By Mark Frauenfelder at 2:37 pm Thu, Jan 24, 2008
With the kind of exposure it’s recently been getting in the press and on the internet, I don’t think salvia’s going to be legal for too much longer…
Legal almost everywhere. Here in Australia, it’s as illegal as all those other nasty dangerous substances*. Several other countries have made it illegal too, I believe.
* Except tobacco and alcohol, of course.
This stuff has the potential to hit you HARD. A friend and I smoked some powerful extract about 5 years ago, and the hallucinations… well, they’re like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I know many people saw salvia in a headshop, had nothing to smoke, and bought a pouch with no idea of what the hell they were in for.
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to become the walls of the room you’re in, give it a shot. Here are my tips if you decide to go for it:
MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Get someone sober to watch your back for a while.
1) Use a bong with a screen
2) Use a torch lighter, the hotter you burn the salvia the more bang for the buck
3) Take a massive hit and hold it until your world melts
4) try to have a reason for using it
Way to go, BoingBoing. This will *really* help keep the substance legal and encourage safe and responsible use of it.
You should have at least provided a link to what should be required reading for anyone contemplating trying it: Daniel Siebert’s Salvia FAQ.
the reason salvia is getting schedualed across the us is because of all the media attention. aside from the smoke, salvia is harmless, its getting a bad rep from all the media attention. posting messed up people on a popular blog wont help keep this stuff legal for those who respect it
Having a trippy day, BoingBoing? Mushrooms and salvia?
I cringe every time I see salvia mentioned in mainstream news-sources..
Anyway, the best salvia video on youtube is the guy who tries to make the peanut butter and jelly sandwich (result: faliure).
@4 – I understand the intent behind your message, but in my anecdotal experience, some of the things I’ve done for no damn good reason have been the most enlightening.
#5 treepour– You know, you could just post the link yourself.
Agreed on the media attention comments. I’d rather not see posts like this in the future, since I would like to see salvia remain legal.
Having tried it, its easy for me to understand why this plant is used in sacraments; there is a definite spiritual component to the trip, the sense of being in the presence of other being(s.) Other people that I have spoken to about it confirm the feeling that you are being urged along somewhere, to “come with us” even as your body is pulled in different directions across several different dimensions.
Weird, intense, thoughtful stuff. NOT a party drug by any stretch of the imagination. In that sense, Takual’s (#4) comment is right on the money.
If you try salvia have a sitter. you won’t be putting anyone out by having fun when you’re not because in 10-15 minutes they can try it and you can sit them.
It can be really fun, or it can be really scary. My last trip i turned into a tree, and i had a vague memory of my old life, and a voice was telling me that my entire life before that moment was just a lie, and that this was all i was going to be. Sudden loss of the concept of self was pretty jarring. The plus side is, it was still very interesting and the unique experiences you have each time give you a lot to think about later.
Instant retard: Just add salvia :D
also i’m calling something in my head right now. I’ll let you know when someone brings it up.
i know thats not fair but i promise i won’t cheat.
The first rule of salvia club is DON’T TALK ABOUT SALVIA CLUB.
Salvia’s meh. Definitely too strong/intense for people who haven’t experimented with heavy doses of psychedelics before, but because it’s readily available and legal, that’s where people are starting.
In my experiences, salvia’s basically DMT Ultra Lite. Well, the experience is different, but that’s about where the intensity is.
#9 – devophill yes, you’re right, and thank you for posting it.
On the other hand, what good does the link down here? Most people who click on the video probably won’t bother reading the comments.
One thing to keep in mind as you watch these videos is that if Salvia hits you hard enough, it can cause total (but thankfully very short-lived) amnesia. During this phase, usually the most intense part of the trip (in terms of losing touch with most bodily input, finding oneself in constantly shifting realities, extreme distortions in perception of both space and time, etc), the person undergoing the experience might not any clue that they’ve smoked something, where they are, why they’re so profoundly disoriented, how long they’ve been this way, who they are, etc. Which, I suppose, can look kinda funny from the outside, but from the inside, it can be profoundly terrifying and even psychologically scarring. Set and setting, kids.
