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    Public awareness of Salvia divinorum is always growing; mostly thanks to scaremongering media reports about the new ‘legal high’ that is threatening our safety. Unfortunately, the majority of instances of Salvia use we hear about in the media focus on reckless or irresponsible use of the plant. What we don’t hear a lot about is the responsible use of Salvia, or the amazing medical potential of the plant. Hundreds of scientists are currently studying Salvia in the hope of finding a cure for addiction, or developing groundbreaking new painkillers. It’s important that the people in government who are responsible for drug policy are aware of the scientific community’s consensus about Salvia, rather than basing their decisions entirely on biased media reports.

    Here I’ll present two very recent, very different papers on Salvia divinorum. The first (Winslow and Mahendran 2014) presents a case study of one person who took what may have been Salvia in an irresponsible way, and use it to claim that Salvia is a harmful drug of abuse. The second (Serra et al. 2015) undertakes a thorough and controlled study of the effects of Salvinorin A on rats, in an attempt to understand the potential dangers of Salvia as a drug of abuse.

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    Comments | Posted in Scientific Research By RJ Patrick Smith

    Updated Legal Highs Photo

    17 Jan 2015 13:43:20

    At some point in 2009, I decided we needed a photo of some legal highs to spruce up the website a bit, so I grabbed a pack of everything we stocked at the time and half-heartedly arranged them by hue, grabbed our 5 megapixel point-and-shoot camera (typical of the 00's - took about 6 rechargeable AA batteries, used some weird ancestor of an SD card, piss-poor image quality, grain-central) and grabbed a quick snap. That'll do, I must have thought.

    Original "legal highs" photo from 2009

    Original "legal highs" photo from 2009

    And it DID do! Pretty good going actually. I wheel it out every time I've written some content about legal highs that needs an image, it's always been around the top spot when searching for pics of legal highs in google, countless people all over the world have stolen it (without any thought as to its copyright status) because it will clearly suffice for their projects too.

    But it's 2015 now - about time for an update. In those six years, gradually every product in the original pic was banned, or otherwise ceased production, or simply fell out of favour and are now no longer relevant. Also, I've taken up photography as a serious hobby for the past few years and as I get better at it, I continue to notice new flaws in the original image - the shit lighting, the lack of sharpness, the clumsy postprocessing required to get it looking half-decent in the first place. So, the other day, I took a new one, featuring a good sample of the popular incense products we currently stock, and here it is:

    Display of Legal Highs packets. The products shown are not restricted for sale in the UK (Jan 15th, 2015)

    Image Name
    Legal Highs, 2015
    Image Description
    A display of several popular legal high incense products/packaging, none of which are restricted under current UK legislation on date of publishing. Products pictured (left to right):
    • Annihilation Volume 2
    • Armageddon
    • Voodoo Gold
    • Clockwork Orange Reloaded
    • Black Mamba
    • Herbal Haze
    • Kronic
    • Blue Cheese
    • Pandora's Box
    • Voodoo
    Date Created
    Jan 15th, 2015
    Date Published
    Jan 17th, 2015
    License
    Copyright © John Clarke 2015 - All rights reserved
    Comments | Posted in News By John Clarke

    Salvia So Far: A Summary

    10 Nov 2014 14:49:00

    Our series of posts about the scientific research of Salvia divinorum is now six months old, and we’ve looked at a whole spectrum of research into this unique hallucinogen: from human studies of the subjective psychedelic effects of the drug, to the nuts and bolts of how Salvia’s pharmacology effects our brain, and even how Salvia’s main psychedelic component could be an important tool in the treatment of pain or addiction.

    Since these topics are wide ranging and often confusing, we thought now would be a good time to summarise everything we’ve covered so far and bring them together, to give a bigger picture of the research taking place on Salvia. This should provide a good foundation on which to continue our exploration of the scientific research of psychedelics.

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    Comments | Posted in Scientific Research By John Clarke

    Salvinorin A: a unique painkiller?

    23 Sep 2014 17:01:33

    In my previous blog posts I’ve talked about various potential applications of Salvia, such as an antidepressant or a treatment for addiction. Another large area of research into this unique plant is focussed on investigating the analgesic (painkilling) properties of Salvinorin A, the main psychedelic constituent of Salvia.

