Originally Posted by VersaceMan
Jesus, I think reading that just made me stupider. How could he even compare it with marijuana? Totally different chemical structure, totally different effect.
I don't think I could ever consider Salvia as a substitute for pot. One chills you out for a few hours, and the other is a super intense psychedelic trip that lasts for a few minutes, but is as intense as any other hallucinogen.
I am interested to know how it acts on the brain, though. I never looked into it much.
As far as equating Salvia and pot, the other thing to note is that Salvia's effects are decidedly antisocial and nonconducive to leaving the room, much less driving or operating machinery, not to mention the fact that most of the health risks of marijuana (other than the risks associated with smoking in general) are imaginary.
Not a whole lot is known about the pharmacology of Salvia. Salvinorin A, the primary active ingredient, is a rather strong kappa opiod receptor agonist, but I don't think anybody really knows how this induces a hallucinatory state, nor what roles the other active components that aren't k-opiod agonistic play.
It's less toxic than caffeine, nonaddictive, and impossible to overdose on. The primary risk seems to be that of a psychotic break, as oman alluded to, but as always this is dependent on prexisting psychiatric instability. Hell, the Mazatec have been using it for centuries to no ill effect.