Citation: LucidStudies. "Taken Away By the Trickster: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (leaves & 5x extract) (exp66185)". Erowid.org. Nov 26, 2007. erowid.org/exp/66185
After having a very successful introduction to psychedelics a few months ago, I had somehow decided to try, of all things, Salvia Divinorum. I had read about it with some interest over the last several months: an extremely powerful pseudo-psychedelic plant with a history of sacramental usage, but thought by some to either 'not work' or to be extremely unpleasant in effect. I had the will to try it, and it was the easiest powerful drug to obtain at the time.
I received in the mail a half-ounce bag of dried Salvia leaves, and a 1 gram packet of Salvia 5x extract enhanced leaves. I awaited them excitedly and did last-minute research, and they were delivered discretely within a few days. I knew from my studies that I should ease into this plant as slowly and safely as possible. So my plan was to spend the day building up to a breakthrough. I would try both sublingual quids and smoking as methods, and I would only use the extract enhanced leaf if the natural leaves repeatedly failed.
Which they did. I started by chewing a quid of about 6 or 7 leaves for twenty minutes, starting shortly after noon. I expected that would be the best way to start, since I liked the idea of a 2 hour, gradually accumulating trip more than a brief, intense experience. I got only borderline effects. Sort of a swirling sensation, nothing exciting. It had more in common at this point with a bad pot substitute than a powerful entheogen. I could have made a larger quid and tried again, but I found the taste too nauseating to tolerate. Horribly bitter leaves. I don't think I could bring myself to chew them ever again.
After returning to baseline, I next tried smoking Salvia. I tried my first bowl of dried salvia leaf. My water pipe could only hold one crumbled leaf in the bowl at a time, as the leaves sent were rather large. One leaf produced no good results. The same swirling, dizzy sensation, the same feeling of being at the borderlines of something but unable to cross over. Even after gradually ramping up the dosage and smoking three bowls of Salvia in rapid succession, I still couldn’t break through. I was glad to find it much easier to smoke than it was to chew… not too harsh or distasteful. But I was a little frustrated with the lack of effects.
So I waited until I was completely back to normal once again, and around 4:00PM I finally broke out the 5x. I loaded a fairly full bowl, what I estimate to be about a sixth of a gram packet. I took in my first lungful of real Salvinorin. As I held the smoke in my lungs, the borderline visual hallucinations I’d been having began to manifest much, MUCH more intensely. It looked like everything I saw was being spun around me, whipped violently in a circle. The visual distortion grew in intensity, and the swirling sensation sped up until it seemed like it would “break” my senses. Then, almost as soon as I put the pipe down and exhaled, I entered a state of complete dissociated delirium. My mind seemed to expand out beyond my head and disperse into the room. I suddenly no longer knew who… or even what… I was! I had forgotten what had just happened a second beforehand, I was alone in a room and didn’t even particularly comprehend that I had just smoked salvia divinorum.
It would be close to accurate to say I was lying on the bed, wondering what was happening to me. But it also seemed like the entire room, and perhaps even the entire world, was “me”. I was certainly somewhere but I could not locate my consciousness. The room around me was confused, caught in an endless circle… asking itself questions.
'Am I really a room containing a guy lying on a bed next to a pipe, or am I something else entirely?'
“Is that body on the bed alive or is it just a moving object?”
“Will it meld into the bed? Will the bed become part of the body?”
”Will we ever figure out how all the pieces fit together again? Who or what will be left?”
For an indeterminable amount of time a confused global consciousness watched my body from a distance. I couldn't tell whether the body was me, a part of me, or just another object. For about five minutes, I was very, very confused. Not scared, not in pain, just... strange!
Then I started to get my orientation of reality again. I said to myself, 'This body on the bed is definitely me, and I'm pretty sure I just smoked salvia. That must be why things have been weird'. One lazy realization and my body was sitting up once again, my mind surprisingly quite intact. The experience ended as suddenly as it began.
Salvia is strange, strange stuff. It gave me nothing until it gave me this total out of body dissociation. I was amazed at its power, yet somewhat put off by effects which I would describe as not very psychedelic in nature at all. It seems more like a dissociative or deliriant. I can’t be sure there’s not more here that I haven’t been clever enough to unlock yet, but the primary nature of salvia’s full-blown effects, for me, was the destruction of all identity for a short time. There was no enhancement of my natural abilities, too much confusion to self reflect. It was essentially an experience of letting go of my mind and my memory. That said, I wouldn't call the experience scary. It was just a radical perspective shift. In no way does this drug make me 'high'... but it doesn't seem to hurt anything. There were no negative after effects even a half-hour after ceasing usage.
The level of confusion involved in this experience could have been maddening if it had gone on for hours, but the peak was a mere 5 minutes, followed by twenty minutes of swirling, dizzy afterglow. This substance had some value to me, but it’s not something I would do for fun… probably better to save it for when I have some soul searching to do.
I'm glad I eased into this one slowly. I’m not sure whether I enjoyed it, but I think I'll explore it more in time, and I don't regret giving it a try.
Note: In case I can't find the time for a follow up report, I want to note one thing on its effects. In follow-up experiences I have discovered that total dissociation, while possible, is not a “regular” event. In spite of some talk about Salvinorin A. having reverse tolerance characteristics, I have had difficulty reproducing strong experiences like this, even with higher powered extracts. Numerous test subjects in my area have reported 'dud' experiences not only with raw leaf, but with extracts of all kinds... mixed in with the occasional bizarre breakthrough such as this. There is almost no dose-response predictability whatsoever. And the numbers next to the extracts don't necessarily mean much because different suppliers extract from leaves of wildly differing potencies. Fun!
Salvia is a trickster. Be careful, and good luck.
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