Salvinorin A

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Summary sheet: Salvinorin A
Salvinorin A
Molecular structure of salvinorin A
Salvinorin A.svg
Chemical Nomenclature
Common names Salvia, Salvia divinorum, Diviner's Sage, Ska María Pastora, Seer's Sage, Sally
Substitutive name Salvinorin A
Systematic name methyl (2S,4aR,6aR,7R,9S,10aS,10bR)-9-(acetyloxy)-2-(furan-3-yl)-6a,10b-dimethyl-4,10-dioxododecahydro-2H-benzo[f]isochromene-7-carboxylate
Routes of Administration

WARNING: Always start with lower doses due to differences between individual body weight, tolerance, metabolism, and personal sensitivity. See responsible use section.

The dosages for this substance differs between its varying forms. Do your research and adjust accordingly.
Total 15 - 90 minutes
Onset 15 - 60 seconds
After effects 15 - 60 minutes

Total 30 - 90 minutes
Onset 10 - 20 minutes
After effects 30 - 120 minutes

DISCLAIMER: PW's dosage information is gathered from users and resources for educational purposes only. It is not a recommendation and should be verified with other sources for accuracy.

Salvinorin A is the main active psychoactive molecule within Salvia divinorum, a Mexican plant which has a long history of use as an entheogen by indigenous Mazatec shamans. It is structurally distinct from other naturally occurring hallucinogens (such as DMT, psilocin and mescaline) because it contains no nitrogen atoms, making it a terpenoid and not an alkaloid as is the norm. This means it cannot be rendered as a salt.

It also differs in subjective experience compared to other hallucinogens, and has been described as an atypical psychedelic although this formal classification is debatable.[citation needed]


Salvinorin A is a neoclerodane molecule, an oxygenated cyclic diterpenoid. It contains four isoprene groups bound to its oxygenated polycyclic rings. Salvinorin A is unique as it is not an alkaloid; it contains no nitrogen atoms unlike almost all known classical, natural, or synthetic hallucinogens.


Salvinorin A is a potent κ-opioid receptor agonist. It does not have any effect on the 5-HT2A receptor, the receptor targeted by most psychedelic drugs, nor does it function as an NMDA receptor antagonist as most dissociatives do. Its unique structure lacks features commonly associated with opioid ligand binding, namely it doesn't contain a quaternary carbon atom linked to a tertiary amine group by two other carbon atoms. Unlike traditional opioid agonists, salvinorin A targets the κ-opioid receptor rather than the μ-opioid receptor. Salvinorin A is currently being researched in relation to its properties as an anti-addiction drug, and several analogs with improved pharmacokinetic profiles have been shown to have anti-addictive effects as well.[1]

However, the role of these interactions and how they result in a hallucinogenic experience continues to remain the subject of ongoing scientific inquiry.

Subjective effects

The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects should be taken with a grain of salt and will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier doses will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become much more likely on higher doses and may include serious injury or death.

Physical effects

Visual effects

Cognitive effects

Auditory effects

Multi-sensory effects


Currently, the scientific literature classifies salvinorin A as a hallucinogen. However, there is additional debate as to whether it can correctly be labeled as a dissociative or an atypical dissociative with some psychedelic and even delirious qualities.[citation needed]

Although salvia shares states of hallucinatory structures and out-of-body experiences commonly reported with typical dissociatives (NMDA receptor antagonists), this is arguably not sufficient so that it falls under the same classification. For example, the hallucinatory structures (although similar) are vastly different in their style and complexity. Alongside of this, the out-of-body experiences commonly reported with dissociatives are presumed to be triggered by the way in which NMDA receptor antagonists block signals to the conscious mind from other parts of the brain. This is accompanied by a distinctive feeling of dissociation, disconnection and detachment which is not present on salvia as it works on an entirely different set of receptors, the function of which in the human brain is almost entirely unknown.[citation needed]

The effects of salvia have a subjectively unique style and pharmacology that is not found within any other category of hallucinogen, this has led many within the psychonaut community assert that it deserves recognition for falling into an entirely new class of its own. Any compound within this subjective and pharmacological class could potentially be referred to as a "salviagenic". This would also include various other similar analogues such as Salvinorin B and many others.[2]

Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index include:

Additional experience reports can be found here:

Salvia divinorum

The leaves of a Salvia divinorum plant

Salvia divinorum (also known as Diviner's Sage, Ska María Pastora, Seer's Sage, and by its genus name Salvia) is a psychoactive plant which is a potent producer of "visions" and other hallucinatory experiences. Its native habitat is within Cloud Forest in the isolated Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca, Mexico where it grows in shady and moist locations. The plant grows to over a meter high and has hollow square stems, large leaves, and occasional white flowers with violet calyxes.[citation needed]

Forms of salvia divinorum

Fresh leaf (sublingual)

The fresh leaf is typically used for making a quid of leaves and is held under the tongue for sublingual absorption. Fresh leaf is preferred for sublingual absorption because it does not break up in one's mouth and is easier to chew. If one plans to use dried leaf for a quid, they should soak them in water for at least ten minutes otherwise ingestion can become highly unpleasant. Soaking the dried leaf in water can also cause it to lose potency.

