salvia high

The Salvia High: Party Enhancer or Hallucination Inducer?

By now you’ve probably heard of the salvia craze. You might even know someone who’s tried it. Peoples’ experience with the drug seems to vary and it’s no surprise that there’s some controversy surrounding the salvia high.

While some tout its ability to bring on a pleasurable hallucination, others warn aware newcomers with experiences that are downright scary. Like anything, the truth lies somewhere in-between both extremes.

Today we’re focusing on the salvia high to debate whether its a party enhancer or hallucination inducer. Let’s first start by talking about…

The History of Salvia

Salvia, technically known as salvia divinorum, originates from the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Also known as the sage of the diviners, salvia has a long history in Mexican ceremony.

Mazatec shamans use the plant to spark religious moments that focus on visionary states of altered consciousness during healing ceremonies. In essence, they’re getting high to see god.

The plant causes its high through an opioid-like compound known as Salvinorin. Dosage-dependent (like anything else) it causes a short, sometimes intense high when smoked, chewed, or turned into tea.

Now that we know the backstory lets take a look at the specific effects.

Getting High

You have several choices when it comes to consuming legal salvia. Smoking (the most popular), chewing, or a tincture. Each method changes the dosage and also the intensity and duration of the effects.


Smoking salvia is the most common way to get high. Dried leaves are readily available from most smoke shops (or over the internet) in different concentrations often labeled 5x, 10x, 50x, etc. The higher the “X” the stronger the concentration.

Actual smoking requires a pipe (or water pipe) to heat the plant material. You’ll need a torch lighter as Salvinorin doesn’t release from the leaves until 240 degrees C. The quicker the heater the faster the high.

Also, it’s very important to remember that the greater the “X” the lower the dose you’ll need to get high and the stronger the effects. Without touching on specifics, many “bad trips” result from strong “X” concentrations.

After smoking the active effects come on quickly. They peak after a minute and can last from 1-5 minutes. Sometimes high doses have effects that linger for up to 10 minutes.


The method is actually more akin to eating a hard candy than it is chewing. Think chewing whole tobacco leaves if you need a comparison. Users take fresh leaves (dried leaves won’t work) and place them in the oral mucosa.

A few chews release the juices and eventually, the compounds get absorbed through the mouth. The effects come on much slower than smoking and often last longer, though with a less intense peak.


Tinctures are the least common ingestion method. Users place a high-concentrate (often suspended in glycerine or alcohol) high concentrate under the tongue. The effects are similar to chewing in both potency and duration, though high-concentrate tinctures can bring on very strong hallucinations.

The Salvia High Experience

Getting high with salvia ranges in experience from person to person. Some don’t feel many effects (often from improper ingestion) while others experience out of body, and sometimes even terrifying experiences.

We’ll try to break down the common effects but remember, every person is different. There’s no telling salvia’s effects without using the drug yourself. As with anything, moderation is the key until you’ve found the proper dosage in relation to the corresponding effects.

Mellowing Out

Users who don’t ingest high enough dosages for the full effects report feeling spacey or mellowed out. It’s most common among though who choose the chewing and tincture routes.

Though that’s not always a bad thing. In social setting mellowing out and feel a slight disconnect can help add an extra layer to your experiences. It’s almost like smoking weed.

Similar to marijuana, some people enjoy the disconnect and “feeling funny” while they’re around others. Salvia won’t promote socializing like say, alcohol, but it can enhance interactions through “loosening you up” or just plain making things more fun.

The Standard Experience

Most people who enjoy salvia get the standard experience. Consuming just the right dose brings on mild to intense hallucinations that often correlate with an out of body feeling.

You might not stay completely aware of where you are, though you’ll still understand that you’re human and under the influence of a drug. Visually hallucinations range from colors and waves to actual shapes and beings.

There’s also a sense of distorted time and space. You might feel like things are moving faster or slower than they really are or that you’re unaware of touching surfaces.

Though all in all the experience is manageable, though maybe not in a social setting.

Excessive Dosages

In high dosages, salvia can bring on scary experiences that aren’t for the faint of heart. People report seeing monsters and completely losing all sense of reality. With the standard dose you’re aware you’re high, but overdoing it can make one lose all sense of connectedness with reality.

With don’t advise searching for this feeling. Experienced hallucinogen users might navigate the trip, but most people won’t come out of it with anything positive to say.

This type of experience is exactly what gives salvia a bad name. When people don’t respect the substance they’re using it leads to negative experiences that then reflect on all users.

It’s why we always recommended starting slow and finding the proper dosage. You can always take more, but time is the only thing that stops a bad trip.

Legal Highs 101

Finding legal ways to get high, like a salvia high, helps keep you on the correct side of the law while still expanding your mind and having fun. That said, it’s always important to respect your legal substances.

We want to ensure that people use legal substances in an educated, responsible manner. Our website is dedicated to helping you become more knowledgeable about legal highs.

Until next time, enjoy your high.

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