As mentioned earlier, most who have tried salvinorin A find its effects
extremely unsettling, and have no desire to repeat the experience. This
response comes from people who are highly experienced in the use of entheogens,
including many who are writers or leaders in the psychedelic community.
from the 1960's to present. It is unlikely that salvinorin A will ever
become a popular substance, and many will find using the non-extracted
plant material more to their liking. In contrast to using pure salvinorin
A, use of the whole plant material, particularly by ingestion, produces
a gentler, longer-lasting experience, that many have found easier to absorb
and have derived greater benefit from. Used in this manner, Salvia divinorum
is also much less overwhelming, and is not likely to present many of the
dangers described below. Currently salvinorin A has been used by a relatively
small group of people. Information regarding its possible effects on humans
is still quite limited, and there is little known regarding the possible
toxicity of this substance, particularly at higher doses. Information on
the experience of about 50 users has been informally gathered and summarized
here. Also presented are some insights I've obtained during approximately
30 sessions using salvinorin A.
The use of salvinorin A presents some extreme dangers which are not
encountered on other psychedelics. After smoking salvinorin A, some users
will stand up and begin walking or moving around, running into objects
that are in their path. People in this state typically move in an agitated
manner and seem to be struggling with the experience. Apparently they have
no recognition of their surroundings when this is taking place. This response
has been noted in only a few people, about 5% of the first 50 subjects.
A more common occurrence is for one who has just smoked salvinorin A
to not recognize that they are heavily inebriated, and begin to walk around
In these instances the user is able to perceive his or her surroundings,
and moves around without bumping into objects. Several people in this situation
have wanted to leave the premises where they were conducting their journey,
desiring to either drive or walk to another location, and needed to be
dissuaded from doing so. Often people who walk around during the journey
do not recall doing so once the effects wear off. The presence of a sober
person to act as sitter during the sessions has proven very important in
dealing with situations such as those described above. Siebert has witnessed
reactions of this type and stated:
"When the dose goes above 500 to 1000 mcg the effects can be very alarming.
I have seen people get up and lunge around the room, falling over furniture,
babbling incomprehensible nonsense and knocking their heads into walls.
Several people have tried to wander out of the house. When the experience
is over, they have no memory of any of this. In fact, they usually remember
very different events. To an outside observer, people in this condition
have a blank look in their eyes as if no one is present. It is also common
for people to have a facial expression which is probably best described
as being like that of a frightened animal."
There is also potential psychological danger with salvinorin A. I can confirm
from my own experience that it can instantly obliterate any reference to
sanity, logic, or even the idea of existing, and make one feel that either
one's self or the entire universe has gone entirely and permanently crazy.
Occasionally people who have been given salvinorin A, even highly experienced
psychedelic users, feel that a bad0 joke has been played on them by whoever
gave them the substance. One person who tried salvinorin A, who is quite
experienced with DMT and most other psychedelics, remarked "It made DMT
look like a water pistol, at a dose 50-100 times less."
The intensity of a salvinorin A journey is often experienced as being
an order of magnitude more potent than smoked DMT, in much the same way
that DMT seems an order of magnitude more potent than a typical LSD journey.
A large percentage of salvinorin A users also report that the fear factor
is much greater than with DMT, which is saying a lot. I feel that no person,
no matter how experienced with other psychedelics or altered states of
mind, can be prepared for the intensity of a full-strength salvinorin A
journey. It is common for users to be shocked, amazed and frightened, at
finding themselves in a state they could not possibly conceive of being
induced by any psychedelic substance. Certainly the most cautious way for
one to approach this substance is to work with the whole plant material
before attempting to use its active principal.
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