Finding the right blend to use when you’re smoking can be a task–what herbs should you use, which ones will do a better job with regards to your requirements? And more importantly, what are the herbs that you can smoke?

When we talk about smoking, what often comes to mind is tobacco. However, some people prefer smoking herbs, one controversial herb being marijuana, other herbs being lavender, sage, mint, mugwort, etc. Using blends of these herbs is also quite popular.

So can you smoke lavender? Essentially, yes. You can smoke lavender and even add it to other blends. However, it is essential to know what each herb will offer when you’re making a blend; since some herbs might give you a high, and others might help you relax.

Can you smoke lavender?

Smoking lavender is considered a time-honored tradition in certain parts of the world and has been used to alleviate stress and anxiety. However, do not confuse smoking lavender with smoking Lavender Kush–a marijuana strain.

So, yes, it is possible to smoke lavender. Smoking lavender is similar to smoking any other herb; you grind it into small, smokable pieces and then roll it into cigarettes. You can either smoke it as is or mix it with a blend of herbs. It is important to ensure that your herbs are dried up and do not contain any oil before smoking them.

Lavender does not contain any Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and will therefore not have any psychedelic effects on you; you will not get high or stoned. However, it does contain calming terpenes like linalool, caryophyllene, and myrcene. These terpenes are absorbed into your bloodstream through smoke inhalation and can alleviate stress and promote relaxation. Linalool, one of the primary terpenes found in lavender, can help strengthen the immune system.

Benefits of smoking lavender

Smoking lavender does not have any scientifically-backed benefits; however, since lavender essential oils in aromatherapy have been proved to be beneficial, assumptions regarding the benefits of smoking this herb have been made.

Some of the benefits of lavender essential oils are as follows;

Help relieve nerve pain (neuropathy)

The Egyptians and the Romans have long used Lavender oil for its calming effect. Besides being an analgesic, it is also an anti-inflammatory, both of which can help relieve pain induced by neuropathy.

Lavender oil can reduce pain. Use it in a diffuser or spritz some in your room to help you relax. Consuming it orally can help manage neuropathic pain [1]. Apart from lavender, there are quite a few other essential oils for nerve pain.

Helps with sleep apnea

Out of all the essential oils for sleep apnea, lavender is one of the most effective ones. Distilled from the plant Lavandula angustifolia, lavender essential oil is known to help with disruptions that are often a result of sleep apnea. It also helps people with insomnia [2]. Apply a few drops of this oil on your feet, neck, and chest before you go to bed to avoid disrupted sleep.

Reduce OCD symptoms

Since lavender is known for its ability to calm your nerves, it can often be used to help control your OCD symptoms. Rub a few drops of this oil behind your ears and on your wrists to calm nervous tension, a common side effect of OCD. Massaging with this oil can also have a calming effect on you. Lavender oil can reduce the symptoms that come with OCD [3]. Lavender oil is only one of the many essential oils for OCD that are available on the market; ensure to do your research before using any!

Prevent nausea

Lavender essential oil can come handy to relieve your nausea due to its relaxing properties. If your nausea is triggered by anxiety, then this essential oil is your best bet. It has very good relaxing properties [4]. You could also try grapefruit oil, another essential oil for nausea, to help find some relief.

All of these benefits are assumed to remain the same when lavender is smoked instead of used as an essential oil. It is also said to help relieve stress. However, since smoking, in general, is considered harmful, it is best not to rely on the inhalation of smoke of any kind of herb as an alternative.

Is smoking lavender a better alternative?

A popular question that might pop up when we talk about smoking lavender is whether or not it is a better alternative to tobacco; the only difference between these two substances is the presence of nicotine. Tobacco is addictive due to the presence of nicotine. 

Nicotine is a naturally produced alkaloid and is used recreationally as a stimulant and anxiolytic. It produces pleasing effects in your brain, and although temporary, it keeps you craving for more. The more nicotine you intake, the more dependent you get on it, and once you stop, you start experiencing unpleasant mental and physical changes.

In this regard, yes, lavender can be a better alternative; however, smoking in itself is extremely harmful. The smoke particles that enter your lungs can result in harmful consequences. Smoking of any kind should be avoided at all times for the betterment of your overall health.

What other herbs can you smoke?

Apart from lavender, there are other herbs that are often smoked for various reasons. Some of the more popular ones are;

Cannabis

Also known as marijuana, this is a common herb that people often use to get stoned or experience psychedelic effects. However, this herb is not legal, and consumption is not permitted.

