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What is Salvia?

Salvia, also called Salvia Divinorum, is a plant species common in Central America and South America that can be turned into a psychoactive drug if it is chewed, smoked, or used as a tea ingredient. While not found in the United States naturally, the drug made its way to the country in the 21st century as a new drug with extreme hallucinogenic effects.

People most often chew the leaves from the plant or drink the extracted juices. However, salvia also is often rolled into cigarettes and smoked, similar to marijuana, and can be inhaled through water pipes or vaping pipes. Salvia is considered the most potent natural hallucinogen due to its extreme, short-lasting effects.

One of the roadblocks encountered when trying to get a better understanding of this drug is the lack of information about its effects, including whether it is addictive or if it can lead to death. While scientists continue to research salvia addiction and test how it interacts with the brain the plant remains one of the most prominent, new drugs introduced to the country in the last 10–15 years.

how long does salvia stay in your system
People most often chew the leaves from the plant or drink the extracted juices. However, salvia also is often rolled into cigarettes and smoked, similar to marijuana.

Salvia has many additional street names, including:

  • Diviner’s Sage
  • Magic Mint
  • Maria Pastora
  • Sally-D
  • Seer’s Sage
  • Shepherdess’ Herb

These names are often used by people looking to buy or sell salvia as a way to disguise the transaction and possession of the drug. People who frequently use these street names are likely to have misused the drug. Many people who misuse salvia do not understand the drug’s full range of effects or even some of the basic ones, and it’s important to understand what salvia does.

How Long Does Salvia Stay in Your System

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How Is Salvia Used?

For centuries, the native Mazatec people of Oaxaca, Mexico have used salvia as a “mental medicine” and for religious and ceremonial purposes. Mazatec shamans believe that salvia-induced hallucinations help to heal their people.

Today, people consume salvia in several ways. While eating salvia leaves raw is common, the leaves can also be brewed into tea, or dried and smoked — just like tobacco. It can be vaporized or inhaled through water pipes, similar to how marijuana is used. Also, salvia juice can be extracted from the leaves and ingested. Salvia’s effects tend to last longer when the drug is taken orally rather than smoked.

At present, salvia is quite easy to obtain. Salvia tinctures — concentrated liquid extracts that are often distilled with alcohol — are readily available for purchase online or in smoke shops. The drug itself is not illegal on a federal level, but several states have banned or otherwise regulated it. Due to salvia’s liberal availability, it is becoming an increasingly popular drug among teens — especially among boys.

How Long Does Salvia Stay in Your System?

How long does salvia stay in your system? The window to locate salvia in a specialized drug test is commonly a 12-hour window; therefore, making detecting the drug difficult. In some instances, salvia may be detected using those specialized drug tests as much as 36 hours after use. A blood-gas check can hit upon small lines of the drug weeks after use. Unlike more common drugs, hair follicle testing is not used to check for salvia because of how quickly the drug leaves the body.

A fashionable drug test will not be capable of locating the drug. There are most effective three specialized drug checks which can be capable to check for the active ingredient discovered in salvia, salvinorin A. These exams are uncommon and more expensive than popular drug tests. The 3 tests that may locate salvinorin A are:

  1. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in urine and blood
  2. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in blood, urine, and saliva
  3. Excessive performance liquid chromatography-atmospheric strain chemical ionization in blood and urine.

Salvia half-life

How long does salvia stay in your system? Salvia’s subjective effects aren’t the only rapid aspects of this drug. The half-life of salvia is also extremely short. In clinical tests, researchers have demonstrated that salvia’s half-life in a person’s blood is only about 60 minutes. In comparison to other recreational drugs, salvia’s half-life is very quick. The prescription opioid oxycodone, for instance, has a half-life of between 2 and 4 hours. These substances are therefore far easier to detect when people take drug tests. In contrast, salvia is very difficult to detect.

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Does Salvia Show on a Drug Test?

How long does salvia stay in your system? Salvia divinorum testing is considered to be somewhat complicated. This is because standard routine drug tests are not so capable of catching the active ingredient inside the product. Specialized Saliva drug tests are not widespread and usually are only available in states where the plant is fully criminalized. The only exception is certain government organizations like the US Army and its branches that banned the use of the substance. They can perform screenings across the country. It is not included in the usual 5 and 10 drugs panel for employment.

