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What Is Miley Cyrus Smoking?

Ever since the scandalous video of Miley Cyrus taking bong hits and “tripping out” hit the web, sales of a South American plant, called salvia divinorum, have jumped and L.A.-area head shops have reported many customers asking for “the stuff Miley was smoking,” according to TMZ.

Now, many of you may be wondering what salvia is. Well, known as salvia divinorum, this leafy “houseplant” is a highly-potent relative of sage and mint plants. But unlike its spicy cousins, salvia leaves are sold as a legal alternative to marijuana because of the hallucinogenic effects people can experience from smoking it.

Nicknamed Sally-D, Magic Mint and Diviner’s Sage, salvia is smoked and looks similar to marijuana. It is a hallucinogen that gives users an out-of-body sense of traveling through time and space or merging with inanimate objects. Unlike hallucinogens like LSD or PCP, however, salvia’s effects last for a shorter time.

In a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins, they report that the effects of salvia are “surprisingly strong, brief and intensely disorienting.”

The study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, involved four paid healthy volunteers – two men and two women – who had taken hallucinogens in the past. The researchers found the effects of salvia began almost immediately after being inhaled “with a peak of strength after two minutes, and very little effect after 20.” But, the more you inhale the drug, the more powerful the results are.

Researchers said they were particularly “struck” by the reaction of two of the volunteers who rated the strength of a high dose of salvia “as strong as imaginable for this drug.” They pointed to the fact that it was unusual for people with prior “hallucinogenic experience” to report such results. And even though heart rate and blood pressure were unaffected during these experiences, the researchers warn smoking salvia could be “disastrous” especially if someone was driving while on the drug.

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