Cathinone is a naturally occurring monoamine alkaloid found in the leaves of the Catha edulis tree. The ingestion of cathinone causes stimulation and euphoria. Use of Catha edulis, or “khat” by man can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Current use of khat is primarily in Africa and the Middle East. Cathinone exerts its effects by mimicking monoamine neurotransmitters. An entire class of substituted cathinones has been synthesized. The effect and reasons for use of these can be medicinal, recreational, or detrimental. This paper will address the biology of Catha edulis, its history and use by humans, and the biological activity cathinone exerts upon them. Next it will explain the biosynthesis of cathinone within Catha edulis followed by the chemical synthesis of cathinone and substituted cathinones in the lab. Finally it will discuss some of the chemical applications and consequences of the use of substituted cathinones in recent years.