Spain: an increase in the presence of cannabis pollen in the air linked to illegal cultivation

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An air analysis of the Spanish region of Murcia has detected a ‘significant increase’ in cannabis pollen in recent years, indicating that the number of illicit crops in the region has gone from ‘minor’ to a larger phenomenon in recent years. years.

According to researchers at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, who have been tracking this substance for decades to establish the concentrations and origin of cannabis in the cities of Cartagena, Murcia and Lorca, a single flower can release up to 350,000 grains of pollen in the atmosphere.

Scientists have found that only a small amount of particles come from North Africa, a major cannabis growing area, while the majority of cannabis now appears to be produced locally, a fact which is supported by the increase in the number of illegal plantations dismantled in the region since 2017.

“The concentrations recorded in the three towns of the Region of Murcia have increased proportionally between 2017 and 2020”, underlines one of the researchers.

Of the three, Lorca and Cartagena stood out, recording more than 80 pollen grains per cubic meter in the air in 2020, while Murcia reached a peak of 66. This is a significant jump if the cities are considered to have recorded counts between 19 and 27 grains three years earlier.

Fortunately, the researchers concluded that the levels of pollen collected so far “are not high enough” to cause inconvenience to those who may suffer from allergies, “although we cannot ignore that those who live very close of any of these plantings may have symptoms. »

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