Salvia divinorum, or salvia for short, is an herb in the mint family that’s often used for its hallucinogenic effects. It’s native to southern Mexico and parts of Central and South America. There, it has been used in traditional ceremonies by the Mazatec Indians for centuries.
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.
Street names for Salvia include:
- Magic Mint
- Diviner’s Sage
- Maria Pastora
While salvia is legal in some states, it’s still a powerful drug with real effects and possible risks. 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. Keep reading to learn more.
The herb usually isn’t used in rolled cigarettes, or joints, because the dried leaves may not be potent enough to create any effect.
More often, fresh leaves are used to create an extract. Pipes or water bongs may be used to smoke these extracts. The salvia extracts may also be infused in drinks or vaporizer pens.
Fresh salvia leaves can be chewed, too. As with dried leaves, the fresh leaves aren’t considered very potent, but some people may experience a mild effect.
Yes, salvia use is considered safe, but it hasn’t been extensively studied. That means possible side effects and risks that could be detrimental to your health may not be understood yet.
It’s also important to take precautions if you use salvia. For example, you shouldn’t consume the drug and then attempt to drive or operate a vehicle or machinery.
How much salvia is safe to ingest depends on what type of salvia you use. Salvia is potent, so small doses may produce hallucinogenic effects. The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) advises no more than 500 micrograms or 0.0005 grams.
If you’re smoking dried leaves, a dose of 1/4 gram to 1 gram is considered safe for consumption.
If you use extracts, less is more. The NDIC recommends that the higher the extract concentration, the smaller the dose.
For example, 0.1 to 0.3 grams of 5x salvia extract may be considered safe. If you try 10x salvia extract, a safe range may be between 0.05 and 0.15 grams.
If you choose to chew fresh salvia leaves, one dose of about five leaves is considered safe.