As both K2 and Salvia can be found in a local head shop in places around the world the natural assumption the uninitiated might have is that these two drugs offer the same experiences. In reality nothing could be further from the truth. There is very little these two substances have in common except for the fact both are often sold out in the open unlike marijuana or acid. One is actually an intense natural psychedelic while the other is a synthetic compound similar to marijuana. There are good and bad aspects about both which should be understood before using either of them.
What is K2?
Synthetic cannabis reacts on the same receptors in the brain as marijuana. The technical name of this substance is cannabinoid research chemicals, but since this isn’t very marketable it’s commonly known as K2. The substance is obtained through a number of natural herbs, but the cannabinoids arrived at are not THC such as found in cannabis. Instead this is a synthetic complex group of cannabinoids that were experimented with in an effort to arrive at a drug that’s legal. Because it’s not technically THC, it isn’t illegal in many places in the U.S. and around the world. Often found in head shops it’s sold under a variety of brand names, but most packaging denotes the contents as either K2 or a designer form of cannabis. It’s also known in some places as Molly or Spice.
What is Salvia?
Salvia is commonly sold under this name, or as Maria Pastora. In a few places it’s called as Diviner’s sage or seer’s sage. Its nickname is Sally-D. Unlike K2 it’s natural, and the leaves are smoked, chewed, or used as an extract. The plant is a shrub that’s found in the Southwest part of the U.S. and Mexico. It has spade shaped leaves, and a hollow stem. As a substance its effects are closer to LSD, or mushrooms than cannabis. Known for giving users profound and powerful experiences it’s not known as a party drug.
There’s a big difference between using a natural and lab created product. First, people have been using Salvia for hundreds of years, and there are no fatalities caused by it. Unlike cannabis there are no strains or variations of this plant. While experiences can vary these variations are not related to large differences in the make up of the plant itself.
K2 is not even exactly the same drug every time it’s purchased. Different brands are known to use different formulas, or methods of creating this product, so the experiences can vary in an unpredictable way. Some packets can be stronger or lighter than others. A few people have reported adverse reactions that were unpredictable because of a change in the specific formula used.
How Do Experiences Stack Up?
Most people think of K2 as “marijuana light” because the pleasurable experiences are much like cannabis, but not as long in duration and not as intense. Unfortunately it also comes with a list of side effects not found with most weed trips. While some will experience paranoia with pot, K2 can result in this condition and in some cases psychotic episodes and serious vivid hallucinations. Some have referred to this as the “zombie” effect of K2. Because of these issues reports in the U.S. have state that over 12,000 emergency room visits have occurred due to use of K2. It’s possible that some of this is hype, but it could be an issue of those under the age of 17 using this drug. Since developing brains are apt to react in unexpected ways to any number of substances including prescribed medications, children under this age should be discouraged from experimentation.
Salvia has seen few medical emergencies, and those that have sought medical attention usually do so from having injured themselves while experiencing the drug, or having nausea. This drug gives those taking a profound effect of seeing light different, seeing objects surrounded by halos, having a feeling of being disassociated from reality, and as being a part of a different reality. As with taking acid it’s recommended to have a trusted person around who’s sober and able to handle emergencies if they come up while the user is having this experience.
K2 is considered a legal party drug, but its safety remains a question. Salvia is for those who want to experiment with mind-expanding psychedelics more than party.
The hoped for effects of K2 and salvia are drastically different, and have little in common. The difference is salvia delivers what’s it promised to do with few side effects. K2 isn’t for everyone in that it takes some research to ensure the brand or seller is trustworthy. While both are legal the choice comes down to finding a trusted seller, and deciding on what type of experience you want.