Most potent poppy strain
The Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Images Of This Fascinating Plant
|T he milky latex sap of opium poppies contains isoquinoline alkaloids. This class of alkaloid contains a double carbon ring with one nitrogen atom (N). It is classified as a narcotic and is commonly found in certain members of the poppy family (Papaveraceae), such as the opium poppy ( Papaver somniferum ). Narcotic refers to the pain-relieving and sleep-inducing properties of these highly-addictive alkaloids, including morphine, codeine and thebaine. Morphine is named after Morpheus the god of sleep, while the specific epithet of the opium poppy ( somniferum ) means “to sleep” in Latin. These potent alkaloids are obtained from the milky latex sap of the mature seed capsule of the opium poppy. The raw opium sap drips from fresh cuts into the pericarp of the capsules, and upon oxidation and solidification in the air it turns black. Morphine is acetylated to produce diacetylmorphine–better known as heroin. The poppy seeds used on bagels and rolls also come from opium poppies, and although they don’t cause any narcotic effects on hungry people after their coffee breaks, they can trigger a positive reaction in very sensitive urine tests for drugs. In addition to Papaver , naturally-occurring opiate alkaloids also occur in the related genera Argemone and Dicentra . The opium poppy has undoubtedly caused untold suffering by people addicted to its alkaloids, but has also brought immeasurable relief from pain for countless people throughout the ages. Although there are some potent synthetic opiates such as Demerol®, natural morphine is still one of the world’s best pain relievers.
I n the commercial (legal) production of opium, large fields of poppies are carefully grown in undisclosed locations. The raw opium is harvested using the “poppy straw” method. When the flowers gave gone to seed, combines cut the dried seed stalks containing alkaloid-rich, seed-bearing capsules. The seeds are removed for the culinary market. Raw opium is chemically extracted from the ground up capsules.
Most potent poppy strain The Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) Images Of This Fascinating Plant T he milky latex sap of opium poppies contains isoquinoline alkaloids. This class of