Study shows smoking Salvia is safe, but feds consider crackdown

salvia divinorum

Salvia divinorum is reported to be the most powerful natural hallucinogen with effects that rival and surpass psilocybin, peyote and LSD. Image: CC swanksalot/Flickr

Salvia is a hallucinogen that people in the U.S. enjoyed under the radar until its popularity drew the attention of the federal government. It may soon become a federal crime to possess Salvia, an herb that is part of the mint family that has been used by shamans for centuries. However, a recent Salvia study by Johns Hopkins researchers showed that Salvia works as advertised and has no detrimental effects for healthy people.

Smoking Salvia is legal in most states

Smoking Salvia gives users a dose of Salvinorin A. Salvinorin A has been reported by scientists to be the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen — stronger than psilocybin in mushrooms and mescaline in peyote. Its effects are said to rival synthetic hallucinogens such as LSD, DOB and ketamine. Salvia, also known as Salvia divinorum and “Diviner’s Sage,” has been exploding in popularity in the U.S. as a legal high. Salvia can be purchased at head shops in most states and from hundreds of websites online.

Study shows Salvia can be used safely

A Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study found no adverse short-term effects from smoking Salvia. Scientists there said Salvia affects a pathway of the brain associated with dementia, and it may have therapeutic benefits. Four volunteers with experience using hallucinogens smoked Salvia or a placebo 20 times over several weeks. Salvia induced intense hallucinations that lasted from several minutes to an hour. Unlike psilocybin, which alters perception of reality, Salvia was found to make users believe they were experiencing a separate reality.

Salvia added to Federal watch list

Thousands of online videos showing teens, young adults and most recently Miley Cyrus making fools of themselves while smoking Salvia have gotten the attention of legislators and law enforcement officials. Currently there is no federal prohibition of Salvia, but the Justice Department’s Drug Enforcement Administration has added it to the list of “drugs and chemicals of concern.” About a dozen nations, including Canada, have banned Salvia, and 14 states have passed laws ranging from total bans to prohibiting use by minors.



Washington Post

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