Cannabis plants have the capacity to assimilate overwhelming metals from the soil, making them valuable for remediating sullied destinations. But this capacity to drench up harmful metals may too make cannabis unsafe for shoppers who ingest it. A modern meta-analysis by analysts at Penn State analyzes the capacity of cannabis plants to assimilate overwhelming metals and examines the coming about wellbeing impacts on shoppers. The group proposes a outline of methodologies for producers to ease heavy-metal take-up by their crops.
“Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium, are known to be carcinogenic,” said Louis Bengyella, assistant research professor of plant science, Penn State. “The heavy-metal content of cannabis is not regulated; therefore, consumers could unknowingly be exposed to these toxic metals. This is bad news for anyone who uses cannabis but is particularly problematic for cancer patients who use medical cannabis to treat nausea and pain associated with their treatments.” […] “The problem is if we use these strains that were developed for phytoremediation without considering why they were developed in the first place, we may unknowingly expose consumers to heavy metals,” – Louis Bengyella / 21-Sep. 2021 / tandfonline.com
What The Team Learned
The team learned that some cannabis strains are commonly used for phytoremediation because of their unique physical characteristics — including long stem length, fast growth, high root, and leaf surface area, high photosynthetic activity, and dependence on relatively few nutrients for survival — which facilitate the absorption of heavy metals. The team also found that lead, cadmium, and chromium, specifically, are capable of being transported and distributed up through the stalk and into the leaves and flowers of the plant. These heavy metals then exit the plant through trichomes, which are hairlike structures located on the flowers.