#15 you’re right on. I lost all sense of self for like maybe five minutes to everyone else. but while it was happening there was no gauge of time at all.
if you can find some lower level extract and dont use the torch lighter/bong method (see above) you will be rewarded with a mild trip.
i had a friend who did some really strong extract while living in his uncles house. he said that his trip was “a quest for ammunition” (hes a call of duty junky) that lasted about 30 minutes and resulted in him eventually being asked to leave the house…
Please stop calling it “salvia”. It’s salvia divinorum. Just plain “salvia” most normally refers to sage, a common household spice. You’re not smoking sage.
totally. someone told me to smoke weed once and i totally didn’t get what they meant. dandelions are nasty. slang is no good.
interesting stuff. Tried some 10x about 5 years ago, a hit or two stopped time for a while..just sat there staring at the MUD I was playing and had cold sweats. Lasted about 20 minutes (thanks to idle time being displayed) and nothing else.
Whatev, the War on Drugs will fail whether or not they ‘make it illegal’. It’s easier to grow than pot, common houseplant.
@ #18, heaven forbid we abbreviate. People know what we’re talking about, nobody is going to think we’re talking about plain old sage.
Anyway, if the stuff has lasted this long, is it really running a risk of being banned in the whole US? What reasons would they have for doing it? Is it addictive? Does it have harmful effects on one’s health?
This is unfortunate, it always saddens me to see this amazing, healing plant used this way. It doesn’t help the legality of the plant, it doesn’t get the plant to people who might benefit from it, and it doesn’t help the cause of the spiritual use of plants in general.
Traditionally, Salvia divinorum is not smoked at all- it’s chewed or made into a tea. In my own work with the raw plant and the extracts I create, I have learned more about nature and my place in it from this plant than from any other spiritual work I have done. This has been the case with many, many people who have worked with my Salvia divinorum extract as well, including many who had bad experiences from smoking it.
In fact, most every bad experience that I have heard of or been told about has resulted from smoking the plant or a concentrated extract. When used orally, as with leaves or a sublingual extract, Salvia divinorum is a gentle, profound teacher with much wisdom that the earth would benefit from our receiving.
I encourage the seekers I work with to look into more respectful use of this amazing plant, and to think of all the sacred plants as allies and friends to help you in your own work- rather than drugs that force you into a trip you have no control over.
if you check it out on youtube, you’ll find some videos of what looks to be some bad trips. clearly this isn’t a party drug, and seems best when taken in a quiet environment with someone watching over you and just letting you have your trip. and like acid, it isn’t for everyone and can be really intense and unpredictable. so if you decide to try it out, just be careful.
and as has previously been mentioned, posting about it and uploading videos of the experience to youtube isn’t going to help keep it legal.
I agree with #22… the Mazatec shamans consider chewed salvia to be a much more difficult trip to handle for most people than psilocybin mushrooms. People who do 10x or 20x extracts of salvia, as has become common, are just abusing the plant. A 20x extract is like doing 80g of mushrooms in a sitting. No sane person would suggest the latter, but somehow the former has become popular.
Respect the plant, use for personal growth in safe environments with a sitter, don’t treat it as a party drug. It isn’t one.
Just before waking one morning, I had a dream where I looked at my face in a mirror and had no idea who I was. It sounds silly, but it was the most profound fear I have ever known – I can’t imagine 20 minutes of that.
“plain old sage.”
are you sure you don’t mean Salvia officinalis? :)
Do, dare, and be silent.
#25: Don’t worry, your sense of time will go out the window before your sense of self, though a decent salvia hit will pretty effortlessly shred both of them.
in all my years of sometimes careful and sometimes reckless psychedelic explorations, my two most intense and life-changing trips (outside of my very first one which happened to be on good acid) were trips on salvia and dxm (that’s cough syrup to you normals). Neither one is for the faint of heart used in high dosages, and both were much more highly disorienting than even high-dose LSD trips.
Ditto all the comments about media attention – the war on drugs thrives off of misinformation, sensationalism, and fear – though the one good thing about the exposure is that hopefully aspiring psychonauts will also be led to the wealth of very very good information across the net on sacred substances and their possible uses, benefits, and harms.
