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Is Marijuana Use Linked to Higher Levels of Lead and Cadmium?

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A study of more than 7,200 adults found that those who reported using marijuana within the past 30 days had 27% higher blood lead levels and 22% higher cadmium levels than those who did not use marijuana. The difference was statistically significant even after adjusting for other factors such as age, sex, race, and education.

The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University, looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The NHANES is a long-running study that collects data on the health and diet of Americans.

Lead and Cadmium in Marijuana

The researchers believe that the higher levels of cadmium in marijuana users are due to the fact that cannabis plants can absorb these metals from the soil. Cannabis plants are particularly good at absorbing heavy metals, and the contaminants can travel through the stalk of the plant into the leaves and flowers.

Lead and cadmium are both heavy metals that can be harmful to health. Lead can cause damage to the brain, nervous system and kidneys. Cadmium can damage the kidneys, lungs, and bones.

The researchers are not sure why marijuana use is linked to higher levels of lead and cadmium. One possibility is that the soil where marijuana is grown can be contaminated with these metals. Another possibility is that the smoke from marijuana contains lead and cadmium.
The study’s findings suggest that marijuana users may be at increased risk of exposure to lead and cadmium. However, more research is needed to confirm this link and to understand the health implications.

What the Research Says

The researchers believe that the higher levels of lead and cadmium in marijuana users are due to the fact that cannabis plants can absorb these metals from the soil. Cannabis plants are particularly good at absorbing heavy metals, and the contaminants can travel through the stalk of the plant into the leaves and flowers.

The study’s findings suggest that marijuana users may be at increased risk of exposure to lead and cadmium. However, more research is needed to confirm this link and to understand the health implications.

Marijuana plants can absorb heavy metals from the soil, and these metals can then be ingested by humans who consume the plant. Lead and cadmium are two heavy metals that are harmful to human health. Lead can cause brain damage and learning problems, while cadmium can cause kidney disease and cancer.

“For both cadmium and lead, these metals are likely to stay in the body for years, long after exposure ends,” said Tiffany Sanchez, an author of the study and an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

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