What is remediation?
Remediation refers to the process by which soil is replenished with nutrients and aerated following a harvest. As plants grow, they take nutrients and useful compounds out of the soil for use, and they replace them with waste products and toxins. After this has occurred, soil must be remediated before a new round of vegetation can be grown.
Often, farmers use enormous machines to filter soil and aerate it for the next sowing. There are also a wide array of chemical treatments that serve to modify soil content and enable continued farming. Sometimes, farmers will use other plants to remediate the soil – a process known as phytoremediation. This is a better alternative because it is significantly more affordable, it doesn’t introduce any new harmful compounds to the soil, and it requires no work.
Hemp and phytoremediation
Hemp is one of the few plants that can grow in unremediated soil, and is therefore a ranking candidate for phytoremediation purposes. In fact, hemp thrives in such inhospitable environments. Industrial hemp plants, one of the most hearty and resilient species in existence, have the uncanny ability to remove toxins and heavy metals from the soil.
In areas where there has been severe industrial pollution and even in the landscape surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, hemp plants are incredibly useful in removing toxins from the ground and returning the soil to a state where it can nourish plants rather than poison them. They are also apparently highly effective in removing radioactive substances from the soil.
Hemp is unique for the sheer amount. No other plant on Earth produces an exclusive number of compounds that are all biologically active in humans. However, no other plant is able to sustain itself while absorbing so many toxic chemicals simultaneously. When hemp is used to remediate farmland, all of the harmful waste products that it removes from the soil are contained within its biomass. When the end use of a plant is for the production of textiles or automotive parts, this is no problem.
However, when the purpose of a harvest is to produce a product or extract for human consumption, things can get tricky. It is extremely vital that the grower know the quality of the soil before he chooses how to utilize the yield; toxins become more concentrated as they move up the food chain, so hemp-based medicines or edibles may be unhealthy to consume unless they have been rigorously tested.