Citation: Munsu. "Unchained: An Experience with Salvia divinorum & Cannabis (exp112808)". Erowid.org. Mar 23, 2019. erowid.org/exp/112808
Ever since I was a kid I had this curiosity about the things that had to do with the darker, hidden, mysterious, taboo etc side of life. To find the point of light in the darkness and as a side effect, that curiosity led me to not denying the first joint that was offered to me.
The first time I tried Salvia was in 2007 when I was 17 years old. I had been smoking weed then for two years and had tried LSD tabs two times prior to Salvia. Anyway, as I was reading about psychedelic substances on the internet I found out about Salvia. So, since it was and still is legal here, I decided to order some leaves from an online shop. I tried both chewing them for 30 or so minutes and although I added some honey they still tasted bad, as well as smoking them in a bong - not on the same day and I hadn't used a torch lighter.
Both times they only gave me what people describe as a less logical but more playful way of thinking. I remember having this non-stop trouble-free flow of thoughts where they succeed each other and I was feeling happy like a kid, it kinda felt like a game. It also gave me this altered impression about the depth of space, for example I remember entering a tiny restroom in a college student's department and it somehow seemed much more deeper than usual like it was a hall or something.
Moving on to 2019, besides smoking weed and some acid rarely, I have tried a few other substances like cocaine, MDMA, all these years but that was just about it, nothing special.
I am by nature quite lonely and prefer to keep to myself. The type that feels uncomfortable with many people around and can’t bring myself to start dancing without being in a special mood enchanted by a few drinks and/or being high on something usually MDMA, even then I am not completely at ease because I feel uncomfortable when others are watching me. I also don’t like other people helping me not because I am arrogant, which is what comes in the surface but because deep inside of me it feels threatening to expose my vulnerability to others for some reason. Because of a variety of factors for many years I always had this melancholy of not living my everyday life the way I truly wanted which led me to live an even more lonely life. It's not that I didn't have any friends but it is difficult for me let go of the things that trouble me and open up to people.
I was depressed and for some periods of time everything seemed so hopeless, it got to the point that at times I was hearing my inner voice saying "I want to die" but finally after a meditation season I realized that I don't want to literally physically die, I want this version of me to die, so that I can live. Because ultimately all those restricting shackles I feel have being placed upon me by my own self. One of the reasons that helped me come to this realization was an acid trip last year because that day was simply amazing mostly because I could enjoy every moment and I could freely interact with other people without having my complexes restricting me, it was beautiful.
Anyway I started reading about DMT experiences and I saw people mentioning this feeling of dying, the ego death. So I had this feeling that I should try an intense experience using a psychedelic. Since DMT is a bit more complicated to acquire than Salvia which seemed promising, it’s legal and easy to get I decided to order 10 grams of leaves and 1 gram of a standardized 20x extract containing 50mg of salvinorin A. To my surprise I found a familiar looking website and it turned out to be the same one that I had ordered my first Salvia from. A cosmic omen that I am going in the right direction or so I thought.
The package arrived and two days later I planned to get together with some friends and try it out, my purpose was to try most of it on my own and share most of it with my friend James.
Before we met up, I went into the shower and sat down in lotus position under the falling water in order to clear my mind. Why am doing this, I thought, am I looking for an answer, can I actually find an answer from Salvia or am I making a mistake because some people reported negative feelings like panic, confusion etc and I was going to make everything worse? My intentions became clear, the answer wasn’t in Salvia by itself I was doing this for the journey along the way and will try not to have any self-projected expectations about what will happen.
I went over to Nick’s place. We lit up aromatic candles and put on some music. The plan for the night was to have a total four people there but we were seven because of reasons, so a completely quiet environment was not possible.
He suggested that we should smoke a joint while we were waiting for the others. I was thinking that the best would be to not smoke any weed before Salvia, but in the end I agreed. My other friends came and after a while we decided it's time to do the Salvia. I split the 1 gram of the 20x extract in about 15 doses in order to have a better measurement sense or so I thought since we didn't have a scale of mg accuracy, but the doses should be approximately 66 mg each which means about 3.33 salvorin each I guessed.
I didn’t wish to be arrogant. For my first hit I filled the bowl with some trimmed Salvia leaves and added about 66mg of the extract with the intention of trying the waters first. My friend lit the torch lighter and I took the hit, counted until 34 and decided I should better exhale although I felt like I could keep it a bit longer. The bong also had some ice cubes inside so the taste wasn't harsh at all, it was barely noticeable and reminded me of tea.
For the first 2-3 minutes I remember all of the voices, including my own, sounded the same. Specifically there was some nice trance music playing in the background and the way our voices sound like felt like the sound of the voice from the music playing, if it could speak. I had a light visual where I saw something like a vine reaching out from the speakers to me but the whole visual was very mild it felt less like a hallucination and more like this halo when you look at light source. I also felt different, like something was going on but couldn't exactly pinpoint it. Overall it had a positive feeling to it. After that I was just in a different mood, in a more relaxed way.
After me James, Nick and Mike each took a hit. I won’t go into details about their experience since they didn't smoke that much anyway and it’s not my place to do so, I will just say that my friend James smoked two bowls that night and mentioned experiencing the book effect.
After the first round the bong came to me. During that time there was also a joint passing around I took a few hits and passed it and then I prepared my bowl. I told myself that I should smoke a good dose and see what happens. According to my research a good dose from a 20x extract should have about 20mg of salvorin which means about 400mg of the extract. I filled the bowl with a bit of trimmed leaves and put roughly about 300mg of the extract on top of them.
