Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Egyptian Man Who Kept a Piece of Hash in His Stomach for Four Years

I was one day chatting with a sweet muse when she told me that her friend’s dad, a surgeon, just extracted a big piece of hashish from a patient’s guts after laying there for four long years. Since she kindly sent me those couple of photos, I thought it’s an interesting, and certainly weird, happening to write about. So here it is.

A few years ago, a man who lives in Alexandria, Egypt had some trouble with the law and was sentenced to prison after a case related to constructions. Once in, he was gifted a piece of hash ― judging from the photos it looks like it’s a “two-coin” or “two-finger” piece, roughly 9 grams that cost 600-800* Egyptian Pounds, or US$120 around 2012. It is not known if the gift came from inside the prison or outside it.

When at some point the prison guards were inspecting the cells, searching for illegal stuff, the man had no other option but to swallow the hash to avoid being in trouble...big trouble. As he swallowed the piece he thought it would be a temporary matter; either he will puke it at some point or it will go down with his poop a few days later. However, the piece of hash never came out and the man remained in prison until the rest of his sentence.

Only four years later, the now-free man had started to get abdominal pains. He went to the doctor who did an x-ray and found a “foreign body” inside. The man then told the doctor about the hash story from back then. So, they opened him up and got the piece out ... intact.

This is the astounding part which shows how the human body is really a wondrous work of art with a mind of its own: Because the stomach could not digest the hash, due, I think, to the fact that it is wrapped in plastic and to its size, it has miraculously developed a sort of isolator to engulf the foreign object without obstructing any of the functions of the stomach, or of the entire body. This new organic setting allowed the hash to remain in the body for almost 1500 days while the man, apparently, had no physical problems whatsoever.

When I first heard the story I didn’t understand how the hash didn’t decompose for all these years. Hash is known to be edible and it does get you high when you eat it. However, it has to be chewed and broken down. The man here just swallowed the package, which the body dealt with as a “foreign” object that does not belong to the equation and isolated it from the rest of itself to avoid any health hazards. How cool is that. 

I guess this story gives “Pot belly” a whole new meaning. Do you see how your body loves you and why you should love it back?

On a parallel note, check When The Puppies Ate The “Chocolate”. Also, the Arabic article ( احذروا التقليد عند الشراء — ظاهرة الحشيش المخلوط في مصر ) about adulterated hashish sold in Egypt among other countries in the region with added Parkinol (Trihexyphenidyl) as I came to find out. This is a cheap and wicked anticholinergic, antiparkinson agent of the antimuscarinic class and a medication that cause hallucinations and delirium.

*EDIT (2018): While the price of a two-finger piece may have been around 600-800 EGP in Egypt at the time the action occurred ― with 1 US$ = 6 EGP as exchange rate ― starting 2017-2018 it increased even more to reach 1200-1400 EGP, or US$ 75 ― with 1 US$ = 17 EGP!

I wonder if the hash got stronger, weaker, or hasn’t changed in terms of potency, as
I also wonder what will happen to the piece now.


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