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Unwashed Poppy Seeds Are Schedule II Controlled Substances


After the death of an Arkansas man hooked on poppy seed tea, his relatives and lawmakers called upon authorities to prohibit unwashed poppy seeds that can be brewed into an opioid drug. Though legal for purchase, their misuse can lead to addiction and opioid use disorder. Get the Best information about Poppy pods.

Health Benefits

Poppy seeds (Papaver somniferum) are tiny black/white/blue seeds rich in manganese, calcium, copper, zinc, iron, and omega-6 fatty acids, providing natural sedative effects that may aid restful sleep. Unfortunately, however, the same seed plant is used to make heroin and morphine, which lack nutritional value and may lead to overdose or even death if taken in large amounts. As such, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) now classifies unwashed poppy seeds as Schedule II controlled substances, making purchases prohibited and illegal for sale – making purchasing illegal under these regulations.

However, many online retailers still sell them despite this grave health risk. A quick search on Amazon for “poppy seeds” yields pages of results offering large bags with instructions for brewing poppy seed tea for soothing or pain management aid purposes. In recent months alone, two deaths linked to poppy seed consumption have occurred: one woman from drinking her homemade concoction and another from overdoses of the drug.

Unwashed poppy seeds might contain trace amounts of codeine or morphine that could appear positive on a urine drug test, according to research published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

Poppy seeds with unwashed outer husks are abundant sources of dietary fiber, providing 51% of your recommended daily amount for constipation relief and digestive health benefits. Dietary fiber also binds bile salts in your gut to reduce their absorption back into the system – helping lower cholesterol levels along the way!

Unwashed poppy seeds provide essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. In addition, they contain trace amounts of the vitamins B-complex such as thiamin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid – plus they’re packed full of polyphenols (phytochemicals that serve as antioxidants to fight free radicals in your body), which have been shown to reduce heart disease risk significantly; in addition they’re an excellent source of polyunsaturated fats which have been associated with lower blood pressure!

Health Risks

Poppy seeds have long been revered for their many health benefits, from aiding digestion to providing essential nutrients. Poppy seeds also act as natural sleep aids by containing small amounts of opioid compounds that induce and maintain deep slumber. In addition, poppy seeds offer a healthy alternative to refined sugar when baking products using them, but it is essential to be wary of health risks associated with unwashed poppy seeds; depending on their concentration of opioids and chemicals can have serious repercussions for one’s wellbeing.

Opioid overdoses and deaths have been attributed to eating unwashed poppy seeds, often from tea made from them, to get high or alleviate pain. Many who consume poppy seed tea become dependent on opioids – creating an addiction that may be difficult to overcome.

Poppy seeds do not contain opiates; however, during harvesting processes, they may be exposed to opium sap containing morphine and other opiates. Furthermore, when soaked for use as a tea, they release toxic residue into the water supply, which increases the risk of poisoning; its toxic potential depends on several factors, including the amount brewed per session, the size of seeds used, and the temperature of the water source.

Although the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has yet to declare a nationwide ban on unwashed poppy seeds for sale, several state and local lawmakers have taken steps to do just that. Senators Cotton and Boozman introduced 2018 the Stephen Hacala Poppy Seed Safety Act, which would prohibit sales in the US of any contaminated seeds. Congressman Womack has also filed similar legislation in his House of Representatives district.

Concerned about the health risks associated with unwashed poppy seed? Consider seeking alternatives that offer similar sleep-inducing effects without as many health risks, like sesame, chia, hemp, and flax seeds. Many health stores sell an assortment of such alternatives that provide similar sedative effects without as many potential side effects – this includes sesame, chia, hemp, and flax seeds as possibilities.


Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is grown as an agricultural crop for two primary purposes: producing opium alkaloids for pharmaceutical use and harvesting seeds for food consumption. Though most cooking uses don’t involve using sources with alkaloid content, unwashed poppy seeds may still contain residues of opiates left from harvesting pods that wash off during harvest; eating such dirty seeds could trigger positive urine drug screens for opiates.

Unwashed poppy seeds are widely available for purchase both online and in-store, where they can be used in cooking or made into PST (poppy seed tea) with high levels of alkaloid opioids such as morphine, codeine, and thebaine; its exact composition varies significantly based on plant variety, geographic origin, and harvest method; nonetheless, it remains a highly addictive and potentially lethal drug.

In April 2018, Stephen died of an opioid overdose after using PST for seven years to alleviate his chronic pain. He purchased poppy seeds at farmer’s markets or online retailers and prepared five to six large poppy seeds per serving to make PST tea in his home, drinking up to four or more cups daily to alleviate his suffering.

Stephen’s death is a powerful reminder of the dangers associated with PST and of testing urine for opiate drugs, particularly poppy seeds, which contain opiates that may remain in your system for up to 48 hours, potentially producing false positive urine drug tests. PST may cause withdrawal symptoms similar to heroin, such as shaking, chills, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea; however, the opiates in PST are less powerful and thus detectable using standard urine opiate tests. PST should not be recommended to people suffering from established addictions or those being treated for substance use disorders; however, many who have engaged in substance misuse can succeed through proper support services and recovery plans.


Poppy seeds are an excellent source of calcium, crucial for strengthening teeth and bones, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, preventing osteoporosis, and making bread taste fresher when baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor. But be wary – unwashed poppy seeds in large quantities may pose health risks that should not be ignored.

Due to their high alkaloid content, unwashed poppy seeds are popular among drug users looking for ways to extract morphine and codeine from their seed coats. Unfortunately, this practice has led to many deaths, including Stephen Hacala of the University of Arkansas graduate status, who overdosed after drinking home-brewed poppy seed tea purchased online.

CSPI has collaborated with government agencies and non-profits to educate the public about this potential hazard while petitioning the FDA for random sampling and testing of bulk poppy seeds sold online and increased inspections of manufacturers who sell these seeds. Meanwhile, they encourage people only to use appropriately washed poppy seeds when cooking or baking.

Organizations warn that even when poppy seeds are washed properly, there is still the risk that trace amounts of opiate could remain in urine samples from people who ate them and produced positive test results for heroin or Panadeine (codeine-based medication). When this occurs, labs often note in their reports that any positive impact could have come from diet, and further confirmation testing must occur before making conclusions about such results.

The CSPI recommends that individuals submit a urine sample for drug screening at work or school and, in particular, to avoid unwashed poppy seeds as part of any tea or bakery products that contain them up to 24 hours before an exam to ensure falsely positive tests produce accurate test results and no false negatives.

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