Poppy seeds weed

Poppy Seeds and Drug Tests

The urban legend that eating poppy seeds can lead to a failed drug test is, in fact, not a legend. Eating poppy seeds – even as few as are typically contained in a large Costco poppy seed muffin – can yield positive test results for both morphine and codeine when testing standards are not adjusted to weed out such “false” positives.

Poppy seeds, morphine, and codeine all naturally occur in the opium poppy plant, Papaver somniferum. Accordingly, poppy seeds like those used in muffins, bagels, breads, and pastries, contain the opiates codeine and morphine. The opiate content of poppy seeds varies greatly based on the seed origin, when the seeds are harvested, and how the seeds are processed from harvest to consumer. Opiate concentration is also affected by how seeds are ultimately consumed: raw, ground into a paste, sprinkled atop a bagel, baked whole into a cake or muffin, etc.

Multiple published, peer-reviewed, scientific studies have shown that ingestion of poppy seeds can result in urinary concentrations of morphine and codeine detectable in standard drug tests used by certain workplaces. Though many workplace drug tests have adjusted their laboratory standards to avoid “false” positive results caused by ordinary poppy seed consumption, it is still possible to test positive for illicit opioid drugs when lower cutoffs are used.

In 1998, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revised their mandatory guidelines for federal workplace drug testing programs due to concerns that many positive opiate tests were the result of poppy seed consumption. While the previous urine sample testing cutoff levels for both morphine and codeine previously were 300 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter), the Department of Health and Human Services increased the cutoff levels for both opiates to 2,000 ng/mL, effective May 1, 1998.

If you know you will be required to provide a urine or other biological sample for drug testing, it is prudent avoid consuming poppy seeds for at least one day prior to giving the sample.

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All the highs and lows on marijuana

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed a bill to decriminalise the use of cannabis. This is the first step towards legalising the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis or marijuana in that country. The UN has also passed a resolution removing marijuana from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, where it was listed alongside deadly opioids. India has voted in favour of this resolution. While there is growing consensus on the decriminalisation of marijuana in India, opium, a narcotic derived from poppy, can never be grown in your garden pot.

Marijuana is a flowering plant. It is used to make hashish (from resin), ganja (leaves) and bhang (leaves and seeds).

Opium poppy is a flowering plant that produces psychoactive alkaloids like opium, heroin, morphine & codeine.

Cannabis contains cannabinoids, which helps in numbing pain by acting on cannabinoid receptors in our brain, while opium-derivative opioids interact with receptors, reducing pain and creating a euphoric effect. Opioid overdose can cause deaths.

Cultivation in India

Cannabis: Only permitted in Uttarakhand through a state licence.

Poppy: Regulated by the Central Board of Narcotics (CBN), it is grown only in parts of MP, UP & Rajasthan. The two plants are legally grown for pharmaceutical uses. Cannabis is also used in some religious rituals and festivals such as Holi where bhang is consumed.

Cannabis has been in use in India for over 2,000 years. The Sushruta Samhita, an ancient medical treatise, recommends cannabis plant extract for treating respiratory ailments and diarrhoea. In 1798, the British parliament enacted a tax on cannabis byproducts to reduce consumption.

  • The Portuguese were among the first European invaders to supply opium from India to China.
  • In 18th century, English East India Company monopolised poppy cultivation in India.
  • The processed opium latex was shipped to China.
  • Qing Dynasty’s efforts to curb opium smuggling resulted in the two Opium Wars.
  • In 1907, China signed an agreement with India to limit opium import into China.
  • By 1917, the supply of Indian opium to China stopped completely.

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Cannabis: The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, and excise laws in several states restrict people from consuming cannabis or any of its byproducts. It is also illegal to possess cannabis flower and bud and their byproducts.

Punishment: Imprisonment for six months and/or a fine of Rs.10,000. Under NDPS, consuming bhang is not illegal but several states (through excise laws) prohibit the use of cannabis leaves or drinking bhang.

Opium: CBN issues licence to 25,000-30,000 farmers to grow poppy. The latex collected from poppy plants belong to the government. It’s punishable to stow away or sell opium latex by anyone other than the government. Farmers are allowed to sell poppy seeds, used in cooking, in the open market.

  • There are 27 million cannabis (bhang) users in India.
  • An additional 16 million Indians use illegal cannabis products.
  • Average cost per gram of cannabis in India is about Rs.8.
  • Malana in Himachal Pradesh produces over 500 kg of hashish every year.
  • Farmers get Rs.2,000-2,500 per kg for opium latex sold to the government.
  • Average poppy yields in India:11-14 quintal per hectare every year.
  • In 2018, poppy seed prices touched Rs.1 lakh per quintal.
  • For pain management as well as treating post-chemo symptoms, arthritis, skin ailments, mental disorders and metabolical problems.
  • Hemp, a fibre made from the stem of cannabis plant, is used in textiles.
  • Seeds of cannabis plant are used by cosmetic manufacturers and neutraceutical companies.
  • Poppy alkaloids are used extensively in modern medicine.
  • Poppy seeds are used as seasoning in food.
  • Cannabis has medicinal uses.
  • High utility value of the cannabis plant. It has over 25,000 industrial applications.
  • With supportive laws, illegal cannabis trade can be stopped.
  • Cannabis hemp seeds have nutritional benefits.
  • Cannabis hemp industry can employ lakhs of people.
  • One more avenue for govt to collect taxes.

Canada, South Africa & Uruguay: For recreational and medicinal purposes.

Georgia: Only consumption is legal, not cultivation or sale for recreational purposes.

Netherlands: Sale through licensed sellers.

Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, Barbados, Ecuador, Cyprus: Only for medicinal use.

Mexico: Recreational marijuana (less than 5 gm in possession, but not sale or cultivation).

Belize: Marijuana use (up to 10 gm in possession).

Belgium: Marijuana use (less than 3 gm in possession, no smoking in public).

(Source: Prohibition Partners, GLM India, Nature.com, Britannica.com)