3.8.7 Opium

Opium #

Binomial / Botanical Name Lachryma Papaveris (Source Plant: Papaver Somniferum)
Street Names Poppy Tears;
Major Active Compound Morphine; Codeine; Thebaine; Papaverine; Noscapine
Indigenous Source Uncertain. This sample: Australia
Form Dried Sap
RoA Oral / Smoked
Personal Rating On Shulgin Scale ++


My sample of this most infamous of plant narcotics was offered as raw dark brown opium, and was purported to have been hand harvested from pharmaceutically grown Tasmanian white poppies. Its quality was reputed to be extremely high.

Despite its long historical use, I found that there was a distinct lack of information available, including via the Internet, regarding dosage. In the sense that this is a botanical and not an artificially produced substance, this might be expected, at least to some degree. However, I found virtually nothing of any real value.

As a non-opioid user, the vendor recommended that I should start with “cautious oral use (just swallow a piece)”. Specifically he suggested that I should “start at 50mg, i.e. half a point”. As his advice to seasoned users was to “dose upwards from 100mg” he was halving the dose on account of my lack of tolerance and experience.

He did appear to be reasonably genuine, and of course, had no motive to harm or kill his customers. Regardless, I elected to halve this again, and try 25mg. Given the obvious risks and the serious consequences of overdose, I felt that such caution was probably merited.

With respect to onset, there were a few references, which pitched this at anything between 30 and 90 minutes. I used this as a gauge, but as I had no intention of redosing, it was largely of academic interest.

Forum posts suggested that I should expect the duration to be of the order of 12 hours.

Regarding effects, my expectation was framed by both kratom and heroin, and I anticipated mild euphoria, contentedness, and possibly some nausea. I hoped for minimal hangover, at least on the dose I had chosen.

T+0:00 I break a small corner off the square of the raw opium, which I believe is sometimes referred to as dried latex. I weigh this carefully: 32mg. I consider this to be close enough to my intended 25mg so I go with it. It smells of plant matter and is malleable.

It has a strong taste, very strong in fact, and is quite bitter. I chew and suck this for a minute or so and it begins to dissolve in my mouth. I swig it down with water. The taste lingers so I suck on a clove to dissipate it.

It is 11am, and all I have eaten this morning is a carrot, which I ate with a cup of coffee a couple of hours ago. My stomach is therefore empty and settled.

T+0:30 I feel ever so slightly dreamy; so slightly that I can’t at this stage rule out a placebo effect.

Then again, perhaps I can, as I am certainly more tranquil than I was an hour ago.

I should add at this point that I am not really into opioids per se. This relative lack of interest is purely on the basis of their effects: meaning that I don’t find the high or quasi-euphoria to be particularly exciting or rewarding. At low doses I also tend to find it difficult to establish when I am actually under the influence, which was something that plagued my kratom experiences in particular.

T+0:45 There has been no significant change thus far, although I do sense that dreamy headspace developing further. There is no pupil constriction or dilation or anything of that nature.

T+1:15 I beginning to feel mentally relaxed. A good measure of sedation is now fairly obvious. Although the anxiolytic effects are clear, there is nothing that I would call euphoric.

T+1:45 Whilst there has been no particular change, time is passing quite quickly. If I had to find a parallel with this at the moment, it would be that it was like a strong benzo, not that my benzo experience is at all prolific.

T+2:00 For no reason other than passing interest I take my blood pressure. It is 137/89, and a heart rate of 50bpm. The former is slightly high, but the latter is more or less within normal parameters.

I still feel sedated, relaxed, and generally fine.

T+2:15 Because the anxiolytic effect is so pleasant, I entertain the thought that this would be even better if I made it stronger: in other words, if I redosed and induced euphoria. I can understand from here how that slippery slope becomes hard to resist.

T+2:30 There is no sign of a come-down as yet. Standing up and walking around I still feel calm and chilled. There is a nice background feeling to it.

I will admit it: this is rather nice.

T+3:15 I am still chillaxed, and on the same contented plateau as earlier, but in a slightly more fatigued way.

T+3:45 I remain broadly the same place, but over the last half hour a weary edge has increasingly emerged. This is not to the level of any discomfort, but I am now a little tired.

I should emphasize that I am still in a very decent place. However, for the first time I feel like I am heading down from the peak.

As it is now closing in on 3pm, I order some (vegetarian) food, which duly arrives: a cheese and tomato sandwich. From this I deduce that there is no appetite suppression in play. I find that can eat normally.

T+4:15 I decide to take a nap, as I often do in the afternoons. I wonder if I will sleep normally.

T+5:15 I slept reasonably well. I have now come-down substantially, with the original effects now just lurking somewhere in the background.

I expect to land slowly and gently over the next few hours.

Overall, this was a very gentle ride: it was a smooth and positive experience. The 32mg dose produced a definite mood lift, with mild sedation and a clear presence. There was the occasional feel of nausea, but this was very slight, and it faded as quickly as it came. Perhaps there was a hint of a headache the following morning.

I may return to this, either for a smoke, or a slightly higher dose. If I do, it won’t be until my body is fully reset from this experience, and given the risks with this class, I won’t be overdoing it.

Opium poppies as found growing wild

Opium poppies as found growing wild

Opium poppy pods as displayed on a regular flower market

Opium poppy pods as displayed on a regular flower market