Ch3 N

thebaine

Figure C

4. Benzylisoquinolines are a group of agents, which do not interact with the opioid receptor. The most important one is papaverine (0.5%-1%) a phosphodiestrase inhibitor, which relaxes the smooth muscle, and noscapine (2%-9%), which is used as a cough suppressant (Figure D).

o

0

IT

Cch3

T1

XX

och3

CH3CX

XX

U

J

CHjO

-vs

Î

CKSO

OCH3

0

pupavonno (benzyhsoqwnoiine)

noscapine

1 benzylisoq umotine)

Figure D

Figure II-3. The Golden Triangle where the opium poppy is being harvested
Figure 11-4. The major constituents of the poppy plant (Papaver somniferum) which are used for the formation of heroin and so called semisynthetic opioid ligands, derivatives of thebaine (e.g. buprenorphine)

Raw or cooked opium contains more than 35 different alkaloids, including morphine, codeine, and thebaine (Figure II-4). In Mainland Southeast Asia, the morphine alkaloid alone accounts for approximately 10% of the total weight of opium. Heroin manufacturers must first extract the morphine from the opium, before converting the morphine to heroin. The extraction is a simple process, requiring only a few chemicals and a supply of water. Morphine sometimes is extracted from opium in small clandestine laboratories, which are typically set up near the opium poppy fields. Since the morphine base is about one-tenth the weight and volume of raw opium, it is desirable to reduce the opium to morphine before transporting the product from the field to a heroin laboratory.

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