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From rope, to clothes, to paper, to fuel, it seems that hemp’s uses are endless. Now scientists have identified one more benefit of the versatile plant – removing radiation from soil.

“The process of using plants to clean polluted soil is called phytoremediation. According to a 2014 report from Nation of Change’s Christina Sarich, two members of the mustard family are more frequently used in phytoremediation, but cannabis has shown some promise because of its hardiness to toxins and quick growth rates. Some have even considered using it near Fukushima.”

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In 2009, scientists from Belarus experimented with using hemp to detoxify land near Chernobyl, the location of a catastrophic nuclear incident that occurred in the 1980s. In addition to helping clean up radiation near the site, they discovered an additional use.

“The Belarusian scientists noted that one added benefit of industrial hemp over other phytoremediation plants is that it can also be used to produce biofuel, potentially adding a second use for the crop after it removes toxins from the soil.”Learn more about how hemp is being used for phytoremediation in this study published in the Scientific Bulletin of Escorena, and titled “Bioremediation of soil contaminated with cadmium using hemp shives. A case study of modification of physiological parameters in Triticum aestivum”.

Photo by Robert Nelson on Unsplash