Salvinorin A content in legal high products of Salvia divinorum sold in Mexico
García-Rodríguez, Rosa Virginia
Peña-Rodríguez, Luis Manuel
Ramos-Morales, Fernando Rafael
- Publisher: Elsevier
Salvia divinorum (Lamiaceae) is a herb native to Mexico where is used by Mazatec shamans for spiritual and divination purposes. S. divinorum products are easily available to consumers and are used worldwide as legal highs because of the hallucinogenic effects caused mainly by salvinorin A. Highly popular videos and websites in the internet depicting the use of S. divinorum products have contributed to an increase in their consumption. Recent reports have highlighted the potential of these products to induce psychosis in consumers. In Mexico, dried leaf extracts of S. divinorum are sold in different strengths, claiming to correlate with increasing amounts of salvinorin A. In order to determine the variability of salvinorin A content between brands and to investigate possible correlation between brand strengths, this study sought to quantify salvinorin A in commercial products available in Mexico using an HPLC method. The HPLC analytical method showed a correlation coefficient R2 > 0.99, with LOD of 0.44 μg/mL and LOQ of 1.34 μg/mL. The retention time for salvinorin A was 23.09 ± 0.95 min and the measured concentrations ranged between 8.32 ± 0.65 to 56.52 ± 3.77 mg/g dried leaf. The results for brand c did not show an agreement between the declared and the calculated amount of salvinorin A. Additionally, the emergence in Mexico of high strength salvia products (100x), the lack of regulation and the observed variability of salvinorin A content between brands of commercial legal highs products of S. divinorum could result in a health problem for consumers.