Synthesis of a family of Potentially Psychoactive Phenethylamines


Segura Centelles, Elna


Phenethylamines refer to a class of psychedelic substances that have recently found themselves in the spotlight of Public Health. This is because they belong to the family of New Psychoactive Substances (NPSs) which are defined as substances of abuse, either in a pure form or a preparation, that are not controlled by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, but which may pose a public health threat.
When one of these NPS falls under legislative control, the illicit market responds by developing structurally related alternatives with minor chemical modifications, resulting in alternative compounds that are not subject to international law but have unknown chemical, pharmacological, and toxicological properties.
Phenethylamines, commonly known as ‘party pills’, have hallucinogenic, psychoactive, and sympathomimetic effects. Methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), both banned as Schedule I drugs in the USA, are among them, as are numerous other NPSs with comparable physical and psychological effects. With the increased usage of phenethylamine-type NPSs as recreational hallucinogens, a variety of negative side effects have been reported, prompting their legal restriction. New NPSs, such as 25C-NBF and 25B-NBF, are continually being developed as alternatives to psychostimulants that are already on the black market. To further investigate the mechanism of action of synthetic phenethylamines, two different phenethylamines were selected for synthesis in this project. This is the case for 25C-NBF and 25B-NBF synthesized using a four-step process. Previously existing procedures for the synthesis of these particular phenethylamines could not be followed as they involved the synthesis of an illegal intermediate. This meant that a new synthetic route had to be created for the production of these compounds.



Berzosa Rodríguez, Xavier


IQS SE - Undergraduate Program in Chemistry