There’s a visceral feeling attached to the act of smoking: the flicker of flame, the herbs turning to ash, the taste and the curl of smoke as it exits your lips. For the smoker, it is often a ritualistic part of the day—sometimes performed alone, sometimes with company, but always with an herb of choice and the best supporting herbs.
Straying from cannabis or tobacco is somewhat uncommon, but there are a variety of herbs out there that can be enjoyable to consume on occasion as well, either by themselves or coupled with an herb like cannabis. Their purposes can range widely. Some are relaxing; some can be smoked legally in public; some provide tobacco alternatives for spliff lovers; some are a good base to add to joints for the purpose of conserving cannabis reserves. As for those who simply like to explore new botanicals or craft smoking blends, these herbs simply offer a sensory adventure.
On my own smoking journey, I acquired several organic herbs to see which ones paired best with cannabis. Read on to learn about the flavor, aroma, and body of some lesser-known smoking herbs, and how they can complement the flavors of your favorite strains. (Before you consume any of them, though, always consult a healthcare professional regarding potential contraindications or side effects of new substances.)
Passionflower is a beautiful complement to a cannabis high. Its mildly sedative effects are perfect for balancing out potent, high-THC strains that some users may find too stimulating. In addition, passionflower has a warm, clove-like flavor that pairs nicely with spicy strains dominated by caryophyllene—the peppery terpene—such as Hash Plant.
Damiana on its own is a very relaxing herb, so when paired with cannabis it creates an herbal smoke cocktail built for releasing tension. To create such a spliff, pair it with a soothing indica strain. Damiana’s hickory and mint flavors are also well suited for a bright but earthy strain such as those high in pinene—the piney terpene. For a strain that fits both of these bills consider the hybrid Super Silver Haze.
Mugwort may not have any overtly sedative or relaxing effects the way cannabis can, but it still makes an excellent herb to fill a spliff. Due to its reported ability to affect dreams, it’s a particularly good choice for a soothing bedtime medley. Its sage flavor pairs delightfully with strains high in linalool—the lavender terpene. Try G13 for a sweet tasting strain that will lull you to sleep for a night of mugwort-enhanced dreams.
Mullein, at its heart, is the perfect base for an herbal smoking blend, and can be used for various purposes. It works with sativas that will hold your attention while you study or indicas to unwind after a long day.
Its flavor is also subdued, allowing cannabis’s unique taste to shine through—this herb is a quiet sidekick that keeps the focus on the cannabis.
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