At the molecular level, drugs like salvinorin A (the active ingredient of the hallucinogenic plant Salvia divinorum) work by activating specific proteins, known as receptors, in the brain and body.
Salvinorin A, the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen, is unusual in that it interacts with only one receptor in the human brain - the kappa opioid receptor (KOR).
Although shamans in Mexico have been chewing the leaves of the hardy mint relative for centuries (and without prompting from a recent YouTube video purporting to show teen idol Miley Cyrus smoking it), little is known about what the increasingly popular recreational drug's psychoactive substance, salvinorin A, actually does.
Over 20 sessions, the participants inhaled various doses of highly purified salvinorin A or a placebo while researchers monitored their vital signs and queried them about their experiences.
The researchers conducted a double-blind trial in four psychologically and physically healthy hallucinogen-using adults, giving them 16 ascending doses of salvinorin A
and 4 intermixed placebo doses over 20 sessions and several weeks.
In what is believed to be the first controlled human study of the effects of salvinorin A
, the active ingredient in Salvia divinorum, a controversial new hallucinogen featured widely on You Tube and other internet sites, Johns Hopkins researchers report that the effects are surprisingly strong, brief, and intensely disorienting, but without apparent short-term adverse effects in healthy people.
NewsScan #64 includes summaries of eight NIDA-funded scientific studies on a variety of topics, including brain imaging of sensation-seeking individuals, the role of glial cells in morphinea[euro](tm)s effects in the brain, awareness deficits among marijuana abusers, the effects of two drugs on reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms, the behavioral effects of salvinorin A
in non-human primates, drug abuse risk factors for traumatic brain injury survivors, use of marijuana among those with a subtype of testicular cancer, and environmental cues associated with nicotine.
The active ingredient, Salvinorin A
has been identified as the most potent natural hallucinogen found to date (Siebert 1994; Valdes 1994).
Little known in Wisconsin even a few years ago, salvia divinorum and its active ingredient, salvinorin A
, have become popularized by Internet resources and chat rooms.
is a neoclerodane diterpene and is the active component in plant, Salvia divinorum.
The researchers saw no changes in blood pressure or heart rate, even at the highest doses of salvinorin A
5607 (known as the Hallucinogen Control Act of 2002) which proposed placing Salvia divinorum or any substance containing salvinorin A
into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).