Molecule of the Week

Salvinorin A

May 21, 2012

Salvinorin A, the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen, is found in Salvia divinorum, a rare Mexican plant from the mint family. It was described and named in 1982 by A. Ortega and co-workers. At least 12 similar compounds have been discovered or synthesized, but none are appreciably psychoactive. Unlike most hallucinogens, salvinorin A is a terpenoid, not an alkaloid. In 2007, D. A. Evans and co-workers reported an asymmetric synthesis of salvinorin A.

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