Salvia Divinorum is a psychoactive mint plant native to Mexico; the Mazatec Indians have used it for centuries for spiritual divination and shamanism. In present day, it is used as a recreational drug for its mystical and hallucinogenic experiences. It is not obtainable in all states; over half have made it a schedule I drug. The long-term impact of salvia use remains unclear.
Salvia is extremely fast-acting and has a low addiction potential and incidence of side effects. There are no reported overdoses. The active ingredient is salvinorin A, a kappa opioid receptor agonist. Kappa opioid receptors regulate human perception, which is exactly what salvia does to the user.
Mazatec Indians have referred to salvia as “Herb of Mary” and believe that the plant is an incarnation of the Virgin Mary. Salvia is usually smoked, with the hallucinogenic effects occurring within a couple of minutes; the experience lasts approximately five to ten minutes.
About 1.5% of 12th graders report using salvia. It is usually obtained on the internet or tobacco shops and is used out of curiosity, to get high, for spiritual purposes or for relaxation. Some common street names include Sally-D, Diviner’s Sage, Magic Mint and The Female.
The effects of salvia include:
- Visual distortions of bright lights
- Delusions (i.e. believing the laptop is mad at you because the lamp is shining its bright light on it)
- Hallucinations (believing that you, the house and the grass outside are one, or believing that a female angel is telling you to put the bowl away)
- Uncontrollable laughter
- Recollection of childhood memories
- Out-of-body experiences
- Contact with entities or other dimensions
- Loss of contact with reality
The side effects of salvia include:
- Lack of coordination
- Loss of memory
There are no current medical uses for salvia but current research is attempting to better understand how salvinorin A effects the brain and whether there is any potential for future medicinal use.
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