Introduction: Salvia hispanica L., Nigella sativa L. and Papaver somniferum L. are involved in opiate-dependent behavior. It is known that the seeds of these three herbs contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are helpful in disease prevention, but further research is needed on some of their other phytochemical components (terpene alkaloids, benzoquinones and others), which are claimed to affect human opioid receptors. Methods: Seeds from the three afore mentioned plants have been studied by ATR-FTIR vibrational spectroscopy and thermo analytical techniques (TG/DTG, DTA and DSC). Results: The infrared spectrum has confirmed the presence of the ester carbonyl of terpenoid alkaloids (such as nigellamine) and the fully conjugated cyclic dione structure of quinones (e.g., thymoquinone). As regards the thermal stability of these seeds, small differences have been observed in their thermal profiles (endothermic effects at around 333ºC for chia, 268ºC for black cumin and 319ºC for poppy seeds), which can be ascribed to their different content in carbohydrates. Conclusions: The functional groups of the main active constituents and the thermal behavior of these three seeds have been elucidated.