With the help of researchers, farmers, and hemp in Chernobyl it was shown, that the process of toxic soil cleaning can be accelerated with the most nature friendly process you can think of – PHYTOREMEDIATION. The effect of cannabis in Chernobyl is only one of many cases which brought positive results.
Phytoremediation or soil decontamination is the cleansing of soil with the use of plants. It has been known for a long time that cannabis is very effective in this area. Its performance is so good, it was used to cleanse the soil of radioactive waste after the largest nuclear accident in history – in Chernobyl.
WHAT MAKES CANNABIS SUCH A GOOD PHYTOREMEDIATION PLANT?
Fast growth and relatively simple cultivation
Cannabis can be grown in many different climates, temperatures and soils. It is not very demanding compared to some other phytoremediation plants.
It grows and reproduces quickly and requires little time to cleanse a larger area.
Extensive root system
Compared to other plants used for this purpose, its extensive roots can cleanse the soil much deeper.
Relatively low costs
Cultivation of cannabis is not as expensive compared to other plants. Furthermore, cannabis plants that have elements they cleansed from the ground in them, can be used and sold for specific purposes, which do not harm humans and nature. You can read more about cannabis here.
PHYTOREMEDIATION WITH HEMP IN CHERNOBYL
In April 1986, the largest nuclear disaster in history happened in Chernobyl.
Farmers in the area were worried that their land will remain toxic forever, due to toxic metals that penetrated in the soil.
Phytotech company (specialized in phytoremediation) proved, that cannabis can be used for soil cleansing, as well as removal of various metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, oil compounds and other toxins.
When farmers started growing cannabis in area around the deserted nuclear plant Chernobyl, they notices that cannabis drastically decreases the toxin levels in the soil.
For almost two decades, cannabis has been lowering the toxicity of the land surrounding Chernobyl in the town of Pripyat, Ukraine. Hemp in Chernobyl has been an efficient natural solution.
This nuclear disaster had strong effects on people and animal health, geopolitical stability and the future of wider area surrounding the nuclear power plant.
In 1990, only 4 years after the first explosion, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requested a status report regarding Chernobyl and surrounding area. In 30 kilometer radius surrounding Chernobyl, they found high concentrations of toxic metals in the soil and animal tissue, including lead, cesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium. They responded immediately and phytoremediation was implemented as fast as possible.
Phytoremediation is a term invented by a scientist Ilya Raskin. He was a member of the team that tested cannabis ability to accumulate heavy metals and toxins from the soil in the Chernobyl area in the 90s.
Confirmed by another team member Vyacheslav Dushenkov, the experiment was very successful: “For the compounds the soil was tested, cannabis showed exceptional phytoremediation abilities “.
According to scientists estimation Chernobyl and surrounding area will not be habitable for at least 20.000 years. With the use of cannabis, this timeline can be shortened in a completely natural approach.
OTHER USE CASES
In Italy (Puglia) cannabis is being widely used for decontamination of one of the most toxic soils in Europe.
Steel factory Ilva, one of the largest in Europe poisoned the surrounding soil due to its toxic emmissions. It will have a profound effect on the city’s inhabitants, animals and plants for decades. In factory’s 20 km radius it is not allowed to graze livestock.
From the year 2012, when the extent of consequences was cleary visible, farmers started to cultivate millions of cannabis plants in order to decontaminate the soil. From that moment on local area cannabis cultivation increased from 3 ha to 300 ha. There are over 100 farmers growing cannabis.
In 2012 Chinese scientists discovered, that cannabis successfully absorbs cadmium from the soil.
Cadmium is a heavy metal and one of the larger land polluters. It can be very dangerous if it sneaks in to the food chain, as it can lead to serious joint and spine pain. Furthermore, cadmium is also linked to causing kidney damage and certain types of cancer.
CAUTION IS REQUIRED
As demonstrated, cannabis is an effective tool to repair the damage humans have done to the land and ecosystem. It can have a positive effect on many different areas around the world.
On the other hand, we have to be very careful regarding the kind of cannabis products we buy. Growers, producers and sellers often have no idea on what kind of land cannabis grew, and do not analyse the land for heavy metals and other toxins.
As cannabis successfuly absorbs all of this, the product use can also have negative results.
That is why at DragonWear, we always focus on the entire supply chain to bring you the highest quality, from soil to the final product.