Very Old Opium

Discussion in 'Opium & Poppy' started by Lump, May 21, 2004.

  1. Lump

    Lump Newbie

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    Hope someone can help me out on this, it's making me bonkers.



    Live in an area where the mining industry was huge between about 1840 to 1950. Little 'patch' towns used to go up and down in a matter of days, depending on where they were mining. My brother digs old bottles out of these sites and sells them.



    So my bro calls me and says he's dug up an apothocary bottle STILL SEALED (cork and wax) that he dates from between 1870-1900. It says OPIUM on it. Had a look at it this morning, and there seems to be about 4 ozs of a substance in the bottom of the bottle. Hard to judge color because of the color of the glass SO



    Does this stuff degrade? Unchipped, still sealed bottles from that era go for bucks, but if he sold it, would he run into the possibility of law trouble for trafficing, even though he dug it up (in the US)? Would it be worth it to open the bottle to test the stuff? Sticky wickett, any thoughts?
     
  2. Dilemma_cuts

    Dilemma_cuts Newbie

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    I would reccomend, if you are interested in the opium, crack the bottle and cut the nugget/chunk in half. Take a big whiff and see if you can detect the fruity smell of opium.


    Were the bottles buried? If so then it is possible that only a tiny amount of light possibly penetrated the nugget, and even then it would have only a slight penetration/degrading ability. Try burning a piece and smelling the vapour (Waft it to your nose, do not inhale it!). It is possible it is misslabeled or some other situation. Most chemicals, including to a large extent drugs, will degrade under environmental factors such as light, heat, oxygenor moisture. I'm not too sure of morphine or codeines stability though. If you've tested for the smell and have no effective conclusion, post again and I'll think of a chemical test you could perform.
     
  3. KickinTheGong

    KickinTheGong Newbie

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    What is at the bottom of the bottle is more then likely Narotine. And what you have is Laudanum. It was sold at Pharmacies like cough syrup is today. The separation is bad and not to be used. I would keep the bottle but im into old things. You should be able to safley sell the bottle unopened.