Salvia Divinorum: The Do's And Don'ts

Salvia Divinorum: The Do's and Don'ts

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
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Whether you're a seasoned expert or total novice, keep reading as we break down the most important things to consider before any salvia trip.

Salvia divinorum, sage of the diviners, magic mint, or Sally D. Whatever you call it, one thing is guaranteed—salvia delivers a wild ride through the cosmos that'll make an episode of Rick and Morty look mundane.

However, for all of salvia's mystical prowess, it's not a plant you should underestimate. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a total newbie, it pays dividends to give salvia the respect it deserves. With that in mind, we've put together a definitive list of do's and don'ts to help you navigate the outer realms of spirituality as safely as possible.

What Is Salvia Divinorum?

Salvia divinorum

If the idea of travelling across the cosmos and finding hidden spiritual realms has you scratching your head, let's take a quick step back and explain what exactly salvia is. Salvia divinorum is a plant species native to forests in the south of Mexico. Although it may not be much to look at, salvia has a few tricks up its green sleeve—a sophisticated blend of alkaloids. When consumed, these chemical compounds interact with our mind to produce a dazzling array of effects.

Why Salvia Causes Extreme Trips

Why Salvia Causes Extreme Trips

This rather impressive (or oppressive depending on your outlook) list of effects has earned salvia somewhat of a reputation.

Compared to classic psychedelics and empathogens, salvia is the wild child belonging to an equally wild group—dissociatives. This type of psychedelics is revered for delivering out-of-body experiences, vivid hallucinations, and, if you believe the rumours, communication with otherworldly beings. It's also this impressive list of outcomes that makes preparation and planning essential if you want a trouble-free salvia trip.

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Tips for Your Salvia Trip

Tips for Your Salvia Trip

With introductions out of the way, it's time to jump straight into what you should and shouldn't do when taking salvia.

Salvia: The Do's

  • Plan ahead

    First and foremost, plan your salvia trip. This means setting aside at least half a day to embrace the experience and give yourself time to reflect afterwards. Planning ahead also means clearing your social calendar, booking time off work, and making sure unexpected guests won't visit you.

  • Get comfortable

    When tripping, the entire experience is heavily influenced by our environment, and a salvia experience is no exception. Find a location that not only makes you feel comfortable, but is also free of negative sentiment. It may sound cheesy, but you really do want to be surrounded by sunshine and rainbows.

  • Remove all distractions

    We're talking phones, smartwatches, TVs, alarm clocks, the whole nine yards. If an object has the potential to disturb your out-of-body experience, then move it to another room. You want 100% of your focus to be on salvia and the journey ahead, not that dog video on Reddit.

Salvia, The Do's: Remove all distractions

  • Ask a friend to be a trip sitter

    Trip sitters are like a beacon of light in the fog of spirituality. They get you back on track if things go awry, or, if you want to end the trip entirely, they can help bring you back to Earth. Just make sure your designated trip sitter is well versed in the effects of salvia, and you’re good to go.

  • Start seated or lying down

    Nearly all salvia trips end up in the same place—the floor! So, rather than risk the physical and mental sensation of falling, why not get ahead of the game? You can also try surrounding yourself with pillows, but you should know one thing: Closing your eyes greatly intensifies salvia's effects, so prepare yourself for one hell of a ride.

  • Distance dangerous items

    It should go without saying, but just in case; remove all dangerous items when tripping on salvia! You never know where your spiritual journey will take you or, more importantly, how it will alter the world around you. There's no telling how you'll react, or if you'll even recognize harmful objects, so play it safe.

Salvia, The Do's: Distance dangerous items

  • Start low and slow

    You'll want to alter your salvia dose according to previous experience. However, if you're entirely new to the power of dissociatives, low and slow is the only approach. Salvia hits hard and fast, so don't get caught out.

  • Take a measured dose

    Although ancient cultures relied on approximations, modern civilisation has a distinct advantage—digital scales. All doses of salvia should be weighed using highly precise digital scales. Although it may seem overly cautious, a bit too much is all it takes to experience the dark side of dissociatives.

Salvia: The Don'ts

  • Take your trip public

    Remember when you were tripping on salvia, and suddenly twenty lizard people tried dragging you into their underground lair? No? Good. If you don't remember, that means you didn't take salvia in public. OK, so the example is a little extreme, but you get the idea—a person is smart, but people are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Salvia is very much a solo experience.

Salvia, The Don'ts: Take your trip public

  • Use a vaporizer

    For all of vaping's fantastic benefits, heating salvia is not one of them. Most modern vaporizers won't heat plant material high enough to activate the compounds inside. Unless you like huffing on singed leaves, we recommend enjoying salvia without a vaporizer.

  • Treat salvia like a party drug

    As we highlighted above, there are several different categories of psychedelics. While some may enhance the party vibe, salvia does not fall into this group. It's a potent (potentially life-affirming) substance that offers unparalleled insight. It doesn't, however, make for a good party trick. If you're heading out for a night on the tiles, leave your salvia trip for another time.

  • Consume if you’re feeling unsure

    Taking an introspective dive into your consciousness is no small task. You need to be in the right mindset, and mental preparation is crucial. Once a salvia trip starts, there's no getting off the ride till the end. If you are at all unsure or uneasy, avoid taking salvia. Instead, focus on preparing yourself mentally for the journey ahead. The immense appeal of salvia is its spiritual enlightenment, but a clear mind comes first.

Salvia, The Don'ts: Consume if you’re feeling unsure

  • Play in traffic

    In virtually all circumstances, being near traffic is dangerous, but, under the influence of salvia, the risk increases ten-fold. Even if you find a nice spot in a park (away from the public), we would still recommend against trying salvia. You'd be surprised where you can end up, and the last thing you want is an otherworldly visit to the hospital.

  • Combine with other drugs

    While this rule applies to even the mildest psychedelic, it's especially important with salvia. We cannot stress how powerful this ancient plant is, and, as the famous line goes, "with great power comes great responsibility". Salvia divinorum is plenty powerful enough on its own; it doesn't need other substances muddying the waters, so to speak.

Bottom Line—Play It Safe With Salvia

And there you have it! The complete guide to what you should and shouldn't do before a salvia trip. Although these steps may seem a little serious, treating salvia with the respect it deserves will unlock parts of your mind and soul unreachable by other substances. Take your time, do your research, and, most importantly, enjoy the ride!

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
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