Plant-based drugs of abuse are as old as recorded human history. Although traditional addictive substances, such as opium, cannabis and coca, have been controlled by the United Nations anti-drug conventions, many, if not most, natural plants with addictive or abuse liability remain elusive. Therefore, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has warned the emerging threat from new psychoactive substances (NPS), which are mostly derived or modified from the constituents of natural origin. For example, synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones are derived from the cannabis and khat plant, respectively. In this review, we briefly discussed the chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of five common NPS of natural origin, i.e., khat, kratom, salvia, magic mushroom and mandrake. Through the review, we hope that professionals and general public alike can pay more attention to the potential problems caused by natural NPS, and suitable control measures will be taken. © 2017
Feng, L.-Y.; Battulga, A.; Han, E.; Chung, H.; and Li, J.-H.
"New psychoactive substances of natural origin: A brief review,"
Journal of Food and Drug Analysis: Vol. 25
, Article 4.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2017.04.001
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