Salvia, or salvia divinorum, is a popular and potent psychedelic derived from a mint plant that is indigenous to Southern Mexico. According to a national survey on drug use, nearly 5.1 million people over the age of 12 have reported using Salvia at least once in their life. (1)
Unlike other psychedelics, Salvia is legally sold and is commonly available in smoke shops and gas stations. The sale of the drug is legal in most states. (2)
Here, we break down what salvia is and the effects of this psychedelic drug.
Effects of salvia
Due to its legal status in the United States, it has become a popular recreational drug among young adults and teens. (2)
While no deaths have been reported, the psychedelic drug can lead to violent, unpredictable, or odd behavior. It has been reported that some users became violent against themselves or others while high on the drug.
Users who are high report spatio-temporal dislocation, a disturbing effect where the user feels transported to an alternative time, place, or moment. Users have also reported feeling as if through they are in multiple locations at a single time. This effect of this drug is what often leads to the violent behavior in users.
Users often report the following physical side effects of salvia:
- Dizziness and lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Erratic behavior
- Decreased heart rate
How is salvia taken?
Salvia is sold as dried leaves and is usually smoked, vaporized, chewed or taken as a purified tincture (dropper bottle). When smoked, the effects of salvia take place almost immediately. The user will experience a peak high within the first three minutes of consuming the drug. On average, users report the drugs effect lasting for 30 minutes.
When smoked, users typically inhale the drug through water pipes, hookahs, or cigarettes stuffed with a mix of tobacco.
Long term side effects of Salvia
Researchers are still examining salvia to learn its long term effects on the brain. However, scientists know that salvinorin A, the active ingredient in the drug, attaches itself to a section of nerve cells called kappa opioid receptors. (3)
Although scientists cannot pinpoint the long term impact on the body and mental health from smoking salvia, it is not appropriate to assume that the drug is safe for consumption.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.