The study analyzed 25 different types of fertilizers, seven “organic” varieties and 18 “chemical” fertilizers. The results showed that the chemical fertilizers emitted on average five times the radiation of the organic group.
There are different ways of measuring radioactivity. The chart below shows the “counts per minute” (CPM) of radiation detected in each sample. The average for the organic fertilizers was 140, while the chemical fertilizers had an average radiation count of 675, an almost five-fold increase.
The lowest radiation was found in the organic blood meal fertilizers, which emitted only background radiation ? the normal low radiation found in most objects. On the other end of the spectrum was the 5-20-20 berry food, with a radiation level about 24 times higher than background.
These levels of radiation don’t pose a danger through simply being around bags of fertilizer. However, cannabis and other plants are known to uptake radioactive elements from their growing medium (CC#18, Hemp helps Chernobyl). Radiation exposure is accumulative, so that repeated inhalation would present an increasing health risk.
Numerous studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other health, science and radiation journals have indicated that it is the radioactive elements in tobacco which lead to lung cancer (CC#35, Radioactive tobacco). Tobacco is typically fed with high-phosphate, chemical fertilizers, including heavy foliar spraying. All of these factors would produce a high-level of radioactive elements in the tobacco leaf.
Although further research is needed, this study does point the way to some simple harm-reduction techniques for pot growers. Many growers believe that using organic fertilizers produces a tastier, higher-quality bud. This study indicates that they could also be producing a less harmful product than that produced with many chemical fertilizers.
While cannabis and cannabinoids are non-toxic, radiation is a major cause of cancer. Further studies are clearly needed, but it seems likely that the best way to keep your buds as safe and harmless as possible is to use non-chemical, organic fertilizers, to eliminate any potential radioactivity getting into your stash, and your lungs.
? Dr Paul Hornby is available for testing of fertilizers and can also test marijuana for cannabinoid profiles: [email protected]