When people consume or absorb Salvia though either the mucus membrane in the mouth, or smoking it, it seems that they all experience the same type of dissociation. It made me wonder about what receptors in the brain that saliva effects since as the effects are described to be resembling a dream like state. I found a journal article that didn't provide any answers, but supported the reason for the question, how?
A sample of salvinorin A was submitted to NovaScreen™ for receptor site screening. At screening concentrations of 10-5 M there was no significant inhibition (i.e. 50% or less) for the following sites.
Neurotransmitters: Adenosine, alpha 1, alpha 2, beta, dopamine 1, dopamine 2, GABA-A, GABA-B, serotonin 1, serotonin 2, muscarinic 3, NMDA, kainate, quisqualate, glycine (stry sens.).
Regulatory sites: Benzodiazepine(centrl), glycine (stry insens.), PCP, MK-801.
Brain/gut peptides: angiotensin Ty2, arg-vasopressin Vl, bombesin, CCK central, CCK peripheral, substance P, substance K, NPY, neurotensin, somatostatin, VIP.
Growth factors and peptides: ANF I, EGF, NGF.
Ion channels: Calcium (type N), calcium (type T and L), chloride, potassium (low conduct).
Second messengers: Forskolin, phorbol ester, inositol triphosphate.
Monoamine oxidase inhibition: Monoamine oxidase A, monoamine oxidase B.
This shows that there is little to no effect on the previous receptors listed in the study. Salvia on the other hand does affect the kappa opioid receptor which makes Salvia one of the most unique psychedelic drugs that I know of.