Volume 33, Issue 2 (March 1988)
Gas Chromatographic/Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Morphine and Codeine in Human Urine of Poppy Seed Eaters
In this study, poppy seeds were examined for a natural constituent that might serve as a marker for the seeds' ingestion as opposed to opiate abuse. Thebaine was selected as possible marker, since it was found to be a component of all poppy seeds examined and was not a natural component of different heroin samples. During the course of this investigation, a new extraction and cleanup procedure was developed for the gas chromatographic/nitrogen phosphorus detection (GC/NPD) and gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric (GC/MS) analysis of morphine and codeine in urine. A linear response, over a concentration range of 25 to 600 ng/mL, was obtained for codeine and morphine (r = 0.9982 and 0.9947, respectively). The minimum detectable level (LOD) and limit of quantitation (LOQ) for morphine were 10 and 30 ng/mL, respectively; whereas LOD and LOQ for codeine were 2 and 8 ng/mL, respectively. The coefficients of variance (CV, n = 6) for morphine and codeine analyses at the 100-ng/mL level were 13.3 and 4.6%, respectively.
This procedure was used for the analysis of urine samples from five poppy seed eaters who each ingested 200 g of poppy seed cake. Results indicated that significant amounts of morphine and codeine are excreted in urine and that in all subjects, at least at one point in time, the apparent morphine concentration as determined by radioimmunoassay (RIA) analysis exceeded the cutoff value (300 ng/mL) established for screening. Thebaine was not detected in urine specimens collected following poppy seeds ingestion and thus could not be used as a marker.