Cannabis plants have been used for medicinal properties and recreational activities for thousands of years. Horticulturalists of the cannabis crop have long-known of the plant’s phyto-reclamation processes and reclamation capacity to uptake and absorb heavy metals. Elements including mercury, arsenic, selenium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and lead, can be absorbed from soil or hydroponics nutrient solutions. These materials can then pass onto the consuming individual.
The human body does not metabolize heavy metals, but stores and accumulates them within the body. This process can redact the intended medicinal properties of consuming cannabis. If those consumed metals reach toxic levels it could lead to negative impacts on human health.
Thankfully, states are adopting heavy metal testing thresholds among commercial production of the crop to support health and safety for the end-consumer. However, there is little existing regulation on products used among non-commercial scale enterprises. This leaves the “medicinal” and “home grower” to self-educate and be aware of heavy metal content within materials (soil and/or nutrient solutions) used to cultivate the crop for safer human consumption.
The cannabis plant has amazing medicinal properties. Selecting a cultivar[s] that has low phyto-reclamation processes is another avenue to provide a “safety net” for reducing heavy metals from entering the end products that are beneficial to the human body. One sign that the cultivar or “strain” has high phyto-reclamation processes are cultivars with rapid growth rates, require minimal amounts of nutrients, and/or have high photosynthesis rates.
To ensure a cannabis product has the intended medicinal effects, growers must pay more attention to the materials their plants are grown in. Selecting a cultivar with low phyto-reclamation processes, and researching growing products, are just a couple key steps to ensuring a quality product.
A person or corporation cultivating cannabis may purchase agricultural and/or horticultural materials that are labeled with “organic, natural, etc.” but that inadvertently contain dangerous levels of heavy metals. The consumer, corporate or home grower, is at risk if the manufacturer of said growing products cannot (or will not) produce a heavy metal report for the grower to make an educated decision on what materials to use to cultivate cannabis crops with safer methods and practices.
One effective agricultural and/or horticultural strategy to prevent heavy metals from entering the nutrient uptake stream, and consequently the end products for human consumption, is to use materials which go through rigorous and regular testing. These tests ensure the limits are as low as possible, preferably No Detect (n.d) for heavy metals that can negatively impact human health and redact the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant.
Purple Cow Organics soil amendments and soil blends are OMRI Listed for Organic use. Our products undergo stringent quality and purity tests on a regular basis, as a requirement for maintaining our OMRI Listing status. In addition, we regularly perform internal quality assessments to ensure that our products uphold the promise of high-quality, clean growing materials. Click Here to learn more about the heavy-metal testing standards we follow.
We are proud to share with you the results of our heavy-metal tests for IndiCanja and Crafter's Mix, compared to standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Our products consistently fall significantly below the EPA’s maximum concentrations restrictions. Growers can trust in the quality of our mixes and amendments, and the care we take to ensure that your plants (and your end-product) are clean and pure.