Author: John Carter

Salvia: Uses, Effects, Risks, Dangers and More

can salvia kill you

Salvia’s active ingredient, salvinorin A, is considered one of the most potent naturally occurring psychoactive drugs. The effects of this drug include hallucinations, dizziness, visual disturbances, and more. There are around 960 species of plants in the mint family, genus Salvia. These herbaceous and woody plants can be found all over the world, but they are the most diverse in Central America and around the Mediterranean. Several species are used for cooking, including varietals of mint and sage, while many other versions of salvia are planted as ornamental flowering bushes. One variety, however, causes psychedelic effects, including hallucinations, and may lead to addiction.

Smoking any substance over a long period of time, including salvia, can lead to breathing trouble and other health problems. Some studies suggest that, over time, salvia use may contribute to a condition called dysphoria that is characterized by feelings of depression, discontent, and restlessness. They may be frightening, depending on how strong a dose of the drug someone takes. While there are hallucinogens that exist that are addictive, it is not fully known if salvia in particular can become addictive in the same capacity. There are some reports of individuals experiencing a loss of sensation on one side of their body or thrashing uncontrollably with motions that appear like convulsions or seizures. Some people have reportedly run into walls and injured themselves, but didn’t feel pain.

Salvia: What You Need to Know

If you use salvia or have considered trying it, it’s a good idea to know what the drug is, what the risks are, and what you can expect when you take it. However, people do not know what the long-term effects of salvia use might be. There are certainly concerns with using salvia, mostly due to the intense hallucinations that occur as a result of eating, drinking or smoking the herb. People who have used salvia report emotional swings, anxiety and paranoia, changes in vision, feelings of detachment and losing contact with reality — being unable to distinguish the difference between what’s real and what’s not. This can be a frightening, disorienting and dangerous experience, especially if you are driving under the influence of salvia, and it may even cause panic attacks.

  1. There was no obvious outward indication of his inner struggles, his mother says.
  2. This makes salvia different from other hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and mushrooms, which affect the brain’s levels of a chemical called serotonin.
  3. Neither parent would comment on the case, but their attorney, Gary Nitsche, says that they are suing for damages based on a claim of wrongful death.

Most people in the US and Europe who abuse salvia purchase the substance over the Internet. Various websites may sell seeds, whole plants, cuttings from plants, fresh or dried leaves, or extracts made from the plant, which can be exceedingly dangerous due to much higher potency. Most of the state laws prohibiting the use of salvinorin A were passed in the mid-2000s after videos of teenagers smoking salvia and going catatonic or losing control of their behaviors and emotions began circulating on the web.

Furthermore, inhalation of any smoke when consuming a drug is damaging for the lungs. People usually experience the most intense effects within 2 minutes after smoking. Also, it has a low addiction potential, people can easily obtain it, and they do not consider it highly toxic.

Salvia: Dangerous Hallucinogen or Beneficial Herb?

The molecule is produced naturally in salvia divinorum, a type of sage in the mint family. The plant is endemic to southern Mexico, where it has been ingested ritualistically by indigenous peoples for centuries. But it wasn’t introduced to researchers in the United States until 1962, when Harvard botanist Gordon Wasson described its psychoactive effects and botanical classification. It took another 20 years before scientists isolated its primary psychoactive ingredient. Because salvia isn’t controlled by the Controlled Substances Act, individual states have to decide whether or not salvia use is allowed. While some states have outlawed selling, buying or possessing salvia, it’s still considered a legal drug in many areas of the U.S.

can salvia kill you

The information in our articles is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. For example, you shouldn’t consume the drug and then attempt to drive or operate a vehicle or machinery.

Are side effects or risks possible?

Salvia’s active ingredient is salvinorin A, a kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist. Salvia, or Salvia divinorum, is an herbal mint plant and a naturally occurring hallucinogen that is native to Mexico. The hallucinatory effects of salvia are said to be highly dose dependent, with larger doses causing significant hallucinations. Research suggests that doses as small as 4.5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight as well as relatively large doses of 8 milligrams both result in hallucinogenic experiences. The long-term impact of using salvia is still unclear, and there are concerns that it may effect your mental health. Although the herb’s use as a recreational and medicinal drug is becoming more popular, the scientific literature documenting the benefits and negative consequences of salvia is scarce.

What Does Salvia Do?

Salvia has become popular as a recreational drug among adolescents and young adults. It is fast acting and thought to have a low incidence of side effects. This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Note that the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) are clickable links to medically peer-reviewed studies.

The video brought the spotlight of attention to this drug, and some state legislators began introducing laws restricting the sale and use of this plant. It’s thought that this ingredient attaches to the nerve cells in your body to create a variety of hallucinogenic effects. His mother says that she later learned from Brett’s girlfriend that he had been smoking salvia once or twice a week during the seven months prior to his death. Kathleen Chidester believes that salvia sent Brett, her only child, into a bout of depression coupled with dissociation from reality that led him to take his own life. A national honor-roll student, Brett was athletic and popular with his peers. There was no obvious outward indication of his inner struggles, his mother says.

People who abuse marijuana are the group most likely to also abuse salvia. Since it is not fully known if a person can develop salvia addiction, it is also not known if this particular substance causes any withdrawal symptoms. While some research has been done on hallucinogens like salvia, there is much more that needs to be explored to determine if someone who misuses salvia can develop withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. If you choose to chew fresh salvia leaves, one dose of about five leaves is considered safe. While salvia is legal in some states, it’s still a powerful drug with real effects and possible risks.

Talk to your health care provider or check your state or local health department websites. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Instead, salvia is only legal to use in less than half of the states. I think a good guideline is that you should only use salvia after you’ve spent 2 hours researching the substance and researching safe use.

One type, salvia divinorum, has a substance called salvinorin A that can cause intense psychedelic experiences. Again, although the research isn’t totally clear at this point, reports suggest that when it comes to the addictive qualities of salvia, and salvinorin A, it doesn’t appear to be a threat. In fact, because salvinorin A actually suppresses dopamine activity in the brain, it may even have anti-addictive effects, which is why it’s been researched for its ability to treat cocaine addiction. In recent years, especially after a video of teen pop star Miley Cyrus using the drug surfaced in 2010, the rising popularity of recreational salvia in the U.S. has been reported.

If you try 10x salvia extract, a safe range may be between 0.05 and 0.15 grams. Because the drug is not controlled at a federal level, it is more frequently abused by adolescents and young adults who are restricted from other substances, such as alcohol, compared to adults ages 26 and older. In some states in America, the law considers salvia a Schedule I drug and does not permit its sale.