Am I a Salvia hardhead?
I'm not getting much effect, what can I do to achieve a 'breakthrough' experience?
I've had some feedback from one or two people who I've sent samples saying that they were somewhat disappointed, even that they possibly think the whole Salvia thing is a lot of over-hyped bullshit. To counter this, I've also had other feedback from people saying they thought my leaf was the strongest untreated leaf that they had ever tried.
If that leaves you thoroughly confused and not knowing what to expect, then, even though it's worth remembering that the effects can be vary variable, - even within the same individual from time to time, there are some 'trends' that I've noticed.
I've written a fair bit on this web-site about optimising methods of ingestion>, for example, making sure that the leaf burns hot enough and the smoke is inhaled deeply. There may be some random variation in the relative strength of individual leaf samples, but maybe not that much (and certainly I don't think they are ever completely dud).
What I have noticed is that the most commonly reported phenomena of getting no effect is from 'first timers', or, more accurately, people who may have tried a few times but have yet to achieve their first 'breakthrough' experience.
I had much the same problem myself. It took me about half a dozen attempts before I got anywhere. After that it was much easier. I think that what I personally was not doing too well was inhaling the smoke deep enough. Even so, if you happen to be a bit of a Salvia 'hardhead', I think you can do everything right and still not get much effect
I got round this with sheer persistence. An alternative approach was suggested to me by one of my plant recipients. What he said was that after several unsuccessful attempts with normal leaf he made his first breakthrough experience using an extract (in his case a 10x extract).
Since doing this he's been able to get good effects from untreated leaf. In fact, he said he prefers it, since the extract now gives too strong an experience, like a trap-door opening beneath you, leading to a too intense trip that one can't even remember. See also 'The Crystal Highway'> (from Dale Pendellís Salvia Divinorum chapter in Pharmako/poeia >>).
So, if you are somewhat disappointed with your experiences so far, you might like to think about using a stronger extract, as a 'battering ram' if you like.
I don't have anything stronger than untreated leaf myself, but you'll find sites via my other suppliers link>.
If you are going to try with something stronger remember to be extra careful, you should definitely make sure you have a 'sitter'.
It does seem very strange that once a breakthrough experience is achieved, one can get stronger and stronger effects without necessarily increasing the dose, by simply using untreated leaf for example. It's not how we usually think of the pharmacological action of a drug. Perhaps it's best to think of Salvia as something different. Perhaps it's best not to consider it as being a 'drug' at all.
Note that another tale supporting this idea of decreased tolerance with repeated use, even though there was a good few months between this and prior experience, is that of the chap who reported an intense feeling of 'Bi-Location'>. This is perhaps a very extreme case, but it was achieved using my untreated leaf, so it does suggest that it's possible to get quite far with it. Again, his prior 'breakthrough' experiences were achieved by use of leaf enhanced with extract.
Like I say, there is advice elsewhere on my web-site about optimising the effects.
In summary, with or without treated leaf, here are some other points:
Try crushing the leaf up quite well, and packing it into the pipe perhaps a bit denser than you may have done so before. Also, keeping the match or lighter flame over the bowl while you inhale. This will help it to burn a little hotter. It needs to burn hot to vaporise the salvinorin.
Remember, deep inhalations.
If you have just got through a pipe-bowl of leaf and did not really get any appreciable effect, it's best not to simply fill another bowl and try again straight away. Salvia's relatively short-lived effect suggests that the brain can quite quickly compensate for its presence. The idea behind deep inhalation is to take Salvia on board faster that the brain can adjust to it. So, if you have just had a fairly unsuccessful attempt, even though you may not have crossed an experiential threshold, you probably still have salvinorin in your system. It's best to give yourself 30-40 minutes for this to clear before trying again.
And try to be clear from the influence of any other substances. I'm thinking particularly of the effect of alcohol, which could interfere, even marijuana, which may not help.
Finally, note the FAQs on this page of another web-site. There's some independent verification here of the 'nothing at first phenomena' via the question "Is it true that it requires several attempts before one begins to experience the full effects of salvia" (i.e., at the last time of looking, the tenth question in the VI Methods of Use section).