Hallucinogen salvia has no short-term dangers, study says

Originally appeared at: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2010/12/hallucinogen_salvia_has_no_sho.html A hallucinogenic drug that is apparently becoming increasingly popular is extremely powerful but does not appear to produce any adverse effects in the short term in healthy people, according to what researchers say is the first careful study to examine the substance. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Matthew Johnson of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and colleagues gave four physically and mentally healthy paid subjects the drug known as salvinorin A. The drug is the active ingredient of Salvia divinorum, an herb in the mint family that has been used for centuries by shamans in Mexico for spiritual healing and is becoming increasingly popular as a recreational drug. That has prompted increased efforts by law enforcement to restrict its availability, including bans in at least 12 states. Another article on the new study conducted at Johns Hopkins on the safety and effects of Salvia divinorum.