A new study provides some data: The hallucinogen kicks off an unusually intense and short-lasting high, with no obvious ill effects, researchers report in an upcoming Drug and Alcohol Dependence paper.
“This is a landmark paper because it’s the first paper in which authentic salvinorin A was administered to human volunteers under controlled conditions, and it was shown to be hallucinogenic,” says psychiatrist and pharmacologist Bryan Roth of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the research. “All we had before were anecdotal reports, where people had bought salvia extract from their local smoke shop.”
While the study is small and can’t vouch for the safety of salvia, the results lend some hard science to the current legislative fray around the substance, which is criminalized in some states but not regulated federally.
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