An inmate who stuffed cannabis up his nose in an attempt to smuggle it into prison has had the drugs removed 18 years later.
During a prison visit, the man, now 48-years-old, was given a rubber balloon filled with marijuana by his girlfriend, which he inserted into his right nostril.
Despite smuggling the package past prison guards, the inmate accidentally pushed the package deeper into his nostril but believed he had swallowed the package.
For 18 years, the drugs remained in his nose until he was referred to the Westmead Hospital after suffering from repeated headaches and sinus infections.
A CT scan of his brain showed a 19 by 11mm calcified growth in the right nostril, which had grown around the balloon, according to research by the BMJ Case Reports.
Over the course of 18 years, the balloon developed into a rhinolith, a stone in the nasal cavity formed as calcium, magnesium and other minerals formed around the rubber.
Scans showed a firm grey mass in the right nasal cavity which was removed under general anesthetic.
Three months after the procedure, the patients reported his symptoms had completely disappeared.
The case is thought to be the first report of a rhinolith developed around marijuana.