Not all poppy seeds are created equal

Poppy Seed Muffin

Poppy Seed Muffin

To appreciate the best tasting poppy seeds and all of their health benefits, one should educate oneself on where the seeds come from and learn where to buy poppy seeds. It’s important to choose seeds that are 99.9 percent pure.

If you search the internet, you will find multiple stories about the myth that digested poppy seeds appear as narcotics on a drug test. Even the television show, Mythbusters put this myth to the test in 2011. The Mythbusters team demonstrated a test that appeared to validate that poppy seeds can cause a positive drug test. However, they were actually testing poppy seeds that have a different background. The poppy seeds they used were a residual bi-product of medical grade poppy plants after latex or morphine was extracted. The medical grade growers’ goals for the entire process from beginning to end are to harvest unwashed poppy seeds with the highest morphine content possible, which puts the bi-product or poppy seeds at a high risk of containing morphine residue.



From the beginning, Agromart only grows and harvests unwashed poppy seeds in fields used for human consumption.  Agromart’s edible seeds are grown in environments where there is no exposure possible to anything that would increase the content of morphine in the poppy plant.  We grow a type of poppy seed that are used for human consumption, and not for medical purposes. Agromart put its own edible seeds to the test and used similar experimentation methodologies as conducted on Mythbusters.  Agromart had a control of two study participants that purchased poppy seeds from multiple US grocery stores.  Drug tests conducted thirty minutes later determined that both participants failed and were found to have opium residue in their systems.  A cohort of four study participants were given Agromart harvested and produced 99.9% pure edible poppy seeds and zero participants failed the drug test conducted the same thirty minutes later.

Few people are aware there are two types of poppy seed growers and distributors; medical and edible.  The reason that Mythbusters and other stories about the myth of failing drug tests after digesting poppy seeds are so prevalent is because medical grade seeds make it into the food supply.  It’s important to understand the difference between edible and medical grade seeds and the source of those seeds.

Medical purpose poppy seeds are harvested while they are still green and latex is plentiful; however, the seeds have just started to grow.  Morphine hydrochloride is extracted from the latex’s opium gum.  For proper medical use, the opium has pain relieving properties used by many pharmaceutical companies.  According to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s site devoted to poppy production, “The Tasmanian Poppy Industry was pioneered by Glaxo Australia in the early 1960’s.  It is one of the success stories of Australian agriculture and manufacturing.”  Since GSK started working with Australian harvesters in the 1960’s, it has expanded and become the lead exporter of poppy seeds at 90% of morphine produced out of Australia.  

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The medical purpose poppy seed harvesters’ goals are to extract the maximum amount of morphine for its customers, which put all bi-products of the poppy plant, including the poppy seeds at risk.  Many companies, primarily those in Spain and Australia, sell the residual poppy seeds to the general public.  The medical grade poppy seeds are cleaned, but due to the abundance of latex, the morphine chemical still remains.  

The Food and Drug Administration in the US does not have the strict controls over poppy seeds like Turkey, Russia, and Czech Republic regulatory figures, which ban imports of poppy seeds for general public consumption from countries like Spain and Australia.  Turkey, Russia, and Czech Republic have implemented strict controls on poppy seeds that came from fields used for extracting morphine for medical uses.  Many arrests have been made and imported goods have been confiscated to protect citizens from improper distribution and use of the seeds. 

Only a few companies in the world produce edible grade poppy seeds.   Agromart is the top distributor of edible grade poppy seeds in the world.  Edible poppy seeds of superior quality and the highest purity rating of 99.9% are harvested when they are ripe, after the seed pod has dried.  Agromart uses a multilayer cleaning system with highly rated separator machines to naturally harvest and ready poppy seeds for consumption.

Additionally, Agromart only partners with harvesters from countries that have strict regulations and control of poppy seed harvesting and distribution; Turkey, Czech Republic, and Russia.  Finally, Agromart partners with international food aid organizations to ensure their supplies are pure grade.

For more information about Agromart’s 99% pure edible poppy seeds and how to avoid purchasing medical grade seeds from other companies, contact us.

Agromart poppy seed testing methodology


Agromart’s poppy seed drug test experiment methodology was a similar process to the Mythbusters’ test.  The control group of two study participants were instructed to purchase poppy seed bagels from their local poppy stores, consume the bagels, and take an at home drug test thirty minutes after consumption.  Agromart provided the four test particpants with Agromart edible seeds, and were instructed to bake a poppy seed baked good, consume, and take the test the same thirty minutes after consumption.

Both, the control and test groups were given the following same instructions to:

- Consume the food item with poppy seeds as an ingredient
- Wait for thirty minutes
- Perform a provided over-the-counter drug test
- Record findings in writing
- Take pictures of the evidence and send to Agromart.

Disclaimer: No laboratory tests or peer validated testing was conducted to confirm the results. All findings were based on test-subject directed results.