Erowid References Database
Wolowich WR, Perkins AM, Cienki JJ.
“Analysis of the psychoactive terpenoid salvinorin A content in five Salvia divinorum herbal products”.
Pharmacotherapy. 2006 Sep;26(9):1268-72.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the content of the hallucinogen salvinorin A in a variety of Salvia divinorum herbal products and to compare the content with the label claims of potency and purity.
DESIGN: Laboratory analysis.
SETTING: University-affiliated laboratory. SAMPLES: Five herbal products containing Salvia divinorum. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN
RESULTS: The samples were purchased from the Internet and local drug paraphernalia shops ("head shops"). Highperformance liquid chromatography and thin-layer chromatography-gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy were used for the analysis. All five samples contained salvinorin A, a psychoactive compound found in Salvia divinorum; however, the salvinorin A concentrations we measured were much lower than those claimed on the product label. Vitamin E was also found in two samples and caffeine in one sample. CONCLUSION: The five salvinorin A herbal products were found to be subpotent, and three products contained adulterants. Any discrepancy between the advertised salvinorin A concentration and their actual concentration may pose a potential risk of both misuse and overdose. These concerns, and the recently reported teenage suicide that could have been related to salvia consumption, underscore the need for practitioners to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of salvia use.
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