Salvia herb, also known as salvia divinorum has been brought to the public eye again as actor/singer Miley Cyrus has been caught on a leaked cell phone video allegedly smoking the herb.
Salvia is considered a hallucinogenic that is readily available and is legally sold on the Internet, tobacco, and head shops. Several states have banned the herb, especially after watching videos of young teens partaking in the inhaled side effects.
Dr. Bryan Roth, a biochemist and neuroscientist at Case Western Reserve University says that salvia’s active ingredient, Salvinorin A, is a strong hallucinogen, “as potent as LSD, and essentially the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogenic drug.”
Studies are being conducted as to the effects of Salvinorin A against Alzheimer’s, dementia and schizophrenia.
Salvia is illegal in 15 states and legal except for human consumption in 4 others. Different states have different laws, including different age restrictions for legal possession.
Major universities, including Harvard, are still researching the ramifications of salvia usage on the brain. It has been proven in studies with lab animals that it is not addictive, but it is advised to stay away from the herb because of the experience deemed as unpleasant.