Citation: Psych. "Controlled Study: An Experience with Salvinorin-A (exp66367)". Erowid.org. Oct 17, 2007. erowid.org/exp/66367
Crystallized 95%- 99% pure Salvinorin-A was to be used as part of my graduate thesis. My “campus approved” research does not involve human subjects, focusing mainly on toxicity levels in the rat species R. Norvegicus. My interest in this compound stems from its strong mind altering effects, similar to that of N,N-diemethyltryptamine. More intriguing is that it is not found to be active in the 5HT-2A receptor sites (serotonergic system), which are more commonly associated with powerful mind altering effects. This leads to my questioning of the role of the kappa-Opioid receptors in conscious perception. While the elucidation of such questions will not occur for millennia, the more data we collect the more potential for breakthrough.
Although technically I am bound by the ethical guidelines and boundaries of my approved research, I am by nature a deviant. This deviant curiosity leads me to experiment with the compound, on my self and other educated and willing participants. It is knowingly difficult to conduct drug research outside of a controlled lab environment, far too many variables to account for. Nevertheless I set forth a list of necessary criteria to those who wished to get involved: No consumption of any legal or illegal psychoactive compounds for at least two weeks before the first session (i.e. caffeine, alcohol, most pharmaceuticals, MAOI’s….), those currently on SSRI’s were excluded all together from the experiment. If the criteria were met, there was a brief structured interview, to asses the psychological state and family history of the potential participant. One important key of this interview was to gauge the level of psychedelic experience the individual had. Only those with at least some experience with “stronger” psychedelics were included in the study. The following is my personal experience with Salvinorin-A
Of all the experience reports with pure salvinorin-a the largest doses I had come across were within the ranges of 1- 1.6 mg, which are extremely high when considering a dose of 300-600 mcgs is active. Needless to say I felt it necessary to push the boundaries of what I have encountered. Before beginning with the larger experimental dose, I started with a threshold dose of 400 mcgs, this was to test my susceptibility to the drug as well as establish just above baseline blood pressure and heart rate readings. My experience was light and mildly psychedelic, with effects ceasing completely within 15 min of inhalation. Initially I was comforted by this threshold dose, all vital signs were normal with only a minor peak in blood pressure after the dose was administered. I looked forward to the experimental dose to be administered 3 days later.
My day of reckoning had arrived, my experimental dose would be 2.2 mg smoked. Heart rate and blood pressure were taken again, which were of course elevated. Anticipation, coupled with fear of the unknown had gotten the better of me. I began a short meditation, focusing on my breathing to counter these effects. Once I felt centered I began smoking the 2.2 mg dose of Salvinorin-A . I was using a torch flame to light the glass pipe which was held underneath until evaporation occurs, at which point I inhaled. I held in the plastic like flavor and slowly exhaled. My initial reaction was, “ I thought this would be more intense”. Perfect last words before insanity ensues. I then laid my head back, following the suggestions of those observing the session. As soon as I rested my head I was no longer where I had been just seconds ago. I was unable to see, feel, experience anything, it was absolute nothingness, I am only cognizant of the void because I left it on my way back towards reality. I cannot quantify my time spent in this void, yet the pain of being extracted from it far exceeded my initial fear of having been taken from my environment.
As I left the darkness I was surrounded by odd creatures who were somehow connected to my past, yet physically they were as nothing I had ever seen or conceived. I felt comfortable with them until I realized that I wasn’t from this place, and that I had a life somewhere else that in no way coincided with this reality. This is when I became afraid and my disassociation became far more prevalent. I had no conscious memory of what had occurred or why I was in an abstract dimension of reality. This more than anything was fear-invoking. Slowly I came back to this realm of experience, still I didn’t remember taking a drug, why all these people were around me, or where I was. It was almost as if I had journeyed so far and for so long that I had forgotten everyone around me. As people began to explain what had occurred, I was calmed and regained my composure. I imagine the experience I underwent within the void to be akin to that of death. I ceased to exist even if only momentarily.
This experience gave me a whole new respect for the compound I was working with. I strongly advice against use of Salvinorin-A at such high doses, the potential for a psychotic break is very real.
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