Healthy alternatives to tobacco that are the perfect mix with cannabis
Cannabis and tobacco go hand-in-hand. In addition, there are many alternatives which not only open up new dimensions of taste, but that are also healthier than tobacco. Some of them are also psychoactive and enhance or complement the smoker’s experience.
Are you one of the many people who mix cannabis with tobacco? Why is this?
Tobacco contains nicotine and at least 250 toxic substances that will damage your health. For decades, the cigarette industry kept telling us that tobacco was the one and only plant for smokers.
It is true that it has been used for centuries in many cultures. But plenty of other plants were used too. They were not only smoked for pleasure, but were also used in traditional healing ceremonies. Damiana, for example, was one of the Maya peoples’ most important medicinal plants.
Over the last few years, more and more natural tobacco blends have come onto the market that do not contain any chemical additives. Blends that do not contain any tobacco at all are becoming increasingly popular.
It’s a bit like cow’s milk. In the past, nobody asked for anything else, but now more and more people are opting for alternatives. There is plenty of truth in the old saying: “Variety is the spice of life.”
So, what are good tobacco substitutes?
Many dried herbs and leaves can be used as tobacco alternatives, but some are better suited than others. That said, some are better suited to it than others. As well as offering a pleasant aroma and taste, a herb or leaf should also burn smoothly. Here, we introduce you to ten alternatives to tobacco that not only taste and smell wonderful, but are also 100% natural and nicotine-free. Let’s get started!
1. Damiana – the aphrodisiac from the Americas
Even its name sounds sweetly seductive. Damiana is regarded as an aphrodisiac in its native Mexico. In addition to its aphrodisiac qualities, consumers report mood-enhancing, anxiety-reducing and relaxing effects.
Damiana leaves contain terpenes, caffeine, tannin and resins. Its taste and odour range from sweet to bitter. Some smokers find that Damiana is too rough on their throats. It is very affordable.
2. Chamomile – the old magic ingredient that grows by the roadside
Good old chamomile tea is one of the best-known remedies for a common cold. Chamomile is also supposed to be good for relieving stress, anxiety, inflammation or to settle the stomach. Along with several essential oils, the yellow flowers contain flavonoids, which are rumoured to have positive effects on health.
Chamomile grows throughout Europe, and so is a good choice for those who are looking for an ecological and healthy alternative to tobacco. However, you do need to buy dried buds and not just cut open a tea bag.
3. Sage – the Cabernet Sauvignon of herbs
Just like the Cabernet grape, sage is very uncomplicated and resistant. Unlike other herbs, sage leaves grow more aromatic as the plant ages. Their flavour continues even after it has flowered. It is best described as pleasantly spicy and bitter. Sage is full of essential oils such as thujone, camphor, cineole and borneol. It has an antibacterial and partly antiviral effect, which is why sage has been used as a medicinal plant throughout the ages.
4. Mate – the trendy pick-me-up from the jungle
The Spanish name “yerba” just means “herb”, but mate is in fact a tree, given its size alone. It is native to South America, and has been drunk as a tea there for centuries. Its complex aroma is not to everyone’s taste – mate tastes earthy, smoky, sweet and sour, all at the same time.
Thanks to its high caffeine content, it is regarded as a stimulant and a slimming aid. This makes mate highly popular in the big cities, and it has been reinvented as a soft drink.
5. Kratom – the power plant from South-East Asia
The leaves of the kratom tree are traditionally used as a medicine, intoxicant and opiate substitute in South-East Asia. In small doses, kratom induces euphoria and acts as a stimulant, whereas in high doses, it acts as a sedative and painkiller. Some Consumers report intense highs from mixing cannabis and kratom. Little is known about how they interact, so be very careful with this combination!
6. Lavender – the blue flower that is a real allrounder
Whether as a herb, or to combat greenfly, tension or treat burns – lavender is a real all-rounder. Just like many varieties of cannabis, it contains the terpene linalool, which is known for its effects on reducing anxiety and inducing calm. Its bitter-sweet taste is a little reminiscent of rosemary.
There are indications that THC, CBD and terpenes reinforce each other’s therapeutic effects. Another benefit: Lavender appears to reduce the itchy feeling in your throat when smoking or vaporizing cannabis.
7. Mint – the ultimate fresh kick
Teas, cocktails, sauces, desserts – mint is the universally adaptable herb that brings a special freshness to food and drink. The cosmetics industry also discovered mint a long time ago. But not all mint is equal.
There are 600 different varieties, the most popular being peppermint and spearmint. They are full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Mint and cannabis are the perfect pair; whether you grow them together or combine them in a joint or vaporizer.