Mullein

Mullein is a biennial herb with flower stalks rising six feet or more. For the longest, it has been used as a lung tonic. It is said to help stop coughing when you’re sick. The smoke of this herb is extremely light and virtually flavorless.

Skullcap

The smoke of this herb has a neutral flavor with medium smoke and is known for its calming effect.

Coltsfoot

The coltsfoot herb is said to be a light smoke with a neutral flavor. Although it can cause harsh coughing when used in high concentration, it is an expectorant and can help free phlegm from the lungs.

Mugwort

Smoking mugwort has been a part of various ancient cultures for its ability to promote vivid dreams. It is known to produce a psychotropic effect when awake. The smoke of this herb is light and has a slight sweet flavor.

Mint

Mint is mainly smoked for its flavor. Its flavor varies depending on the species. Often close relatives of this herb are also incorporated in smoke blends.

How to make your own herbal smoking blend?

Nowadays, smoking isn’t restricted only to tobacco. People find joy in experimenting with different herbs and blends to achieve their perfect sensation. Most of what goes into making your perfect herbal blend depends on your preferences. However, here are a few suggestions if you are experimenting with your first herbal blend;

  • Ensure the leaves you will be using are young and have no residual dew.
  • Dry these leaves indoors to ensure they retain a bit of moisture for a smoother smoke. Avoid the usage of an oven while drying.
  • Crush the leaves by hand until they’re fine enough to be rolled into joints.
  • Make sure you have a base herb with a light, smooth smoke. This will form 50% of your mixture.
  • To this, add your choice of flavored herbs and other herbs with heavier smoke. 
  • If the blend is too strong or harsh, try and spritz it with some water to reintroduce moisture.
  • You can store these blends in glass jars or resealable plastic pouches.

Note – When it comes to smoking lavender, make sure to use the dried form of this herb instead of the one that contains oils.

FAQs

Can smoking lavender kill you?

No, smoking lavender will not kill you. It is comparatively better than smoking tobacco. However, the consequences of smoking, in general, can be a cause of concern when it comes to your health. The particles that enter your lungs can be extremely harmful to your body.

Can smoking lavender help with anxiety?

Lavender, in general, is said to help relax and calm you down, both of which can help with your anxiety. Keeping this in mind, assumptions that smoking lavender is beneficial for anxiety has been made. However, there is no scientific evidence regarding the same.

Is smoking lavender bad for your lungs?

From tobacco to other herbs like lavender, smoking is extremely harmful to your overall health and especially your lungs. The particles that enter your lungs can be carcinogenic and essentially harmful to your lungs. It is best to avoid smoking at all costs.

Can you get sick from smoking lavender?

Although lavender can be extremely beneficial, smoking it might do you more harm than good. It can increase the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory issues, dangers that often come with smoking in general. Technically, you may not fall sick from smoking lavender (unless you’re allergic); however, it will affect you long-term; therefore, it is best to avoid smoking lavender and opt for other alternative consumption methods like aromatherapy.

Wrapping up

Individuals smoke for various reasons–stress relief, recreational reasons, coping mechanisms, etc. They often gravitate towards tobacco or other nicotine-induced substances; however, there might be other alternatives. Smoking herbs and blends have become quite popular and are relatively a better alternative.

Smoking lavender is one such alternative. Since it doesn’t contain nicotine or THC, it is considered to be relatively safer; however, at the end of the day, it is still smoking, and smoking is injurious to health. The particles that enter your lung can prove to be lethal when it comes to your health. Therefore, smoking lavender is possible and is relatively safe but should be avoided at all costs. It is much safer to consume lavender for its benefits through other methods like essential oils, aromatherapy, and even lavender tea.

References

  1. Sanna, Maria Domenica et al. “Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill.) Essential Oil Alleviates Neuropathic Pain in Mice With Spared Nerve Injury.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 10 472. 9 May. 2019,
  2. Lillehei, Angela S, and Linda L Halcon. “A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 20,6 (2014): 441-51.
  3. Koulivand, Peir Hossein et al. “Lavender and the nervous system.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2013 (2013): 681304.
  4. Karaman, Serkan et al. “A randomized placebo-controlled study of aromatherapy for the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting.” Complementary therapies in medicine vol. 42 (2019): 417-421.