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Old 05-11-2017, 08:15 PM
astro astro is offline
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Why haven't perfect synthetic copies of heroin and cocaine been produced to date?

With the ability to manufacture even fairly complex drugs being available why haven't perfect synthetic analogs of cocaine and heroin been created vs having to extract them from risky to obtain agricultural products?
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:29 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Isn't Oxycodine synthetic heroin? But I suspect that growing poppies is still cheaper and easier than manufacturing.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:32 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
With the ability to manufacture even fairly complex drugs being available why haven't perfect synthetic analogs of cocaine and heroin been created vs having to extract them from risky to obtain agricultural products?
The extracting isn't the risky part. It's the street level cutting where the problems come from.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:32 PM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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What do you mean by analogs? The total synthesis of both are known, it's just a pain in the ass multistep process that plants and peasants do really well for cheap.

Do you want published syntheses? I can pull some citations.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:35 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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If you're talking about legal risk, the problem with perfect analogs is that the more perfect they get,
the more perfectly they fall under the Federal Analogue Act.

Otherwise... fentanyl is a synthetic opiate which by all reports outperforms heroin. It's easily enough manufactured. Hence, as you'd expect, it's widely available, selling like hotcakes, and ruining tens of thousands of lives a year.

As for cocaine... that I can't say. It would seem that no underground lab has yet figured out a cost-effective way to compete with mother nature.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:44 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Is there a need for it? As Telemark said, we can get it opiates from poppies so there's that. And, it should be noted that Opioids (as opposed to opiates) are synthetic. It's been a while so I couldn't tell you when and where opioids are used vs opiates in medicine. So, on the one hand, it is (in a sense) made synthetically, OTOH, even if it's actually being done somewhere, you'll probably never see, or even hear about, synthetic heroin. Just think about how hard it's been to do any kind of research on medical marijuana. They couldn't test it because it was illegal and it was illegal (in part) because they couldn't do any testing of it.

Cocaine, is similar, lots of meds are synthesized that are, I assume, somehow related to cocaine. Xylocaine, lidocaine, novacaine, benzocaine. I know cocaine is used from time to time in medicine. I assume pharma companies grow it themselves and if it's easy to grow and process, there's probably no real reason to spend millions/billions finding a different way to do it.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:02 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
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There are a wide range of drugs, many coming from china, that activate the same receptor as drugs like heroin or cocaine, but cost far less. Not just coke and heroin, but synthetic version of other drugs too. That is what spice is, synthetic compounds similar to THC.

As for why a perfect synthetic copy isn't around? I don't know. I'm sure we can synthesize both heroin and cocaine from scratch, but if you can more easily make a similar compound that has 10-100+ more potency, why not do that? Perhaps part of why we do not have much synthetic coke and heroin is that alternative manmade products do the same job better and cheaper, and are easier to synthesize. Plus some are not covered under federal law. Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than heroin and only requires a 4 step synthesis. Creation of heroin from opium is also a 4 step process I believe. If fentanyl is more potent, the raw materials are easier to get and the process of making it is no more different, why make synthetic heroin instead?

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 05-11-2017 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:12 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Isn't Oxycodine synthetic heroin? But I suspect that growing poppies is still cheaper and easier than manufacturing.
No its not synthetic. Its almost natural, a small bit of processing of a poppy product, and you have it. Codiene is also a product of poppies, and surely you know that morphine and diamorphine (heroin) are too.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:40 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
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Someone in Scott Denmark's lab made a presentation about synthesizing morphine here (PDF).

We're taking about twentyish steps and less than 2% yield for enantiopure product.

Christina Smolke published a complete biosynthesis of opioids from sugar in yeast. DOI 10.1126/science.aac9373

From that paper I see that 100,000 ha produce more than 800 tons of l opiates for licit demand. They write that titers of 5g/L would be needed to compete with farming. Which is 100,000x stay they published. So there's some work to be done.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:19 AM
Tranquilis Tranquilis is offline
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I'll just leave this here:

Lidocaine
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:17 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
...

Otherwise... fentanyl is a synthetic opiate which by all reports outperforms heroin. It's easily enough manufactured. Hence, as you'd expect, it's widely available, selling like hotcakes, and ruining tens of thousands of lives a year.
...
i take issue with the characterization of Fentanyl - I go through opioid analgesics with impressive speed and dexterity.

OA plus immunity to pain meds leave me with few options.

I do not quibble over the characterization when limited to forms easily controlled by "junkie".

The trans-dermal formulation renders the OD problem easily controlled.

If you want to beat up an opioid, Mr. DEA, pick on oxycodone - Hillbilly Heroin. It always gets kick in these Holier-Than-Thou rants.

Deal: you take the pain, I'll give you the meds - a standing offer since 2005.

Last edited by usedtobe; 05-12-2017 at 01:18 PM.
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