These Herbal Blends Are What We're Smoking Right Now

Ditch tobacco for these healthier, herbier alternatives.

Before you judge spliff rollers, or write them off completely for polluting their herb, you should realize that the otherwise toxic practice is somewhat practical. For people who thoroughly enjoy the experience of smoking joints, but can’t afford to blaze through a quarter each week, spliffs certainly present a more economical rolling solution. And then there’s the high factor: The THC-nicotine combo elicits a completely different high than a joint containing just cannabis.

There are alternative fillers, though, that you can use to get all the benefits of a lighter, cheaper joint, without putting your health at risk.

At an all-ladies event last month, hosted by Van der Pop and Canna Curious Club, I learned all about smokeable herbs from Kiskanu, a cannabis therapy consulting company that also grows high-quality product in Northern California. You can incorporate dried herbs just like you would with weed: all you have to do is toss together a blend, grind it all up, and start rolling. And because these plants are legal, you can buy them from a number of online retailers, your local herbal medicine store, or even most health food stores. 

Image courtesy of Kiskanu.

Once you know a few things about the best kinds of plants to smoke, it can be a fun process mixing and sampling different blends. While you’re at it, brew some tea and light some candles for a truly witchy experience—AKA my kind of weeknight wind-down.

Here are a few smokeable herbs you should definitely have on your radar. As always, do your best to source organic plants that are free of pesticides. 

Mullein: A popular and cheap base herb commonly found in dry climates like those of Southern California. Mullein is great for smoking because it burns slowly and smoothly, and has several, multi-purpose medicinal properties. The herb has been shown to help with inflammation, congestion, and allergies. Ironically, mullein can also help improve your lung health, even though you’re smoking it.

Red Raspberry Leaf: For hundreds of years, herbalists have been using this plant for gastrointestinal issues, female fertility, and as a boost for the immune system. When brewed as a tea, red raspberry leaf been said to help with menstrual cramps.

Damiana: Another good base herb, damiana is a natural aphrodisiac and helps relieve headaches, anxiety, and digestive issues.

Rosebuds: There’s nothing quite as pleasing to the eye as a handful of tiny, dried roses. If you can bear grinding them up for a joint, you’ll enjoy some of the pain-relieving and antioxidant benefits. They also smell divine, so there’s that too.

Chamomile: You’ve likely sipped chamomile tea to chill out before bed, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise you can smoke it to get many of the same benefits.

Lavender: A crowd favorite for a number of reasons, the most obvious being its relaxing scent. It also helps that you can find lavender just about anywhere, so don’t even bother buying it if you can snag a handful from your neighbor’s garden.

White Sage: In the same way hippies and hipsters alike burn sage to purify living spaces, white sage can be an effective congestion-busting addition to your blended joint. Just use a little bit at first since the flavor tends to be overpowering.

Catnip: Contrary to popular belief, catnip isn’t only crack for cats. While your cat might get amped on the stuff, it has a calming effect on humans.