Are you interested in the effects of smoking lavender? Although they’re trending, lavender and other smokable herbs date back thousands of years. And while we mostly think of smoking tobacco, cannabis, and opium, many other flowers, plants, and herbs can safely be used for smoking in a pipe or rolling papers.
Smoking herbs are popping up in prerolls everywhere from TikTok to Amazon. These are non-addictive, non-hallucinogenic alternatives to check out if you’re interested in new options. But remember: any kind of smoking carries an increased risk of respiratory issues and lung cancer.
Most people smoke or vape lavender or other herbs to quit smoking, or to enhance smoking cannabis. Many herbal blends are smokable, but they produce a gentle, relaxing buzz, or an uplifting feeling. These smoking herbs also create smooth, flavorful smoke.
Let’s get started—read on to learn how to turn your own base herbs into the perfect herbal smoking blend.
What is Lavender?
Lavender (Lavandula) is a small, flowering bush with highly fragrant purple flowers that is part of the mint family. Lavender grows naturally in the Mediterranean mountains and northern Africa, but today due to widespread use it is grown around the world.
Lavender oil is a common component of aromatherapy, and the dried lavender flower is used to make herbal teas. Many body care products, hair care products, cleaning products, and perfumes contain lavender extract.
What is lavender flower? There are over 40 flowering plants in the mint family that are forms of lavender flower.
Many people enjoy smoking lavender flower because this calming herb smells and tastes lovely and is known for de-stressing. Some people also find lavender useful for treating headaches, insomnia, nervousness, painful muscle aches, gas, and other gastrointestinal troubles.
Can You Smoke Lavender Flower?
If you’ve ever used rolling tobacco or cannabis to roll a joint this will be familiar—and if not, it’s easy to learn.
Grind dried lavender flowers by hand (or using a grinder) into easily smokable clumps and roll them alone or blended with other herbs or plants into cigarettes. Smoked lavender tastes sweet and strong, and smells similar to fresh lavender but smokier and more fragrant, like incense.
Most research surrounding lavender’s benefits concerns the use of lavender essential oil or topical products made with it. There is no proof that smoking lavender provides the same health benefits, although it could allow someone to inhale a small amount of lavender essential oil.
Although the world still lacks credible research on the direct benefits of smoking lavender, there are ample benefits of the linalool terpene that lavender delivers. We do know that research supports the idea that you can absorb linalool from smoking cannabis. There is no evidence that smoking lavender versus cannabis prevents you from absorbing linalool.
A 2019 review lists the health benefits of lavender, including treating anxiety, boosting the immune system, improving sleep, treating headaches, and speeding up wound healing. A randomized control study found that lavender aromatherapy in the post-anesthesia care unit reduces the need for morphine.
A 2017 laboratory study found that lavender essential oil might fight certain dangerous species of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Another study found that linalool inhibited inflammation in rats. And a 2009 study found that linalool had anti-anxiety properties.
For many users, the biggest benefit of smoking lavender is no withdrawal symptoms and safer smoking. Some cannabis smokers enjoy smoking lavender due to the feeling and health benefits that common terpenes deliver.
As you quit smoking and start to detox from nicotine, getting a good night’s rest becomes a lot harder. Jitters, irritability, and other unpleasant side effects start to set in. Lavender and linalool to the rescue. One study found that inhaling lavender oil helped reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol by up to 60%.
Common Ways To Smoke Lavender
You can smoke lavender in a dry herb vape or rolled into a cigarette. If you have fresh lavender you can smoke it, you just need to dry it first if you don’t buy it in dried form.
But remember, when smoking lavender, use the flower or plant form, not lavender essential oil. It’s not safe to smoke or vape oils, even natural essential oils.
You can smoke lavender by itself, with cannabis, and other herbs. Here are some of our favorite ways to smoke lavender:
Cannabis and Lavender
Smoking lavender with cannabis can enhance pain-relieving and muscle-relaxing effects. Both cannabis and lavender have the terpene Linalool, which relaxes the mind and body.
As much as we all love cannabis, it can make some of us feel anxious or paranoid, and when you smoke lavender and cannabis together, you double up on the linalool terpene which is relaxing and soothing.
Remember to grind both your lavender and cannabis. Then pack the bowl with cannabis, and blanket it with lavender. This way you can light the lavender first. This allows you to get the benefits of smoking lavender first, and the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids will follow.
There are endless other ways to smoke lavender, but here are some great ideas:
Good Dreams Blend
Lavender, Damiana, Mugwort, Red Raspberry Leaf, Rose Petal
Lavender, Blue Lotus, Chamomile, Damiana, Rose Petal
Sweetly Uplifting Blend
Lavender, Hibiscus, Marshmallow, Red Raspberry Leaf, Skullcap, Spearmint, Yarrow Flowers
What Are Herbal Cigarettes?
