Communic acids are diterpenes with labdane skeletons found in many plant
species, mainly conifers, predominating in the genus Juniperus (fam. Cupresaceae).
In this review we briefly describe their distribution and different biological activities
(anti- bacterial, antitumoral, hypolipidemic, relaxing smooth muscle, etc.). This paper also
includes a detailed explanation of their use as chiral building blocks for the synthesis of
bioactive natural products. Among other uses, communic acids have proven useful as
chirons for the synthesis of quassinoids (formal), abietane antioxidants, ambrox and other
perfume fixatives, podolactone herbicides, etc., featuring shorter and more efficient processes.