02, Mar, 2021

What is ‘Legal Trip’ and How Does it Work

Salvia Divinorum

Salvia divinorum is a hallucinogenic herb that teenagers and young adults have been using to get high.

It isn’t illegal federally, so it makes it easier and more acceptable to use. Some states have passed some laws to regulate its use. It is a quick high that lasts about eight minutes. It is called ‘legal trip’ because there have been few laws passed about it and it is easy to get.

About the Herb Salvia Divinorum

It is an herb that is part of the mint family. It is grown in southern Mexico, Central, and South America. It is traditionally used in healing and divination services with a shaman present. It has been used to induce visions while in a trance state.

The active ingredient in the herb is salvinorin A. This chemical works with receptors in the brain to cause hallucinations, which is the high the user is trying to obtain. The Center for Substance Abuse Research says that salvinorin A is the strongest naturally occurring hallucinogen known at this time.

How to Use It

The herb has many street names such as ‘Magic Mint’,  ‘Sally-D’, and ‘Diviner’s Sage,’ as well as others. It can be sold as seeds, leaves, or as an extract. The leaves can be chewed getting high in about 5 to 10 minutes. The leaves can also be dried and smoked like tobacco getting high in around 30 seconds. The extract can be used like drops and placed under the tongue. The high usually only lasts about eight minutes.

The quantity to get high depends on individual users. Potency varies greatly depending on the quality of the plant and procedures when gathering and storing the herb. The higher the quality of plant, the higher the potency the herb has.

How Does it Work

The chemical affects the kappa opioid receptors in the brain causing perception to be altered from reality. The user may experience a distorted view of his/her surroundings. A sensitive user will often have a full-blown hallucination. They may become fearful, or they may feel invincible. Usually, a new user is confused and doesn’t fully understand what is happening.

Effects of the Herb

The effects of the herb can vary a lot depending on the quality of the herb available. Below is a list of the impact that can be expected while high on salvia divinorum.

  • Hallucinations and/or distorted perceptions
  • Uncontrolled laughter
  • Not being able to tell what is real or fantasy
  • Visual impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Senses may become intertwined

Afterward coming down from the high users can feel uncomfortable or irritated. Some users have felt so uncomfortable that they never try the drug again. While the drug has been known to be popular on the internet users are finding it disconcerting to come down from, making it unattractive to try again.

In some areas it is growing among young people because of the availability, many ‘head shops’ do not make it available to minors. Still, children are the largest group to use this “legal” herb to get a quick, short-lived, high.

There is not much that has been compiled about this drug. More studies are needed. There have been some preliminary findings that have found it harms learning and memory in animals.  More studies will need to be done to determine how addictive and harmful this herb may be to its users. There have not been any deaths associated with ingesting the herb so far, but there may be evidence of one suicide contributed to the use of the herb.