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Taking salvia for the first time? This is what you need to know

salvia trip first

Salvia divinorum, a psychoactive plant native to Mexico, is a wonderful and powerful naturally occurring herb that can provide a powerful spiritual and healing psychedelic experience. But at the same time, it has the power to give you nightmares and a bad trip that you won't be fond of remembering. When you use Salvia for the first time, it is therefore wise to know what it is, what the risks are and what you should pay attention to. And that is exactly what we are taking care of today!

Also read: Microdosing ayahuasca - should you do it?

So what is Salvia?

Salvia divinorum, commonly known as Salvia or Sage, is an herb in the Labiatae family. It is native to the forest areas of the Sierra Mazateca in Oaxaca, Mexico, where it normally grows around ravines or in high, moist areas. Salvia is a very powerful psychedelic characterized by unique visionary experiences. Many people use it in the treatment of pain, addictions and depression or in achieving personal growth. 

The herb has an extremely rich history. The Mazatec Indians worshiped the plant as an incarnation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which also explains the local name 'hojas de Maria' (leaves of Mary). It was used for rituals, healing and divination. It is one of the three sacred plants that young shamans come into contact with. The other two are Morning Glory seeds and magic mushrooms.

While it has been used by shamans in Mexico for centuries, Salvia first came to the attention of Western anthropologists between the 1930s and 1950s. They reported colorful visions and patterns, after which more and more research was done on the plant. In 1962 Salvia Divinorum officially got its name.

Also read: 5 reasons why these sleeping herbs can change your life

A powerful psychedelic

Hundreds of YouTube videos of people tripping on Salvia prove that the drug is a very strong psychedelic. In fact, Salvinorin A, the psychoactive molecule in Salvia, is often considered to be the most potent naturally occurring psychedelic. In addition, Salvia differs from other natural psychedelics in a number of ways. Where other typical psychedelics contain nitrogen, Salvinorin A consists only of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

Another difference from other psychedelics is that Salvinorin A has no binding affinity to serotonin (5-HT) receptors. The mechanism of action lies in strong and highly selective bonds to the kappa opioid receptors (or KORs). KOR agonists are known to cause hallucinations or visions, dissociation and a sense of altered reality.

Pure salvinorin A is also extremely powerful. A dose of just a few hundred micrograms (millionths of a gram) will already have an effect, and a dose above 1 milligram is comfortable for most people to use. Fortunately, Salvia leaves are much weaker than pure salvinorin A, so it can be used safely, as long as certain rules and tips are applied.

Taken under the right conditions and the right way, Salvia produces a unique state of "divine intoxication." It has its reasons that Salvia has been used in religious and healing ceremonies by the Mazatec Indians for hundreds of years. Namely because Salvia is such a powerful psychoactive drug, the way it is used must - according to certain tribes - be respected. A salvia experience can be uncomfortable or pleasant for many, but at the same time spiritually mind-expanding. That is why it is important to know what to expect.

Also read: How long does psilocybin (magic mushrooms and magic truffles) stay in your body?

3 tips for a pleasant Salvia trip

  1. Prepare well

If you've already made it this far, you're on the right track to achieving an amazing salvia experience. The most important thing about using salvia or sage is that you use it safely and above all that you have the right mindset. You are about to go on a very powerful psychedelic journey that you have very little control over. Make sure that your mind and body are in total peace and that you do not experience stress, anxiety or panic. It is important that you do not plan stuff a few hours after the trip (which lasts about 10 to 30 minutes). Smoking Salvia just before you go to work is definitely not a good idea. You will need the time after the trip to get completely back to reality and to process the trip.

  1. Have someone nearby

Odds are you start to behave strangely when the salvia starts to work. Especially when you use salvia for the first time, it is wise to have a trip sitter. This person should keep an eye on you, but it is important that you do not interact with him or her during the trip. The only reason the person is present is to avoid doing unpredictable things or to offer comfort when needed. Incidentally, for the same reason, it is important that you fully trust the sitter and feel completely comfortable with them. Is your trip finished ? Then you may be able to manage your sitter's trip yourself.

  1. Choose the right setting

A salvia trip can be uncomfortable or even dangerous in some cases, depending on the setting you're in. Your immediate environment is very important in having a good or bad trip. The presence of other people communicating with can be overwhelming for many first-time users. If you are going to trip for the first time, we recommend doing this in the dark, so that you can experience the trip without distraction. Think of lying on your bed in the bedroom or with the curtains closed on the couch. In addition, it is recommended to exclude as much visual stimulation as possible. So just turn off the TV.

Also read: Meet Chris Isner - the man who turned his ayahuasca visions into art

Things to keep in mind during your Salvia trip

So you have your setting in order, your trip sitter is present and all curtains are closed. Is that all you need to know? Well there is more. You will also have to take a number of things into account during the trip itself. A tip is to just let the trip take its course. The moment you start to worry and act on this, things go wrong. You will trip a lot on salvia, but accept it and close your eyes. Let your mind wander and try to relax.

There is also a chance that you will experience feelings such as anxiety, discomfort and dysphoria. But these feelings also weaken and will disappear quickly. Accept that the salvia trip is stronger than you are. It is not without reason one of the most powerful and intense psychedelics available. It is also wise to realize that communicating during a high-dose salvia trip is virtually impossible. And what you're trying to convey is probably very disjointed. Here again we have the same advice: try to relax, the trip will be over in no time.

In short: a salvia trip can be a great mind-blowing experience, but at the same time it can evoke anxious or uncomfortable feelings. Provide the right setting and the right mindset to increase the chances of a pleasant trip.