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Ontario man arrested for 'doda' poppy preparation

Reader George tipped us to this story from a few weeks back about a Candian arrest for 'doda' or 'dode', a tea preparation made from grinding the dried seed pods from opium poppies. From the CBC:

A popular but addictive preparation made from parts of the poppy flower has been found to contain enough illegal ingredients to sustain criminal charges against some of those accused of selling it.

Available for as little as $20 in some flea markets and smaller grocery stores in South Asian neighbourhoods, doda is made by grinding the husk and seeds of the poppy flower the same plant that produces opium. It's often taken with tea or water and produces a quick high followed by a sense of calm.


More than $10,000 worth of opium pods were seized, as well as more than 38 kilograms of suspected doda. Fourteen samples of the substance were sent to Health Canada's drug analysis service for testing.


Doctors have warned that doda, which is used by some taxi drivers, factory workers and truck drivers in the South Asian community to help them stay awake, is as damaging as other illegal narcotics.


One teenager who lives just outside Toronto said he went from using one spoonful a day to consuming the drug morning and night.

"I don't like being normal. I like being high," the 18-year-old told CBC News, which has agreed not to use his name to protect his family's reputation.

I've known about the practice of grinding ornamental dried opium pods for some time, but I have never heard about this preparation being reproduced on a commercial scale. And in case you are tempted to do so, don't Google images for 'doda', you'll get back some interesting photos of Polish singer Doda Elektroda, who's like a genius or something.

Posted By jamesk at 2009-01-04 13:44:12 permalink | comments
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neil. : 2013-08-04 06:35:37
bunch of smack heads ha
superkewl3141. : 2013-05-31 12:11:13
if all of it were legal, would more people use, or would the same people that already use just have less hassles, and risks in their lives? If taxed would there then be more money for treatment of people that have a problem, or would there just be more companies to take advantage of human weakness? Which came first, the user, or the drug?
Bubblu. : 2011-09-01 10:18:28
Tell me what medicines can overpower withdrawl symptoms of this nasty dried poppy
Nobody. : 2010-12-05 03:09:48
Why can't big brother just leave us alone?
Acohol and tobacco are legal (and taxed..) in the US. Will our precious DEA please compare vital statistics as far as fatalities from acohol, or tobacco against tea drinkers?? This "war on drugs" is in fact others taking thier own moral beliefs, and writing them into law.
heavyequimentoperator. : 2010-11-23 03:33:57
it's too bad the government doesn't have enough foresight too see the harm that this poppy crackdown is causing for all of the addicts like myself. for nearly a decade opiates have alleviated my depression and allowed me to live a productive and happy life. now that i can no longer get poppies online i am faced with the harsh reality of being forced to get my medication from the black market. while i used to be able to feel well by simply mixing poppy pod grounds with yogurt, i now have to pay outrageous prices for pills on the street when they are even available. unfortunately pills are becoming more and more difficult to find. so that leaves me one option; heroin. I have little doubt that within the next few months i will have no choice but to switch to heroin simply because it's the only thing i can acquire in sufficient quantity to keep depression at bay and remain a functional contributing member of society.

It is a shame that this war against pain relief has been allowed to progress so far. Raw poppy pods have the potential to bring stability to the lives of so many opiate addicts and really should remain available to the general public. the toxic and extremely dangerous racemic methadone provided in canada is the worst thing to force people to use, yet that is exactly what the government is trying to do. I pray that this war on pain relief will end before the thousands of canadians like myself end up switching to heroin, or worse yet, methadone, simply so that they can lead a life that isn't pure torment.

Poppies are safe. nobody is going to accidently drink a gallon of wretched tasting tea, or swallow 7 grams of terrible tasting resin, or eat a cup of green, bitter, chunky yogurt without knowing they're taking a drug. and even if they double dose, they will survive. a fatal dose is so high that it would be quite difficult to accidently overdose.

canadians buying poppy pods are getting them from canadian farms, supporting canadian farmers, and the canadian economy. the profit margin for canadian grown poppies is small enough that it gets no attention from organized crime. Use of poppies in canada is a victimless crime. nobody gets hurt whatsoever. and for people like myself, who need opiates to feel normal, we become self sustaining. take away our medicine and many of us will become burdens on society.

This is a sad time people. don't miss the fact that yet more of our freedom has been stolen away from us. we are witnessing the criminalization of pain relief at it's worst.

nikki. : 2010-08-27 17:06:03
according to various pharmacolgy texts the amount of morphine in unprocessed opium poppy pods is negligble. To obtain the morphine the pod must be cut within so many days of maximal flowering, and the gum collected. Poppy seeds are legal in Canada, and is also legal to purchase and grow opium poppies for other purposes than extractin the morphine. In the heyday of the late 60s early 70s it was common for people mistakenly try to get a good high off poppy seeds from stores. As one who has tried this some 40 years ago, i think that main effect is simply from smoke degradation products and not from any alkaloids. The seeds that are best for cooking are opium poppies. Indeed, in an effort to curb ilicit opium production major opium producers like Turkey have taken to allowing the growers to sell the dried pods to certified companies, who would then extract the thebaine and convert it to morphine. Theyu have been doing this for at least 20 years that i know of. Another rumour from the hippy era was that you could get high on banana peels. Try some. It is probably similar to the poppies that are unprocessed.


