Heavy metals are toxic elements in nature being found in all environmental compartments and have a variety of application in human activities. They are not chemically or biologically degradable. Once exposed into the human environment, due to industrial activities, they can remain for hundreds of years, polluting the soil and accumulating in plants including cannabis and hemp and organic tissues. Moreover, their concentration in living beings increases as they move up the food chains.
In humans, this type of test is most often ordered when a patient shows symptoms of heavy metal poisoning or has been exposed to heavy metals. Because of the toxic nature of these substances, inhalation or ingestion of heavy metals can cause severe illness. Those illnesses can include neurotoxicity, which is highly harmful to humans.
Unfortunately, the cannabis and hemp plants will accumulate metals and other elements from the air, soil, water, pesticides, and fertilizers in their cultivation environment. Many people falsely believe that if their cannabis is grown indoors, it’s safe from these contaminants. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Furthermore, heavy metals can also be introduced during the manufacturing process and can hide in surprising places such as in the hardware or final packaging of the product.