When taking a drug test, one might be concerned about any other potential drugs showing up in the screening. One such substance one might be concerned about showing up on a drug test would be salvia. 

According to a 2016 National Survey on Drug Usage and Health, an estimated 5.3 million Americans have used this drug. While not illegal, salvia divinorum in particular is a powerful natural hallucinogen. Given how powerful it might be especially concerning how long it might linger in the body afterward. What is salvia exactly, and how long does salvia stay in your system after use? The answer to those questions and more follow.

What is Salvia?

First, what is this drug? It is a perennial herb family related to mint. This plant family has three principal species of interest: salvia hispanica, salvia miltiorrhiza, and salvia divinorum. Salvia hispanica is also known as chia and does not show up on any drug tests. Salvia miltiorrhiza is also known as danshen and is used in Asian herbal medicine but is rarely used recreationally. 

Of the three, salvia divinorum is most commonly used recreationally. Salvia divinorum is smoked or chewed and produces powerful hallucinatory effects. Salvia divinorum is native to the Oaxaca region of Mexico. The Mazatec peoples in Mexico used this drug in rituals, though western medicine hasn’t found any medicinal purposes for using salvia.

Drug Facts

The principal salvia drug in salvia divinorum is called salvinorin A. It is one of the most powerful naturally producing hallucinogens. The effects of chewing salvia typically last for five to ten minutes after consumption. Smoking salvia typically has effects lasting for around half an hour. Using larger amounts, naturally, will have longer-lasting effects. These only happen if the plant is chewed or smoked, consuming salvia has proven to have little to any effect.

Salvia divinorum is not banned by the FDA or listed as a controlled substance by the DEA. As a result, it is frequently sold in tobacco shops or through online vendors. However, some states and countries regulate its use, and it is illegal in some countries as well. 

There are drug tests that screen for the presence of salvinorin A. However these are not part of the regular battery of blood, saliva, or urine tests. They need to be specially requested and are frequently more expensive as a result. Salvinorin A does not show up in any current sweat or hair tests.

How Long Does Salvinorin A Stay in the System?

It is currently unknown how long the presence of salvinorin A is detectable in saliva or urine. Salvia is not typically tested for in a drug screening unless it’s specially requested. In blood tests, salvinorin A has a half-life of about an hour before being metabolized. Most tests show the chemical completely metabolized after about 12 hours. 

This can make detecting it in tests especially difficult unless used immediately before testing. Comparatively, oxycodone has a half-life of three to four hours. Similarly, salvinorin A tests are not part of standard drug screening blood tests and need to be specially requested.

If specially requested, salvia blood tests may give negative or inconclusive results as early as a few days after use. The data is less clear on urine and saliva tests, though it would seem likely to have a similar half-life. For these reasons, salvia is not standardly screened for and often requires an additional expense to do. 

How Can Soteria Drug Screening Help You?

No matter what substances are being screened, Soteria Drug Screening is there to help employers with pre-employment drug tests. These include urine tests, hair tests, and breath alcohol tests. These are for a range of substances, including marijuana, alcohol, opioids, and other drugs. Call or order a test today.

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