The Home Office responds to rumours of delays to the enforcement of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.Read More
29 Mar 2016 13:28:16
17 Mar 2016 09:37:28
Since the last blog post there have been dozens more research papers released regarding Salvia divinorum and its active compound Salvinorin A. Here I summarise some of the most interesting findings from these studies in my last post before the ban in April.Read More
7 Sep 2015 12:04:39
In my previous posts, I've looked at a lot of potential medical applications of Salvia; but now I want to return to the consciousness-altering effects of the plant. After all, when this entheogen was first discovered, it was being used in a religious context by the Mazatecs of Central America (Valdes et al. 1983). Salvia divinorum was grown in highly guarded groves, with shamans and their initiates drinking it in a tea and chewing the leaves. These highly religious rituals were intended to induce visions of angels; hence the local name for the plant, "ska Maria Pastora", meaning "leaves of Mary the shepherdess". Modern recreational use of Salvia, commonly through smoking dried leaf, is often motivated by a desire to explore an altered state of consciousness or induce a spiritual epiphany (Baggott et al. 2010). This means that people separated by generations, cultures and continents have used Salvia for its consciousness-altering properties.
Salvia's effects on consciousness are so profound and unusual that scientists have started using them to study the nature of consciousness. Here I'll give an overview of a popular theory of how consciousness is organised in the brain, and how the effects of Salvia on consciousness lend support to this theory.Read More
4 Aug 2015 16:20:23
Thanks to everyone who responded to our recent customer satisfaction survey. We were blown away by all the positive comments and collected lots of useful feedback about changes you'd like us to make. I got stuck in almost immediately, and have been working on those changes every day for the past couple of weeks.
In no particular order, here's what I've done so far and what's still in the pipeline:
Free Delivery & Shipping to More Countries
Click the link below to read the rest!Read More
15 Jun 2015 14:15:20
In this blog series I’ve talked a lot about the potential of Salvia in the treatment of depression, addiction and pain. I also examined the molecular pharmacology of Salvinorin A, the main psychedelic constituent in Salvia. Throughout these posts, I’ve discussed how Salvinorin A itself is not ideal for therapy due to its short duration of action and the intense psychedelic effects it induces. As such, scientists are currently trying to create compounds that are based on Salvinorin A, but with additional desirable qualities, such as a longer duration of action and affinity for other receptors.
Here I’ll summarise three recent papers that have created interesting compounds based on Salvinorin A that may have diverse therapeutic applications. The development of these compounds shows how quickly Salvinorin A research is progressing, and brings us one step closer to producing amazing therapeutic applications from this unique plant.Read More
1 Jun 2015 05:58:25
6 Mar 2015 16:57:29
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.Read More
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.
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:
- 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
- Voodoo Gold
- Clockwork Orange Reloaded
- Black Mamba
- Herbal Haze
- Blue Cheese
- Pandora's Box
- Date Created
- Jan 15th, 2015
- Date Published
- Jan 17th, 2015
- Copyright © John Clarke 2015 - All rights reserved
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.Read More
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.Read More