Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Salvia

On Friday, pictures of Miley Cyrus hitting a bong circulated the Internet and quickly became the biggest news of 2010. (Seriously, even my mother called to tell me she saw “Miley Cyrus inhaling from a pipe on my AOL.”) No one here in CollegeCandy Headquarters was all that surprised – she is a Disney star, after all. And have you heard the girl talk? She sounds like the kid who made pot brownies in his microwave my freshman year. Plus, what’s the big deal with weed? Even a world famous Disney star needs to take the edge off after performing “Party in the USA” to screaming 7-year-olds (and drunk college boys) 5,000 times in a year.

But upon further inspection, it turned out that Miley wasn’t smoking pot at all. Rather, she was smoking Salvia, a harsher, crazier drug that we’ve been hearing about for quite some time and have been far too scared to ever try. What is Salvia? What does it do? Why are we such pussies that we can’t handle it and Hannah Montana can?

It’s time to get schooled. Below, your guide to Salvia, Miley’s drug of choice.

What is Salvia?
According to the DEA, Salvia is a “Mexican herb that can be smoked to evoke hallucinogenic effects. Psychic effects include perceptions of bright lights, vivid colors and shapes, as well as body movements and body or object distortions.”

Where does it come from?
The plant was traditionally used by indigenous peoples as a healing and divinatory aid due to its unique properties when chewed or smoked. When consumed in this manner, the active ingredient, Salvinorin-A produces psychedelic effects in the body ranging from mild to extreme.

How do you do it?
Rolled into papers and smoked like a cigarette, chewed, or inhaled from a pipe or bong (AKA: Doin’ the Miley).

What does it do to you?
“When smoked, Salvia has an onset time of about 20 seconds to two minutes. Peak experiences will usually be achieved within this time, but depending on the size of the dose and the individual, peaks can take up to 5 minutes to
occur. The primary effects of the drug last anywhere from 5- 15 minutes during which the user goes through a ‘psychedelic’ experience.

What the hell is a ‘psychedelic’ experience?
Psychedelic experiences can normally include closed and open eye visualizations, time distortion, social dissociation, altered thought patterns, altered behavior, dreamlike/childlike states, increased in sensations, changes in body temperature, senses of fear or panic, increased perspiration, introspection, feelings of presences outside the norm as well as feeling like one has traveled ‘somewhere’ or ‘somewhen’ else.”

What does that actually mean?
According to one CollegeCandy reader, “I really didn’t see anything (mostly because I had my eyes closed most of the time), but I was moving my head & my whole body around in spirals & I was singing Enya (or what I thought was Enya – it was more like aaaaah-aaah-ahaaaaahhh). I also kind of thought I was an elf for a few minutes. It took me a while to realize I was laying on the ground until I realized I was feeling cold cement on my cheek. I had to have someone help me up. It was pretty intense.”

(Uh, intense or totally effing freaky?)

Is it illegal?
In some places, yes, but in others it’s totally OK, even for minors! (Editor’s Note: Yes, this blows our minds too!)

Where can you get it?
Uh, the Internet. For a discounted price with free shipping.

Is it dangerous?
It has yet to be proven addictive, but Salvia can damage the lungs. “Whether it is tobacco or Salvia, there really is no such thing as safe smoking,” says Dr. Len Horovitz. “In terms of taking a bong hit of Salvia, you are still enhaling thousands of chemicals, and the heat and combustion materials are harmful, too.”

And that, dear friends, is Salvia 101.

Have you tried it? Would you?

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