Citation: Thirsty Wooden Why. "Sublingual Ingestion, Subtle and Familiar: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp62571)". Erowid.org. Jun 26, 2007. erowid.org/exp/62571
This is an account of my first experience with the sublingual method of ingesting salvia leaves. I am a 20 year old male college student that has used salvia in a spiritual context for over a year and a half now, with a wide array of experiences ranging from subtle to profound. I have experienced marijuana, nitrous, hydrocodone, alcohol, nicotine, morphine, and an unknown anesthetic administered in a medical setting. I have ceased to use any form of psychoactive (as far as limiting caffeine intake to a rare cup of green or white tea) except salvia. My experience with psychoactive substances is comparatively limited, but I am extremely familiar with salvia, respect her in an ineffable way, and use her strictly in a spiritual sense.
The set and setting are as follows. I planned the day about 5 days in advance and made arrangements with X to use his apartment and his person as my refuge and sitter. X is a close friend of mine, a fellow member of our alt- folk band and a very sensitive and understanding person. He has never experimented with salvia, although he has sat for me on numerous occasions and subsequently has heard enough futile descriptions of the experiences to understand the dissociative nature of the plant. Moreover, he understands and respects my view of the plant as a sacrament, which made me extremely comfortable with him as my sitter. His roommate, Y, is a close part of this circle of friends as well, and although I hadn't anticipated his presence during the experience, him being there had no detrimental effects.
The hours before the experience were spent doing yoga, meditating, and frequenting a used book store downtown with an uplifting friend. We talked with the friendly store owner for several hours and secured my friend a job over the summer there. I live on campus at a state university, and the day (thursday) was a part of a long weekend before exams began. All obligations to classes were met, with the exception of some studying in the days beyond. The course load over the year was an amazing experience, although it left little free time. Subsequently, I relied solely on my main methods of spiritual conductivity (yoga and meditation) for most of the year. I had one breakthrough experience which became difficult due to set (related to school obligations) so I opted to wait to try this method.
In the recent weekends prior to the experience me and X have gone to the woods to appreciate nature, twice I believe with a plain leaf salvia cigarette for myself. The low dosage complemented the beauty of the earth nicely, aiding with meditation later that day. I will omit details for another report, but these experiences were a nice acclimation to what I expected to be an altogether unique experience.
The Experience: Me and X, in his apartment, lights dimmed, about 9:30PM. A dose of about 2-3 grams of dried plain leaf was re hydrated in water for about 5-7 minutes. I was sheepish in dosage, as I have no experience with long- term psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin. I was unsure if the longer duration of the experience would counter the reportedly more subtle effects of sublingual ingestion. I have also read many a report of tincture experiences becoming overwhelming, and did not want to undergo a similar experience. The leaves were placed in my mouth, sometimes under the tongue, for 20 minutes.
The taste at first was enjoyable (I enjoy the smell and taste of the smoke, a subjective bias). I will admit though, the last 10 minutes offered the strongest bitter sensation, and I was more than happy to eject the plant matter from my mouth precisely when the second hand struck the 20- minute mark. I drank some water and lay down, covering my eyes with my hands to provide a darker view. I did not feel sober, although the effects were far too fleeting to document. No close- eyed visuals, although I did feel some minor body sensations when positioned in a certain way. Many minor morphing sensations, slight enough to make me wonder if it was a placebo effect.
I waited 15 minutes with only no strengthening of effects, so I deemed it safe to strengthen the dose. I went to the bathroom, rinsed my mouth with alcohol- containing mouthwash (in the hopes of increasing absorption) and noted pupil dilation. I re- hydrated a good handful, about 3.5- 4.5 grams of leaves. X's scale was broken, so accuracy was sadly abandoned.
After perhaps 5 minutes the leaves were soft. Y came through the door as I was fishing the mass of leaves from the cup, we explained our goal and he sat down with us. I communicated that they could turn the television on until/unless I stated otherwise throughout the trip. Watching a person chew on leaves for 20 minutes seems pretty drab, and I figured the come-up would be gradual enough to where I would be able to communicate this. This time I chewed the leaves (opposed to letting them simply sit) leading to a quicker transition into the bitter taste.
I noticed definite effects at about 15 minutes, with mild visual patterns with eyes closed. These were controllable, but soon I felt the familiar pulling I normally experience with salvia, and definite closed eye visuals. I spit the leaves out and covered my face and body with a blanket to darken the environment. I had a range of closed eye visuals, although no ego loss. I would equate the visuals as similar to my marijuana visions, almost as if a distinct two- dimensional translucent screen is overlaid atop my field of vision. These visions were more concrete and far less disoriented than with marijuana, however, and fell within context of the world I normally see within a salvia trance. They were distinctly “not real”, and my mind held a sense of sobriety and awareness that this was drug- induced, much like a very low dose of smoked salvia.