8. Rosemary – the Mediterranean classic
Rosemary lends its unmistakeable aroma to many dishes. You should not overdo it with fresh twigs, as the bitter taste will take over. This herb is full of anti-oxidants and beta-caryophyllene, which are also found in black pepper and cannabis.
Why not enhance the healing effects and combine all three of them in a blended smoke? Helps with depression and inflammation, and strengthens the immune system.
9. Echinacea – the queen of flowers
With its attractive colours and star-shaped flowers, echinacea is everyone’s idea of a beautiful flower. Echinacea supplements fend off colds and strengthen the immune system. As a tea, echinacea really only tastes good when blended with other herbs; in its pure form, the aroma is too flowery (which is no surprise when you look at the flowers).
Echinacea tends to make your mouth and lips tingle, but this only happens with extracts and teas, not when smoking or vaping.
10. Ashwagandha – the Ayurvedic classic
Ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, has a prominent place in the Ayurvedic healing system. The plant is known for its soporific qualities, but also helps with anxiety, tension, impotence and inflammation. Traditionally, the leaves and the root are ground into a powder and served as a tea.
Just like tobacco, ashwagandha belongs to the nightshade family. Aside from damiana, it is the only substance on our list that contains traces of nicotine. Like CBD, ashwagandha is said to reduce the anxiety that can be caused by consuming (too much) THC.
Cannabis and Yoga: The Perfect Pair?
Finding the right blend
Everyone is different and has their own taste. While some will consume only pure cannabis, others swear by tobacco or create their own smoking blend. You need to experiment to find the right blend for you and the perfect balance.
At the end of the day, it just needs to taste good. We would love to hear from you in the comments column about which tobacco alternatives you enjoy most in a joint or vaporizer.Are you one of the many people who mix cannabis with tobacco? Why? There are better alternatives. We introduce you to ten alternatives to tobacco.
Healing Herbs You Can Smoke (Other Than Cannabis)
Most of us have first-hand experience with the benefits the body, mind, and soul each receive from an inhalation of sweet cannabis. In fact, studies show that cannabis acts as a bronchodilator, opening the airway passages and aiding in respiratory health. But the proliferation of chemical-coated, cancer-causing tobacco cigarettes has created a stigma that smoking is bad for your health, period. But the truth is, humans have been inhaling herbs for their health benefits for centuries.
If smoking one herb (cannabis) can make us feel so good, logic dictates that there must be additional herbs that deliver similar relief, right? Right! We’re here today to talk about something even most naturopaths and herbalists shy away from.
First, we’re going to talk about some of the wonderful medicinal herbs you can smoke before walking you through how to make your own herbal smoking blend with some help from The Herbal Academy.
Herbs for Your Lungs
Mullein : A tasteless light smoke, Mullein is revered as a highly medicinal herb that cleanses lung infections and inflammation. It’s an expectorant, meaning that it helps in breaking up respiratory congestion and promotes productive coughing. Since Mullein has no flavor, it makes a great base for an herbal smoking blend. Mullein that is too dry won’t smoke smoothly, so add a little moisture and rub the leaves together for the best result.
White Horehound : If you’re like me and the other 300 million people around the globe who suffer from asthma, white horehound is about to be your new best friend. A unique herb native to the Mediterranean, white horehound is a very potent anti-inflammatory, specifically regarding respiratory inflammation. In natural medicine practices, it is used to treat bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma. White horehound is high in marrubiin, which is responsible for its expectorant properties and its ability to stimulate appetite. This useful herb is also analgesic which helps with general aches and pains, specifically headaches and toothaches. Fun fact: Marrob, the Hebrew name for white horehound, is one of the five sacred herbs traditionally served at Passover feasts.
Hyssop : Hyssop has been regarded as a holy herb for centuries, mentioned in the Bible as an herb used to cleanse and purge. Hyssop is often combined with white horehound to deliver powerful, penetrating healing to lung tissues. Hyssop is also used to treat emphysema and purify the lungs because it is such a powerful expectorant. Not only does hyssop clear all the gunk from your lungs, it also soothes irritated mucous membranes in the respiratory system. On top of lung and respiratory health, hyssop is used to relieve anxiety and stimulate focus. Warning, because of its powerful ability to cleanse the body, hyssop has been reported to make some people sweat as the herb initiates the body to detoxify itself through the skin.
