Even though most of the opium is removed from the poppy seeds during processing (usually more than 90%), in some cases, the seeds sold for use in foods still have a significant amount of opium – and thus morphine – on them. The amount of morphine residue left on the seeds depends on how well the poppy seeds are cleaned and processed, which varies depending on the country the seeds are from and how and when they were harvested.
However, it may be possible to exceed the morphine threshold by eating foods with poppy seeds and USADA can’t predict how long morphine or morphine metabolites from poppy seeds will stay in your system. The most conservative approach would be to avoid poppy seeds a few days before and during competitions.
Can the morphine from poppy seeds be detected in a sample?
Lachenmeier DW, Sproll C, Musshoff F. Poppy seed foods and opiate drug testing—where are we today? Ther Drug Monitor. 2010 Feb; 32(1): 11-18.
The opium is composed of roughly 12 percent morphine, which is a narcotic that is prohibited in-competition. According to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, morphine is a threshold substance, meaning that WADA-accredited laboratories determine if a sample is positive for morphine when the level of morphine in the urine is greater than *1.3 micrograms/mL.
And if you’re unlucky enough to be breathalysed immediately after eating pizza, then this could cause you to fail the test.
The construction worker added, “I knew straight away that it had to be the poppy seeds I had eaten and I actually thought 'Great that explains it.'”
After receiving the positive results, the Liverpudlian paid £120 for a private hair-follicle test, which came back negative, and obtained a letter from his GP stating he had never been on any prescribed medication, such as morphine or painkillers – which contain opium.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the father of two, who wishes to remain anonymous, insists the test reading was the result of him eating poppy seed bread and buns the day before the test.
And in case you’re wondering what other kinds of foods could lead you to fail a substance test, we’ve got the answer for you: the best kinds.
These can lead you to test positive for THC, the principal psychoactive chemical in weed. After all, hemp is itself a type of cannabis.
Nevertheless, it’s advisable to wait up to three days after eating poppy seed products before taking a drug test.
These small black seeds naturally contain morphine and codeine. A poppy seed bagel, for example, might make you test positive for both of those opioids for up to a whole day after you eat it. That’s more likely to happen with labs that still follow the older, lower thresholds for detecting those substances.
If you hang out often with someone who puffs on pot, your urine could have traces of THC. That’s the chemical in the cannabis plant that gets you high. But chances are very low that you’ll have enough THC to trigger the positive result in the screens used by the federal government and many private employers. That’s most likely to happen right after you’re exposed to the smoke. A second test would need to confirm it.
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IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
Massachusetts Medical Society: “Urine Abstinence Testing And Incidental Alcohol Exposure.”
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: “Clinical Drug Testing in Primary Care,” “Methadone.”