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Bioaccumulation in Hemp: Here is What You Need to Know

Bioaccumulation is an essential process that organisms use to absorb materials and populate them in their tissues. In plants, good bioaccumulators have an advantage over other plants because they are able to develop their cells, tissues, seeds, and other tissues fast. The main issue with bioaccumulation is that when plants take some harmful chemicals, they are unable to expel them. This implies that they will be present in the products made with tissues of that plant.

In hemp production and products, heavy metals have been a serious concern because they pose serious health risks to users. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has imposed major limitations on the allowed heavy metal levels. Here is what you need to know about bioaccumulation in hemp plants.

Hemp Plant and Bioaccumulation

Heavy metals are metallic components that are naturally occurring in the earth’s crust, meaning that they can be found readily in the soil. However, some activities such as industrial production, pollution and mining can significantly raise heavy metals concentration in soils.

Cannabis, specifically, is proficient in uptaking heavy metals and retaining them in its tissues. If the producer does extract the heavy metals during processing, they are likely to be too high in the resulting products. Some of the common heavy metals that are common in some hemp products include:

• Lead.
• Mercury.
• Arsenic.
• Cadmium.

Dangers Posed by Heavy Metals from Bioaccumulation

As we have pointed out, bioaccumulation is bad news for cannabis users because heavy metals cause serious health risks as mentioned on Most heavy metals cause serious toxicological problems to users and have no therapeutic benefits. Here are some of these problems:

  • Mercury: If you get exposed to mercury, even in small amounts, it can result in loss of memory, muscle weakness, and hearing trouble.
  • Cadmium: When you take hemp products with cadmium, there is a risk of suffering from fever, chills, and muscle pain. It also raises the risk of kidney and lung disease.
  • Lead: Whether inhaled or swallowed, lead can interfere with the functioning of your enzymes. In high quantities, lead can cause heart, kidney, and brain failure.
  • Arsenic: When you ingest arsenic, it impacts almost every organ in the body. Acute arsenic levels can result in vomiting and abdominal pain, while chronic levels can cause cancer and heart disease.

Compliance Testing for Heavy Metals

After the passing of the Farm Bill Amendments of 2018 that opened the doors to open trading of cannabis products, the main focus was ensuring that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not surpass 0.3%. However, all the products must also meet the FDA requirements for low levels of heavy metals to help keep consumers safe.

To ensure that the products you stock have no heavy metals or do not surpass the legally allowed threshold, you should have them tested in an accredited third-party laboratory. These labs use the latest technologies to check the presence and quantities of individual heavy metals. If you find a product that contains very high levels of heavy metals, ensure to avoid it and that supplier too. In addition to testing your products for heavy metals, the laboratories also test biocontaminants, organic solvents, and pesticides.

The best way to stock quality hemp products, guarantee your clients value for money, and avoid getting into conflict with the law is by testing them in third party lab. Click here to learn how to get your samples tested by our experts.

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