You also might want to smoke this outside I have had my friend freak out and pee her pants while tripping on this
Sure you’ll giggle and act stupid, but no other drug lets you see the world’s underlying geometry. Did you know everything is made out of Legos when you look hard enough? I didn’t, until I tried salvia divinorum.
Still, I’d rather do acid.
I don’t know what all the hubbub is about. These videos are the unfiltered truth. You can take from them whatever you wish. Isn’t it best that someone posts these kinds of videos to serve the public than to rely on triple-pasteurized TV news briefs? Who knows the news best – some toupee-sporting actor or the people who record the news they themselves make?
Boing Boing is providing the antithesis to journalism by simply reporting the truth as it tells itself. Mark’s description of this submission couldn’t be any more impartial. This is why I subscribe to Boing Boing instead of the newspaper.
LOL @ #29, my female friend had the same experience.
We unknowingly partook of a concentrated plant.
My world rendered itself in vector graphics and I was drawn out of the house, but the doorknob was dodging my every reach.
In retrospect, maybe it was better we didn’t make it to the outside world.
Salvia is incredibly strong. You really wouldn’t think it would be legal.
In my opinion, the only other legal drug that does anything worthwhile is kratom. It’s a stimulant and a neurological opiate — it’s chemically different from poppy, but it still hits the opiate receptors in your brain.
So in low doses, it makes you more focused, like coffee, only less jittery. And if you drink too much kratom tea, you get happy.
http://www.getkratom.com has the best prices on the net.
It’s a controlled substance in Illinois. Tell you the truth when that law passed it was the first I’d heard of the plant…oh what a sheltered life I lead. :-(
@#30 Xenu… It’s Chicklets, dude… Chicklets. Billions of them flowing in rivers. And the billions of little pellets hitting you in the face like a wind made of dried navy beans.
To everyone that says we’re not helping anything by publicizing the drug:
Drug publicity is not intrinsically bad. Ask Leary and Shulgin. All responsible users (or shamanistic users if that’s your thing) were part of the ignorant unwashed masses at some point, unless of course they grew up in a hippie commune. Then they’re just unwashed
2) The DEA has known about this shit a long time. Congress even passed a bill to make it a Schedule I drug in 2002, but they never acted upon it for whatever reason.
3) Even if the government makes it illegal, is that really gonna stop those of you that enjoy/worship/cherish this herb?
Additionally, this shit is already on YouTube and widely available. Boing Boing is a popular blog, but still just pissing in the ocean in terms of audience. Tempest in a teapot, anyone?
@#30 Xenu and #35 Trantor: You’re both way off base. Its sliding layers of Plasticine set at right angles to the direction that can’t be pointed to. Check your facts.
I thought that salvia was legal to possess but illegal to smoke – it’s sold to be burnt as incense…similar to how shroom spores are legal to be sold as microscope samples, but not to grow.
Anyway, although salvia is more disorienting, it’s a lot shorter than other sorts of trips. If you don’t like it, it’s over pretty fast, so I’d recommend it to people who want to start experimenting with more…interesting things.
Huh. I’ve been around for many (roughly seven) people who did salvia and they all “came out” of it saying that it was cool, but nothing to write home about. I don’t know the specifics but that’s the only vicarious interaction I’ve had with it.
To add to that, in every single person I watched do it, they always… spun. Sounds weird but I’m absolutely serious. If they were standing after they did it, they would turn. Thing was a couple of them never met eachother and noone mentioned that the others turned so I doubt it was a suggestion type thing.
Hallucinogens are no good. No good. No good. The one trip I took (on WAY too many mushrooms) took 6 months to get over. I was still waking up in the middle of the night terrified that I was back there, that it wasn’t just a trip, that it really was something there inside me, that I wasn’t normal, that I’d never have a normal life, that I was doomed to walk the streets alone as a schizophrenic or something…
Most people stop using hallucinogens after their first really bad trip. Mine was the only one, and that’s all I ever, ever, ever need. Anyone who continues after that bad trip is out of their mind. Nothing is worth going back there.
