Have You Smoked Salvia?
Those who prefer a “natural” high over man-made concoctions like Four Loko and marijuana soda are turning to ancient herb Salvia, known properly as Salvia Divinorum. Part of the mint family, Salvia was reportedly used by native Mazatec shamans initially from the roots of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Oaxaca, Mexico as a means to find “the god within.” The substance is highly intoxicating, can induce hallucinating and depending on how much you take and the way you take it (either by smoking or as a tincture held in the mouth) can affect you for up to thirty minutes after consumption.
According to SalviaSite.com:
When Salvia is smoked the effects come on very quickly, in less than a minute. The effects are only strong for 5-6 minutes, and then they quickly taper off over another 20-30 minutes. When the leaves are chewed, the first effects come on at about 15 minutes and gradually develop to peak about 30 minutes after ingestion. The peak level of effects lasts 30 minutes to an hour, and then gradually diminish over an additional 30 minutes to an hour.
When taken as a tincture held in the mouth, the effects begin in 10-15 minutes, and quickly develop to a peak level that lasts 20-40 minutes. The effects then gradually diminish over an additional 30 minutes to an hour. To be on the safe side, it is important not to drive or use machinery for at least an hour after the experience appears to be ended.
According to the “Salvia Divinorum User’s Guide,” the substance is “not fun in the way that alcohol or cannabis can be”:
If you try to party with Salvia you probably will not have a good experience. Salvia is a consciousness-changing herb that can be used in a vision quest, or in a healing ritual. In the right setting, Salvia makes it possible to see visions. It is an herb with a long tradition of sacred use. It is useful for deep meditation. It is best taken in a quiet, nearly dark room; either alone, or with one or two good friends present.
Approx. half a gram of a 25x Salvia extract
Salvia is legal in most states, however the the DEA has placed the substance on a list of “drugs of concern” and is currently considering placing it as a controlled substance in the same category as LSD. It’s widely sold in both smoke shops as well as various sites online, and is often sold as ‘legal buds’ in both leaf form as well as in extract form. The extract is extremely potent and has been known to be overbearing when used for the first time. Nicknames for the substance include Maria Pastora, sage of seers, diviners mint, Sally-D and Lady Salvia.
According to Wikipedia, the following are immediate affects of using Salvia:
* Uncontrollable laughter
* Past memories, such as revisiting places from childhood memory
* Sensations of motion, or being pulled or twisted by forces
* Visions of membranes, films and various two-dimensional surfaces
* Merging with or becoming objects
* Overlapping realities, such as the perception of being in several locations at once
I spoke to a 23-year-old male medical student from Queens, New York (whose name has been withheld) about his use of Salvia:
When did you first try Salvia?
“I first tried Salvia the summer of 2009, starting with the yellow colored level as that was the lowest potency the shop carried.”
How would you describe the experience?
“I would describe the experience for myself as being trapped within my body. I lost complete control of my motor functions and was told I began to topple over, like a tree after a logger cuts it down. My body also felt as if it were melting. Like pouring paint on an inflated balloon and the paint spreads and runs down the circumference. At the time I also had music playing from my phone and I literally felt myself get lost within the music.”
What are the various ways to do Salvia?
“The only way I know of smoking Salvia is with a bowl. I wouldn’t roll it.”
How often do you do it?
“Since that summer, I’ve done it twice”
Where do you get it from?
“I bought it from this hippie spot called Daze on Sunrise Highway in Nassau County. Cool store, mellow staff.”
Is it really popular amongst your social group?
“It was more of a curiosity thing. A legal plant you can smoke that gives you an inner or outer body experience. Was worth a try. But out of my social group, it’s not our go-to vice.”