Korean Ginseng : Popularly used in a tonic for restoring balance in the body, Korean ginseng also releases many medicinal properties when smoked. It dilates constricted vessels in the lungs allowing for deeper and more effective breathing. Korean ginseng also cleanses the adrenal glands and reduces the physical side-effects of stress in your body such as high cortisol levels in the bloodstream. As an added bonus, it also provides a refreshing boost of energy and optimism which in turn lessens fatigue and anxiety. Amazingly, Korean ginseng has been shown to decrease cancer development in lung tissue.
Herbs Used to Quit Cigarettes
Red Raspberry Leaf : Not only does Red Raspberry Leaf contain a wide variety of medicinal compounds, it is also a great tobacco alternative. Smoking Red Raspberry leaves even neutralizes nicotine poisoning. It also helps with easing menstrual pain, which is why it is a top ingredient in Whoopi & Maya’s PMS tincture. Red Raspberry is a sedative herb that produces a calming effect on the nervous system. Its fluffy texture makes Red Raspberry the perfect base for an herbal smoking blend.
Bergamot : A very strong lung antiseptic, bergamot is rich in oregano oil which has a plethora of healing properties. This powerful herb could easily be placed in the “herbs for your lungs” category because of its effective lung infection-fighting properties. Commonly used to help smokers quit cigarettes, bergamot significantly reduces nicotine cravings as both an herbal smoke and in its essential oil form. In fact, this unique herb has shown to help with dependency or compulsive disorders. Bergamot hails from the citrus family so it’s also known for its uplifting energy and immune-boosting properties.
Mugwort : This unique herb has a long, entwined history with humankind. Its mild hallucinogenic properties have entranced people for centuries, leading it to be heavily used in rituals and spiritual endeavors. On a medicinal level, mugwort is similar to cannabis in the sense that it has a wide range of benefits. This special herb has been used to treat cardiovascular problems, fever, cold/cough, intestinal parasites, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, chronic pain, digestive issues, nervous problems, asthma, menstrual problems, and even brain disease. When smoked, mugwort relaxes the body and is known to enhance and improve recollection of dreams. It’s light and fluffy, like mullein, which makes it a great base for an herbal smoking blend.
St John’s Wor t: One of the most common medicinal herbs in the world, St John’s Wort is best known as an all-around “feel good” plant. It’s a mood stabilizer and enhancer that has been used for centuries to alleviate depression and melancholy. St John’s Wort can also reduce symptoms of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). When smoked, St John’s Wort acts as a mood-elevating sedative, erasing signs of tension throughout the body.
Skullcap : A favorite around here on Marijuana.com, we’ve shown you how to use skullcap in salves, tinctures, and capsules throughout the years. An herb that delivers a diverse number of health benefits, skullcap is best known for reducing anxiety and insomnia. This incredible herb and our nervous system are a match made in heaven. Skullcap boosts the central nervous system, reduces nervous anxiety, and helps nervous headaches.
Wormwood : Famed for being the primary ingredient in absinthe, it turns out that wormwood isn’t as strong of a hallucinogen as once thought. Prior to its infusion into alcohol, wormwood was revered as a very medicinal herb. And contrary to popular belief, you won’t bear witness to any dancing green goblins after ingesting this unique herb. It’s a light anesthetic, providing relief to pain and muscle/menstrual cramps. Smoking wormwood releases mild effects that help reduce pain, headaches, and even rheumatism.
HOW TO MAKE AN HERBAL SMOKING BLEND
It can be helpful to think of herbal smoking blends as having three components:
- The carrier or base herbs
- Herbs with a specific supportive role
- Herbs used for flavoring
Some great base herbs we discussed above were mullein and red raspberry leaf, but cannabis is also a great base/carrier herb for your smoking blend.
Next, you can pick a few herbs from the list above to address the specific medicinal boost your body needs. Whether you’re looking for help with insomnia, anxiety, or something more severe like epilepsy, there is an herb for it!
Finally, spice it up and add some flavor. Herbs you can include to add flavor have incredible medicinal properties as well — you can flavor your smoking blend to cater to your individual needs. Peppermint and spearmint are great for respiratory health, lavender is calming and stress-relieving, while anise and angelica soothe digestive issues and heartburn.
Herbs purchased from a store can be too dried out make for an enjoyable smoke. The Herbal Academy recommends giving the herbs a conservative spritz with water and honey ( optional).
Another great tip from The Herbal Academy is to include a little bit of willow bark to add richness to your smoking blend, particularly if you plan on rolling and consuming your blend with papers.Healing Herbs You Can Smoke (Other Than Cannabis) Most of us have first-hand experience with the benefits the body, mind, and soul each receive from an inhalation of sweet cannabis. In fact, ]]>