Cannabis Plants May Contain Heavy Metals Affecting Human Health

Jan, 2022 - By WMR

Cannabis Plants May Contain Heavy Metals Affecting Human Health

New study indicated that cannabis contaminated with heavy metals may lead to chronic diseases, including neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Cannabis plants that are used for producing cannabidiol (CBD) oil, and medicinal marijuana amongst other products can absorb heavy metals from the soil, which makes them useful for redressing contaminated places. However, absorbing harmful metals can make cannabis toxic for consumers ingesting it. A new research conducted by a group of scientists from Penn State indicated that consumption of cannabis contaminated with heavy metals may develop chronic diseases including neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The research published in the journal Toxin Reviews on October 2021, suggests some strategies that could be used to ease the ability of plant to absorb heavy metals from soil. Cannabis plant transfer these heavy metals into its flowers and leaves. These elements particularly get collected in the hairlike structures known as trichomes on its flowers, where the plant keeps cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. In this new research, the scientists studies 25 previously conducted research that provide a wide investigation into the current study of cannabis contaminated with heavy metals. The research indicated that human body rarely metabolizes these heavy metals. These metals gradually get accumulated in different parts of the body once they are consumed through cannabis causing various potential health issues.

After analysing heavy metals in smoke of cannabis, the team found the presence of heavy metals including mercury, selenium, lead, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, and nickel. It indicated that such heavy metals in cannabis products can have harmful effects on consumers, especially cancer patients. Furthermore, to ease this absorption of heavy metals, the researchers suggested some methods for cannabis agriculture. The methods include avoiding land used earlier for industrial purposes, soil testing before starting farming of new cannabis, and a formal certification of ‘heavy metal free’ on cannabis products for commercial use. 

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