Hemp is a wonderful plant and has literally thousands of different uses. Some stats say that there might be as many as approx 50,000 different ways that we can use hemp to benefit our societies, the economy, and the whole world around us. Some of the popular mentioned uses are medicines, plastics, oil, livestock feed, and paper materials. Removing toxic metals and radiation from soil is one more benefit to add to the list.
Hemp has successfully proved to us that its benefits are far more than other plants, it is phyto-remediative plant and scientists also found that it can help us to clean-up polluted areas that are affected by radiation. Scientists even used hemp to clean-up areas around the Chernobyl disaster and they noted that after the clean-up, hemp could be used to produce bio-fuel which would give them a second use out of it. Isn’t it amazing to know?
Well, there are number of studies that indicate hemp to be an extremely beneficial plant when it comes to absorbing toxins like heavy metals and more. It is said that the hemp plant can leach contaminants from the soil which makes hemp able to clean-up the infected area.
The Japanese were also considering and using it with the Fukushima disaster but due to the Cannabis Control Law forced into Japanese law by the occupying U.S. powers in 1948, hemp may only be grown under license, which are highly restricted and difficult to obtain.
The Fukushima disaster is one that authorities there have been struggling with for years to try and clean-up and get under control, and who knows how much better off the situation might be if they were allowed to try cleaning things up by growing some hemp plants.
A new radiation reading taken deep inside Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor No. 2 shows levels reaching a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, a number expert has called "unimaginable". If confirmed, this would be a huge deal, because, in the six years since the three Fukushima reactors went into meltdown, no one has ever been able to find any trace of the nuclear fuel rods.
A containment vessel at the destroyed Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached off-the-chart radiation levels, reported the Japan Times.
The reading of 530 sieverts per hour reading is high enough to prove fatal during even brief exposure, compounding the problem of containment for the government and Tokyo Power Electric Company (TEPCO). 4 sieverts would kill one in two people, and 1 seivert could lead to hair loss and infertility, the Japan Times noted, citing the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.
By using hemp to create bio-fuels (namely ethanol), scientists believe they can take advantage of the large amounts of contaminants hemp removes from soil as a by product of growing, trapping them in the plants, which are then removed entirely once the crop cycle completes.
Hemp helps to heal radiation
The late Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of The Miracle of Water had advocated for the use of Hemp plants to purify the environment in places such as Fukishima, and he called for a hemp revival globally.
“It is the suggestion to plant a lot of hemp in the land of Fukushima. Hemp is prohibited in almost all places in the world, but I am supporting the movement for hemp to revive...I think it has the…potentiality to purify the environment…I believe hemp fields will bring the eradication effect…So, I would like to cooperate with people around the world…so we can advocate.…hemp revival globally.”– Dr. Masaru Emoto
Here is a video below with English subtitles where Dr. Masaru Emoto talks about industrial hemp as a solution to the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. This can help you provide more answers to any lingering questions on why hemp is such a proven and valuable tool in the fight to repair human-inflicted damage to our soils and ecosystems.
So watch it and tell us your thoughts on the eradication effect hemp can bring to polluted soils and ecosystems on social media.
The hemp is used in the process of phytoremediation in order to clean the infected area. Phytoremediation is the process of using living plants in order to remove contaminants in the soil or ground water etc. This cleanup process is a very low-cost and solar energy driven technique. Not only is it cost-effective but it's also said to be the least harmful method for cleanup as it preserves the environment in a more natural state and uses living organisms in order to address the problem.
In response, it was decided that a concerted effort to reduce soil contamination through the use of beneficial plants would be undertaken. This process, known as phytoremediation, was implemented almost immediately.
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.
“As with the Chernobyl incident, scientists are finding radioactive emissions and toxic metals–including iodine, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium–concentrated in the soil, plants, and animals of Japan, but also now throughout the United States and all along the West Coast – from Canada to Mexico,” Sarich wrote for Nation of Change.
Ukraine Chernobyl disaster: 33 years of the world’s worst industrial nuclear accident
In 2009, scientists from Belarus also experimented with hemp in areas polluted by Chernobyl. The disaster contaminated nearly 20 miles around the site.
