Trusted Content

The Dangers of Smoking Salvia

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

January 15, 2019

Smoking salvia can lead to intense hallucinations and visions that expose the user to risks of danger. Individuals who smoke salvia may face several adverse health consequences.

Salvia is a herb in the mint family, native to the cloud forests of southern Mexico. It’s been used by the Mazatec Shamans in ceremonies for years, but has only recently been making waves as something of an LSD substitute in the recreational drug market.

Also known as Diviner’s Sage, Seer’s Sage, and Ska Maria Pastora, Salvia can be chewed, consumed as a liquid, or smoked.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists it as a potent hallucinogen, causing short, psychedelic changes in visual perception, mood, body perceptions, emotions, and a highly modified sense of reality.

The Effects of Taking Salvia

Unlike other hallucinogens, Salvia doesn’t generally provide laid-back, peaceful trips. If anything, the opposite is true. Though it’s sometimes called “the new pot” Salvia is said to be more odd and frightful than its fun, party-time compatriot marijuana.

Those who trip on Seer’s Sage may feel like they’ve started a chain of events that will lead to an apocalypse, or that their arms or legs are suddenly missing. Even with the recommended “sitter”, a person watching over the smoker, visions can get very intense, very fast.

The hallucinogenic properties last an average of only eight minutes, but can cause quite a bit of damage.

Damage Caused By Salvia

Salvia smokers, when in the grips of their hallucinations, are often likely to run into walls or thrash about violently, hurting themselves or those near them.

The smoker knows nothing of what they are doing and cannot control their actions, and combined with the high-powered physicality of the drug, it is not a good combination. Salvia can cause suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, or schizophrenic episodes to reoccur.

It can tap into buried flashbacks or borderline personality traits. Hallucinogenic triggers can also mean the onset of a psychotic episode.

virtual care

Get treatment when
and how you need it.

Nothing is known about the long-term effects of Salvia itself, but it is believed that smoking Salvia may cause the same negative effects to the lungs as smoking cigarettes. There is also a potential threat of long-term brain damage, as Salvia has some similarities to PCP, which lead to brain lesions at high doses.

Perhaps the most dangerous aspect about Salvia is its social media presence.

Recently, smokers have taken to recording those in the throes of a trip and posting the videos on public media outlets. Because of this, Salvia is not being treated with enough caution it demands. Adding to the problem is its popular demand, as the drug is not currently being regulated in any way.

Contact Us For More Information On Salvia

If you or someone you love is struggling with a Salvia addiction or another drug abuse problem, please contact us at today. We’re here to help. We can guide you toward the path to recovery and provide the resources you need.

Want to get help, but not ready to talk?

You can receive 24/7 text support right away and at your convenience. There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.

Sign up for text support to receive:

✅ Resources about addiction and recovery

✅ Info about our treatment process

"*" indicates required fields


Let Regard Healthcare walk you through the treatment process. We're here to help.
For 24/7 Treatment Help
100% Free and Confidential. Call 888-341-4325

For 24/7 Treatment Help Call:


For Immediate Treatment Help Call:
(888) 979-9592