Salvia divinorum or Legal highs?
Classifying Salvia based on its effect is quiet selective and through this, conclusion can be made without much ado. Though many people are curious about the classification of this herb and its legal status, but the truth is Salvia Divinorum is literarily termed as a psychoactive plant. Salvia was initially unknown to the outside world until recently, when it became much more readily available in form of extracts with well-studied information due to the advent of modern research and Internet. All thoughtful scientists that took some time to study Salvia Divinorum share one common view upon it: “its effects have nothing in common with powerful hallucinogens like LSD, to which it is often inaccurately compared on media”.
Legal Highs on the other hand is extremely different from Salvia Divinorum, ‘illegal legals’ or ‘illegal highs’, are substances designed to produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, but are structurally different enough to avoid being controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. In the past they were often sold in the shops as research chemicals and advertised as ‘not for human consumption’ to get round the law. In some cases, legal highs are just as dangerous as controlled drugs. Legal Highs is an informal term for new psychoactive substances, synthetic drugs that were discovered through experimentation upon the chemical structure of existing drugs.
Salvia Divinorum as a distinctive herb
In many ways Salvia Divinorum is in a class by itself, no other herb or drug is really very much like it. It is misleading to compare Salvia Divinorum to other psychoactive substances especially – Legal highs. Salvia is not “legal pot”, Salvia Divinorum is not “legal acid” and it’s not Legal highs. Salvia is Salvia. Salvia Divinorum is a truly unique visionary herb. Salvia leaf is physically quite safe. It is very gentle on the body. No one has ever died from Salvia usage or overdose. Salvia is not a stimulant, Salvia Divinorum is not a sedative, Salvia Divinorum is not a narcotic and Salvia Divinorum is not a tranquilizer. Like many enthogen, Salvia Divinorum can induce visions, yet it is quite different. No one knows how salvinorin-A works in the brain. We do know Salvia Divinorum works differently than any other known substance. Below are the facts about salvia;
- Salvia is not an hazardous herb
- Salvia is a non-addictive herb
- No one has ever died from Salvia intake
- Salvia is medicinal in nature (use to cure some diseases)
Salvia Divinorum as a medicinal herb
Talking about the medicinal use of Salvia Divinorum, according to its history, it has been used by Mazatec Indians mainly to induce shamanistic hallucinations or divinations. In addition to that, it has been known as a potent medicinal herb, used to cure various illnesses, ranging from diarrhea and rheumatism to anemia and personality disorders.
Salvia as a remedy to Drug Addiction
Also, it’s been observed now that Salvia Divinorum can be used to cure the addiction to other narcotics and drugs which are much more potent and undoubtedly more harmful substances, like meth or cocaine. It can be used to treat mental disorders, which has been practiced (albeit in a quasi-mystical sense) for centuries by Mazatec diviners, which means that in future it can open the way to creating the whole array of new drugs that can be used to deal with schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain and other serious illnesses.
Although research in medical qualities of this fascinating plant has been so far sketchy at best, what we know by now shows that Salvia Divinorum has a bright future, at least if the governments of more influential countries can overcome their cultural bias and become more tolerant of research in this direction.