The detection window varies widely between the screenings. Gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and atmospheric pressure chemical isolation are some of the new and common screenings used to detect Salvinorin presence in the body in the following ways:

how long does salvia stay in your system
A saliva drug test can detect it in blood for up to 12 hours. In usual cases, it is very hard to detect even its trace amounts after 12 hours.
Blood12 hours after intake
Hair90 days after chronic ingestion
UrineNot enough information, lack of studies
Saliva45 minutes after intake

Detection of Salvinorin in the body is an expensive and uncommon procedure.  A specifically ordered drug test has to be done in a short time immediately after its use as it has a very narrow detection window owing to its short half-life. A saliva drug test can detect it in blood for up to 12 hours. In usual cases, it is very hard to detect even its trace amounts after 12 hours.

Furthermore, the absence of extensive research means little to no information on how long it takes for Salvinorin to show up on drug tests.  It can be detected by Salvia drug testing in oral fluids for 45 minutes. It gets degraded and absorbed quickly because of its short half-life. Hair testing is not a reliable way of Salvia drug testing because of how quickly it leaves the system and only chronic abuse shows up in hair.

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Can Salvia Show Up In A Hair Follicle Test?

Hair testing is not a reliable way of Salvia drug testing because of how quickly it leaves the system and only chronic abuse shows up in hair.

Can Salvia Be Detected In Blood Tests?

A saliva drug test can detect it in blood for up to 12 hours. In usual cases, it is very hard to detect even its trace amounts after 12 hours.

Does Salvia Show Up In A Urine Test?

There’s not enough information and a lack of studies about salvia and urine tests.

How Long Does Salvia Stay in Your Saliva?

The absence of research on how long salvia remains in the system makes testing even more difficult. It is unknown how long salvia remains in the urine or saliva, for instance. 

Salvia Abuse

While there has not been any conclusive information declaring that Salvia is addictive, it can still be used as an escape from reality, which means it can be abused. People who suffer from stressful situations in day-to-day life, or suffer from another disorder that causes anxiety, are more likely to abuse substances that provide some kind of escape for them. In cases like these, someone may feel that they need that substance to go on. While this isn’t what people traditionally think of as an “addiction,” it can still be damaging for people stuck in this loop.

Signs of Salvia Abuse

Salvia use can be difficult to detect, especially since some methods of use leave behind no evidence of use. For example, if someone has eaten salvia leaves, you will not find obvious salvia paraphernalia related to smoking the drug. Another reason it can be tough to know if someone has used salvia is that the drug’s effects are short-lived, generally lasting between one and 30 minutes.

how long does salvia stay in your system
While there has not been any conclusive information declaring that Salvia is addictive, it can still be used as an escape from reality, which means it can be abused.

If someone is currently high on salvia, you may notice some of the following signs:

  • Slurred speech
  • Physical imbalance
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Emotionality
  • Seeming disconnected from reality
  • Bouts of uncontrollable laughter
  • Chills

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Salvia Addiction Treatment

Detox is often one of the first steps in drug addiction treatment; however, since salvia’s effects are considered to come on quickly and dissipate rapidly, generally speaking, detox may not be necessary. Detox is the safe removal of toxins from the body, and since salvia overdose is rare, detox for salvia may typically only require a person to be in a safe and secure environment with low levels of stimuli until the drug is fully purged from the body.

NIDA reports that currently there are no accepted medications for the treatment of hallucinogen abuse or addiction either. Therapies help discover why a person is abusing drugs and help to redirect these negative behaviors into more constructive ones. Educational opportunities during drug rehab can further explain the potential dangers of continued drug abuse to individuals and families, and preventative measures can discourage the continued use of drugs like salvia.

Family counseling can also help to rebuild and improve the family dynamic by fostering healthy communication skills and creating a positive support system. Improved stress management techniques and tools for coping with potential triggers are taught during group and individual sessions, further enhancing a person’s self-esteem and self-image during substance abuse treatment. Salvia may come from a plant, but it is still a mind-altering and hazardous drug that is abused recreationally for its hallucinogenic properties.

Reclaim Your Life From Salvia Addiction

Salvia addiction is a condition that can cause major health, social and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up rehab treatment and detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from addiction with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

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[1] Salvia. NIDA for Teens. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

[2] DrugFacts: Hallucinogens. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). National Institutes of Health, Jan. 2016. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

[3] Short and Long Term Effects | Teens | Survive – Stop Yourself. Stop a Friend. Partner Sites. Administrative Office of the Courts, n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.