Salvia Leads Chemists on a Psychedelic Existential Journey 

“ON AUGUST 2, synthetic organic chemist Ryan Shenvi stood before 300 people at the Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds conference and told them something he knew was sacrilegious: He’d synthesized salvinorin A, the active ingredient in the wildly intense hallucinogen salvia, and he hadn’t just copied a molecule, as synthetic organic chemists are wont to do. He had subtly changed its molecular structure, as synthetic organic chemists are not wont to do.

“The whole field is built upon the idea that structure is sacrosanct,” Shenvi says. “You don’t change it, it’s like original sin.” Not only did Shenvi show off his synthesis, but he urged the field to question the holy doctrine of one-for-one reproduction.”

Source: Salvia Leads Chemists on a Psychedelic Existential Journey | WIRED