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A group of researchers who grew different varieties of industrial hemp to remedy soils by coal mining in Pennsylvania (USA) found that the levels of cannabidiol (CBD) in flowers increased in the process.
This improvement technique is called “phytoremediation” and consists of using the roots of the plant to absorb contaminants that are transformed into non-harmful toxins.
Industrial hemp has been recognized as a hyperaccumulator since its roots have the capacity to accumulate heavy metals (Nickel, Mercury, arsenic) and contaminants.
“The purpose of this study was to explore the potential of industrial hemp as an ecological option to remedy soils contaminated by mining in Pennsylvania,” says the research.
Toxic soil, clean flowers
Heavy metals were detected in the leaves of mature plants. However, they did not appear in their floral structure where most of their cannabinoids are concentrated, among which is CBD.
“Nickel’s concentration was 2.54 times higher in hemp leaves in the mining soil compared to greenhouse plantings. No difference was found in the expression of heavy metals in the transporter gene. ”
“The analysis of the secondary metabolite of the flower buds of hemp sown in mining soil showed a significant increase in the content of CBD (2.16%, 2.58%) compared to the controlled soil (1.08% 1.6% ) ”
These conclusions, in addition to accelerating the processes of remediation of contaminated soils, offer a new opportunity for sowing hemp.
The researchers hope that the study will contribute to generate public policies around the cultivation of hemp in a legal way.