Published on March 6th, 2014

Salvia is an herb from the mint family. It is native to southern Mexico. Salvia is used to produce hallucinogenic experiences. Currently Salvia is not regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, but several States and countries have passed legislation to regulate its use.

How Is Salvia Used?

Salvia can be ingested by chewing fresh leaves or by drinking their extracted juices. The dried leaves of salvia can be smoked in a rolled cigarettes or pipes or vaporized and inhaled as well. It then produces brief hallucinogenic effects. Information on Salvia is limited, however it is growing in popularity as a social or party drug.

How Does Salvia Affect the Brain?

Salvinorin A is the main active ingredient in Salvia, it is an potent activator of nerve cell targets called kappa opioid receptors. The effects of Salvia are intense but short-lived, appearing in less than 1 minute and lasting less than 30 minutes. These are psychedelic-like changes in visual perception, mood and body sensations, emotional swings, feelings of detachment, and a highly modified perception of external reality and the self, leading to a decreased ability to interact with one’s surroundings.

What Are the Other Health Effects of Salvia?

There is little known about the drug Salvia’s psychological or physical health effects and its long-term consequences. There is risk of salvia causing dependence or long-term psychiatric problems in humans.

Statistics and Trends

Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Salvia for 8th-Graders, 10th-Graders, and 12th-Graders; 2013 (in percent)*
Drug Time Period 8th-Graders 10th-Graders 12th-Graders
Salvia Past Year 1.20 2.30 [3.40]
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