Why is opium in urine if I haven’t done drugs?

Why is opium in urine if I haven’t done drugs?

Another possibility is poppy seeds, many medical professionals passes it off as urban myth…
You’re telling me the poppy seeds in baked goods come from the same type of poppy used to make opium?

A: Maybe not all, but a lot of them do. Of the 90 or so species of poppy, one, Papaver somniferum, is commonly used for two things: drugs and food. In the U.S. possession of opium poppies with intent to grow more is a crime. But possession of opium poppy seed is perfectly legal–in fact, you can (or could) buy opium poppy seeds from gardening catalogs. (But God help you if you try to grow anything with them–see Michael Pollan’s scary article on this subject in the April 1997 Harper’s). So-called bread-seed poppies (P. paeoniflorum) are also legal, though botanically they’re the same as P. somniferum.

Q: You mean I could get high eating poppy seed rolls?

A: No, goofball, I said they might make you flunk a drug test. The amount of morphine and codeine in poppy seeds varies enormously. One study found that Dutch, Czech, and Turkish poppy seed contained minimal opiates, Australian seed was up there, and Spanish seed sounded like it should be sold by creepy-looking guys on street corners. But, while test volunteers who ate poppy seed products sometimes flunked urine tests, nobody really got what you could call stoned. (Possible exception: one volunteer who ate 23 grams of seeds was accused of “giggling and acting silly.”) You’re limited by the fact that the poppy seeds are usually contained in food–you get full long before you get high.

Still, if you’re desperate enough there are ways to get a buzz from poppies. In parts of England prior to World War II, tea made from boiled poppy heads was recommended as a way to cure what ails you, or at least not get overly concerned about it. Poppy tea has come back into favor among UK drug users in recent years, and some people have reportedly become addicted to the stuff. One guy boiled 14 poppy heads daily, which he obtained from florists. Another addict was a baker who each day drank two liters of tea made from four kilograms of poppy seed. His secret was discovered when he went into convulsions. Serves him right. Even the Bible warns about bad seed.

–CECIL ADAMS

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