The marijuana plant is an amazing plant, full of healing cannabinoids that are still being discovered.
The ability of cannabis to extract dangerous heavy metals from the soil has a dark side, especially in states where the soil may still have some old contaminants lurking within.
It can be used for phytoremediation, where the plant literally draws in heavy metal contaminants out of the soil, up through the roots, and into the stalks and buds. Tomatoes and some species of geraniums do this too. It cleans the soil, then gets destroyed.
Cannabis does such a good job of this that researchers near Chernobyl were using cannabis to help clean the soil of the dangerous radioactive elements strontium and cesium.
But that ability of the plant has a dark side. It’s not something that can be turned on and off.
As the industry grows in states where the soil may still have some old contaminants lurking within them, outdoor cannabis growers are confronted with a wide range of dangerous heavy metal contaminants that could get into their plant. This includes Pennsylvania, where abandoned coal mine runoff carries high levels of heavy metals that get into the soil through the water; Nevada, where researchers are looking at the possibility of radioactive material contaminating ground water used in agriculture in one of the state’s well-known farming corridors, where a large marijuana company is planting 10 acres of marijuana this spring; and Hawaii, where volcanic activity creates deposits of lead and mercury.
Any grower planting on the front range in Colorado has to be aware of this continuous flow of mineral and heavy metal deposits, which has been going on for decades and is a constant source of contaminants.
Read the full article at TheFreshToast