Salvia Divinorum

New Jersey Drug Possession and Distribution Defense Attorneys

Facts About Salvia Divinorum

Street names: Salvia, Sally, la pastora, diviner’s sage

Drug Classification:  Salvia is currently not a controlled substance according to federal law, though many states in the US regulate its sale and possession, it is currently legal to purchase Salvia in New Jersey.

General Drug Information

Salvia divinorum is a soft-leaved plant native to Southern Mexico that contains a powerful compound called Salvinorin. Its green leaves were traditionally chewed and swallowed, though today Salvia is often extracted to increase potency and then smoked. Depending on the dosage, salvia can produce anything from a minor, just-off baseline mental state to completely overwhelming dreamlike experience. The popularity of salvia grew much in part to the many videos posted online of young adults reacting after smoking salvia.

Chewing the dried leaves produces more subtle effects such as relaxation and sensory enhancement with a slow onset of effect. The leaves are very bitter and can make some people nauseous. More potent extracted forms of Salvia are sold by the gram in the US with a higher number indicating a higher potency. 50x Salvia is more concentrated than 5x Salvia. This form of Salvia comes shredded and is placed into a pipe or water pipe and smoked, oftentimes with a high-temperature torch or vaporizer since Salvinorin has a very high melting point.

About Smoking Salvia

When smoked, the onset of effects is rapid, generally within the first minute after smoking and commonly within the first 20 seconds. Individuals typically enter a dreamlike state and may laugh uncontrollably, sway or shake, and stagger or fall. Users generally remain still during these effects but sometimes get up and try to walk around while utterly disassociated. The loss of balance is generally accompanied by a physical feeling of movement, as if the user is being pulled or twisted in different directions. Users generally return fully to consciousness within 5 minutes of ingestion, with secondary and comedown effects lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

Likely to Result in “Bad Trip”

Like all hallucinogenic drugs, there is the risk of a “bad trip” or otherwise frightening and unpleasant experience. The risk of having a bad trip is higher in individuals going through difficult times in their lives, or with a history of psychological problems or emotional instability. Salvia in particular is known to produce experiences that are not “fun” and that deter users who feel the full effects of Salvia from ever trying the drug again. Proponents of the drug constantly stress this fact, emphasizing the drugs role in meditation and spiritual experiences while discouraging its use in a party atmosphere. While Salvia has been marketed as a replacement for alcohol and marijuana, its effects are in no way similar and do not produce the feelings of euphoria characteristic of those drugs.

Addiction, Side Effects, Overdose

Salvia is not physically addictive and rarely produces side effects. Some users report headaches, insomnia, and lung irritation after use, though these may be attributable to the act of smoking rather than Salvinorin itself.

Salvia does not appear to build up a tolerance, and though an overdose level has yet to be established, speculation is that it is difficult to overdose on Salvia and a user would pass out long before they were in danger of harm.