Herbal cigarettes are cigarettes that contain a mixture of various organic herbs, flowers, and/or other plant material grown without pesticides or artificial additives and do not contain any tobacco or nicotine.
What Herbs Can You Smoke?
Smoking dates back to at least 5000 BC. The cultivation, consumption, and trading of tobacco was most common, followed by opium and cannabis. Many other herbs and plants have been (and still are) used in smoking rituals across cultures
Today, most people know processed tobacco smoke is unhealthy and many are looking to switch to something less harmful. Consumed in moderation, especially on the advice of trusted herbalists, smokable herb blends may yield numerous potential health benefits and are certainly a better alternative than commercial cigarettes.
Some of the most common reasons for smoking herbs include:
- Quitting tobacco
- Improving mood
- Spiritual rituals
- Health reasons
- Mental boost
Remember, not every herb can be smoked. Stick to this guide to smokable herbs to stay safe.
How to Make Your Own Herbal Smoking Blends
Ready to DIY your own blend of smokable herbs? Herbal smoking blends typically have three components:
- Carrier or base herbs—40-60%
- Supportive herbs—30-40%
- Flavoring herbs—10-20%
Base herbs "carry" the other herbs and are the bulk of the blend. Supportive herbs produce specific effects such as supporting bladder function or reducing stress. Flavoring herbs improve the taste.
Practice makes perfect, so work on your blending technique! For example, mullein, red raspberry, and cannabis all make excellent base herbs if you want to get started. Lavender can work as support or for flavor. For those who miss smoking, mugwort and skullcap may make you feel more like you’re getting traditional tobacco smoke. And the mints or coltsfoot is a great addition for lung support.
Here’s a look at the smokable herbs in focus:
List of Smokable Herbs
Bergamot has strong lung antiseptic properties. Both in its essential oil form and as herbal smoke. Bergamot is frequently used to reduce nicotine cravings, help quit cigarettes, and help with other disorders of dependency or compulsiveness. Bergamot is also a kind of citrus, so it has immune-boosting and uplifting qualities.
Blue Lotus Flower
Dried Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) flowers are steeped in tea or smoked to induce lucid dreaming or other psychoactive effects as well as relaxation. Blue Lotus is famous for aphrodisiac qualities, calming euphoria, and sedation. Blue Lotus is sometimes also called Egyptian lotus, Blue Water Lily, or Sacred Lily of the Nile.
A member of the mint family, catnip has a mild sedative effect that delivers a sense of tranquility. Although it does have a vague mint taste, it is mostly a supportive smokable herb. That’s because, although catnip produces euphoria in cats, it doesn't do humans the same favor.
Native to Europe, chamomile is a perennial plant with a summer-fall growing season. It grows three to six inches tall with climbing stems and flowers that look like daisies. Although most of us have only had chamomile in tea to sleep or calm our nerves, it is also a smokable herb. It is traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory. When smoked or vaped, chamomile has a light, faintly sweet, fruity body. It reduces tension, relaxes the mind, provides sedative and anti-spasmodic effects, and has other therapeutic benefits.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is a 6- to 12-inch tall groundcover that germinates infrequently. You can buy potted plants and seeds online. With a neutral flavor and light smoke, coltsfoot is used as an expectorant but can cause harsh coughing as it helps free phlegm from the lungs.
Damiana is a base herb or a supportive herb. As a base herb, damiana carries other herbs well with a solid texture. As a supportive herb, damiana supports the nervous system, acts as a natural mood lifter and aphrodisiac, and induces relaxation. In terms of taste, damiana is neutral, similar to cannabis, and overall this herb feels especially useful to people quitting tobacco.
Mentioned in the Bible and used as a holy herb for centuries, hyssop is an expectorant that relieves irritation in the respiratory system’s mucous membranes. It is used to purify the lungs and treat emphysema and is often combined with white horehound.
Hyssop is also used to stimulate focus and soothe anxiety. These powerful cleansing capabilities may cause sweating in some people.
Among Korean ginseng’s medicinal properties are improving breathing by dilating constricted blood vessels in the lungs and reducing anxiety and fatigue. Korean ginseng may also reduce the physical side-effects of stress such as high cortisol levels and cleanse the adrenal glands. Research also indicates that Korean ginseng may decrease the development of cancer in lung tissue.
Lemon-scented lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a perennial plant that originates in West Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean region, but today can be found worldwide. It has been used for millennia to enhance mood and cognitive function and remedy different illnesses such as insomnia, anxiety, and nausea.
Also called Indian tobacco, lobelia (Lobelia inflata) has been used for thousands of years. Native Americans smoked lobelia as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, cough, and pneumonia. In high concentrations, it can induce vomiting and purge toxins from the body.
