How Is Opium Produced?


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Aun Jafery answered
Opium can be extracted from the poppy plant (Papaver somniferum L), a herb native to Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. The plants consists of bulbs or pods of poppy; once ready the same are lacerated by a sharp blade leaving a slight slash or cut which is left to bleed. This exudes a milky white latex substance, which is collected on drying to a brown sticky raw opium.

This raw poppy is then to be cooked before it is ready for consumption. The cooking involves boiling in water over a low heat. The solution thus formed is filtered to remove dirt, waxes, soil, insect matter etc. The filtrate is left over a low heat to evaporate, leaving behind opium with significantly higher morphine content. Opium can be smoked as a narcotic; heroin is also made from it, but it is also very important in the field of medicine.

People harvesting the opium from fields have to avoid falling asleep, as they may fall asleep forever.

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