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Salvia divinorum

Published on April 23, 2015 at 8:00 / Updated on April 16, 2020 at 17:31
Synonyms The most common synonyms are:
  • Maria pastora, Magic mint, Purple sticky, Sally D, Diviner's sage, Holy sage.
Classification Hallucinogen:
  • Causes users to see, hear or feel things that do not exist.
Visual description
  • Salvia divinorum is a plant that belongs to the mint family and is native to Mexico.
  • Used in its plant form (fresh or dried leaves) or as a white powder.
Mechanism of action
  • Highly selective kappa opioid receptor agonist (KOR).
Routes of administration
  • Inhalation: (the most common) Dried leaves or an extract of salvinorin A (the main active ingredient) are smoked.
  • Sublingual: The leaves are chewed and placed under the tongue.

Effects sought out by the user

  • Analgesia
  • Delirium
  • Distorted perceptions
  • Dysphoria
  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Sedation
  • Synesthesia (crossing of 2 or more senses)
  • Users become indifferent to their surroundings
  • Vivid hallucinations

Toxic effects

Mild intoxication
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
Moderate intoxication
  • Bradycardia
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Incoordination
  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Sweating
  • Vertigo
  • Vomiting
Severe intoxication
  • Anxiety
  • Dysphoria
  • Irresponsible behaviour
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Unconsciousness

Effects associated with chronic use

  • Continuous exposure causes aversion, which deters users.


Rarely observed.


Headache, drowsiness.

Onset and duration of action

Route of
Onset of
Duration of psychotropic
Inhaled< 30 seconds5 to 10 minutes, then wears off after 20 to 30 minutes
Sublingual5 to 10 minutes1 hour then wears off after 1 hour

Intoxication management

  • No antidote available.
  • Treatment is mainly symptomatic.

Many different street drugs are sold under the same name.
Furthermore, nothing guarantees the quantity, purity or even the content of a street drug in spite of the fact that it may, in some cases, look like medication.

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