How Does Salvia Divinorum Work?

August 7, 2012

July 19, 2012How Does Salvia Divinorum Work?

We recently came across an article where the mechanism of Salvia is explained. It is based on the recent findings of researchers regarding the structure of the ‘salvia’ receptor. It also discusses the potential applications for battling addiction that were pointed out earlier in 2011 by researchers at the John Hopkins University Medical School.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Since the early 2000’s researchers knew the active substance, Salvinorum A, binds to one of the four known opioid receptors. These receptors were first examined in connection with narcotics like morphine and opium – hence the name – but are implicated in a broad spectrum of physical interactions in the brain. Salvinorum A is very specific and only binds to the Kappa receptor.

This is interesting, because the plant is not useful for pain relief and the hallucinations must be caused by this single interaction between Salvinorum A and this receptor.

(…) One possibility is to focus on drugs that are structurally related to Salvinorum A. Various chemical “tweaks” could be tried to alter the response of the Kappa receptor to other substances. For example, alcohol, cocaine and other drugs of abuse have activity at this receptor. The same receptor is known to affect human consciousness, awareness of pain, depression and anxiety.

Source: Opposing views