Heavy metals, according to the common definition of metals with a density greater than 5g/cm3, can be absorbed by the hemp plant from nature because some are natural components of our earth’s crust. The amount absorbed by the hemp plant depends on the soil conditions and the cultivation method. Some of these heavy metals are indispensable for the human body: trace elements such as iron and zinc. They are important for metabolism, for example. If too high amounts of these trace elements are ingested, this can be dangerous and toxic for humans.
The heavy-metal analysis can be used to determine whether these are only contained in the product in harmless quantities. The sample to be analysed is usually destroyed to such an extent that the heavy metals are free in the solution. The elements are then measured. EC Regulation 1881/2006 is responsible for setting the maximum level of contaminants in the EU.