Salvia or Salvia Divinorum is a psychoactive, trip-inducing plant. It is a species of the sage genus in the mint family (Labiatae family) of plants, and though there are around a thousand other Salvia species, Salvia Divinorum is the only one with the active ingredient Salvinorin A, that produces psychological effects (and is what “Salvia” usually refers to). Salvia looks like the average backyard pot plant, and in some locations grows naturally as such, or even a “weed.” But of course, most growers cultivating it are after its Salvinorin A.
When a Salvia user is in a relaxed and calm environment with few distractions, he/she can reach a state of near “ego loss,” or a so-called divine state of selflessness. The plant’s use by humans has been documented for hundreds of years, and our history with it probably dates back even further. It’s commonly used in religious and spiritual events, such as ceremonies or enlightenment walks, and was a key part of the culture of the Mazatec Native Americans of present day Oaxaca, Mexico. Its enriched history gave it its scientific name, which in translation means sage of the Diviners.
Don’t drive under Salvia. It’s like driving drunk, but worse, more dangerous, and less fun.
Salvia’s active ingredient Salvinorin A is not known to be structurally or biologically similar to any other psychoactives, putting Salvia in a class of its own. Many psychoactive compounds are alkaloids; Salvinorin A isn’t. The pure chemical is as potent as pure LSD, and extremely precise scales are always used when dealing with it. Amounts smaller than a speck on top of a bowl, weighing thousandths of a single gram, are enough to send people out of their reality, into an uncontrollable trip. Some overly adventurous Salvia users like to try “eye-balling,” or measuring by eye, their dose of pure Salvinorin A, to bad results; NEVER smoke or vaporize the substance without education and a well balanced scale. Luckily for all, the leaves of Salvia themselves only contain a small percentage of Salvinorin A, and smoked by themselves are relaxing and pleasant.
Salvia Divinorum has co-evolved with humans as they have ingested it, and its use or even overdose generally carries little to no health problems. In the first place, users generally use it much less frequently than other drugs because of its extreme strength; no one has ever been documented of dying from a Salvinorin A overdose, similar to THC. The chemical passes through the body with no disruptions, and leaves the user back at baseline every time. Pharmako/Poeia by Dale Pendell describes Salvia as a unique drug in its independent classification. He claims it isn’t a stimulant, it isn’t a depressant, and it isn’t a tranquilizer. It’s something Pendell dubs existentia, referencing the spiritual enlightenment that so often comes with a dose of the drug, but in scientific terms he’s simply illustrating the difference between Salvinorin A’s chemical properties and those of other psychoactives.