That being said, once I pulled my life and confidence back together, the very real and sudden realization of my own mortality has done wonders for me getting my life underway. I spent way too many years puttering around doing nothing in particular. There were definite positive benefits, but I never want to do it again.
did ya`a`lot of good then, glad to see you respect the freedom of choice of others
I used to take ten hits of acid at a pop and wander the streets, tripping for days on end. I always had a great time, but I don’t think that I’d try it again 30 years on.
Mark, for all your technical brilliance
You REALLY ARE DUMB when it comes to the subjects of Entheogens and the power you have to misrepresent them to the rest of the world via the net.
I’ve had to bear the frustration of your posting of various hyped toad licking and micrograms links. Presented to a public that should be educated and guided as much as any hack that can have serious Legal, Social or Personal life altering implications!
Sir, the power of Entheogens isn’t something to be taken cavalierly.
Salvia D. is a once extremely rare plant that has (via greed and profiteering) made it’s way into the public forum. Mind you, Not as a living plant able of reproducing itself but only as a highly concentrated extract capable of producing effects that can be both uncontrollable and beyond the coping skill of “”pedestrian and their expectations ” that these amateurish videos endorse. Your posing of the youtube video links is NOHING but counterproductive… in the efforts to educate and guide people to conducive and proper use of these and other tools. These videos are literally the blind misleading the youtube blind!
I do not know if you believe that they’re just funny or what. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that both they and yourself will serve to further the efforts to demonize and illegalize both a rare plant and class of pharmaceuticals that holds the potential for both mapping and investigating the human psyche in ways that are unavailable to modern science.
I’ve had plants since the early 90’s and let me tell you it’s worthy of respect.
IF you wish I will happily write an entertaining and Informative essay for boing boing that will place this plant within a proper context for your readers that is not “preachy” nor will not stoop to plugging extracts that will only lead to misuse and eventual illegality.
Yes, flip, I bet your essay won’t be preachy at all. Can you please start it with “EVERYONE WHO READS THIS REALLY IS DUMB” because apparently nobody’s knowledge can rival yours.
dammit. what i meant was:
(preach) I shall not preach. (/preach)
or something. Derned active HTML.
i like how when drugs come up its almost like religion *sorry* in how they’re represented.
People who’ve had mind changing experiences on them elevate them to an almost mystical level, and are offended by people who do them for fun.
I find drugs interesting because of what they do to perception. and i agree they are to be respected, and caution is to be used. But you don’t have to be questing for anything mystical to get to use them.
Pork Musket (47), maybe he is an expert. We’ll see. In the meantime, there’s no harm in being polite.
Kyle (43), I wouldn’t know myself, but, um, a friend once told me that your first tentative experiment with hallucinogens ought not consist of “way too many mushrooms.” Sounds like you had a rough time. On the other hand, you held on to yourself, and you brought back a useful insight, so I’d say you did pretty well.
Flip (46), I gather we’re hearing the latest episode in an ongoing argument. Could you please address further comments to the general conversation? Also, calling people names in all-caps sets a bad example for the young.
Is Salvia divinorum really a rare plant, or was it just obscure? I’ve never seen a salvia species that didn’t set seeds at an abundant rate. If you’re really worried about the stuff being suppressed, start distributing seeds.
I’ve been looking at pictures of Salvia d. on the web. Frankly, it looks like it would be difficult to distinguish it from the dozens of other ornamental salvias. I gather the flowers aren’t necessary. Given that in the proper circumstances it can grow into a large woody shrub, if you just keep clipping the flowers off, it would take a botanist to identify the thing.
Kevin143 (34), I’ll bet you didn’t mean to look like spam. I nearly shut down your account for a second there, until I realized that you’re you, and that your comment was just a comment.
Pork Musket again (37), I’ve been through too many rounds of the Latest Scary Drug thing, and I say there’s such a thing as too much publicity. Sure, the DEA may be aware of a drug’s existence, but that doesn’t mean they act on the knowledge. Drug awareness programs and attempts to suppress it via legal action can too easily function as marketing campaigns for a drug that was previously known only to a few. When it’s known to everybody and his dog, including people who don’t normally make such voyages and don’t know basic precautions, you start to get problems and news stories. When you get junior congressmen denouncing it, laws against it will shortly follow.