Marshmallow root is another great choice for a smokable herb base that also lends some sweet flavor. Dried marshmallow root is fluffy and adds the right body to an herbal blend. Marshmallow root has supportive properties and is soothing to the lungs, throat, and digestive tract as well as skin inflammation.
Mullein Leaf (Verbascum thapsus)
Mullein is a biennial herb that grows up to six feet or more where its flower stalks peak and is two feet wide at the base. It helps suppress coughing and has a long history of use as a lung tonic. Smoking mullein is like smoking nothing at all, never harsh, mild, and light, and has no flavor of its own—the ideal base herb.
Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)
A spreading perennial, mugwort grows widespread throughout North America up to 2 feet tall. This light smoking herb has a slightly sweet, pleasant taste. Thanks to a mild psychotropic effect ancient cultures used mugwort to experience waking dreams.
The medical benefits of mugwort are similar to cannabis and include alleviating colds, fever, nervous problems, digestive issues, and menstrual problems. Like mullein, mugwort is light and fluffy, so it’s an ideal herbal base for a smoking blend.
The tropical herb passionflower eases anxiety and pain, improves menopausal symptoms and digestion, and enhances sleep. Add passionflower to a smoking blend to support the nervous system, especially for nighttime use. And as you might guess, passionflower adds a slightly sweet taste to your smoking blend.
Peppermint and Spearmint
Peppermint and spearmint—the entire mint family, for that matter—has numerous health benefits, such as relaxing the nerves, improving blood circulation, and rejuvenating both the body and mind. Peppermint and spearmint are both strong purifying agents that clear the respiratory passages and lungs to ensure easier breathing.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf can produce calming effects on the nervous system and may neutralize nicotine poisoning. It makes for a nice base herb with its fluffy texture and it may help relieve menstrual pain.
Rose petals have the obvious benefit in herbal smoking blends as a flavoring and scent agent but they also have numerous potential health benefits. For example, rose petals may protect against cadmium toxicity, have neuroprotective effects, and have antiviral and antimicrobial benefits.
Growing about one foot tall, skullcap is a spreading perennial that makes an appealing groundcover and delivers a medium, neutral-tasting smoke. When smoked, skullcap has a mild calming effect and offers a diverse number of health benefits, such as reducing insomnia and anxiety and boosting the central nervous system.
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is among the world’s most common medicinal herbs and is best known as a natural antidepressant. This mood enhancer and stabilizer has been used to treat depression for centuries and may also reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. Be aware that St. John's Wort interacts with some common medications.
Uva Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Also called kinnikinnick, an Algonquin name, Uva-ursi herb is an attractive woody plant that grows about 6 inches tall and is a popular groundcover plant for landscaping. Native American tribes have used this indigenous plant for ceremonial purposes for many years. Uva-ursi has a strong earthy taste and a medium smoke.
White horehound, also called marrob, is a traditional herb at Passover time. Native to the Mediterranean, white horehound is loved by many with asthma and other forms of respiratory inflammation such as whooping cough or bronchitis as it is a unique and very potent anti-inflammatory. White horehound is high in marrubiin, which stimulates appetite and has expectorant properties. White horehound is also used to relieve toothaches and headaches for its analgesic qualities.
White sage treats a number of issues, including sore throats, sinus infections, and menstrual pain. It also adds a clean, distinctive flavor to smoke, with an uplifting feel that many people enjoy.
Willow bark has a number of traditional and medicinal uses such as pain relief, improved skin texture, and anti-inflammatory benefits. It also adds body to an herbal smoke blend, increases its smoothness and heaviness, and has an astringent quality similar to tobacco.
Wormwood is the main ingredient in absinthe, once thought to be a powerful hallucinogen. Wormwood also has medicinal qualities as a light anesthetic and pain reliever for complaints like headaches, muscle or menstrual cramps, and rheumatism.
Other Flavoring Herbs
You can smoke other flavoring herbs such as anise, clove, angelica root, rosemary, licorice root, yerba buena, or monarda. Always look for organic herbs with no pesticides.
Smokable Herbs as an Ancient Spiritual Tradition
Humans smoking herbs for health and enjoyment predates written history. Smoking culture has evolved alongside traditional ritual healing methods.
Various cultures describe smoking medicinal herbs as part of ritual ceremonies. In the 5th century BCE, Darius, King of Persia has chronicled smoking herbs, Avicenna, a 10th-century Muslim healer, described smoking medicinal herbs in, "The Canon of Medicine.”
Many South American peoples have historically used these kinds of botanicals. Additionally, smoking herbs is a major part of Ayurveda, a 4,000-year-old Indian healing tradition, that is still in practice today.
We hope this guide to smoking lavender and other smokable herbs has been useful to you. If you’re looking for a way to quit smoking commercial cigarettes, lavender can be a relaxing, satisfying alternative.