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Articles & Issues

1. New psychoactive substances of natural origin: A brief review 【Date:2017-07-14】 unit:

New psychoactive substances of natural origin: A brief review
 
Ling-Yi Feng a, Altansuvd Battulga b, Eunyoung Han c, Heesun Chung d,**, Jih-Heng Li a,b,e,*

a Ph.D. Program in Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
b School of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
c College of Pharmacy, Duksung Women's University, Seoul, South Korea
d Graduate School of Analytical Science and Technology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea
e Department of Medical Research, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
 
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.
 
Keywords: New psychoactive substances (NPS), Khat, Kratom, Salvia, Magic mushroom, Mandrake