For various reasons, salvia divinorum and marijuana are often confused. On top of that, people don’t really understand what the similarities, or differences are between the effects they can have.
The bottom line here is that in some ways they are similar, but in other ways, they are massively different and confusing how you take them, the effects they might have, and legality can be damaging and problematic.
So let’s sort this out right now, by telling you exactly what the difference between salvia and marijuana are, how the high differs, and why this is information you need to know before you consider taking.
How Salvia Is Different To Marijuana
Salvia Divinorum comes from the sage family, and is the only plant from that family that has psychoactive properties, derived from its containing the active ingredient Salvinorin A.
Marijuana is its own category of plant, although it is related most closely to the hemp plant. Although there are several types of psychoactive cannabinoid, the most common is THC (although a lot of strains of cannabis these days are hybrid, so THC-dominant marijuana is less and less common).
The other main difference is legality. Salvia is mostly legal whereas marijuana is mostly illegal. A few European countries and some states of the USA differ in this, but mostly that is the situation at present.
Salvia Divinorum Vs Marijuana: Taking Them
Marijuana is mostly smoked in a joint, or through a bong. You can eat it in food, but mostly it’s smoked.
Salvia can also be taken orally in a quid. But mostly it is also smoked, either from dried leaves or more usually from a concentrated dried version, that is x10, x20 or even x30 times stronger than just the leaves.
It’s the similarities in taking them that can cause confusion about the differences. But the differences in user experience are sometimes wildly different, and it’s confusing them that can cause some negative and dangerous issues.
Salvia Vs Marijuana: Their Effects
The effects of these drugs, both psychologically and physically are markedly different, which is why it’s important that potential users are aware of this. Assuming the effects are similar could cause significant issues.
Marijuana is neither disassociative nor depressant. Salvia is a disassociative drug.
In terms of the effects of taking salvia, the psychological changes depend on the dose taken. At the lower end, the effects are minor, creating peace and a sense of detachment. But at the higher end of dosage the effects can be significant:
- Feelings are floating or flying
- Visions and distorted perspective
- Not being grounded, traveling through space
- Lightness of body
- Sometimes heaviness of body to the point of not being able to move
- Significant and rapid emotional mood changes
- An altered perception of the self and the world around you
The higher dosage of salvia will also produce the following physical effects:
- Slurred speech
- Dizziness and unstable balance
- Nausea and vomiting
- Inability to regulate body temperature
- Lowered heart rate
When smoked, the onset of the symptoms are quite rapid, usually within a few minutes, peaking around 30 minutes afterward. This is why if you are thinking of experimenting with salvia you should always have somebody with you, because the effects can be dramatic, severe and happen quickly.
Marijuana has different and mostly less dramatic psychological effects:
- A sense of peace
- A sense of relaxation
- A sense of falling
- Detachment from time and reality
In terms of the physical effects of smoking marijuana:
- Shallow breathing
- Dry mouth
- Decreased reaction times
- Increased appetite (the munchies)
Ingestion Of Cannabis And Salvia
One important point to make is the ingestion orally of these drugs. Although both can be taken orally, how and the effects are different.
Salvia should be chewed in a quid. This produces a slower and less dramatic set of effects. You should never swallow salvia in one go, or in food as this can create uncertain reactions
With cannabis, it’s the other way round. You shouldn’t chew cannabis, especially not raising. But you can add it to food and eat it. The effects of eating cannabis produce a sharper affect, in contrast to salvia.
Which Lasts Longer?
As well as being less significant, marijuana also has effects which last for a longer time. Onset strengthens within a few minutes, that can last for several hours. On top of that, people using marijuana to tend to re-dose rather than having a single dose.
Salvia effects are felt rapidly, but mostly wear off within an hour. Of course, many people re-dose to keep riding the psychological wave for many hours.
However, in terms of the severity of effect, at high-dose, salvia has much more significant effects and these can last for longer if more than one amount is taken.
But in terms of a single dose, you will be clear of the effects of salvia and able to function completely normally far quicker than if using marijuana.
Is Salvia More Dangerous Than Marijuana?
This is a difficult question to answer because the drugs have a wide range of effects, which affects different people differently, and with different strengths around it’s impossible to give a straight answer to this question.
But generally, at the moment, salvia at a very high dose can be potentially more dangerous. This is because the altered sense of reality and perception can lead people to take courses of action they normally wouldn’t. This is less likely when using marijuana.
There are no real research papers on the long-term effects of salvia. There is little evidence at the moment that it is addictive or can cause degenerative issues.
This is not the case with marijuana. Prolonged use, especially with more modern strains which have a higher active ingredient content, are scientifically proven to create paranoia, memory loss and potential addiction.
Salvia Vs Marijuana: Conclusion
The bottom line here is that used responsibly, educating yourself, making sure you have good quality salvia or marijuana, and don’t take too much too soon, then neither of these drugs use occasionally are an issue.
Many people use both regularly and suffer no issues at all.
As you can see these drugs are often thought to be very similar, mostly because they are both smoked all stop, however, the reality is that the psychological effects short-term and long-term very different, as are the body’s physical response to being on them.
Salvia is much more of an individual user drug, where an individual experience, a journey on your own takes place, from the minor to the major.
Marijuana gives a sense of peace but is also a much more group, or recreational drug where a shared experience is possible. If a group of people takes salvia together then the experiences and responses will be so different that there will be no shared experience, people will emotionally and physically find their own space.