Salvia Divinorum, or Salvia for short, is a psychoactive herb from the mint family, which is often used for its hallucinogenic effect. It is also known as the Divine Mexican Mint or Sage of the Diviners and is now a popular recreational drug among teenagers and young adults who use this “legal” psychedelic that mimics the effects of illicit substances like LSD and ecstasy.
There is little evidence of Salvia producing any kind of addiction, mostly because Salvia’s effects don’t last long; usually, they taper off after around 30 minutes. Salvia’s active ingredient, Salvinorin A, is one of the most powerful naturally occurring psychoactive drugs.
Due to its legal status in most of the States, many people use Salvia as a form of therapy. Many people believe in the power of hallucinogens to treat different kinds of mental and physical trauma. However, it’s still a powerful drug with real effects and possible risks. It’s a good idea to know everything about the drug, and it should be administered only under close examination by a trained person.
How to Recognize Salvia Divinorum?
Salvia Divinorum is a small, flowering plant that’s part of the mint family. It grows in tropical climates and is native to Southern Mexico, Central America, and South America. The plant grows to approx 3 meters high and has large green leaves with purple or white flowers. The leaves, which contain opioid-like compounds, are consumed by chewing, smoking, or as tea.
Salvia: The Psychedelic
Salvia’s effects hit quickly, sometimes in less than a minute. Its active ingredient, Salvinorin A, acts on the kappa receptors of the brain, inducing a psychoactive effect on human perception. As a recreational drug, it affects the mind to let it achieve “inner peace” with visual hallucinations, physical sensations, and distorted sense of space.
Some people compare using Salvia to “turning on a switch,” because it induces a sudden change in our sense of reality and self-awareness. It is often called the “20-minute acid trip,” due to its short-lived hallucinogenic effects.
Because there are no definitive studies to determine Salvia’s addictiveness, the amount of Salvia that can be used to produce such realistic hallucinations depends on the person, as well as, the potency and quality of the leaves.
Salvia-infused substances are also very much popular for medicinal purposes. The salvia extract, when infused with other naturally-occurring medicinal plants such as cannabis, has been traditionally used to relieve symptoms of arthritis, insomnia, PCOS, anxiety, inflammation, and digestion problems.
The community of alternative medicine has become intrigued by the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) products imbued with salvia extracts, mainly because of their complementing nature. Cannabidiol is a non-intoxicating extract of medicinal marijuana. When coupled with recreational Salvia, the compound effectively treats pain, anxiety, and seizures, if administered in correct doses.
The emergence of alternative treatment therapy in the last few decades has led to an explosion in the medicinal use of cannabis (CBD). This ultimately led to the production of CBD oils, creams, and edible products. Salvia extracts are infused in non-psychoactive cannabidiol and are mostly used as vaporizer “vape” pens, oils, and balms.
The Uses of Salvia Divinorum
Salvia has been used in traditional medicine as a healing plant. It is believed to have “divine powers,” hence the name “sage of the seers.” This plant’s name comes from the Latin word “salvare,” which means “to cure.” The herb has been used in religious ceremonies by native tribes of Mexico for years.
Today, Salvia is relatively prevalent for the “short-lived pleasant experience” it induces. But it is also known for its healing properties that can be beneficial to treat a wide range of ailments.
1. Lowers Inflammation
Salvia has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The plant contains trace amounts of copper, magnesium, zinc, with Vitamin A, C, E, and K. Aside from nutrients and minerals, Salvia also contains antioxidant properties, which is why it is believed to be neuroprotective.
A cup of salvia tea per day offers antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, which can treat skin inflammation and dryness while helping to lower the chances of abdominal tract infections, urinary infections, and gingivitis.
2. Improves Memory
The salvia plant has anticholinesterase properties that are noted for its antioxidant effects and ability to enhance head and brain function, improve memory retention, quicken the senses, and increase focus. Salvia extracts delay age-associated cognitive decline and even acts as a mood-booster.
