ruderalis is a type of wild marijuana that is native to Europe. It contains low amounts of THC, but higher amounts of CBD.

This means it is not good at producing any type of “high”. However it has been used in Mongolian and Russian folk medicine as a treatment for depression.

Wild cannabis ruderalis begins to flower with age instead of changes in the light cycle. This is very different from most other kinds of marijuana, known as photoperiod cannabis, that require changes in light cycle to start flowering.

This has allowed cannabis breeders to develop strains of auto-flowering marijuana that can grow with the same amount of light each day throughout the course of its life.

Ruderalis plants are also much shorter in stature than photoperiod strains. This characteristic has also been used by breeders to produce plants that can be grown discretely after being bred with high-THC containing plants.

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