bob. : 2010-01-03 15:57:30
YEAH THE PIGS SHOULD BURN HIM LIKE THE BIBLE THUMPING NIGLETS ARE DOING TO THE people they think are WITCHES IN AFRICA, No really, you stupid people and your drug war should all go treat yourself to a bullet to the head and take all the religious wackos and politicians, soldiers, bankers and other bloats with you!
NN. : 2009-11-19 21:21:30
I've tried making poppy tea from garden opium poppies on a couple of occasions, as well as opium paste. Expect to spend hours sick to your stomach while enjoying a faint feeling of unreality. All the bad and little of the good as played up in Confessions of an Opium Eater. I'd suggest sticking to cannabis or alcohol.

The brain is mainly inhibition - a small amount of a depressant does stimulate more (generally dumber) behaviour - you're probably familiar with it from alcohol. But I doubt the drivers are using it as a stimulant - the point of most drug use is to escape anxiety. If they want a stimulant, there are plenty already cheaply available and time-honoured in the trucking industry.

As moral panics go, it could have better legs.

TYC. : 2009-11-16 13:59:01
Yep, trot out another if all the others have worked. Apparently, prohibition means "hey, have you tried this...check it out. It works!" to every kid within earshot.
Dee. : 2009-11-03 10:30:44
What many people don't seem to understand, is that this substance is simply an opiate. Dried poppy pods, or ground, powdered poppy pods (doda), contain all the same alkaloids that opium contains. The most active constituent, and the one that causes most of the effects in opium and thus doda, is morphine. Opium also contains narcotine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine and narceine as the most abundant alkaloids, but it is the morphine and codeine that cause the narcotic effect. Opium contains quite a bit more morphine than codeine. Usually 8% to 19% morphine vs 1% to 3% codeine. Dried pods don't contain as much alkaloid as opium does, but there is definitely enough to cause a narcotic effect and even overdose.
Yes, some of these alkaloids can cause a mild stimulation, but once enough poppy tea is ingested, the morphine content can and will easily overpower any stimulation. The morphine will cause sedation, slowed respiration, euphoria, pin point pupils constipation and eventually, physical dependence.
I would say it's more likely truck drivers and cabbies in India drink poppy tea (Doda) because of the morphines ability to eradicate feelings of boredom and monotony caused by long hours at tedious jobs than for stimulant effects.

In someone who is dependent on an opiate IE; morphine, oxycontin, even heroin, and is suffering from withdrawals, poppy tea, in sufficient amount, will totally abolish all withdrawal symptoms. This is how strong this substance can be. Strength can depend on how many pods are used to make the tea or doda. If one drinks enough of this tea to cause a high, two weeks or so of doing this daily and you will be mildly addicted to morphine. Longer, say a few months of daily use, and you will have a full blown opium addiction....exactly the same as a morphine addiction. The withdrawals too, are the same as morphine withdrawal as that is the principal opiate in the tea.
People think because this stuff is "natural" or herbal, that it's totally safe. Again, due to the morphine content, it is quite possible to overdose on this substance. Drink more than your tolerance can handle and you can die from the same respiratory failure as morphine causes. In the US there have already been cases of fatal overdoses from poppy tea.

brady. : 2009-08-18 19:09:50
I agree grab your pitch forks everybody!
nifferlynne. : 2009-07-25 05:36:13
ohya? you must not know much about poppy powder or doda. It contains both depressents and stimulants such as thebine. Some people become sleepy, and others get energy from the drug. Do more reading next time before you say someone is a child. The writer of this article did a fine job.
ML. : 2009-07-13 11:07:48
This is where the name "doda" comes from by the way: [link]
Marshall Lentini. : 2009-07-13 11:06:22
I've tried this nearly a dozen times; never even a buzz. Pure placebo effect unless you ingest a massive amount. But if you want to take opium it really isn't hard to grow P. somniferum on your sill or backyard and practice cutting the unopened pods.
R. : 2009-06-17 22:48:49
I know someone who is addicted to this drug, and is becoming harmful to him..Does anyone know where i can ask someone for help?
oh ya?. : 2009-05-11 11:50:14
*write* ;P
oh ya?. : 2009-05-11 11:49:22
Doda to stay awake? Did some little kid right this article?
idontknow. : 2009-01-29 17:01:52
bad drug
wantsome. : 2009-01-29 11:24:10
can i get it in the eastend of toronto?
drugzRlyfe. : 2009-01-27 22:55:25
i want some NOW! ! ! :)
person. : 2009-01-09 14:10:01
IN the United States, dried pods are as legal as any plant, flower, or vegetable because the dried pods dont have the same alkaloids as it does when it is wet because of being able to harvest heroin and opium. The dried pods do have a lot of alkaloids, but it is just mainly morphine and codeine
Alex. : 2009-01-06 08:19:19
Total facepalm on this one though
"Ah, I see you're making a calming tea out of a millenia-old plant"

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