  • Light - 10 g fresh / 2 g dried
  • Common - 30 g fresh / 6 g dried
  • Strong - 50 g fresh / 10 g dried
Dried leaf (smoked)

Dried leaf is usually prepared by simply taking the leaf and leaving it out in the sun. The leaf can also be dried in the oven at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit until it becomes crispy. Dried salvia leaf is used for smoking.

  • Light - 0.25 g dried
  • Common - 0.5 g dried
  • Strong - 0.75–1.00 g dried

Commercial salvia extracts are easily accessible both online and within local head shops in certain countries. They are sold in varying forms depending on how concentrated they are and are usually marketed as being 5X, 10X, 15X, 80X, etc. This symbolizes that the extract is X times stronger in psychoactive effects than those that can be had from the regular leaves (5X is 5 times as strong as regular leaf). The stronger the extract, the stronger the experience; use at your own risk.


This is made by dissolving pure salvinorin A or a semi-pure form of it into ethyl alcohol. It is meant to be used sublingually by holding a certain amount under the tongue for a period of time. This type of preparation tends to cause longer but weaker effects. It's worth noting that holding strong tincture under the tongue for long periods of time can eventually cause blistering. It is sometimes best to dilute the pure tincture with water (although potency may be decreased).


A tea can be made by crushing 3–4 g of dried leaves and boiling them for 5 minutes. Afterwards, let it simmer for around 15 minutes. Salvinorin A is not orally active, so the tea has to be kept in the mouth for around 15–20 seconds for each sip. This tea, if properly brewed and ingested, can produce a trance-like state when closing the eyes and up to an entire night of vivid and intense dreams along with occasional closed eye visuals.

Preparation methods

Preparation methods for this compound within our tutorial index include:

Toxicity and harm potential

The toxicity and long-term health effects of recreational salvinorin A use do not seem to have been studied in any scientific context and the exact toxic dose is unknown. This is because salvinorin A is a research chemical with very little history of human usage.

Anecdotal evidence from those who have tried salvinorin A suggests that there are no negative health effects attributed to simply trying it by itself at low to moderate doses and using it very sparingly (but nothing can be completely guaranteed). Independent research should always be done to ensure that a combination of two or more substances is safe before consumption.

Due to its unusually potent and potentially overwhelming effects, it is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this substance.

Tolerance and addiction potential

Salvinorin A is not habit-forming and the desire to use it can actually decrease with use. It is most often self-regulating.

Tolerance to the effects of salvinorin A does not occur. In fact, many users report that the effects of this substance can actually become stronger over time and with repeated usage (a phenomenon known as "reverse tolerance"). Due to its unique set of target receptors, salvinorin A presents cross-tolerance with no other hallucinogens.


  • Australia: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Austria: Salvinorin A is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the NPSG (Neue-Psychoaktive-Substanzen-Gesetz Österreich).
  • Belgium: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Croatia: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Czech Republic: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Canada: Salvia divinorum and its preparations and derivatives (including Salvinorin A) are schedule IV in Canada[3]
  • Denmark: Salvinorin A is a Class B drug.
  • Germany: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Ireland: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Italy: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Latvia: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Lithuania: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • New Zealand: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Poland: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Romania: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Spain: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • Sweden: Possession and sale is illegal.
  • United Kingdom: It is illegal to produce, supply, or import this drug under the Psychoactive Substance Act, which came into effect on May 26th, 2016.[4]
  • United States: Salvinorin A is illegal is some states but not all.

See also

External links


Historically, there has been very little scientific research conducted on the phenomenology and psychopharmacology of salvinorin A. This is arguably due to the evidence and investigation-suppressing effects that global drug prohibition has on scientific enterprise.[citation needed] However, there are signs that this is beginning to change as psychedelics research is gaining increased recognition and mainstream acceptance.

  • Johnson MW, Maclean KA, Reissig CJ, Prisinzano TE, Griffiths RR. (2010) Human psychopharmacology and dose-effects of salvinorin A, a kappa opioid agonist hallucinogen present in the plant Salvia divinorum. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Dec 4.
  • Baggott MJ, Erowid E, Erowid F, Galloway GP, Mendelson J. (2010). Use patterns and self-reported effects of Salvia divinorum: An internet-based survey. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Oct 1;111(3):250-6
  • Mendelson JE, Coyle JR, Lopez JC, Baggott MJ, Flower K, Everhart ET, Munro TA, Galloway GP, Cohen BM. (2010). Lack of effect of sublingual salvinorin A, a naturally occurring kappa opioid, in humans: a placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Dec 8. [Epub ahead of print]