Making opium tea

We were going to have very detailed instructions for making opium tea, legally and with relatively easily obtainable stuff, on this page. But we can't find the book, so instead you're getting rough instructions from the memory of someone with some experience.

The primary source is the book Opium for the Masses by Jim Hogshire, published by Loompanics.

 

1. If you're not growing your own poppies or have poppies growing near you, then you need to get a hold of dried poppy pods. Extracting opium from dried poppies is what this page is concerned with.

After the poppy has gone through its flowering cycle, a pod is left on the end of the stem. This pod is full of opium. A lot of these plants are dried, with the pods intact, and sold in America for floral arrangements. The single hardest part of this whole process is locating these dried poppy pods.

Go to craft stores around you that carry dried floral and look through the baskets to see if they have them (We'll try to get up a picture of what they look like: light brown with a single pod on the end, slightly taller than around, with a star-shaped formation on the end). Most places don't have them, unfortunately. Wal-Mart never does. Never seen 'em at K-Mart. Michael's, that shitty chain craft store, sometimes has them but they're usually painted. We got some of those once and painstaking scraped most of the paint off the pods and used them, but I wouldn't recommend it. Sometimes pre-made flower arrangements will have poppies in them and you can break 'em off in the store and pocket them.

Floral supply warehouses are probably your best bet. You can look in the yellow pages and see if there's any around you & call 'em up. We've never found any that way so I don't know if you'd have any trouble getting them if they did have them. If you live in San Francisco go to the flower marts on Brannan, ask around for dried floral. They have them there by the case.

If you have the luxury of choice, the stronger stuff seems to come from the slightly smaller pods that are duskier, closer to purple-blue in color, and don't seem as dry. Most pods will be bone-dry, beige and brittle.

2. You need about ten pods per person, but your mileage will vary. When we started out we were tempted to use a lot because "it couldn't hurt" but the result was sometimes an undrinkably cloudy tea. Break the pods off of the stems, twisting them so there's a hole at the bottom of the pod where the stem came off. Now break apart the pods and empty out the seeds--there'll be a ton. Don't try to empty the seeds out through the little hole; there's no point and it takes forever. The opium you're gonna get is in the pods so that's what you want to save (you can save the seeds for planting).

3. You'll need a coffee grinder for this part. Grind the pods in the coffee grinder. Grind them very fine if you can, to a powder. The more you grind 'em the more surface area there is for opium to be extracted.

4. Boil some water. I think we usually do about 2 cups per person/batch. When the water comes to a boil stir in the ground-up pods and immediately remove the pot from the heat. You want to scald the powder but you don't want it to sit there and boil on the stove--it breaks down the opium. Stir it around as it cools. You don't have to stir continuously. Let it cool for a while, y'know, fifteen minutes or so, let it steep.

5. Okay, last step. You need a strainer, average kind, not big or small holes but medium. You want to pour the mixture through the strainer to separate out most of the matter. The holes in the strainer shouldn't be so big it doesn't strain anything nor so small that it get's stopped up. It'll get stopped up a little, though, probably, just stir the crap around in the strainer and it'll keep going. Throw that gross stinky shit you've strained off in the trash or compost heap. It stinks but get used to it because that's what the tea tastes like.

What you have left is opium tea. There's gonna be some sludge in it. Sometimes there's a lot of sludge in it. You can strain it twice and it'll help.

I don't think it tastes very good, but buck up and swallow it down because it feels great afterwards.

I don't think there's anything I left out. It's a real simple process once you have the dried pods and the only labor-intensive thing is breaking them up and grinding them. To recap: 1) get some dried poppy pods. 2) break the heads off, break them up and get rid of the seeds. 3) grind the heads in a coffee grinder. 4) pour the grounds heads into boiling water and let it cool. 5) strain and drink. Easy!

Incidentally, you can evaporate the water off the tea and you'll have opium, pure and simple. Eat it or roll it up and smoke it.

Questions?

 

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