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Salvia Divinorum Presentation

By John Clarke
Salvia Divinorum

Salvia Divinorum

It’s been a week now since I started back at uni­ver­sity, and everything’s going great — we’ve dived head first into my first module, Phar­ma­co­logy: from Molecules to Man. This com­prises of 25% course­work and a 75% exam right at the end. The course­work is further divided up into essays, lab write-ups and …a 10 minute present­a­tion on the topic of my choice! Right now, I’m pretty certain I’ll be talking about Salvia Divinorum, as it’s just plain more inter­est­ing than any­thing else, both for me to talk about for ten minutes and for every­one else to listen to it. Soooo, what to talk about for ten minutes?

Although this will be a serious phar­ma­co­lo­gical talk, I think I can get away with a bit of history of it’s use and what the plant rep­res­en­ted to the ancient civil­iz­a­tion that used it. If anyone has any inter­est­ing facts, now’s the time to share them! But what about the serious phar­ma­co­logy stuff? Well, these papers are pretty good.

The first talks about the extremely select­ive action of Salvinorin-A on kappa opioid recept­ors. The

Salvinorin-A

Salvinorin-A

hal­lu­cino­genic prop­er­ties of this com­pound, medi­ated by activ­a­tion of these recept­ors could be useful clin­ic­ally. If activ­a­tion of these recept­ors is capable of bring­ing about hal­lu­cin­a­tions, turning them off (with a select­ive ant­ag­on­ist) could help dis­eases in which hal­lu­cin­a­tions are prom­en­ant, such as Alzheimer’s and schizo­phrenia.

The second paper is much more easy going. This one focuses on the method of absorp­tion and its effect on the exper­i­ence. By com­par­ing what happens when the com­pound is vapor­ised and inhaled, absorbed sub­lin­gually (under the tongue) and eaten, it proves that absorp­tion through the gut has little or no effect.

But what else is there to talk about? Any other papers worth a read? I might write up a tran­script of the present­a­tion here, along with the Power­Point present­a­tion itself..

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