Salvia divinorum, also known as sage of the diviners or simply salvia, is a psychoactive herb in the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is native to the Sierra Mazateca in Oaxaca, Mexico. The plant has spade-shaped green leaves with white and purple flowers that typically grow to more than three feet high.
Its primary psychoactive component is salvinorin A, a potent activator of K-opioid receptor. The KOR seems to play a key role in regulating human perception. Salvinorin A may also have an effect on the body’s neurotransmitter dopamine.
As a drug, salvia usually comes as fresh green plant leaves or dried shredded green leaves. Salvia can also be a liquid extract. Traditionally, users chewed the fresh salvia leaves or drank the extract, but now people also smoke the dried leaves.
What are the effects of Salvia?
The effects of salvia vary depending on the ingested dosage and the method of ingestion. Some common effects include:
- Visual hallucinations
- Uncontrollable laughter
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
- Sudden mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reflection of the past memories
- Feelings of detachment from self and reality
When ingested, the hallucinogenic effects occur quite rapidly and often within seconds of inhalation. They usually disappear about 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on dose.
The long-term effects of salvia have not been studied, but there is evidence that it can cause cognitive deficits and dysphoria, a low mood and general dissatisfaction with life.