Can eating poppy seeds make you fail a drug test?

Welcome to Burning Questions, The Takeout’s video series in which we answer all your culinary quandaries and ponderings.

Surely you’ve heard this timeless bit of advice before: Don’t eat poppy seeds before taking a drug test, or else it’ll look like you have heroin in your urine, and you’ll fail. Poppy seeds and heroin come from the same plant, so this claim makes a certain amount of sense—but do both substances really show up in your system the same way? We spoke to experts about the scientific basis of this claim, and whether it’s okay to indulge in a lemon poppy seed muffin (or two) before peeing in a cup. For the full investigation, head here.




Yes, you absolutely can. It depends on the brand of seeds and how much washing the company did of them. I hit 3 years of sobriety yesterday! I can definitely say that at times when nothing else was available I would buy large bags of poppy seeds and get super high off them by making tea. In other words you are washing the seeds themselves and drinking the liquid. Certain brands barely wash or don’t wash the seeds at all and if you ate those brands you could absolutely fail a drug test. You aren’t going to fail if you eat a bunch of McDonalds burgers that have poppy seeds on the bun though. The sensitivity of the test also matters.

The video is right. For your average person this is not a concern at all. Most food with poppy seeds is not going to be made with the relatively obscure brands that don’t wash their seeds. It is possible for a single batch of a “normal” brand to have higher content, but even then you have a low chance of crossing the threshold. It is fucked up though that I can buy a $30 bag of poppy seeds off amazon that will get me high as fuck off morphine for days though!