The visions included several strong waves that showed fleeting glimpses of the “salvia world” that opens up during a strong experience. One of these was a “dog” although both the choice of words and inefficacy of words at describing psychedelic states leave much to the imagination. This was by no means a normal dog, It was composed of this cubic folding bands or structural foundations. It was every color at once, primarily white, although an infinite amount of worldly things, primarily wooden objects such as trees, resided within the facets of the creature. It was a beautiful mosaic, every feature clearly composed of much smaller pieces. Much like a school of fish forms together to create the illusion of a larger animal, these components formed this fleeting floppy puppy that escaped my vision after about five seconds. It was interesting that “I” was intact enough to contemplate this to some degree seconds after it happened, compared to a smoked extract experience where the chances of this are minute at best.
A group of various tribal, stone carved faces passed before my eyes, alluding to my excitement at performing a method of ingestion more harmonious with the initial intentions of the Mazatecs (burning the leaves to smoke them is highly disrespectful in the eyes of the traditional culture, similar to burning one's own children).
After perhaps two minutes of this, the Salvia pull subsided and the experience was much gentler, although comparatively the entire experience was far more subtle than I was anticipating. I felt no ego- loss at all. I explained the dog of Essence to X and Y, sat up and noticed Futurama was on television. The volume was soft enough as not to disturb me during the experience. I noticed some open- eyed visuals that were entertaining but almost mundane compared to what salvia is capable of. Lila (for those familiar with the show) was on screen, her hair becoming neon purple and green flowers floating from the screen. These were very subtle, and resembled the neon outlines of signs in a city. These were fleeting, and I imagine that they might have been less- powerful renditions of what a mushroom, mescaline or LSD experience might offer.
I asked X to roll me a plain leaf salvia cigarette to increase the effects, which he did under my umbrella of gratitude. To me, having him there was a great gift and the most I wished to ask of him. Anything extra seemed like an insurmountable burden. As he machine rolled the cigarette I contemplated time. Past, future, before, after, all could be contemplated with some struggle but offered no meaning. Time did not feel dilated as far as the present is concerned (five minutes felt like five minutes) but days seemed a far distance off. The term Friday felt like this compartmentalized thing that would surely never come, as the only thing existent was the present. For Friday to come would be like saying “philosophy” will come. How exactly does something as abstract as a thought jump into existence? As X handed me the cigarette and I thanked him, I abandoned this thought, prepared mentally for what was to come, and held the flame to the leaves as I inhaled.
Smoking seemed such an alien concept, against the congruity and harmony of my body. The smoke seemed harder to keep in than normal, almost like smoking a bowl of dense pot. I laughed at this, coughed once or twice while X and Y (avid smokers) smiled. I felt the pull come on strong, and as I covered my body with the blanket the effects manifested slower than anticipated. Although in retrospect they were in line with smoking plain leaf, I was prepared for an extract- strength experience as I already had salvinorin-A in my system. Indescribable visions not confused with reality appeared, but soon the “tunnel” appeared. It is familiar to me, a rectangular shaft extending out into infinity, ending somewhere with the “salvia world” beyond. This place is always very consistent in my experiences, although I may see very different things, it is much like being in a different room of the same building, or different continent of the same planet.
The mechanics, physics, patterns, and certain events of the world are all consistent, although there are maybe 5 or so different “types” of world I have encountered. Anyways, back to the tunnel. Saying I “entered” the tunnel is inadequate. More so, I melted into the tunnel, pulled upwards like liquid in chromatography paper. I lost my body to the tunnel and briefly experienced part of my head enter it as well. This created depersonalization in the affected area, although what was left functioned normally. Describing sectionalized ego- loss is impossible, but it is almost as if the functions of my brain within that area were drawn away, leaving what was left to gape in awe. The tunnel itself is composed of compartments, with a “universe” inside each compartment. I have never liked the choice of words to describe it for several reasons, but it is the best description I can offer. While depersonalizing, it is much like being “peeled” out and off of reality, of Universe A, and allowed to flow freely down the tunnel, not attached to any universe. The space between is much like some sort of Ultimate, a hive- mind of nothingness. I never reached that point, however. I never fully peeled off of Universe A, fell back into reality, and told X and Y about it. The experience slowly subsided, and at 11 I was sober enough to watch the second episode of Futurama. X drove me home at 11:30, where I promptly slept.
In the morning I felt exhausted, more due to going to bed at midnight than from the salvia (I normally go to sleep at 9 or 10PM). I integrated my thoughts and wrote this out. In all, the experience of the sub lingual method is too inefficient for my liking. If I had a cheap supply of the leaves or harvested them on my own I would experiment with a higher dose. Frankly though, the amount required for me to break through with sub lingual ingestion alone would probably prove to be a formidable opponent. Taste was not an issue for me, although I will be the first to warn that it was strong, bitter, and unpleasant by the midway point.
The effects were far more subtle than I was looking for. Although the cosmic puppy and the partial ego- loss brought with it a spiritual interpretation that I am appreciative to have experienced, the hallmark of salvia to me is it's ability to teach with sheer power and profundity. The sheer intensity of the visions usually instill a sense of one's place in the universe, an awe that cannot be shaken. This experience relied more heavily on the ego's translation. What I was looking for was to metaphorically view the ego from an outside perspective. Because of this, I don't feel the experience reached the peak potential of the plant.
Ultimately, however, the method I find most efficient is smoking high- grade extract. I believe that salvia tincture may provide an extension of the power found in the extracts.
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