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Salvia Divinorum Effects on the Body

Salvia is not widely considered to be a physically harmful drug, though the hallucinations and other psychedelic effects it creates can lead to negative consequences.

Salvia Divinorum is a hallucinogen herb that has quickly spread in popularity since the 1990’s. Many of us had not heard about its powerful psychedelic effects before, because it is thought to have only grown within a small region of Sierra Mazatec, Mexico. There, it was used in religious and healing rituals by the Mazatec Shamans. Current use, according to the Although salvia divinorum produces hallucinogen effects and is now, being used around the globe, there are still many questions regarding its effects on the body.

Different Points of View

Salvia divinorum is viewed by many as an experimental drug that is non toxic, non habit forming, produces no withdrawals, and is safe to use within reason. Others view it as a dangerous drug and the DEA views it as a drug of concern. Research suggests that salvia divinorum may be one of the most potent, naturally occurring, hallucinogen drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse,” Because of the nature of the drug’s effects—brief hallucinogenic experiences that mimic psychosis—it is more likely to be used in individual experimentation than as a social or party drug.”

Salvia Divinorum Effects in the Brain

The main psychoactive chemical of salvia divinorum is salvinorin A which is found in the leaves of the plant. Salvinorin A acts as an agonist on kappa opioid receptors in the brain and alters moods, perceptions, motor control, and consciousness. Although related, these receptors are not to be confused with the opioid receptors that work when using opioid drugs and they may also have a natural control mechanism for addiction. Salvia divinorum also has no effect on the serotonin receptors like other hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline.

Methods of Use

Salvia divinorum leaves can be chewed, brewed into a tea, processed into a tincture or smoked. The most common methods are by smoking the leaves or concentrated extracts made from the leaves and by quid chewing. Quid chewing produces longer lasting effects than smoking because the person consumes more of the plant, although they do not swallow the leaves.

Salvia Divinorum Effects on the Body

salvia abuse

Though it looks harmless, salvia has very powerful effects.

Salvia divinorum effects will vary in length, intensity and experience subject to the potency, user, method of use, and whether other drugs or alcohol have been consumed.

Common salvia divinorum effects on the body include:

  • Psychoactive effects including hallucinations, distorted perceptions of images, senses, shapes, and movement, lucid thoughts or contemplations, mood changes, and feeling of detachment from reality
  • Lack of coordination
  • Decreased motor functioning
  • Relaxation
  • Visual changes in colors, textures, space, and depth
  • Inability to speak or speech impairments
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Heightened sexual senses
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sweating
  • Decreased senses of pain
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