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Where does weed grow in the wild?

Cannabis, also known as “weed,” is said to have originated in Central Asia, more especially in what are now known as southern Siberia and Mongolia. It has spread over time by both natural dispersion and human cultivation, reaching many different regions of the globe. It grows wild, or as “feral cannabis,” in a number of places, including, Central Asia, India, between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Africa, Europe, and North America.

What are the natural conditions that cannabis plants thrive in?

Cannabis grows well in moderate, temperate regions with sufficient soil drainage and sunlight. They may thrive in many climates, although they favor moist, warm areas.

Can cannabis grow in any type of soil in the wild?

Cannabis, despite its adaptability, is most successful in soil that is rich with organic matter and has good drainage. It is able to grow in a wide range of soil types, however it might not be able to survive in soils that are severely dry or wet.

How do cannabis plants spread in the wild?

Plants that produce cannabis have the ability to spread by natural seed distribution, which is frequently enhanced by animals or by human intervention. Once the seeds have been distributed, the plant is able to grow in a variety of conditions due to its resilience.

Are there different strains of wild cannabis?

There is, in fact, a wide variety of wild cannabis strains, which are frequently referred to as “landrace strains.” As a result of generations of adaptation to particular local settings, these strains are able to display features that are unique to themselves.

Does wild cannabis pose any ecological risks?

In some environments, wild cannabis could take over and make native plants less viable. But its effects depend on the surroundings and plants that are already there.

Can wild cannabis be used for medicinal purposes?

Even though it's possible, cannabis grown in the wild might not work as well as types that have been bred to have certain medical benefits. The cannabinoid profile of weed grown in the wild isn't always clear.

How does wild cannabis compare to indoor-grown cannabis in terms of quality?

Cannabis grown in the wild might not be as good as cannabis grown indoors, especially when it comes to how strong it is and how the buds are structured. Cultivated strains are often bred to have certain traits, such as a high THC/CBD content, good taste, and a strong smell, that wild strains might not have.

Is wild cannabis the same as the cannabis grown for recreational or medical use?

The amounts of THC and CBD in wild cannabis can be different from those in farmed strains. A lot of wild strains have less THC than commercial strains that have been carefully bred for medical or recreational use.

Whether you're curious about its natural habitat or want to start hunting for wild weed, knowing this plant's favorite growing locations in the wild goes to show how hardy and widespread it has become.

Weed grows naturally all over the world in every continent, except for Antarctica. Originating on the steppes of East Asia, cannabis was grown for its grain and fiber, as well as for medicinal and spiritual purposes.

Today, it is widely used for its therapeutic benefits. But not all weed is the same. A feral form that grows in the wild has low traces of THC and won't get users high. So, where exactly does this feral weed grow that doesn't need careful tending? Let us find out.

What Is Ditchweed?

Wild cannabis, also known as ditchweed, is a common type of naturally-growing cannabis that grows mainly in the United States. Ditchweed refers to a type of marijuana that grows wild , scattered without having been planted, fertilized, or tended to.

  • Ditchweed: Wild growing weed with no detectable levels of THC
  • Cultivated cannabis: Commercial-grown weed with THC levels reaching 20% or higher

Ditchweed is thought to have spread from previously planted hemp back in the day. Since it hasn't been consciously planted, it doesn't have the high resin content of commercially-grown weed.

Ditch Weed Vs. Real Weed

“Ditch weed” differs from what one may refer to as “real weed,” or more precisely, “cultivated cannabis,” in terms of its origins, qualities, and intended applications. Let's examine the variations:

Origins and History

Ditch Weed is a word used to describe wild, untamed cannabis that grows in locations where hemp was formerly grown, particularly in the American Midwest. These plants are remains of previous industrial hemp plantations. Over the years, ditch weed has multiplied in the wild, becoming a typical appearance in some areas.

Cannabis that has been purposely grown for commercial, medical, or recreational purposes is referred to as cannabis that has been cultivated. Cannabis that has been grown has been selectively developed through time to improve particular traits.

cannabis growing naturally in the wild outdoors

THC Concentration

Ditch cannabis typically has an extremely low, frequently insignificant THC concentration. The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC, is what gives consumers the “high” they desire.

The THC content of cannabis that has been grown can vary depending on its intended usage. Recreational strains have been cultivated to have high THC content, while certain therapeutic strains may have more of an emphasis on CBD and other helpful ingredients.