Will that keep people from getting their hands on it? Sure will. It won’t keep everyone from getting their hands on it, but it’ll get a lot more difficult and dangerous. The other thing that will happen is that the attendant publicity will create a market that can’t easily be served, so unscrupulous dealers will start selling all kinds of crap as Salvia divinorum. As I was just saying to Flip, the stuff looks way too much like other species of Salvia.
CitrusFreak12 (22), I don’t think you’re a gardener.
Diviner’s Sage is just another tool. You can use a hammer to hammer nails, split heads or (attempt) to repair integrated circuit chips.
Possibly best if it is put on the witch-hunt list. Triflers, fools and children might be safer and people willing to do the work will find it anyway.
The only tragedy is that formal research will be set back. Again.
When did the witch-hunt list ever do anyone any good?
My favorite drug law: you know the standard red perennial poppies that bloom at the beginning of summer? It’s only illegal to grow or possess those if you know they can be used to make opium tea. (It’s a mild painkiller. Nothing to get excited about.) If you don’t know, they’re not illegal.
“good” is a concept for lesser beings. Just ask my good friend, Aleister.
We have to give the Inquisitors something. Otherwise they start digging deeper .
“Hallucinogens are no good. No good. No good. The one trip I took (on WAY too many mushrooms) took 6 months to get over. I was still waking up in the middle of the night terrified that I was back there, that it wasn’t just a trip, that it really was something there inside me, that I wasn’t normal, that I’d never have a normal life, that I was doomed to walk the streets alone as a schizophrenic or something…”
I witnessed several friends in college partake of way too many mushrooms at one sitting, they all had BAD trips. What do you expect? It’s like saying “I’m never taking aspirin again, my first time using it I took way too many and ended up in the hospital” or perhaps “my first time driving I went way too fast and crashed, I’m never driving again.” You are blaming the substance for your own carelessness. I remember the first time I got really drunk, vomited, and then claimed “beer was evil” and promised never to drink it again. Of course I did eventually drink it again, and learned a valuable lesson– moderation.
I can find no compelling reason for states or the Feds to ban salvia divinorum, other than the uniquely American puritanical disgust that “someone somewhere is having fun.” Yes, there is a danger, you could fall down and bust your skull, but this has never stopped us from banning roller skates or skis or hyperventilation.
I find it interesting that the government is always trying to ban substances that give the user a very real spiritual experience, an experience more powerful than most get from going to church.
My experience with this plant is limited. I’ve used the 10x grains and it’s nothing I would bother with again. I used it for cerimonial reasons, which were beside the point seeing that I basically had no way to do the work while I was on the floor tripping for all of 20 seconds. And then I got a headache.
there ya go
“I find it interesting that the government is always trying to ban substances that give the user a very real spiritual experience, an experience more powerful than most get from going to church.”
yeah. i always get a low level headache after salvia.
The only reason i touch salvia is the short lived nature of the trip. You get the feeling of a huge dose of acid or shrooms without the time suck.
That being said i’d rather do small doses of acid or shrooms to salvia any day. Salvia is good for experiments in reality perception. After a few psychedelics i understood why some people i know said that they’ve spoken with god before. you can buy that at least they honestly believe that, even if you put a different label on certain experiences. (sorry Teresa) I would never recommend salvia to someone who is exclusively after a good time, because its really a coin toss between the giggles and lovecraftian terror.
#51 POSTED BY TERESA NIELSEN HAYDEN / MODERATOR
“Is Salvia divinorum really a rare plant, or was it just obscure? I’ve never seen a salvia species that didn’t set seeds at an abundant rate.”
Salvia Divinorum was one of the worlds rarest plants after it’s discovery by G. Wasson in the early 1960’s and up to the mid 1990’s.
