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  • Karel Ancona - Best Cali Hemp

The Use of Hemp in Correcting Soil Irregularities.

When we talk about all the ways hemp can be beneficial to soil, those areas most commonly touched on are its regenerative properties and erosion control, both of which are very important.

Thanks to its phyto-remediative properties, hemp can also be used to clean up environments contaminated by oil, metals, chemicals such as pesticides, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, explosives and also those laden with radiation. While phytoremediation is the practice of using plants to combat and eliminate adverse elements and is commonly used to treat domestic wastewater. This eco- friendly approach is especially effective where there are low levels of contaminants, as higher levels tend to inhibit plant growth resulting in longer clean-up times which may not be cost-effective.

That said, finding healthy and effective ways to eliminate compounds that can cause injury to humans and animals is showing positive results. Hemp has been used to clean up soil contamination at various weapons production and closed military sites and landfills. The meltdown of the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986 affected everything within a nearly 19-mile range, much of it agricultural land. Twelve years later, one of the most important projects in history was undertaken by Ukraine’s Institute of Bast Crops, PHYTOTECH and Consolidated Growers and Producers, when they joined forces to plant hemp throughout the region as a way to clean the soil. The Institute boasts a collection of 400 varieties of hemp gathered from around the world and is leading the way in determining which varieties provide the greatest, most immediate benefit. The Institute has also lead in creating hemp strains with very low TCH levels, a task they were given in 1973 by the Department of Health and Agriculture and the Department of The Interior of the former USSR.

While Chernobyl and more recently Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant are glaring examples of environmental abuse, as of last year within the United States, there were 1,344 designated Superfund Sites with another 48 sites proposed for entry on the list. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates Superfund Sites as those posing the greatest human health and environmental risk, placing urgency placed on clean-up.

While a host of plants are commonly used for phytoremediation - everything from water lilies and algae to sunflowers - studies have found that hemp may be a better answer not only because of its efficacy, but that once its growing/cleaning cycle is complete, the crop can be harvested and manufactured in a secondary way, whereas other plants are simply discarded.

Cost has impeded more timely intervention at our Superfund Sites, but knowing what we do currently about hemp’s ability to neutralize poisons in the earth provides both environmentally sound and cost-effective solution than can be used with solely or in tandem with other cleaning methods. At this moment it’s simply a matter of getting the powers that be on board to take this approach.

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