poppies and pot

Tue Sep 15 07:35:03 EST 1992

Fellow plantbionetters,
Much as I would like to discuss the virtues of American Fighter Jets
(no offence Toby, I noticed that even you were reluctant to pursue the
subject), I saw something which ran through bionet-plants the other day
which was *plant* related and to which someone (from a Crop Science Dept.,
I believe) posted some mis-information as a reply.  Given that this is
a forum for plant biology, perhaps the original post should be replied to
with a rectified response.
The original post was interested in determining if marijuana could be grown
from poppy seeds.  Someone responded 'That's right!'.  Not true.  Even
a lowly biochemist who happens to work on trees (like me (;-)) can tell
you that poppy seeds come from _Papaver somniferum_  whereas if you are
interested in growing hemp of the narcotic variety you should use
seeds from _Cannabis sativa_.  Hope this clarifies the situation.
BTW, if you are still hung up on the narcotic value of poppy seeds:
a report presented at the 1988 meeting of the Groupe Polyphenol
demonstrated the alkaloid content of poppy seed cakes.  From a
natural products chemistry point of view the content of alkaloids in these
cakes was significant - from a practical point of view, *rats* would have
to consume kilogram quantities of the cakes in order to have an alkaloid
mediated change in cerebral activity (mind you, other natural products would
probably kill them long before they had that chance).  Stick to coffee.
Now plantbionetters, back to your regularly scheduled rhetoric...
Malcolm M. Campbell, Ph.D.
Equipe Lignin
Centre de Physiologie Vegetale
Universite Paul Sabatier
Toulouse, FRANCE
Disclaimer: Malcolm qui?

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