Poppies! Poppies will make them sleeeeeeep! Sleeeeep!
January 1, 2019 12:58 PM   Subscribe

I just ate a big piece of Delancey poppy seed swirl cake. It was delicious. Then (like Dorothy and friends in the Wizard of Oz, in case the reference in my title is unclear) I conked out in a strangely irresistible nap.

Did I go the couch and fall sleep only because of the sugar and carbs combined with the rainy holiday? Certainly that is part of it. But is it possible that I was, to any extent, also physically impacted by the poppy seeds?
I thought poppy seeds used for commercial baking were "washed" of all narcotic potential, despite their lingering ability to throw the results of drug tests. But would there be enough of a trace to make one sleepy after eating a generous portion of poppy seed cake filling?
I'm asking partly out of curiosity but also because I'm wondering if I might justify incorporating poppy seed filling into my life as a cure for insomnia.
posted by nantucket to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You'd probably have to eat at least a pound of poppy seeds before you noticed any narcotic effect -- which would probably mean eating several pounds of cake, or the entire jar of poppy seed filling. You'd probably end up with a phytobezoar well before you got sleepy, as far as physical impacts go.
posted by halation at 1:25 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]

I mean, that pound is, as noted there, for an effect equivalent to medically-prescribed morphine. It might depend how big that "big" piece was, but I think it's theoretically possible that you could at least get into the range where you might feel sort of slightly more calm/warm/comfortable in a way that would be nap-conducive if you were already inclined to be sleepy? There's going to be a big range between the first point it has some kind of slightly-noticeable effect and the point where it's actually useful for pain relief.

On the other hand, I don't see any point in trying to keep it around for that purpose; it's only going to work that well if you only do it once in a blue moon, and as you note, all the other factors were in favor of your sleeping, which is not generally going to be the case with insomnia. There's good reasons they don't normally prescribe opiates to help people sleep.
posted by Sequence at 2:23 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]

Sequence has an important point: assuming that there are indeed enough poppy seeds in your piece of cake to cause a soporific effect, it's not going to work if you try to do it regularly. You would develop a tolerance, and it would then cease to work unless you increased the dosage, after which you'd just develop a higher tolerance in short order. People can and do develop a remarkable tolerance to opiates if they use them regularly for a long time.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:27 PM on January 1

You know, there have certainly been less delicious placebos in the world than poppy seed filling.
posted by batter_my_heart at 5:53 PM on January 1 [7 favorites]

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