Nutrient/Plant Tissue Analysis

This analysis can provide insight into elements present in plant material or inert material (i.e. cartridge hardware, product packaging, soil, water, nutrients, etc.). We test for 26 common heavy metal elements.

Why is this Information Important?

As a natural bio-accumulator, cannabis readily uptakes elements from its environment. Cultivators can use this analysis to make an informed decision about their cultivation process. In addition, manufacturers can use this analysis to make an informed decision about their product packaging to reduce any potential source of contamination in final products. 

The 26 Common Heavy Metal Elements We Test For Are:

Occurs naturally in the air, water and soil and is the third most common element found in the earth’s crust, and can be released into the environment during drilling and mining. Recent studies have revealed that aluminum may cause many diseases for humans, animals and plants by interfering with most physical and cellular processes, and that it is extremely toxic to aquatic animals.

While copper may be considered an essential nutrient, it’s cycle between an oxidized state and reduced state can make it potentially toxic due to the generation of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals, which are harmful to the body. Extensive exposure to copper can also be harmful as it has been linked to cellular damage and Wilson disease.

As a heavy metal that is commonly used in modern industries, nickel is being released into the environment as heavy-metal containing products are utilized. This could pose a serious threat to human health as high doses of nickel are known to cause skin allergies, lung fibrosis, and kidney and cardiovascular system poisoning.

Is an element that is an essential nutrient in trace levels. It is regulated in the body through the renal system. Molybdenum can be found in legumes, grains, and leafy vegetables.

Is significantly toxic and carcinogenic and is readily available in many different forms which can leach back into the environment – such as arsenical pesticides which may run off and contaminate drinking water sources. Arsenic acts as a poison by causing a failure of cell respiration, cell enzymes and mitosis and can lead to death.

Iron is an enigma – it rusts easily, yet it is the most important of all metals. 90% of all metal that is refined today is iron. It is the fourth most abundant element, by mass, in the Earth’s crust. The core of the Earth is thought to be largely composed of iron with nickel and sulfur.

Is an essential mineral and is found in bones, teeth, DNA and RNA. Large doses of phosphorus will rarely cause any adverse side effects for a healthy person, though some studies have shown a link between high phosphorus intake and cardiovascular, kidney, and bone adverse effects.

Is present in the air, water, soil and landfills and is present in tissues in the body and can also be found in foods. Inorganic tin will enter and leave a body quickly, so it usually does not cause any harmful effects. Organotin can cause harmful effects in humans, but depends on the exact type of organotin compound – some are mildly irritating, while others can be lethal in high doses.

Occurs in nature in several different types of forms and is used for many different industrial purposes. Barium does not dissolve easily and when leaching into nature, it can last for quite some time before dissipating. Consuming barium compounds that can dissolve in water or the stomach can lead to changes in a person’s heart rhythm and paralysis.

Is a highly toxic metal that is widely used and has caused serious environmental concerns due to its high level of contamination around the globe. Unlike other heavy metals, lead does not have any biological functions, and even in small quantities can disrupt physiological processes.

Is an essential mineral that is utilized by tissues in the body, and helps to support muscle function and regular blood pressure. Hyperkalemia, which is too much potassium in the body, which can cause kidney disease which presents itself through symptoms such as weakness, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pain, and an irregular heartbeat.

Is a naturally occurring element that is found in the earth’s crust, and is used for commercial and dietary supplement purposes. Large doses of vanadium have been shown to cause irritation or damage to the lungs and respiratory system, as well as cause stomach discomfort and intestinal issues.

Is a naturally occurring element that is usually combined with other substances to form the compound borate or boric acid. Boron is used primarily in industrial glass and soap production. However, boric acid is used in pesticides to repel cockroaches. If inhaled, acute respiratory and ocular irritation will occur. Boron is easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal system if ingested and poses a risk to reproductive organs.

