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Do Poppy Seeds Really Produce Positive Tests?

Do Poppy Seeds Really Produce Positive Tests?

Last updated on October 2nd, 2020 at 05:08 pm

One of the most common defenses used by employees and individuals is the poppy seed defense. People have been told that poppy seeds contain opiates, and drug users feel they can use this an excuse to explain a positive test. While there is some truth to this notion, a drug screening lab should be able to distinguish a real user from someone who was truly wronged by their results. Here is some more on the validity of the poppy seed defense»

Myth or Fact?
This debate stems all the way back to an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine tested positive on a drug test and blamed her poppy seed muffin. After that, numerous scientific studies proved that Elaine did in fact have a case. They discovered that poppy seeds did contain traces of the opiates morphine and codeine. Now, that isn’t to say you are going to get high after eating a poppy seed bagel, but there might be enough in your system to produce a positive test on the initial screening of the specimen. So this is in fact– A Fact!

But wait, all non-negative results at a lab should be confirmed using GC/MS technology? Poppy seeds will not show a morphine positive on a confirmed test.  A drug test properly screened at a lab and confirmed by a lab using GC/MS technology will not show positive for morphine unless morphine metabolite is in the specimen tested.  Poppy seeds will not show an opiates (morphine) positive on a confirmed test.

GC/MS is the abbreviation for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, the testing methodology our labs use to confirm presumptive positive drug screen specimens. GC/MS provides identification of the molecule(s) based on characteristic fragmentation patterns at specific retention times. GC/MS is a tandem technology, utilizing a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer.

Raw Seeds vs Cooked Seeds
For most people, poppy seeds are ingested in the cooked form of a muffin, roll or bagel. There are very few people out there who ingest raw seeds due to their bitter taste. But when studying poppy seeds and drug tests, scientists found that ingesting the same amount of raw and cooked seeds would yield different results. Cooked seeds (more common), were less likely to produce a positive screen than raw seeds. So unless you are ingesting a large quantity of raw seeds in the hours before your test, you should not screen positive.  Of course, with the proper testing technique insuring GC/MS confirmation testing your final result even after ingesting poppy seeds will be negative as long as you have not used illicit drugs.

Urine vs Oral Tests

Scientists also found that oral drug tests were less likely to yield false positive results than urine tests. For this reason and a multitude of others, hair and oral tests are becoming increasingly more popular. For one, they are always direct observation procedures because the collector has to be in the room with the subject to get the specimen. They are also more accurate and tend to have a longer detection window, which helps rule out false positives like the poppy seed defense.

We don’t want to add more excuses to the list, we just want to shed some light on the situation. If you weren’t aware of the poppy seed defense before reading, now you you are aware of the facts.

If you would like to order a test to try this out for yourself, call 866-843-4545 or click around on our website!