Potential of Industrial Hemp for Phytoremediation of Heavy Metals

Plants (Basel). 2022 Feb 23;11(5):595. doi: 10.3390/plants11050595.


The accumulation of anthropogenic heavy metals in soil is a major form of pollution. Such potentially toxic elements are nonbiodegradable and persist for many years as threats to human and environmental health. Traditional forms of remediation are costly and potentially damaging to the land. An alternative strategy is phytoremediation, where plants are used to capture metals from the environment. Industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) is a promising candidate for phytoremediation. Hemp has deep roots and is tolerant to the accumulation of different metals. In addition, the crop biomass has many potential commercial uses after harvesting is completed. Furthermore, the recent availability of an annotated genome sequence provides a powerful tool for the bioengineering of C. sativa for better phytoremediation.

Keywords: Cannabis sativa; bioengineering; hemp; phytoremediation; polluted soil.

Publication types

  • Review