Salvia Divinorum is an extremely popular plant that is only growing more and more popular as time goes on. And, this is probably due to the powerful properties of its leaves. So, growing the plant is only half the battle.
How do you actually process the leaves and make them useful once you have produced a fully mature plant?
Properly Storing Your Leaves
You will quickly discover that there are truly a variety of ways that you can dry out your Salvia Divinorum plant leaves. However, choosing the method to dry out your leave won’t really be the most difficult part. The true test comes within the matter of storing the leaves.
Whatever process you choose, you always want to make sure that you are properly storing the finished product in sealed containers away from direct light. Make sure that you are placing them safely away in a kitchen cabinet or medicine chest somewhere.
Keeping them in a glass jar stored away from the light will not only ensure that the product keeps it potency, but it will ensure that they last fore years and years to come.
The Picking And Falling Off Method
Now, the best time to begin collecting the leaves from the plant is when they either die or start to physically fall of the plant. This will indicate that the leaves are ready for the processing stage. Once you have collected the leaves you want to make sure that you store them in a room for low humidity levels.
This will begin the drying process. This process is pretty straightforward, but you do have to worry about mold. To avoid molding conditions, you just simply want to turn the leaves every so often. Other than that you don’t really need to do anything, but just continue to let the leaves dry.
There have been a lot of debates surrounding the topic of the potency of leaves that have been picked and the potency of the leaves that have naturally fallen off. Some will say the picked leaves produce a more potent batch, while others will say the fallen off leaves produce a more potent batch.
There is little evidence regarding which is true, but there is always room for experimentation. You could conduct your own experiment and test for yourself.
However, you do have to think of it like this. When you pick all the leaves off the plant at one time, you are hurting the plant and denying it of its leaves. When the leaves just naturally fall off, it is like the plant is donating them to you.
Also, when picking the leaves, there is always a chance that they might get damaged, which might not leave them in the best condition for the drying process.
The Slicing Method
Another popular method that people like to use with Salvia Divinorum plant leaves is the slicing method. Once the leaves have been picked of have fallen off the plant, you just simply stack the leaves on top of each other like neatly stacked papers.
After the leaves are stacked, you just simply take a knife or razor blade and cut the stacked leaves in ½ centimeter strips. After cutting them into strips just lay them out on a plate and let the drying process begin. Just be sure to turn them twice a day to prevent unwanted mold growth.
While you do want the leaves to dry, you never want them to reach the point where they are bone dry, as this will ruin your yield.
Once the leaves have completely dried, you can smoke them like tobacco. Many individuals claim that this method provides a much smoother and better tasting yield as compared to the thoroughly dried leaves. In addition to this, the might burn better since they are cut into smaller portions.
That being said, some individuals, have also claimed that this method reduce the potency of the leaves.
Once again, this is really up for debate and there isn’t much evidence surrounding either method. If you want to conduct your own experiment, you now have the knowledge and tools to do so.
The Food Dehydrator Method
Food dehydrators have become extremely popular over the years. They can be utilized for a wide range of tasks in the kitchen and many individuals are now even using them to dry their Salvia Divinorum leaves. A food dehydrator can be purchased in any box store that sells kitchen accessories and appliances.
This method is extremely popular because it has proven to be fast and effective.
Plus, it means you get to smoke you Salvia Divinorum leaves earlier than expected, which is always a good thing.
When utilizing a food dehydrator you want to make sure that you dry the leaves until they reach a crispy state. The leaves and the steams both need to be extremely crispy before consumption. The best way to tell if they are crispy enough is by bending the stem in half. If the stem easily snaps, you have probably achieved the exact amount of crispiness.
Not only is a food dehydrator extremely fast, but also your leaves will probably never reach this level of dryness on their own. In addition to this, you don’t have to worry about turning the leaves to prevent mold growth.
However, there will be the additional cost of the food dehydrator, which can be rather expensive for some individuals. At the end of the day, you have to weigh the pros and cons and choose the method that best suits your specific needs.
Take Advantage Of The Oven Dried Method
Another fast and convenient way to dry your Salvia Divinorum leave is by placing them in the oven. Just find yourself an oven-proof dish, lay out the leave on the dish, place the temperature on 93 degrees Celsius, and let them dry. Once again, you only want to dry the leaves until they reach a crisp state.
This is a much more convenient method than letting the leave naturally dry. Plus, you probably already have access to an oven, so you can exclude the additional cost of the food dehydrator.
The only downside is that is can be hard to keep the oven temperature set to the optimal range, unless you are utilizing an oven that has a digital temperature readout.
The Power Of Moisture Absorber
Calcium Chloride is a substance that is known as a moisture absorber and you can even utilize this powerful concoction to dry your Salvia Divinorum leaves. Sure, the process sounds a little in depth and complicated, but it really isn’t as hard as one might assume.
Calcium Chloride can be purchased in any chemical supply house or most hardware stores and you don’t even need a special license to buy it. However, to accomplish this drying method you will need aluminum foil, a polyethylene container, and the Calcium Chloride.
To begin the process you will simple fill the bottom of the polyethylene container with the Calcium Chloride and then place a layer of aluminum foil over the moisture absorber. Simply just place the leaves on top of the aluminum foil, install the lid on the container, and let the drying process begin. The whole process should take right around a full 48 hours before the leave are ready.
Sure, this method isn’t as easy or cost effective as the oven methods, but it is a scientific means of drying that can be truly rewarding. Plus, it is much faster than the natural drying methods.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Salvia Divinorum Leaves
All the methods that you learned about above are for smoking purposes. Sure, smoking the plant’s leaves will produce mild effects that some individuals are satisfied with.
Some individuals claim that chewing the leaves produces even more potent effects, but if you want to avoid the nasty taste and truly get the most out of your leaves, you should consider turning them into extract.
First, you should know that in order to begin this process you will need to dry the leaves with the oven method that was described above. Once the leaves are dried you will place them in a mason jar and cover them with acetone.
Just remember the acetone is extremely flammable and it can dissolve plastic, so you want to use extreme caution during this step.
Let the solution set for a day, stirring it on occasion, and then pour it through a coffee filter. Soak the leaves several more times with acetone, filter them again with the coffee filter, and let them dry out.
After the final soaking let them set for two more days or until all the acetone has evaporated and you will have your super potent extract. If you would like to get high quality salvia extract without growing your own plants, check out my where to buy salvia divinorum article.