Marco Mozzoni: August 5, 2007
Demographic data and information on pattern of use and subjective effects of Salvia divinorum
were obtained by means of self-report questionnaires from a sample of 32 recreational users of salvia
and other psychedelics. The study, led by Gonzalez D, Riba J, Bouso JC, Gomez-Jarabo G, Barbanoj MJ, researchers at Departamento de Psicologia Biologica y de la Salud, Facultad de Psicologia, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
, is published in PubMed.
Involvement with salvia appeared to be a recent phenomenon. Smoking the extract was the preferred form of administration.
Subjective effects were described as intense but short-lived, appearing in less than 1min and lasting 15min or less.
They included psychedelic
-like changes in visual perception, mood and somatic sensations, and importantly, a highly modified perception of external reality and the self, leading to a decreased ability to interact with oneself or with one's surroundings.
Although some aspects of the subjective effects reported were similar to high doses of classical psychedelics with serotonin
-2A receptor agonist activity, the intense derealization and impairment reported appear to be a characteristic of salvia.
The observed simultaneous high scores on the LSD
and PCAG subscales of the Addiction
Research Center Inventory (ARCI) have been previously reported for other kappa-opioid
agonists, and support kappa receptor activation as the probable pharmacologic mechanism underlying the modified state of awareness induced by salvia.
is a member of the Lamiaceae family
and contains the psychotropic diterpene
and kappa-opioid receptor agonist salvinorin-A
Originally a shamanic inebriant used by the Mexican Mazatec Indians, the plant and its preparations are becoming increasingly popular among non-traditional users.