3. Reduces Depression and Anxiety
The Salvia leaves helps to increase the dopamine levels that are responsible for motivation, reward, and the overall feeling of the body. Salvia-infused CBD has antioxidants like apigenin, diosmetin, and luteolin that improves the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
These days, people are turning to CBD vape pens and oils that are formulated particularly for individuals to fight anxiety. The Nu-X Cirrus CBD Vape Juice is a 100% organic juice perfect for intense, enjoyable vaping. It comes with a delicious blend of strawberry, maple syrup, and french toast, made for a satisfying CBD experience to calm your anxiety.
4. Relieves Pain
A 2017 research concluded that Salvia’s primary ingredient, Salvinorin A, acts as a therapeutic medicine to relieve neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Researchers found that the active compounds of the medicinal plant have analgesic effects, and its “antinociceptive effects” blocked the detection of pain.
Due to the effective properties of CBD and neuropathic attributes of Salvia, they are widely being used as a combination of pain relief medications such as CBD oils and CBD balms. The Lazarus Naturals Lavender CBD Balm is an excellent pain-relief balm tailored for topical use. It is created with organic mango butter, beeswax, and coconut oil, and gives a refreshing lavender aroma during application.
Additional Benefits of Salvia Divinorum
Salvia helps to ease premenstrual syndrome by lowering menstrual pain, headache, swelling, etc. It also reduces the severity of symptoms associated with menopause.
Salvia extracts also reduce oxidative stress and is a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, and Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) due to its ability to alter perception momentarily.
Tea prepared from Salvia leaves comforts headache, abdominal pain, stomachaches, and various disorders. The plant is used for indigestion, stomachache, and treating heart disorders. Some people also use it to provide relief from coughs, colds, and influenza.
Common Side-effects of Salvia Divinorum
There are certainly concerns with using Salvia, mostly due to the intense hallucinations that occur when not administered under supervision. People who have used salvia report some acute side-effects, such as:
- Visual distortions and hallucinations
- Emotional swings, sometimes uncontrollable laughter
- Intense dissociation from reality (being unable to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not)
- Disorientation, dizziness or headaches
- Confusion and slurred speech
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Dysphoria, where users felt uncomfortable or unpleasant after the drug’s use
These side-effects stress the fact that Salvia should be used as an alternative therapeutic medicine after consulting with your healthcare provider. People with pre-existing heart conditions or mental health disorders should avoid using Salvia.
Risks Associated with Salvia Divinorum
Studies to determine the risks associated with Salvia are limited, but researchers are trying to understand how the drug affects the body and brain, both in the long and short-term.
Salvia is often marketed as the “natural high” or “legal high” because it a naturally-occurring psychoactive hallucinogenic. But that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t take precautions while using it. The list of possible risks is short due to limited research.
Even though Salvia is not considered addictive, regular or unsupervised use of Salvia is a cause for concern. Some people who use Salvia in combination with alcohol are more likely to experience neurologic and cardiovascular side-effects. There is also fear of a salvia-induced “bad trip” that may cause paranoia among individuals with anxiety.
Is it Safe to Use?
Yes, Salvia is considered as a safe medicinal plant. However, how much Salvia is safe to ingest depends on what type of Salvia you use. The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) recommends no more than 500 micrograms or 0.0005 grams.
In the case of salvia extracts, less is always more. The NDIC recommends smaller doses for higher extract concentration. Leading CBD manufacturers produce high-quality products that are 100% organic, formulated in specific, legal dosages, and infused with botanical salvia extracts to increase its potency.
More search is needed to determine the tolerance and dependence level of Salvia. How long Salvia will stay in your system depends on its dosage, how often you use the drug, your age, weight, and metabolism, as well as your hydration and lifestyle.
As a potent hallucinogenic plant, Salvia’s medicinal components effectively treat several physical and mental ailments. Using products that are infused with salvia extracts is a better alternative to using it directly, unsupervised.
If you are curious about using Salvia as a form of alternative treatment, be sure to understand your state’s laws before you seek it out. Additionally, consult with your doctor regarding the dosages and side effects. Keeping your doctor informed is especially important if you take prescription medications in addition to recreational drugs.