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Thebaine isn't used to make codeine, hydrocodone or hydromorphone. All 3 are made from morphine. Thebaine is a much more expensive precursor than morphine and drug companies use the cheapest route.

Wrong about one thing. Codeine is a natural opioid found in opium along with morphine and thebaine.--Metalhead94 T C 18:09, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Currently most of the codeine in the world is made synthetically from morphine, although there is some codeine naturally in the poppy. 05 Sept 13

thebaine practical[edit]

historically, thebaine was extracted from both indain and turkish opium. in the laste 60s and early 70s,it was also extracted from seized opium from afghanistan. The assay of thebaine was direcly affected by the timing of the harvest/lancing of the capsules. In india, farmers were paid for morphine content, so thebaine assay could range from 2 to 5 per cent. thebaine was used almost exclusively for the production of oxycodone until the early 1970s. the amount of oxycodone required almost matched the thebaine extracted from indian opium for products such as percodan and percocet tm. In the early 70s ,thebeine was also used for developmental quantitiies of the new family of nal products. However there was not enough thebaine to support the growth of the nal products, and new patented and unpatented routes to the nals were developedvia morphine. however,as the demand for oxycodone continued to grow, work began to develop strains of poppies that would yield high levels of thebaine,as opposed to morphine. initial plant selection work was done in france, with additional mutant strains developed in tazmania and austrailia. this was necessary to suppor t the introduction of purdue fredericks oxycodone product, oxycontin tm. in addition, for a period of time, thebaine was synthesized from codeine until an adequate source could be harvested. today thebine is grown in large quantities in france,australia and tazmania, while some is still extracted from indian opium. ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Groodle (talkcontribs) 16:55, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Get some reliable references for that story and you could add some of it to the article. Otherwise, it would be treated as an anecdotal report and removed.--Metalhead94 T C 22:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Not sure how to do this properly, but just wanted to comment that the entire introduction is taken word-for-qord from a Princeton University page and not referenced... Seems like bad form to me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:18, 24 May 2013 (UTC)


oripavine is very chemically close to thebaine. currently, oripavine can be converted into thebaine, inceasing the overall supply, as oripavine is found in the same mutant strains of poppies from australia and tazmania.```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by Groodle (talkcontribs) 17:15, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that is true. Oripavine is a metabolite of thebaine. However, I don't see many indications that this is a common practice.--Metalhead94 T C 22:07, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

It is true that the Papaver somniferum strain in Australia and Tazmania does contain a high amount of oripavine, besides morphine, because oripavine can be used in industry similarly to thebaine (from P. bracteatum and orientale) for the synthesis of a number of semi-synthetic opiates, but in contrast to thebaine, oripavine is indeed a narcotic alkaloid unlike thebaine. Most of the morphine by the way from P. somniferum and opium is methylated to obtain codeine, because this compound is weight-wise in much higher demand than morphine. Much of the legal, commercial production of natural opiates (such as morphine and codeine, an oripavine and thebaine) is carried out through extraction of the entire plant material (poppy straw) and not through the extraction of opium itself. India, however, still has a large scale legal opium production. This opium is then also used to manufacture a number of official preparations such as Tincture of Opium, or the dried extract thereof (Extractum opii siccatum, standardized to 10 % morphine). Otherwise opium is more associated with illegal production, namely to prepare illegal smokable opium (tschandu) or mostly for morphine base, which is later converted to heroin for the illegal market. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Osterluzei (talkcontribs) 23:34, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

what goes around, comes around. thebaine was used to make oxycodone and hydrocodone by penick, mallinckrodt, and merck in the 70s. as thebaine became scarce as oxycodone use increased, while nal products grew, all manufacturers shifted to morphine/codeine as starting material. 30 years later, the growing of thebaine in tazmania/australia and france has again changed the economics. jnj in the us is currently trying to sell hydrocodone made from thebaine, since it has an oversupply and it costs no more than morphine, due to improvements in yield. hydrocone made from thebaine is a little "cleaner" in terms of an impurity to support this can be found in the dea quota on their website. other manufacturers are continuing to make hydrocone from morphine/ codiene. the other reason for this is the shift of nal production form thebaine to oripavine. there is now a surplus of thebaine.Odoodle (talk) 15:54, 28 April 2009 (UTC)


What is the mode of action of Thebaine as a stimulant? The areas of action in the CNS and the pharmacological functionality in technical terms to that effect? Nagelfar (talk) 07:20, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to know too. --SlimNm (talk) 23:23, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Thebaine/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 17:12, 20 September 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 08:31, 30 April 2016 (UTC)