Smoking small amounts of salvia leaves brings on a calm, glowing, slightly psychedelic experience, akin to marijuana. However, large doses and concentrated extracts disconnect the user from his reality completely, taking them into a hallucinatory world of their own, even creating and erasing thoughts and feelings inside the user during the duration of the trip. Strength of trips always change from person to person.
Salvia is distinctly a different trip from psychedelics and traditional recreational drugs. It also has other distinct differences.
There has never been a documented overdose Salvia, and it does not have strong addictive properties whatsoever. Its effects are extremely short, which can be either a pro or con depending on the situation (it also has little negative lingering effects). Lastly, Salvia and its active ingredient are non-controlled in the US and most countries worldwide; it is commonly available at gas stations and smoke shops.
The trip Salvia brings is, one could say, “picky.” Intense noises or visuals, or any distractions whatsoever, will strain the user’s experience; playing a video game or watching sports would be, to many users, a complete waste of time on Salvia. Alternatively they would probably lay in a quiet environment, or sit outside under the night stars, letting the Salvia do its work.
Though it’s technically legal in most nations, driving under the influence of the plant can still get you a DUI, and public use is, as a rule of thumb, always risky. The trip can completely eliminate one’s connection with reality temporarily, and a heavily tripping Salvia user can be incoherent and unpredictable, doing things that would attract attention and sometimes even becoming physically unmanageable. If you’re planning to trip, you NEED to have an extra sober hand around for this reason, among others. If you’re the sober one, make sure the tripping person is safe from their environment and away from any potential dangers.
After a hit of Salvia is inhaled, the sensation of the experience rushes on and reaches its peak in less than a minute. The experience usually holds steadily for a few minutes before starting its descent, leaving a pleasant afterglow lasting about half an hour that many users say is extremely enjoyable.
If the Salvia is instead chewed, such as in a quid, both the onset and the plateau are prolonged. Sensation starts to become apparent around a quarter of an hour after the first chew, and the experience hits its plateau about half an hour in. The plateau holds for another half hour to an hour, before descending in around the same time.
Salvia tinctures are usually similar to chewed Salvia in terms of onset and plateau time, but since tinctures are liquid and are also often created using solvents, the Salvinorin A is more readily absorbed into the mouth, quickening the process slightly. Onset starts 10 to 15 minutes after ingestion and peak 20 to 30 mines in, lasting half an hour to an hour, and taking the same time to descend.
A successful Salvia smoke is usually followed by a relaxing, vivid, clear feeling called an afterglow. Sometimes, if the Salvia was particularly stemmy or dry, smokers can get short headaches from irritated sinuses. Salvia smoke is also not great for the lungs, and is not particularly smooth or tasty.
In order to judge and communicate the different levels of Salvia experiences, enthusiasts created the SALVIA Experiential Rating Scale. The scale is made up of six levels of ascending intensity, each corresponding to a letter in the acronym “SALVIA:” Subtle, Altered, Light, Vivid, Immaterial, Amnesic.