cbd heavy metals nickel

Cannabis Heavy Metal Pollutants

This study summary provides fact-based answers about the potential for heavy metal contamination in cannabis hemp crops.

  • learn exactly how heavy metals pollutants concentrate in hemp and cannabis
  • learn how cannabis can be used to clean up mining sites (phytoremediation)
  • find out what you need to know if your hemp is grown in contaminated soil

If you don’t find an answer in this guide to a question you have, leave us a comment below. We’ll search the published studies to see if an answer exists and get back to you.

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2019 Study: Cannabis (hemp) Concentrates Pollutants From Growing Environment

2019 Study: Cannabis concentrates heavy metals in growing environment, can be used to clean polluted soils. #cbd #cannabis tell a friend


cbd heavy metals contamination medical studyPublished August 29, 2019






Study Results

  • Hemp can clean polluted soils of contaminant heavy metals.
  • Consumers of hemp should be conscious of where their hemp comes from since it likely concentrates contaminants from the growing environment. (1)








This 2019 research into hemp and cannabinoids aimed to find out if hemp could be used to clean the environment in polluted industrial areas. (2)



hemp heavy mentals


Growing Area

By growing hemp in areas of Pennsylvania polluted by coal mines the researchers aimed to find out if hemp could be used to remove pollutants like heavy metals from the soil. (3)

Types of hemp

Six different varieties of industrial hemp were grown:

  • Fedora 17
  • Felina 32
  • Ferimon
  • Futura 75
  • Santhica 27
  • USO 31

cannabidiol hemp research


  • The plants were grown in two different contaminated soil types and two different commercial potting soil types.  
  • The plants were grown in two environmental conditions (outside and greenhouse). (4)


hemp heavy metals content



Researchers conducted a heavy metal analysis of the plants for:

  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium

hemp strain research


  • Seed germination and growth rates were similar for all plants and all soil types however the plants grown in the greenhouse conditions did grow larger.
  • Hemp grown in the contaminated soil showed Nickel levels 2.54 times greater than those grown in potting soil.
  • Cannabidiolic acid levels were also greatly increased in the plants grown in contaminated soil. (5)


hemp nickel heavy metal study



  • There was an “18-fold increase in the expression of the cannabidiolic acid synthase gene in plants grown on mine land soil.”
  • The study concludes that hemp has a high tolerance to heavy metals. (6)


cannabidiol metal study



Learn more about phytoremediation and how hemp may be able to help clean polluted environments.


Download The CBD Research



Husain R, Weeden H, Bogush D, et al. Enhanced tolerance of industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) plants on abandoned mine land soil leads to overexpression of cannabinoids. PLoS One. 2019;14(8):e0221570. Published 2019 Aug 29. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0221570


Study Authors

Husain R

Penn State Harrisburg

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida A&M University

 Weeden H

Penn State Harrisburg

Bogush D

Penn State Harrisburg

Deguchi M

Penn State Harrisburg

Soliman M

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Potlakayala S

Penn State Harrisburg


Katam R

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida A&M University


Goldman S

Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo

Rudrabhatla S

Penn State Harrisburg


Keywords: Cannabis sativa; cannabidiol; hemp; heavy metals;

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