Does salvia work? When looking at a variety of reactions to a drug or substance it’s important to remember that while the makeup of psychedelic plants and herbs doesn’t change, the way a person brain reacts to these chemicals can differ over time.
Tolerance to hallucinogens is the most commonly discussed difference or change, but a number of factors can affect the reaction an individual will have to this category of drug.
In order to understand how one person might have a different reaction from another it’s important to understand how this type of substance works inside the brain.
What Do Researchers See?
While it might seem amusing researchers are actually very keen on knowing what happens in the hallucinating mind. After decades
of research into how the brain reacts to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD),
magic mushroom’s psilocybin or cannabis there’s still a lack of understanding in exactly what makes these drugs pleasurable.
Science can see that hallucinogens will activate receptors for serotonin, and produce alterations of thinking and perception, but how this works still mystifies.
Even more a mystery is why some people seem to have these receptors that don’t react to these chemicals in the same manner others experience them. What is concerned an established fact is that the activation of the 5-HT2A receptor is the key component to experiencing psychedelic effects and these are activated by hallucinogens.
The effect of this reaction is increased brain activity. In a few however, this effect doesn’t take place.
Can You Get High on Salvia?
The receptors in the brain that react to cannabis and those that will react to salvia are different. This is the reason it’s thought that tolerance for one drug doesn’t cause a tolerance for the other.
For most who try Sally-D after using marijuana the results can still kick them in the teeth if they try too much. Others see a stronger reaction from one or the other, and a very few see little reaction from either one.
The theory some researchers have is that genetics can play a part in how a person will experience a drug. In some individuals the brain is “wired” to receive more of these chemicals while for others this is limited.
Another issue that can cause someone to have an increased or lowered response to an herb such as salvia or cannabis is the effect that stress has on the workings of the mind.
Most joggers have noted there is point in running where they begin to feel good, and their outlook is more positive than before the run. This doesn’t happen every time, and again researchers feel that as serotonin is released into the brain during exercise there’s again a link to genetics.
Some will get nice large doses of this feel good natural high, while others get very little. More puzzling through has been why those who do get this reward don’t always receive it.
The theory here is that some levels of stress will impact how much serotonin is released. This could also explain why some days a smoker can have a great trip, and on another day using the exact same substance have a blah or even bad trip.
The brain reaction could be impacted by factors such as the levels of stress the person is experiencing.
The Short Answer
The short answer to the question of whether salvia will affect everyone is no, but it should be realized the longer answer is possibly yes. The receptors are there, and the drug is capable of causing a reaction. It’s a possibility that a not so grand attempt at using this herb one day will garner a better result on another day.
Marijuana and the Lukewarm High
Some who have tried weed walk away wondering what the hype is about, because again a rare few do not respond to hallucinogenic drugs such as marijuana the same way as others. The receptors are there, but their response isn’t the same as the average person. Researchers now believe that those who don’t care much for exercise might feel this way because they don’t get the same buzz of natural chemicals giving them a high as others, and the same could be true for those who don’t experience strong effect from either marijuana or Sally-D.
Hearing about the intense reactions others have from using salvia and then not having it on the first try can be a let down, but it doesn’t mean that a person is one of the very few who will never have a strong reaction. It’s possible that certain levels of chemicals in the brain such as those released during periods of stress could be hampering the effect. Trying again offers the possibility of having the same very fast rush, and vivid experience so many smokers have from salvia divinorum.