The species was only known to be cultivated in a single Mazatecs village on the Sierra Mazateca by a limited amount of families for generations -Most likely predating the spanish invasion over 500 years ago. Researchers have not been able to locate any wild variant of the species within it’s traditionally cultivated range. Oral tradition has it that it was brought in from elsewhere and is not a native plant to the region. The species have been propagated via cloning for so long that it’s become dependent upon human intervention to survive. As a cultivar, it’s ability to set viable seed has been largely lost.
“Given that in the proper circumstances it can grow into a large woody shrub, if you just keep clipping the flowers off, it would take a botanist to identify the thing.”
The plant will not ever develop into a woody shrub. The stems are those of a monocot and actually hollow. The plant is prone to damping (base rot) and will often have it’s tall spikes break off at the base only to fall and set new roots at the nodes up to a meter away.
This is the method that it’s spread through the tended gardens where it’s been has been traditionally kept.
Furthermore, this species is distinctive enough that most people can ID at a glance if they have a basic beforehand familiarity with the plant. You need not be a botanist to ID it at all.
if you can distinguish a turnip from a carrot you’ll be able to pick this plant out from within a field.
Here’s my main point:
Salvia and salvinorin A/B are novel in their actions and effects. Not only is it the most potent naturally occurring psychoactive molecule known – but it’s effects defy easy classification. The opportunity this plant presents to understanding the functions of the mind is a once in a lifetime event. To provoke it’s illegality via reckless publication if ill begotten behavior via youtube and other sites is nothing short of a travesty imnsho
Such broadcasting will only stir a kneejerk backlash from legislators as has happened in other states where it’s made the news.
This isn’t about getting high or keeping a tripping stash legal for me or others… as some might think.
This is about having a legal tool open to investigation that offers the possibility to enrich ourselves and broaden our knowledge base.
By playing into the “it doesn’t matter if they illegalize it.. I’ll still buy it” argument, you’re ignoring the door that is shut on all legitimate research and discovery as to the inner workings of the mind.
Please think about that… all other viable and unique tools are illegal in much of the world and therefore bared from scientific research.
Just imagine for moment how responsible use of such a plant might change the whole of society for the better.
The ability to shake people out of old ruts and habits and to view the world from a new perspective.. if just for a moment would allow a society to potentially develop by leaps and bounds in comparison to the snails pace we currently are limited too.
The traditional use of this plant is best defined as a “religious tool” it’s use is not recreational as it is portrayed on the net.
It’s a serious affair.
That in itself is worth noting.
Thank you for reading this.
Cpt Tim said, “its really a coin toss between the giggles and lovecraftian terror.”
I used it with a group that was doing a little retrograde magic (don’t ask). I did see some pretty colors but it did not allow any sort of linear thought process. I can see the Lovecraftian aspects: the sense of being consumed by something huge. I’m sorry to say, I can not compare this to LDS, which I have never used.
“I can not compare this to LDS, which I have never used. ”
You can’t compare it Mormons???
Nice post, Flip. Thx for the info.
“Salvia and salvinorin A/B are novel in their actions and effects. Not only is it the most potent naturally occurring psychoactive molecule known – but it’s effects defy easy classification.”
It’s my understanding that this throws a monkey wrench in the “authorities” plans to make salvia illegal. Also it is non-toxic, and after the trip it is impossible to detect it within blood/urine … However, memory of my experience shall last a lifetime.
i dig what flip is saying. Although without this type of spreading i probably wouldn’t have heard of salvia.
Making salvia illegal as he said would deny people a chance to see things from new perspectives, but theres already plenty of other things that are illegal that shouldn’t be. I’m not going to waste my energy worrying about kids doing what kids will do, getting while the gettings good.
the sad thing here is the continuing prohibition of substances when more deadly and accessible ones are normal fixtures in our daily lives. Alcohol is an obvious choice, but if you go deeper than that, I bet you fried food will kill more people in one year that salvia trips will in a decade.
I read this story on CBS.com and it was about this boy that committed suicide after smoking salvia for a couple months. I myself have tried it and I don’t think that the the goverment should ban salvia like they were talking about doing.I believe that the boy had other issues and smoking salvia had little if no effect on his decision to kill himself. Just thought that I’de put it out there.
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