opium poppy plant

Molecule of the Day: Morphine

Morphine (C17H19NO3) is a naturally-occurring opioid produced in the opium poppy plant. It exists as a white powder with a bitter taste under standard conditions, and is sparingly soluble in water.

Morphine is used a narcotic analgesic - it relieves pain by acting on the central nervous system to reduce the body’s capability to appreciate pain. When consumed, it travels to the central nervous system, where it binds to the μ-opioid receptors. This triggers pain relief, sedation, and euphoria.

However, this can also result in a depression of the respiration system, resulting in asphyxiation and hypoxia. Furthermore, morphine results in dependence and addiction, as the body reduces the number of receptors in response to the greater stimulus. Consequently, greater amounts of morphine are needed to achieve the same analgesic or euphoric effect, and when morphine is withdrawn, the lower-than-normal stimulus level results in withdrawal symptoms.

Morphine is also used as a precursor to some related opioids, such as codeine.

Requested by @awesome-prudence (hope morphine will suffice!)

Plants for the Zodiac
  • Aries: tiger lily
  • Taurus: mallow
  • Gemini: orchid and hybrids
  • Cancer: lotus, moonwort, and almond
  • Leo: sunflower and laurel
  • Virgo: narcissus, vervain, herbs
  • Libra: aloe, myrtle, rose
  • Scorpio: cactus, ivy, oak
  • Sagittarius: rush, oak, fig, hyssop
  • Capricorn: yew, ash, hemp, weeping willow
  • Aquarius: olive, aspen
  • Pisces: opium poppy, lotus, water plants

More poppies (Papaver somniferum) bloom every day on the hügelkultur mounds; it’s a shame the blossoms are so short-lived, but I suppose that’s why I planted 20+ kinds of flower there instead of one.

Opium poppies are also the kind you use for poppyseed production: I should have a fair amount of seed to bake with after this season!

Common & Obscure Plants with Recreational and/or Medicinal Uses:

1. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)
2. Brugmansia (Brugmansia suaveolens [hybrid variety is pictured])
3. Coffee (Coffea Arabica)
4. Kava-kava (Piper methysticum)
5. Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)
6. Betel nut (Areca catechu)
7. Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
8. Diviner’s sage (Salvia divinorum)
9. Coca (pictured is Erythroxylum novogranatense)
10. Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa)
11. Moonflower/Thorn-Apple (Datura inoxia)
12. Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)
13. Cannabis (C. indica/sativa hybrid)
14. Heavenly Blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea tricolor)
15. Chacruna (Psychotria viridis)
16. San Pedro (Echinopsis pachanoi)
17. Ephedra / TCM name: Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica)
18. Khat (Catha edulis)
19. Intoxicating mint (Lagochilus inebriens)
20. Dream herb (Calea ternifolia / Calea zacatechichi)
21. Voacanga africana
22. Hawaiian Baby Woodrose (Argyreia nervosa)
23. Yellow Hornpoppy (Glaucium flavum)
24. Ibogaine (Tabernanthe iboga)
25. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
26. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
27. Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata)

(Original resolution is 1600 x 1422px)

Edit: Shit… how did I forget to add Papaver somniferum / Opium Poppy to this??