    A common issue with modern painkillers is the fact that they are often very addictive. Many effective painkillers, such as morphine or codeine, are mu-opioid receptor (MOR) activators. Addiction can result from improper use of opioids like morphine. An ideal painkiller would relieve pain without causing this addiction; this is where the potential of Salvinorin A comes in.

    Firstly, I’m going to look at a paper that examines the analgesic properties of Salvinorin A, and presents some of the issues that may arise from using Salvinorin A as a painkiller. Then we’ll look at the remaining challenges scientists face before Salvinorin A research can lead to an effective painkilling drug, and how these challenges are already being met.

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    Comments | Posted in Scientific Research By RJ Patrick Smith

    Further Low-Dose Salvia Studies

    12 Aug 2014 11:21:09

    A couple of posts ago I reviewed a paper by Braida et al (2007). Previous literature on Salvia divinorum had shown mostly negative or aversive effects of the drug on animals, but those studies had mostly used very high doses of Salvinorin A. Braida and her colleagues, however, demonstrated unique positive effects of the drug on zebrafish at lower doses; doses where the psychedelic effects only just become apparent in humans. Scientists from the same group then went on to publish several more papers investigating Salvinorin A, and here I’ll look at two of them. In these papers the authors have moved onto rodents, using mice and rats to demonstrate some more unique properties of Salvia at lower, more relevant doses.

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    Comments | Posted in Scientific Research By RJ Patrick Smith

    Email Us Directly

    17 Jul 2014 16:25:21

    Just a quick update to say we've got rid of our old contact form as it wasn't working very well. From now, the best way to contact us is via email at info@coffeesh0p.com and we'll respond as soon as we can! You can also reply directly to any of the automatically generated emails sent when placing an order or signing up for an account.

    You can also always get customer support via our Twitter or Facebook pages.

    Comments | Posted in News By John Clarke

    Cocaine Addiction & Salvia

    3 Jul 2014 14:09:47

    Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that works by increasing the amount of dopamine available to neurons in the brain (Thompson et al., 2000). Cocaine addicts show a long-term deterioration of mind and body (Maraj et al., 2010; Spronk et al., 2013), and the hospitalization and treatment of addicts is a large burden to society. At the moment there are no successful pharmacological treatments for cocaine addiction (Kivell et al., 2014). Salvinorin A, the main psychoactive compound of Salvia and a kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) activator, may hold the answer.

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    Comments | Posted in Scientific Research By RJ Patrick Smith

    We've just finished working on the ultimate guide on How To Make Salvia Divinorum Extract! There's 39 pictures from start to finish and the whole thing is interactive. If you adjust the sliders at the top of the page according to how much leaf you have and what strength extract you want to make, the instructions throughout the article change to fir in with your specific requirements.

    There's a brief rundown of making your own Salvia tincture, a PDF copy of the article to download AND a 10% off coupon for 10+ bags of Salvia leaf.

    If chemistry isn't your thing, maybe you'd just like to buy our standardised Salvia extracts...

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    Comments | Posted in News By John Clarke

    Salvia Divinorum Animal Research

    6 Jun 2014 10:33:20

    So far we’ve looked at some human and some molecular research into Salvia divinorum. But a huge chunk of biology research involves animals; here I’ll look at just a small selection of the papers that are using animals to investigate the unique effects of Salvia

    Firstly, we'll look at a paper that uses mice to argue that Salvia is a very potent and dysphoric drug (something that causes negative feelings, the opposite of euphoria). Then we’ll look at a paper that uses zebrafish to challenge those claims. Both of them together tell us some interesting things about Salvia and the importance of proper dosage!

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    Comments | Posted in Scientific Research By RJ Patrick Smith

    What makes Salvia so unique? For one thing Salvia’s main psychotropic compound, Salvinorin A, has a unique structure that is quite different from the classical psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin. More importantly, Salvinorin A activates an unusual receptor in the brain, the kappa-opioid receptor (KOR). Drugs that activate the KOR have been known to induce psychotomimetic effects like depersonalisation and a sense of unreality. That means it’s likely that the activation of this receptor is Salvia’s main mode of psychedelic action. Read on to find out more...

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    Comments | Posted in Scientific Research By RJ Patrick Smith

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