Home-brewed poppy seed tea can be deadly.
Study author Madeleine Swortwood from Sam Houston State University in Texas, U. S. A. investigated the issue after being contacted by the father of a 21-year-old man, who died after ingesting home-brewed poppy seed tea.
It is one of many deaths and overdoses in morgues and emergency rooms that have been suspected from the home-brewed drug.
The study traced three main components of the drug - including morphine, codeine and thebaine.
They found that these techniques could produce lethal levels of morphine based on moderate use.
"Although some bulk poppy seeds can be more lethal than others due to the variation in morphine concentrations both between vendors and between harvest dates, it should be noted that regardless of the sample, it is possible to obtain lethal doses of morphine from poppy seed tea, if moderate volumes of tea are consumed," Swortwood said.
Processed poppy seeds are generally used in baking, such as in a poppy seed bun, which poses no threat to consumers. However, the high concentration of morphine contained in unwashed poppy seeds and extracted through home-brew methods may pose a danger of overdose or death.
The study will bring knowledge to law enforcement and the federal community.
The results are published in the Journal of Forensic Science. (ANI)