Are poppies illegal

Poppyseed as a drug: Opium poppies then and now

Opium poppy has made a name for itself as a medicinal plant throughout history. Already thousands of years ago, healers appreciated the effects of Papaver somniferum. However, it has also been known for a long time that poppy seeds can be used as a drug. You can learn more about the controversial plant here.

Papaver somniferum: important medicinal plant in medicinal history

Opium poppy contains the alkaloids morphine, thebaine and codeine, which are responsible for making Papaver somniferum one of the most important medicinal plants in the history of medicines, as the health magazine "Apotheken Umschau" explains in a report on the subject. Alkaloids are plant substances that, in the case of opium poppies, have an analgesic and sleep-promoting effect. The ingredients can not only be used for healing purposes, but also as dangerous intoxicants if misused.

The healing properties of the plant were already valued in ancient times. Whether against pain, insomnia or diarrhea - opium poppy was once an indispensable part of medicine: "At that time, opium poppy was used in numerous forms internally and externally," said Sabine Anagnostou from the Institute for the History of Pharmacy at the University of Marburg to the "Apotheken Umschau" ". "Beyond the Middle Ages, opium was used in confectionery, pills, balms, oils, ointments, plasters and latwergen - viscous, sugary masses." But poppy seeds have also made a name for themselves as a drug: the milky sap of opium poppy, i.e. the opium mentioned, is rich in highly concentrated morphine, which is highly addictive.

Poppyseed as a drug: cultivation is illegal

Commercial and private cultivation or the use of opium poppies is prohibited in Germany. Permission for certain varieties can be obtained from the Federal Office for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), but only for special low-opium plants. The ban is intended to prevent the misuse of the milk juice, as illegal intoxicants such as heroin can be made from the ingredients. Anyone who grows opium poppies as an ornamental plant in their garden is violating the Narcotics Act and must expect severe penalties. The strict rules serve to protect people and animals, as the dangerous alkaloids are life-threatening even in small doses. As little as 0.2 grams of morphine is considered a lethal dose.