Salvia is a potent hallucinogen.
Salvia (Salvia divinorum) is an herb common to southern Mexico and Central and South AmericaThe main active ingredient in Salvia, is salvinorin A, a potent activator of kappa opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors differ from those activated by the more commonly known opioids, such as heroin and morphine.
Traditionally, Salvia has been ingested by chewing fresh leaves or by drinking their extracted juices. The dried leaves of Salvia can also be smoked as a joint, consumed in water pipes, or vaporized and inhaled.
People who abuse Salvia generally experience hallucinations or “psychotomimetic” episodes (a transient experience that mimics a psychosis). Subjective effects have been described as intense but short-lived, appearing in less than 1 minute and lasting less than 30 minutes. They include psychedelic-like changes in visual perception, mood and body sensations, emotional swings, feelings of detachment, and importantly, a highly modified perception of external reality and the self, leading to a decreased ability to interact with one’s surroundings. This last effect has prompted concern about the dangers of driving under the influence of salvinorin. The long-term effects of Salvia abuse have not been investigated systematically although recent experiments in rodents demonstrated deleterious effects of salvinorin A on learning and memory.