I thought this isn't a test hit, I am gonna try my best to properly take the hit. I’ve been smoking for 14 years I was going to apply all of my art. So I lit the lighter and took this decisive big hit. My friends later told me that it looked like I was really determined and I really wanted to do that. I don't remember how long I kept the smoke inside my lungs but my friends told me at that point I suddenly fell back on the couch. I don't remember this detail. Next thing I know after taking the hit I was on my knees with my body straight. I fell on my knees because I thought I had to for some reason and then everything about how I perceived the world around me changed. They later told me I fell on my knees and said ”woaaah woaaaah”.
There was no building up feeling, it just happened, just like opening my eyes and seeing. I felt so free, so relaxed everything that troubled me and existed in the back of my head just disappeared. I couldn't believe what I was feeling. I was wondering if I was dreaming, because I felt in a different state of reality now. It shouldn't be possible to feel this level of harmony in the real world I thought, I must be dreaming.
It shouldn't be possible to feel this level of harmony in the real world I thought, I must be dreaming.
Like when you are laid in your bed and you imagine yourself in a situation talking with other people, you are not anxious at all, you are not carrying all those burdens, you are free to express and place a version of yourself inside that projection however you like and no one can possibly affect that because everything is playing inside your head. But I wasn't dreaming, I was there with my friends but everything felt different. It felt like I had one foot in the commonly perceived world and one foot in the universe. Like being in different dimensions at the same time. I started laughing so hard, because everything seemed so ridiculous.
As I said I have an issue when trying to express myself the way I really feel to other people. Especially when there are people present that I am not that familiar with I am usually a man of few words but not today. I was feeling like I had found an answer. Why so serious? What is the point of being anxious? How ridiculous it is that I held myself back because of what other people might think of me. Why are we placing barriers when we are around other people instead of just being ourselves, instead of just enjoying the moment, it is so pointless to think about the past or the future, it is in each present moment that we actually exist. I couldn’t stop laughing because it felt so liberating, so profound and because it seemed so incredibly foolish and pointless that I was carrying all those worries and complexes with me all those years. For the first time everything made sense, this is also what defined the whole experience, how everything made sense, every dot had finally connected and everything became clear. When I used LSD although the way I perceived the world changed, I was feeling this “high”, the external factor that something is affecting me right now which allows me to feel this way, with Salvia I didn’t have that at that point. I guess this is what people mean when they mention they forgot they took a substance, it felt so natural.
I didn't feel insecure about anything, I truly enjoyed being with other people and talking like I should normally talk with others, without being afraid of something. The comfort I had when I was now talking with the people there was unbelievable, it felt as it should have always been this way. For the first time I felt like all the restrictions were gone, I hadn’t broken through to some hyperspace, I had broken through my inner prison. I still couldn't believe this was actually happening. I was behaving like this? If I hadn’t smoked Salvia that day I would have never acted like that. They later told me I put on quite a show I couldn’t stop talking and laughing for about 5 minutes although my speech was impaired sometimes because I didn’t know how to put it in words what I felt like when I tried to describe things. If someone tried to talked I would often say “susssh don’t interrupt me now” and then I would apologize trying to explain that I didn’t mean it in the way that I have a priority over you, it felt like the real me came out after so long and not that usually silent mess people see.
Those 4-5 minutes were also the most intense. The trance music that was playing greatly affected the whole trip it felt so perfect at that moment for the situation. It was like a celebration. One of the reasons I was so relaxed was because when I was looking at the people in that room, it felt like they weren’t different beings, I wasn’t looking at someone else. Each one of us was his own dimension, it was like seeing more dimensions and in the center there was a rotating axis. It felt like we were inside a bubble, like being inside a submarine. Then for some reason one person said “cut it out” to someone. And she made that cut it out hand gesture and I saw there was this ethereal stream flowing up to her waist, connecting her dimension with the dimension of the person she was talking to, which was cut off! It seemed amazing.
I got back on the couch and closed my eyes. At that point the music that I was hearing changed, it became this loading sound which was becoming louder and louder, I had a visual of something white like a veil being twisted and folded and I had this feeling that “This is it. Something huge is going to happen now” It felt like it was a bottleneck and I would travel to somewhere else if I entered. I was awestruck, how can this be possible I thought, it reminded me of those intense trip stories but I shouldn’t be this high from the amount I smoked and there was no overwhelming feeling, it was intense but there was no agony I was about to completely forget that I was with my friends and trip into whatever that was but unfortunately it wasn’t a quiet environment and I couldn’t completely immerse myself into this feeling. I opened my eyes and had this feeling that I was close to losing my touch with reality. I wasn’t mad that I couldn’t ride along, I was thankful enough I even got to feel this immense freedom in the first place.
We smoked another joint and I remember feeling like the high from cannabis was only affecting my body, it was inside my body and it couldn’t affect my consciousness the same way I can’t feel the state of a vehicle, it is a vehicle and I am beyond that. For the next 15-20 minutes my usual sense of self gradually started to return, at first I would faintly hear my inner voice talking about how I should behave, the original impulse of expression was fading and my senses were returning to normal. After a while I regretted saying this about my body because I had this annoying headache and I was feeling extremely tired.
I wanted some fresh cold air so I went outside for a walk with James and talked about our experiences. I spent the rest of my time trying to recollect what exactly happened until the moment I said goodbye and left so I could go home, lie down on my bed and sleep.
The whole thing took place two days before I decided to sit down and write my experience in order to help me recollect it as well as sharing it with other people. It was the most amazing experience I ever had and I will definitely use Salvia again in the future. Thank you.
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