Salvia (Divine Sage) – Foundation of Alcohol and Drugs

How is salvia used?

Fresh leaves are kept under the tongue (also called sublingual suction) and dried leaves are smoked in a bong or mixed with tobacco and smoked as a cigarette. Sage is also used as a tincture or tea, and in some countries extracted products are available commercially.3

Effects of salvia

There is no safe level of drug use. The use of any medication always carries some risks. It is important to be careful when taking any type of drug.

Drugs affect each person differently, depending on:

  • Size, weight and health
  • Whether the person is accustomed to taking it
  • Whether other medicines are being taken at around the same time
  • The amount taken
  • Strength of the drug (varies from batch to batch)
  • Environment (where the medication is taken).

Effects of saliva may include:

  • anxiety
  • memory loss
  • Short but intense hallucinations
  • Loss of energy (high doses can cause sedation)
  • Pain reliever
  • confusion
  • Illusion
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Increase appreciation for music
  • Uncontrolled body movements
  • Changes in visual perception
  • He laughed
  • Separate from the body
  • Insomnia
  • Increased body temperature
  • Time distortion.3, 4

According to anecdotal user reports, when smoked, the effects of saliva begin within 15 to 60 seconds and last for approximately 15 to 90 minutes.3

When placed under the tongue, the effect begins within about 10 to 20 minutes and lasts for 30 to 90 minutes.3

Influence of mood and environment

Medicines that affect a person’s mental state (psychoactive medicines) can also have varied effects depending on the person’s mood (often called the ‘set’) or the environment they are in (the ‘setting’):

hiring It is a person’s state of mind, their previous encounters with psychedelic drugs, and their expectations of what will happen. For example, feelings of stress or anxiety before using sage may lead to an unpleasant experience (bad trip).5

session The environment in which someone consumes a narcotic drug – whether it is known and familiar, who they are with, if they are indoors or outdoors, and the type of music and light. For example, using sage in a calm, calm, and relaxing environment can lead to or contribute to a pleasant experience but being in a crowded, noisy place may lead to a negative experience.5

Being in a good frame of mind with trusted friends and a safe environment before taking sage reduces the risk of having a “bad” trip.


So far no deaths due to saliva have been reported, but because saliva impairs thoughts and emotions, it can cause a loss of contact with external reality, leading to poor judgment and risk taking.6, 7

goes down

When smoked, the after-effects can last for approximately 15 to 60 minutes. When placed under the tongue, aftereffects may last about 30 to 120 minutes.3

Long term effects

The long-term effects of sylvia have not been studied enough to understand the potential risks.8

Salvia and mental health

People with a family history of mental illness are more likely to develop anxiety or paranoia after using sage. This is consistent with what the evidence tells us about people with mental illness who use drugs.9

Bad trips

Some people may have negative experiences with drug use, or experiences they find difficult. This can include:

  • Scary or encountering hallucinations
  • Extreme anxiety or confusion
  • Fear and paranoia.5, 10

Tolerance and dependence

As with other drugs, salvia does not produce dependence. The desire to use sage can decrease with use.3

Minimize damage

  • Start with a lower dose so you know how it affects you. This will affect each person differently due to differences in weight, tolerance and metabolism.
  • Think about what kind of experience you want. Chewing the leaves results in a milder trip compared to smoking which can produce a more intense experience.
  • Consider the influence of mood and environment.
  • Consider having someone “sit down.” Someone who remains sober and can help if necessary.3, 11

Saliva and the law

Salvia is a Schedule 9 drug and using salvia is against the law. Federal and state laws provide penalties for possession, use, manufacture, sale, importation, export, or driving under the influence of sage.12

Get help

If your use of sage is affecting your health, family, relationships, work, school, finances or other life situations, or you are concerned about a loved one, you can find help and support.

Call our DrugInfo line at 1300 85 85 84 For confidential, non-judgmental information and advice.

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