The bizarre discovery: it turns out that it's not a natural product, after all. Local farmers had been feeding it to their cattle (as well as to themselves) in such high doses that their urine contaminated the soil with enough Tramadol that the plants were taking it up into their root system in harvestable quantities.
It's not even clear why they're giving it to the cattle -- apparently there's just a sense that it makes them happier. I suspect that's a euphemism for "the cattle were stoned out of their minds." Also, given that this was coming out in such quantities in their urine, I'm kind of shocked that these cattle still have livers or kidneys.
So yes, this story basically boils down to "the farmers were all high as kites, and started giving drugs to the cows too, until even the trees ended up full of narcotics."
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