Many cannabis enthusiasts would love the chance to walk into a cannabis plantation and simply harvest as much weed as they can. Maybe that was possible 100 years ago, but not today — as marijuana is only grown for commercial purposes these days. If you find a cannabis plantation, it is most likely that it belongs to someone (human grown).
Does this mean Cannabis can’t grow in the wild — by itself? Let’s find out…
A short history of wild Cannabis
Cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana or weed is a plant that grew widespread long before it became well known and commercialized. As the street name suggests, this plant is indeed a weed. It used to grow naturally (by itself) without the need for human interference, but mostly in its natural habitat.
Scientists are of the opinion that the cannabis plant stopped growing naturally as a result of bad weather conditions.
So what kind of climate does cannabis grow naturally?
The perfect climate where cannabis can grow naturally
Being a weed, cannabis can grow in just about any climate. It can adapt to dry, cool, warm or humid climate. Though experts growers have claimed it is more inclined towards warm and humid climates. However, dry and warm climates i.e. deserts, does not support the healthy growth of cannabis. In other words, cannabis can grow practically anywhere in the world besides in a desert.
Furthermore, when choosing to grow it, you may, therefore, need to create a warm and humid environment to encourage cannabis to grow naturally and thus give the best yields.
Origin of the cannabis plant
Cannabis is claimed to have first been found in the Himalayas in the Afghan region.
In the states, wild cannabis original roots are traced back to Indiana. However, the version of wild cannabis here is mostly used for its fiber, because the female plant is pollinated, thus making it useless to someone looking for its THC content — the compound that causes psychotropic effects in cannabis.
There is a breed of cannabis (ruderalis) that is claimed to be indigenous to Europe. It is known for its medicinal effect for treating depression but is not very effective in creating euphoria or any level of “entertainment” so to speak.
As the common myth goes, cannabis can indeed be found in Jamaica and Mexico. The climate in these countries is very conducive for growing cannabis, hence, why weed is grown in these countries more than anywhere else in the world and has become an important part of their culture.
Can wild cannabis be smoked?
Yes, wild cannabis can be smoked. There are different traits of cannabis present in the wild. Cannabis Sativa is the most popular — due to its high levels of THC.
Cannabis Indica, on the other hand, has therapeutic properties — due to its high levels of CBD.
How to identify wild cannabis
As much as there are different traits of cannabis, there are other plants that may deceive you into thinking they are cannabis. i.e. hops (Humulus lupulus).
The best indicator of a cannabis plant is its scent; cannabis has a distinctive scent that is singular and very potent. As soon as you come near a cannabis plant, you can tell immediately that it is marijuana (assuming you know the smell of weed). If you have no idea how a weed smell, then you may need to depend more on the physiological features.
The typical stem of a cannabis plant, be it male or female, is hairy and may have some sap oozing from it. Again, the scent is different from the sap. The main difference between a male plant’s stem and its female counterpart is that the male stem is generally longer.
The leaves of a cannabis plant grow like palm leaves, only that they are in an altering pattern and are serrated and the top part of the leaf is not smooth. The more the leaves there are on a stalk, the higher the chances that the cannabis plant you are looking at is a female plant.
Male plants have fewer leaves especially at the top of the plant. The most distinctive feature of a female cannabis plant is the presence of translucent hairs on the small buds at the joints of the stalks.
If you are thinking of harvesting cannabis from the wild, these are the features to look out for.
For the record, the female cannabis plant is mostly smoked than its male counterpart. You would hardly find the male cannabis plant rarely sold in dispensaries.
For how long can a cannabis plant grow?
If the cannabis plant is grown in a room where there is light for the most part of the day, the cannabis plant can be stuck in the vegetative state for years to come. Cannabis that grow naturally in the wild, has a lifespan of five to ten months or at best, a year.
There are, however, claims that in the tropics, the plant can survive a number of seasons where both male and female plants are growing together.
So where does cannabis grow naturally? Well, as much as cannabis can grow wild in a number of regions and adapting to different climate patterns, it is currently very hard to find it growing wild. Cannabis has become highly commercialized and as such, it is mostly found growing in fields and greenhouses specifically set up for it.