Hemp is a widely used plant that serves an abundance of purposes across many industries. But it could also serve as the future of crop rotation and the health of the soil. PLOS One recently conducted a study in which industrial hemp was used in an experiment testing the toxicity levels of contaminated land before and after cannabis sativa was introduced to the soil.
The results concluded that the hemp plant removed toxins and grew normally, assuming from this study that the hemp was capable of healing contaminated soil. The ecological crisis of the 21st century demands new ways of cleaning our earth and it may start with the hemp plant and its ability to remove dangerous waste and chemical by-products from our soil.
How Does it Work?
As the hemp plant moves through its stages of growth, it participates in a process called “phytoremediation” in which the plant’s roots grow deeper into the soil, absorbing any positive nutrients left for itself as well as the damaging chemicals left behind by previous crops. Moreover, this absorption does not negatively affect the plant even though it stores these toxins in various parts of its body, given the duration of its growing period being under six months.
Students at Colorado State University (CSU) have been working closely with this subject matter, continuously researching plant biology with the hope of finding innovative processes to later implement into the field of industrial agriculture. While these studies and their accuracy continue with time, it is interesting to gain insight into how hemp is becoming more than just a holistic medical treatment.
Some scientists are looking above and beyond our agricultural system towards how hemp can naturally contain and heal corroded and radioactive grounds such as the Chernobyl site in Ukraine. The studies looking into this phenomenon are continuing to uncover more about the unique biology of the hemp plant, and their findings could impact the future of the planet significantly.
What Does This Mean for the Hemp Industry?
With this newly gathered information regarding the way hemp can be more productively sourced, corporations within the industry are being encouraged to look closely at how their products are being sourced. With the CBD industry growing annually and the environmental crisis growing in relevance economically, big CBD brands need to engage with this research to reach sustainability within the production of each CBD product.
There are many elements to these studies that have not yet been wholly excavated; however, strides to a cleaner future are becoming the foreground for the hemp industry and environmental activists alike.