A plant with an increasing popularity and infamy due to its legality, potency, and the Internet. The strong effects are due to the primary psychoactive component, salvinorin A, the most potent naturally-occurring hallucinogen. The plant also contains salvinorin B-F.
The plant was traditionally used as an entheogen by Mazatec shamans, where it was grown in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. The plant rarely produces seeds, instead it is propagated by cuttings. It can adjust to many different climates, but it naturally grows in sandy, rocky soil with partial sunlight and hot, humid weather.
There are many ways to administer the drug. Traditional methods include making a tea or chewing leaves in the mouth. The tea method uses many more leaves because of the inefficiency of absorbing the active compounds through the gastrointestinal tract. Fresh or rehydrated dried leaves can be formed into a ball (quid) and chewed slowly in the mouth, allowing the drug to be absorbed sublingually by holding the salvia in the mouth. Due to the unpleasant and bitter taste, some people use a small amount of concentrated tincture held in the mouth.
Smoking has become quite popular among non-traditionalists. However the plain leaves often aren't strong enough to produce the desired effects, so prepared extracts are available in various concentrations (5x, 10x, 20x). Ideally a bong and torch lighter applied directly are used for smoking to ensure an adequate temperature and large intake of smoke. One hit of 10x or greater extract, held in the mouth as long as possible, is usually all that is needed for strong effects. Vaporization may be possible using either commercial vaporizers or homemade ones, but it can be dangerous to determine the right dose and a very high temperature has to be reached (240 °C).
Salvia is usually very physically and mentally debilitating, keeping people from moving or even talking. Care must be taken after the initial trip wears off, because more subtle effects may persist for quite a while.
Salvia is sometimes falsely advertised as a "legal high" or a substitute for cannabis, but its effects are unique and diverse. Trips can be intense and even scary with people losing their identity and experiencing a radically altered sense of space and time. Salvia is not a party drug and light or strange noises can be distracting.
It is near impossible to overdose, but a person under salvia's effects can easily kill or injure themselves if they do anything requiring any sort of mental thought or physical coordination, like standing, driving, walking, using tools, or even sitting. This is why a sitter is essential and a person should be lying down.
Salvia currently (2006) enjoys a legal status in many parts of the world where most psychoactive drugs are illegal for recreational use. Unfortunately, it has been outlawed in some countries and states of the U.S. as it gets more well known. Maybe because of its legality or obscurity, many people don't prepare for a salvia trip and put themselves in dangerous situations or have a bad trip and swear never to use Salvia Divinorum again.
I passed Mike the bong, he took one hit of Salvia Divinorum and his soul was instantly ripped out of his body.
Joan tried salvia when she ran out of weed, but it was way too intense and she threw the rest away.