Salvia Divinorum is a hallucinogenic Mexican herb known as “diviner’s mint” in the US and is typically a natural substance that has the ability to cause intense hallucinations “out of body” experiences, and a short-term memory loss. Although this substance is legal in the United States despite of the herb’s hallucinogenic properties, this stuff is generally not considered as therapeutic despite of the notion that it was also used for curing by the Mazatic, and is more likely to be use as recreational drugs by adolescents because of mind altering properties of this substance.
Because of these properties, Salvia Divinorum should be classified as a potential source of restricted drugs along with Marijuana or the Cannabis sativa and products derived from this herb should be considered as restricted drugs. A mysterious plant that is both puzzling and perplexing, this herb was described botanically by Carl Epling and Carlos D. Jativa in 1962 through the help of two Americans, Albert Hofman a chemist, and Gordon Wasson, an ethno mycologist investigating Mazatic rituals (Clebsh & Barner p. 06). Growing only in the territory lived in by the Mazatic Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico; the Maztic Indians use this plant along with other ingredients for their hallucinogenic properties “in divinatory rituals” (p. 106). According to Clebsch and Barner, It was reported that if this salvia was ingested “it would produce an illusory experience” (p. 106). Apparently, this stuff when ingested produces strange feelings that could be similar to the effects of particular drugs such as Marijuana and other prohibited drugs.
Daniel J. Siebert pointed out that the effect of taking Salvinorin A(an encapsulated product from salvia divinorum), includes seeing visions of people, objects, and places, and with doses above one mg user will experience out body experiences and may get up or move around with no clear awareness of their actions or behavior (p. 55). Furthermore, during the most intense phase of the experience, Siebert noted that user of this substance speak nonsense and even laugh hysterically.
Siebert summarized the feelings experiences that could be had by any taking substance derived from salvia divinorum as follows: User sees objects such as yellow plaid French fries, a drawer and even ferries wheel; a visions of various dimensional objects; body loss and even identity; uncontrollable hysterical laughter; and different feelings of motion, or being twisted or pulled by forces of some kind (p. 55).
From this feelings and experiences resulting from the use of salvia divinorum there is a considerable evidence that this substance could produce drugs that with effect similar or might even harmful than the effect of marijuana. The irony is that this drug is not restricted in the United States thus companies promoting drugs derived from this herb are free to promote these types of substances on the internet sites targeting younger adults and adolescents.
According to information released by DEA, Drug Diversion Program entitled “Drugs of Chemical Concern: Salvia Divinorum” this substance is being smoked and its effect are described by users similar to other restricted drugs (WWW. Streetdrugs. org). Based on new pharmacological findings and the description of users of this substance, salvia divinorum should be classified as potential source of restricted drugs and that government authorities should closely monitor and act decisively against the liberal use of this substance.
Just like other restricted substance that causes potential harm to the user when taken liberally, this substance are prone to abuse and may also cause potential harm to the users. While, there seems to be no clear physical benefit on the use of this stuff aside from the notion of relaxation, the abnormal behavior of the person when at the peak of experience of this drugs, is a clear indication of the potential harm this substance may cause on the users.
Clebsch, Betsy & Barner, Carol D. The New Books of Salvias USA: Timber Press, 2003
“Salvia Divinorum” WWW. Streetdrugs.org
Siebert, Daniel Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A: new pharmacological findings Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd., 1994
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