Salvia divinorum has tremendous potential for the development of a wide variety of valuable medications. The most promising of these include safe non-addictive analgesics, antidepressants, short-acting anesthetics, and drugs to treat disorders characterized by alterations in perception, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, chronic depression, and bipolar disorder. Studies show Salvia divinorum’s mechanism is actually "aversive"—the opposite of addictive. There are numerous case reports in which people testify to the effectiveness of this herb for managing pain. There are also many psychotherapists who have used this herb in their practice and are impressed with its effectiveness as a psychotherapeutic tool. It has even been used to successfully treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
A case report in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology describes a patient that obtained relief from chronic depression by using Salvia divinorum (Hanes, 2001). Many accounts can be found online of people who have recovered from serious, life-threatening depression with the help of this herb. It is especially interesting that these people are able to obtain persistent relief from their depression after only a few treatments. Quite unlike the continuous medication regime required with conventional antidepressants such as Prozac—which in most cases only offer symptomatic relief from depression—Salvia divinorum often produces long-lasting clinical
There are many popular misconceptions about Salvia divinorum. Many of these misconceptions have their origin in a few sensationalistic articles that have appeared in the popular press, and others derive from the absurd advertising claims of unethical herb vendors who deliberately exaggerate the effects of Salvia divinorum in an effort to increase sales.
The fact is that the effects of Salvia divinorum are not appealing to recreational drug users. The majority of people who try it find that they do not enjoy its effects and do not continue using it. People who use it medicinally take it infrequently. It is not euphoric or stimulating. It is not a social drug. Since it increases self-awareness, it is useless as an escapist drug. It is most useful as a natural medicinal herb.
Salvia divinorum is a relatively obscure medicinal herb with no potential for abusel. It does not present a risk to public health or safety. Criminalizing it would only create a problem where one did not previously exist. The regulation of herbal medicines is a matter handled by the FDA, not the Controlled Substances Act. There is no reasonable justification for making Salvia divinorum a controlled substance. Placing it in schedule I would deprive people of a safe natural medicinal herb, and hamper promising medical research.
Schedule I is intended for substances that have a high potential for abuse, a lack of accepted safety, and no currently accepted medical use. Salvia divinorum does not meet any of these criteria.
August 3, 2008 at 12:04 p.m.
Ultimately, what it boils down to is parenting and personal responsibility. If you don't want your child using it then talk to them about it. Also, if one truly wants to prevent teens from using it then regulating it to adults would be far more effective than scheduling. As evidence has shown that the war on drugs has actually made illicit drugs more accessible to kids. Its amazing that our legislators would rather trust drug dealers to keep it from children rather than tax paying legal vendors.
Kids are abusing canned air, whip creme, and spray paint at alarming levels, and regardless of laws trying to prevent it, it is still wide-spread. And this comes back to one question, Why are these kids pursuing the abuse of chemicals and substances? I wish more resources would be put into this pursuit and solving it rather than criminalizing and punishing kids for mistakes that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. If we really want to protect our kids, then we wouldn't pass laws that will destroy their lives, instead we would offer help.
August 3, 2008 at 12:03 p.m.
August 3, 2008 at 11:32 a.m.
Salvia divinorum is completely non-toxic. Toxicological studies have been performed by Dr. Leander Valdés at the University of Michigan, Jeremy Stewart at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Frank Jaksch of Chromadex Inc., and Wayne Briner of the University of Kansas. Neither Salvia divinorum nor salvinorin A showed toxicity in any of these studies. There is a vast body of empirical evidence that indicates Salvia divinorum is a remarkably safe herb. Indeed, the Mazatecs, who have used S. divinorum for hundreds of years, do not attribute any toxic properties to this plant.
Studies have shown that Salvia divinorum is not addictive or habit forming. Its mechanism of action indicates that it is actually anti-addictive. Many people have reported that Salvia divinorum helped them to overcome Severe Depression or substance abuse problems. This has included addictions to alcohol, caffeine, crack, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, nicotine, and XTC.
Even after over 40 years of scrutiny the plant is still considered harmless. It has no lingering effects like a hangover, and no one, the DEA included, has heard of a person overdosing or experiencing long-term consequences. Calls to law enforcement agencies, hospitals, rehab clinics, colleges and universities across the state, as well as a survey of the rest of the US, failed to reveal Salvia divinorum as a problem or a direct contributor to any addictions, conditions, accidents, injuries, crimes, or deaths.
Salvia divinorum is a remarkably safe medicinal herb that is not a danger to anyone.
August 3, 2008 at 10:42 a.m.