Belarus Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov said: “Belarus depends on imports of energy resources, which is why we invest considerable effort in building up technologies which can work on local and renewable energy sources”.
Which Plants are Useful in Phytoremediation?
Various plants have been utilized in Chernobyl for their ability to take up specific contaminants—two brassica varieties to remove chromium, lead, copper and nickel, maize to take up lead (various studies have demonstrated the excellent lead-uptake capability of this important crop), and more recently, sunflower and hemp.
Sunflower plantings began in 1996 subsequent to the development of a variety that promised hitherto unheard-of efficiency of decontamination; hemp plantings soon followed, in 1998.
Slavik Dushenkov, a research scientist with Phytotech, one of the organisations behind the hemp plantings, stated that “hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants we have been able to find”.
As hemp plant has amazing healing powers, the same plant can literally “eat away” nuclear waste. From the flower’s ability to aid and keep people from going blind, to the woody core of the stem’s ability to build fire proof homes and much more. Now, we can add another use to the list: Hemp as a tool to clean up nuclear contamination around Chernobyl.
Formerly used to clean Chernobyl as sunflower; hemp (cannabis) is a plant that can clean soil contaminated by nuclear radiation. For example, during the Fukushima disaster in Japan, hemp cultivation became necessary. Cannabis absorbs nuclear radiation, and could become the first-class alternative cleaner.
Plants are unique life forms, with metabolic and absorption abilities. Thus, plants have transport systems capable of taking nutrients, and metals. Apart from this, they also absorb contaminants selectively soil or water. Phytoremediation, the term for using phyto (plants) on polluted sites. It's restorative action of a plant.
This plant can literally "eat" nuclear waste. Like hemp, sunflowers were used after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to decontaminate the soil. TEPCO has not yet used phyto -remediation plants in Fukushima Prefecture. Nevertheless, Buddhist monk Koyu Abe launched a project called "Make a Wish on Flowers". This project calls on Japanese citizens to plant sunflower seeds.
Where else is Hemp Used in Phytoremediation?
In Puglia, Italy, industrial hemp is being used on a wide scale to assist in the decontamination of some of Europe’s most polluted soils. The Ilva steel plant, the largest of its kind in Europe, has poisoned local soil, plants, animals, and human residents for decades with its toxic emissions. It once churned out almost one-third of Italy’s steel. The plant helped turn Taranto into a grimy industrial city. Smoking chimneys, blast furnaces, and aggregates yards now dominate the once-pastoral town. Within a 20km radius of the plant, grazing livestock is prohibited.
Pokhran is a city and a municipality located in the Jaisalmer district of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is a remote location in the Thar Desert region and served as the test site for India's first underground nuclear weapon detonation.
India’s first nuclear test, which happened under Indira Gandhi in 1974, was conducted about 10 km away. Indira Gandhi verbally authorized scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Trombay to detonate small and miniaturized nuclear device. The device was formally called the “Peaceful Nuclear Explosive (PNE)” by Indian Government, but it was usually referred to as the Operation Smiling Buddha.
In 1998, 24 years after the first operation, the Atomic Energy Commission of India and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) carried out the joint operation, known as Pokhran-II which went by the code word Operation Shakti. The heavily-guarded site of the underground explosion is a mere 3 km from Khetolai, a village of roughly 5000 people near the town of Pokhran.
We’re being denied one of the healthiest foods (hemp seeds contain every essential protein your body needs), most versatile crops (can create everything from clothing to paper to furniture), and now one of the leading ways to fight nuclear radiation. Then why it is still illegal in India? We should rebel simply and let’s not forget that the radioactive waste from the Fukushima disaster is now washing up on America and Canada’s west coast.
Our close interaction with life in the Himalayas over the years has bought us to the conclusion that more people must learn about the benefits of the hemp plant.
We at Himalayan Hemp organisation are working hard by staying informed and talking to our state and national representatives, and our friends and family, about the benefits of Himalayan hemp for the economy and the environment.