The length of time salvia stays in your system varies from person to person. Knowing about the drug can help people better understand how their body reacts and processes the drug. If you or a loved one take salvia, it is important to know how long the drug can stay in your body.

How Is Salvia Used?

Salvia is a type of plant. The Mazatec in Mexico once used salvia for rituals and healing. In the United States, salvia is not an approved drug and does not have any accepted medical use.

People who consume salvia in the United States mostly chew or smoke the plant for its mind-altering effects. The active part of the plant is then inhaled through the lungs (if smoked) or absorbed into the cheek (if chewed). It is interesting to note that the plant does not have mind-altering effects if it is eaten or drunk. Doctors think this anomaly is due to how the body digests salvia.

Many people who use salvia are between the ages of 18 and 25. People who use salvia are also more likely to take part in other risky behaviors (like selling drugs) and have a history of illegal drug use. They are also more likely to have anxiety and depression.

There are a few different types of salvia available. Three of the most common kinds in the United States are:

  • Salvia hispanica
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza
  • Salvia divinorum

How Long Does Salvia Last?

How long a salvia high lasts depends on how the person consumes it. When chewed, a high starts within 5 to 10 minutes. When smoked, a high can start within 30 seconds and can last about 30 minutes. However, the duration depends on how much salvia is used.

In general, the major bioactive ingredient of salvia, salvinorin A, is absorbedthrough the mouth or the lungs. It is then quickly broken down in the gastrointestinal tract into salvinorin B, an inactive breakdown product.

Salvia Half-Life

The half-life of salvia has only been tested in blood. Its half-life is very short — only about an hour. This short window means that salvia does not last long in the body. In comparison, oxycodone’s half-life is between two and four hours. The short period makes testing for salvia use difficult.

Does Salvia Show on a Drug Test?

Salvia hispanica is also known as chia. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says chia is safe and will not cause a high or show up on a drug test — nor will Salvia miltiorrhiza, also known as danshen and is commonly used in Asia as an herbal drug.

However, Salvia divinorum is different. Its active ingredient is salvinorin A. This ingredient is considered to be the most powerful natural hallucinogen. Salvia divinorum is not banned by the FDA or listed as a controlled drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), but some states and countriesregulate its use. It is even illegal in some countries.

Salvia does not show up on most standard drug tests. If someone wants to test for it specifically, the test needs to be specially ordered. Salvia tests are uncommon and expensive. Tests need to be conducted right after salvia use because the substance does not last long in the body. Salvia does not show up in sweat, and there are no tests for it in hair. However, it is possible to test for salvia in urine, spit and blood.  

How Long Does Salvia Stay In Your Urine?

How long salvia stays in urine is unknown. Most drug tests do not test for salvia in urine. A salvia urine test is rare and can be expensive. The tests that do exist are tests for the active ingredient, salvinorin A.

How Long Does Salvia Stay In Your Saliva?

Just like urine, most drug tests do not test for salvia in spit. Salvia spit tests are uncommon and can be expensive. Like urine tests, the tests are specific for salvinorin A. How long salvia stays in your saliva is not reliably known.

How Long Does Salvia Stay In Your Hair?

There are no current tests for salvia in hair. Tests for detecting salvia in a person’s hair could be developed in the future, but they do not yet exist. Usually, drug tests can detect substances in a person’s hair for up to 90 days after the latest use.

How Long Does Salvia Stay In Your Blood?

Most drug tests do not test for salvia in blood. Like the other salvia tests, this type of test is uncommon and expensive. Blood tests also test for salvinorin A, like the other tests. Because salvia is very short-acting, doctors don’t think it stays long in the blood. It is not thought to last longer than about 12 hoursin the blood. This belief is based on the drug’s very short half-life, as it is quickly cleared from your blood.

Factors That Determine How Long Salvia May Stay In Your System

Salvia can stay in your system for different periods of time based on several factors. Some of these include:

  • Amount of salvia taken: Larger amounts of salvia may stay in your system for longer than smaller amounts.
  • Frequency of salvia use: If you take salvia on a regular basis, it may stay in your system longer than if you only take it occasionally.
  • Age: Older people may eliminate salvia from their systems more slowly than younger people.
  • Body composition and sex: Your body type and gender may influence how long salvia stays in your system, although specific data is lacking.
  • Medical history: Your medical history can play a role in determining how long salvia stays in your body.
  • Drug interactions: Salvia can interact with medications, including the blood thinner warfarin. Some drug interactions may influence how long salvia stays in your system.
  • Hydration and nutrition status: Those who are well-hydrated and have adequate nutrients may eliminate saliva more quickly than those who are not.
Editor – Nicole LaNeve
Nicole leads a team of passionate, experienced writers, editors and other contributors to create and share accurate, trustworthy information about drug and alcohol addiction, treatment and recovery for The Recovery Village and all Advanced Recovery Systems sites. Read more
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Tiffany Bell, MD
Dr. Tiffany L. Bell is a Central Ohio-trained physician in Psychiatry. She currently practices Addiction and General Psychiatry in Columbus, Ohio. She has a background working with a multitude of mental health conditions and substance dependencies. Read more

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.