Hemp is Natural but that Doesn’t Mean it’s Safe

by Rachel Bloom

April 01, 2021 - 2 min read

Hemp is cannabis and cannabis is one of the most efficient bioaccumulator/ phytoremediator plants.  Phytoremediation refers to a plant absorbing heavy metals and other chemical wastes from soil. Phytoremediation is an efficient method for absorbing toxic waste from soil and allowing it to be removed via the plant's biomass and then remediated. However, it’s not desirable as a biomass that will be used to extract or isolate distilled products for human and animal consumption. Heavy metals and chemical waste are not only difficult to remove, but also hard to identify and test for. There are no standards for testing or labeling of CBD products in the U.S. The heavy metals, toxic impurities and chemical contaminants in hemp are well documented. According to a recent study performed by the non-profit consumer advocacy organization the Clean Label Project, “The top 10 brands averaged 34ppb of Lead, that’s higher than the 23ppb of Lead that was found in the Flint Michigan water crisis”  They tested 242 total products and the results were alarming. The most common pesticides found in the study were Propiconazole, Pyrimethanil, and Azoxystrobin, all powerful pesticides. Because there is no national standard or regulatory body overseeing the testing of CBD products, CBD brands can pick and choose what to test for and where and when to test. What's more, many practice what’s called “lab shopping”, which allows the company testing the CBD to choose things like limits of detection and what is an acceptable level of impurity. There is a growing body of independent third party research showing that, not only are test results inconsistent but are made more problematic by the lack of universal testing standards. Even small amounts of neurotoxins, mycotoxins and THC can stay in your system and can build on earlier exposure leading to neurotoxicity.

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