Is an element utilized in glass, ceramic, and industrial metal production. Lithium is also used to treat neurological conditions like depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia. High levels of lithium exposure can result in thirst, seizures, and even death.

Is a mineral element that occurs naturally in soil and most rocks. It is used as a component in fungicides. Long-term selenium air exposure can cause respiratory irritation, bronchial spasms, and coughing, and short-term exposure to high concentrations of selenium via oral administration may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Is a common element found in air, water, soil, food, and within the body. It is an essential mineral and used in industrial production. Soil can absorb zinc easily. Inhaling zinc and zinc compounds will cause irritation to the respiratory tract. Exposure to high oral doses can result in symptoms and abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Is an element that naturally occurs in ocean water and is a result of anthropogenic impact. Cadmium is found in most soils, rocks, coal, and fertilizers. It is also found in food produce, often in leafy vegetables. It is used in a variety of industrial and electronic applications. Cadmium toxicity via oral administration effects the kidneys by damaging renal functions and significantly weakens the bones. Long-term toxicity via inhalation decreases lung function and causes emphysema.

Is an element essential to human nutrition and is found in dark green, leafy vegetables. Magnesium deficiency is somewhat rare and can cause fatigue, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Is an element naturally found in compounds and as a byproduct of other elements like zinc and copper. It is used to make jewelry and electronics. High levels and long-term exposure to silver can cause discoloration of the skin and tissues, this is known as “arygria”.

Is a naturally occurring element that is essential for human diet and bone development/maintenance. It is found in dairy products, leafy greens, and edible fish bones. Hypercalcemia is a result of too much calcium in the body by taking too many supplements, this damages the bones and causes kidney stones to form. Too little calcium will weaken the bones and other functions of the body dependent on Vitamin D.

Is a natural metal occurring in many types of rocks. Manganese is present in organic compounds being used in industrial production and cosmetics. It is also used in fungicides, maneb or mancozeb. Inhalation and oral exposure can cause lung inflammation and “manganism”, a neurological disorder with symptoms like tremors, difficulty walking, and facial muscle spasms. Inhaling manganese directly effects the brain.

Is an element that is found as a constituent of a compound, like sodium chloride (table salt) and sodium hydroxide (lye). Sodium is an essential nutrient for the body to function daily, however high amounts of sodium can result in high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney problems.

Has three common forms, chromium(0), chromium(III), and chromium(VI). Cr(III) is found naturally in rocks, soil, and gases. While the other two chromium forms occur in compounds within industrial steel emissions where it is utilized in production. Cr(III) is also an essential nutrient but will affect the respiratory and immune system if inhaled. But Cr(III) does not pose the same risks as Cr(VI). If Cr(VI) is inhaled, it may cause lung irritation and effect pulmonary function. If it is ingested, symptoms include ulcers, lesions on the small intestine, and damages to the reproductive system.

Is an element found in combined forms of inorganic salts and organic compounds. Microorganisms in water and soil produce the mercury compound, methylmercury which is found in some fish making it unsafe to eat. Mercury is used in several different industries like electronics, medical, and cosmetics. Oral exposure damages the renal and reproductive systems, and inhaling mercury vapor will cause shortness of breath, lung irritation, and neurological effects like anxiety and irritability.

Is an element found in rocks, soil, dust, coal, and oil. There are four stable isotopes of strontium which are often used in glass and ceramic production. The most common strontium isotope is unstable and radioactive, it is formed in nuclear reactors. It emits beta particles and high levels of exposure can affect the bones, marrow, and can cause anemia.

Is an element naturally occurring in rocks, soil, water, plants, and animals. It is used in industrial metal and steel industries. It is considered beneficial in small amounts and can be found in Vitamin B12. Cobalt’s radioactive isotope is often used as a commercial and medical sterilizer. It is even utilized in radiation therapy for cancer patients but can cause radiation syndrome if exposed to large amounts and is carcinogenic.


We use ICP/MS (Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) for this analysis. 

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