While marijuana has long been used by people to achieve a desired euphoria, a new and more potent weed has emerged on the market and is finding a strong following. The weed is salvia and as reported by the Telegraph, it is far more harmful than marijuana has ever been.
The average salvia user is in their teens or twenties and most have been able to buy salvia on the Internet. Those who use salvia are often reduced to mumbling wrecks, giggling and screaming, gasping and muttering, waving their hands around as they sink to the floor. Much of this type of performance has been captured numerous times and broadcasted on YouTube for the world to see.
According to Dr. John Mendelson, a San Francisco-based clinical pharmacologist, the world is actually witnessing the first Internet-driven drug explosion. For some, the use of salvia is a mind-boggling experience, reporting a spiritual renewal. For others, it can be a bizarre and mind-bending experience that invites re-use.
Habitual users argue that the effects of salvia are only at their most intense for 10 minutes and there is no permanent damage. Scientists disagree as research has shown that the herb can trigger serious psychiatric problems. Salvia also includes an active ingredient that can trigger hallucinations, says Professor Fabrizio Schifano, an expert in drug addiction based at the University of Hertfordshire.
One of the biggest problems with salvia is that it tends to be off the radar with parents, health professionals and even law enforcement agencies. Yet, federal estimates last year – the first time they were published – found that 1.8 million people had tried the drug, 750,000 in the previous 12 months, indicating a rapidly growing problem.