How Long Do Poppy Seeds Stay In Your System (And Why)?

How Long Do Poppy Seeds Stay In Your System (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up To 48 hours

One may have eaten poppy seeds before and not even known it. Poppy seeds are used in various baked goods, including cakes, muffins, scones, biscuits, rolls and pastries. Many people who enjoy these treats regularly have no concern about having poppy seed residue in their system after eating them. 

However, for some, they may want to know how long poppies stay in the system. Two different factors play into the viability of the poppy seeds staying around in one’s body -time elapsed since they ate them and weight/height ratio of the person consuming them. 

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How Long Do Poppy Seeds Stay In Your System?

Type Of DrugDuration
Poppy Seeds48 Hours
Morphine3 to 4 days

Many patients eventually discover poppy seeds in their system even though they have not eaten them. It has been concluded that poppy seeds contain opiates which can lead to an overdose when ingested. Especially for children, it can be especially dangerous because of their immature digestive systems.

Studies show that the poppy seeds can stay in the system for up to 48 hours, and the number can jump to 60 hours if the dosage is higher.

It is recommended to keep the intake of poppy seed foods high enough to feel the effects but still low enough so that it will not cause an overdose and harm oneself.

The factors involved are the size and shape of the poppy seeds, metabolism, and frequency of ingestion, all contribute to how long poppy seeds will stay in one’s system. However, it’s worth noting that poppy seeds contain opioids such as morphine, codeine and papaverine. 

They also contain substances that can cause allergic reactions, such as anaphylactic shock. This is the reason why people with chronic kidney disease, allergies or other health conditions should avoid consuming them altogether. 

If one does not choose to consume them, it is best to be cooked first to convert any traces of morphine into something less potent called “codeine.”

The more poppy seeds one consumes, the higher the chance of the drug test result being positive. The products available are not only poppy seeds but also poppy seed teas and other pain relievers. 

Why Would Poppy Seeds Stay In Your System For So Long?

Poppy seeds are coated with a wax that inhibits the absorption of water. They persist in the intestines because they are too big to absorb digestive enzymes but small enough to pass through lining tissue. 

A typical bowel transit time ranges from 12 to 48 hours. For an average-sized person weighing 154 pounds, this means it would take between 1 and 4 days for a whole grain of poppy seed to leave their body naturally without any medical intervention such as laxatives or enemas.  

In other words, poppy seeds stay in the system for so long because they contain opium, and it’s a narcotic.

This is especially true if the poppy seeds were harvested fresh and then made into bread within 24 hours.

Exposure to moisture causes more morphine to be absorbed from the seeds by the digestive tract. 

Regarding how poppy seeds come up on a drug test – some studies show that some drugs can be detected in urine for up to one month after use; others show 36-72 hours. Others show weeks or months before drug tests can detect them reliably. 

However, the variation in detection time is due largely to different bioavailability principles of each specific type of drug and poppy seeds: up to 48 hours. As a result, there are instances where it leads to overdoses and fatalities. 

Usually, they are easy to spot when it comes to food products, so it is best to check all the ingredients if one is concerned.


If one eats the poppy seeds, it will take about 6 hours to leave the body through digestion and excretion. To leave the system completely takes up to 48 hours. Some of the food that contains poppy seeds are cakes, muffins, salad dressing, bagel, rolls, buns, babka, and granola.

If one is going to take a drug test in the future, it is better to avoid any product that contains poppy seeds. It is also notable that the concentration of residue left in the system by poppy seeds varies according to the country and the amount of water in the body.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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