CBD Content

Ditch weed may contain more CBD than THC, though the amounts may still be small in comparison to hemp grown specifically for CBD extraction.

Cannabis that has been grown is particularly for therapeutic purposes, several strains of cannabis are grown for their high CBD content.


Because ditch weed grows in the wild without human interference, they can appear “weedy” and uncared for. They may have fewer buds and be tall and wiry.

Cannabis plants grown for recreational or therapeutic purposes are typically bushier and have dense, resin-rich buds. Growers use a variety of methods to increase output and potency.


Ditch weed has a low THC level, making it unsuitable for recreational use. Due to its non-uniformity, it is also not suitable for industrial usage or CBD extraction.

Depending on the strain and cultivation techniques, this cannabis can be utilized for recreational use, medical usage, or industrial uses such the production of hemp fiber, seed oil, and other products.

Legal Repercussions

Although ditch weed is not suitable for recreational use, it may still be illegal to possess it in jurisdictions where cannabis is prohibited.

Depending on your location and the intended use of the cannabis, the legal status differs greatly.

Some places authorize the production of industrial hemp but not THC-rich cannabis, while others can allow the cultivation of therapeutic cannabis but not recreational cannabis.

In conclusion, although being the same plant species, ditch weed and grown cannabis have very different cannabinoid profiles, physical characteristics, applications, and histories.

Where Does Weed Grow Naturally In The Wild?

In the mid-twentieth century, this type of low-THC cannabis was widely grown in the Midwest of the United States. Industrial hemp is a variety of cannabis used for its fiber from its stalk for textiles, paper, clothing, rope, and more, primarily to help during World War II.

In the 1950s, hemp production was halted, but by then, it's cultivation was rampant. Since then, its seeds have spread across great distances in the U.S.

Since they can remain dormant for up to a decade, there was plenty of opportunity for its spread and growth in the wild, especially in states in the midwest including Minnesota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, and Nebraska.

Over the years, it's been linked with high-THC cannabis and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to eradicate it in the US.

In fact, in 2003, ditchweed made up about 99% of the cannabis that was eradicated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In 2006, the last year these numbers were reported for ditchweed, ditchweed accounted for 98% of all eradicated cannabis.

Based on the 2006 Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, here were the top states where ditchweed was eradicated and the number of plants that were eradicated:

  • Indiana – 80,794,808
  • Missouri – 2,838,328
  • Colorado – 137,695
  • Nebraska – 46,853
  • Wisconsin – 31,380
  • Oklahoma – 30,594
  • Iowa – 18,280
  • Kansas – 3, 960
  • Illinois – 1,497

Wild cannabis can be found nearly anywhere, but prefers some climates over others. Your best bet is to look in areas with warmer climates and plenty of humidity such as tropical environments.

However, cannabis can also be found in cool and dry climates, too. In fact, cannabis is thought to have originated near the cold climate of the Himalayan mountains.

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How to Find Wild Weed

Weed grows naturally all over the world. From the cold-weather mountainside of the Himalayas to the warm and humid climes of Mexico and Jamaica, cannabis can survive under a variety of environments, although better in some than others.

Today, it's not as easy as taking a joyride around your town to find wild weed, but it can be done with a little hard work,  patience, and perseverance. Along the side of the road in the country. In a long neglected open patch of field. Amongst wild plants growing in the mountainside.  Cannabis can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

If you're dead-set on finding wild weed (feral cannabis) here are some tips to help you find this naturally-growing plant:

  • Fall is a great time to start looking for wild cannabis when it is flowering or has grown seeds.
  • Wild weed has no specific size or shape. It ranges from plants a few inches tall to ones that grow well above your own height. In addition, its leaves may be thin and narrow or broad and a variety of shades of green.
  • Look near areas with plenty of natural light exposure, including patches of soil near man-made structures such as abandoned lots and hiking paths. Cannabis is less likely to survive in low light areas. Wild cannabis is also unlikely to grow in areas with moist and rich soil.
  • Practice proper foraging etiquette and avoid taking entire plants, roots and all. Pick only a small amount of flower or seeds and spread a few seeds around in an area with a similar growing environment.
  • Be careful since what you think might be a wild cannabis crop is a guerilla grow with caretakers that may not be too friendly.

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Luis Cordova
Luis Cordova

Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.

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