Basic scientific research was performed by administering the psychedelic plant Salvia divinorum to 30 human participants. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study design was used that incorporated quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis to study the subjective experience of S. divinorum and consequences of use after 8 weeks. Participants were screened using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders-I and semi-structured interviews for medical and psychological issues in order to minimize the chance of a negative reaction. An Emergency Medical Technician was present during administration of either 1000 mcg salvinorin A or placebo dose. Vital signs, observable behavior, and the Hallucinogen Rating Scale (HRS) were administered to all participants. Interviews were also audiotaped and transcribed to elicit themes based upon thematic analysis. Thirty participants had a mean age of 39, were experienced with psychedelics, and well-educated. Two 2-way ANOVAs were used to determine differences between groups based upon sex (women and men), dose (active and placebo), and time (before and after). Pulse rate dropped 5.3 bpm between time measurements. Participants talked, laughed, and moved more often on an active dose. All 6 HRS subscales were significantly elevated on an active dose. No sex differences were noted. Participant experiences displayed 10 common themes presented in depth through qualitative analysis, profiling the phenomenology of this state, including cognitive alteration, synesthesia, and immersion in another reality.
During an 8-week follow-up interview no participants met DSM criteria for substance abuse or dependence of S. divinorum. Positive aftereffects were noted more frequently than negative aftereffects. Use of this plant is increasing, and medical professionals should be aware of what an S. divinorum experience can look like and how to treat a user. This study serves as an introduction to the plant, its use as a psychedelic, physiological and phenomenological effects, and indications for future research.
|Commitee:||Bache, Christopher, Richards, William|
|School:||Institute of Transpersonal Psychology|
|Department:||Residential Clinical Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 71/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Pharmacology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Entheogen, Hallucinogen, Hallucinogen rating scale, Psychedelic, Salvia divinorum, Salvinorin|
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