Thanks to Mythbusters, we know that eating a couple poppy seed-laced bagels really can make you look like a heroin fiend, at least as far as a standard drug test is concerned. That makes sense. Heroin is derived from morphine, which is itself derived from poppies. So there's a chemical family tree that's fairly easy to follow.
At the I Can Has Science blog, however, they've taken the standard question—"Will poppy seed bagels make me look like a stoner?"—and turned it around. "Can poppy seeds get me stoned?" (From a purely theoretical, chemistry thought-experiment perspective, of course.) The question turns out to be more valid than you might suspect. We're not talking about dried banana peels, here.
Morphine itself can be administered (by licensed professionals) as a prescription painkiller. Though it's more commonly given intravenously, it is also available orally as a tablet. A standard oral dose consists of about 10 to 30 mg of morphine. Is it possible to get a full dose of morphine from eating poppy seeds?
One report in the Journal of Forensic Sciences found that the morphine content of poppy seeds varies widely with poppy seed source. Spanish poppy seeds seem to have the most morphine - about 251 micrograms of morphine per gram of seeds. This translates to about 0.025% morphine by weight. Thus, to get a medically relevant dose of morphine (10 mg) from Spanish poppy seeds you would have to consume ... About 40 grams of poppy seeds!
It seems like a lot, but how hard would that actually be? A standard baking conversion for dry ingredients is about 8 grams per tablespoon, and one poppy seed bagel probably has, what - a teaspoon or two? By that math, you'd probably have to eat around a dozen poppy seed bagels all at once. However, this delicious looking cake recipe calls for an entire cup of poppy seeds, or approximately equal to 128 grams! Granted, the recipe yields 10 to 12 servings, but one would only have to eat 3 or 4 slices of this Bundt cake to get up to a full prescription dose of morphine! (If the most potent poppy seeds were used.)
Image: Some rights reserved by kazamatsuri
Can you “hear” motion or light flashes? If so, according to new research from City University London, you may be experiencing a not-so-rare form of synaesthesia. Synesthesia is the fascinating neurological phenomenon whereby stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory pathway. For example, a synesthete might taste sounds or hear colors. (In this study, […]
Scientists declared the ruby seadragon a new species in 2015, but that was based on dead specimens in a museum. Now though, Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologist Greg Rouse who led the team that originally discovered the species, managed to find two of the wonderful fish swimming around the Recherche Archipelago, off the south coast […]
Scientific American summarized five of Donald Trump’s “major moves many see as hostile toward science.” They are: • Trump’s pick for head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has actively battled its mission “To lead the EPA, Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who has long opposed environmental regulations and has questioned the science […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]
Using my iPhone while it’s charging is always a hassle. With tucked-away outlets and the meager length of included lightning cables, comfortable scrolling while plugged in is annoying. These 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cables are super convenient and probably the best iPhone accessory purchase I’ve made.At over three times the length of normal cables, these reach anywhere you […]