On a global scale, marijuana is the third most often used drug. According to a recent study, marijuana users had much greater levels of heavy metals in blood and urine than non-users.
Heavy Metals in Blood and Urine
The cannabis plant is regarded as a metal hyperaccumulator, meaning it has the capacity to absorb and store specific metals found in soil, fertilizers, water, and pesticides. When these metals are ingested in the form of medications, they can potentially enter human bodies which will result in high levels of heavy metals in blood and urine.
Blood and urine samples collected between 2005 and 2018 were painstakingly examined by a team of researchers, including those from Columbia University. The samples were collected as part of the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
According to reports, the level of heavy metals in blood of 358 people who admitted to using marijuana within the preceding 30 days was 27% higher than those of people who said they did not use marijuana or tobacco.
On the other hand, it was found that heavy metals in blood of marijuana users had 22 percent more cadmium.
High Levels of Heavy Metals in Blood
Humans who are exposed to lead over an extended period of time may experience a number of harmful health impacts aside from heavy metals in blood and urine, including neurological disorders (including cognitive and behavioral problems), high blood pressure, joint pain, and kidney damage.
Cadmium has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a human carcinogen. Through tobacco smoke, even a small amount of exposure to this metal can result in kidney issues and weakened bones.
Even if a person stops smoking marijuana, these metal residues stay in the body for a long time and will result in heavy metals in blood and urine and other severe illnesses.
The report did not mention whether marijuana was taken as edibles or in joints, though. However, the authors caution that breathing lead is more dangerous than taking it through food due to the significantly higher absorption rate associated with inhalation.
The use of marijuana is still illegal at the federal level in the United States, despite the fact that many states have legalized it for recreational and medical use.