Salvia divinorum contains a unique and very active hallucinogen and opioid-like substance, known as salvinorin A. This plant produces atypical psychedelic effects when its leaves are chewed, smoked, or infused in water and drank as a tea.
Fresh Salvia leaves are said to be used by Mazatec shamans religiously as an entheogen to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.
Salvia appears to not be toxic.
Salvia divinorum may be illegal or controlled in some countries, including but not limited to Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vietnam.
In the US, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Virginia, Ohio, and Nebraska have placed Salvia into schedule I of state law, while California, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, and Tennessee enacted legislation restricting the distribution of the plant. (Source.)
How to Take Salvia divinorum to Induce an Altered State of Consciousness?
If chewing a large number of fresh leaves (8-28 leaves) doesn’t appeal to you, you can extract the juice of fresh leaves, mix them with some water, and drink. Alternatively, you can smoke the dried leaves in a pipe or water pipe, preferably with a torch flame. Vaping wouldn’t work since the boiling temperature of salvinorin A is about 240 °C. There are also tinctures, which should be used sublingually because salvinorin A is deactivated by the gastrointestinal system when it is orally ingested.
The experience is short-lasting and begins rapidly. Eating the leaves makes the effects come on over a period of 10-20 minutes, while when smoking it, the effects are almost immediate. When eating the leaves, the effects may last up to one and a half hours, while when smoking it, they don’t normally last more than 5-10 minutes.
Smoking may be much more effective since doses for chewing vastly exceed the smoking dose.
Reported effects include radical perspective shifts, increase in sensual and aesthetic appreciation, a creative dream-like experience, insight into personal issues, powerful closed- and open-eye visuals, perceptual and emotional changes, entering or perceiving other dimensions, alternate realities, and dissociation. A sense of peaceful appreciation for life may sometimes be experienced for days or weeks following use of Salvia divinorum.
It is not recommended to take Salvia divinorum without a trip sitter to watch over you. (Check if, and where, I’m available to serve as a trip sitter.)
I once smoked Salvia divinorum in my room. I experienced a dissociative state in which I felt as if I was moving through the wall, but in reality I was walking out the door and into the next room, my brother’s room. There, I regained gradually my grasp on reality, experienced an emotional state, and started working through some personal issues between my brother and I.
Many other experiences with Salvia divinorum are described on Erowid.org.