7 Smokable Plants You Can Grow That Aren’t Marijuana
By Brian Barth
Here's a non-trend that you'd think would be more hip: tobacco-free herbal smoking blends.
Quite a few plants may be safely, and pleasurable, lit up in a pipe or rolling papers. Those listed below are legal, unregulated, and totally safe to use. They are also non-hallucinogenic and non-addictive—perhaps that explains their lack of popularity?
While they won't get you high, when blended according to the instructions below, these herbs produce a smooth, tasty smoke and give a gentle, relaxing buzz. All of the following varieties may be purchased online or at any well-stocked herb store. You may also grow your own. Of course, we'd be remiss not to remind you to discuss any questions with a doctor.
While scores of herbs are smokable, those listed below are among the most commonly used and easily grown at home. Skip to the sidebar to learn how to dry your herbs into the perfect smoking blend.
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
Herbal Properties: Mullein has a long history of use as a lung tonic. It can actually help you stop coughing when you're sick.
Smoking Qualities: The smoke is extremely light and mild, almost like smoking air, and virtually flavorless.
Type of Plant: This biennial herb grows up to two feet wide at the base, with flower stalks rising six feet or more.
How to Grow: Considered by some a garden weed, this fuzzy-leafed plant is very easy to grow from seed planted directly in the garden in spring. It prefers a sunny location and soil that is well-drained and not too fertile. It benefits from a bit of irrigation as a seedling but is drought-tolerant once established.
Skullcap (Scutellaria spp.)
Herbal Properties: Skullcap has a mild calming effect when smoked.
Smoking Qualities: This herb is a medium smoke, with a fairly neutral flavor.
Type of Plant: A spreading perennial that grows about a foot tall, skullcap makes an attractive groundcover in the garden.
How to Grow: Sow seeds indoors in spring, planting the seedlings in a sunny or partly shaded location with rich soil once the weather has warmed. Skullcap requires weekly irrigation during dry periods. Cut the dried foliage to the ground each fall.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Herbal Properties: Coltsfoot is an expectorant, helping to free phlegm from the lungs.
Smoking Qualities: This herb is a light smoke with a neutral flavor, but can cause harsh coughing if used in a high concentration in smoking blends.
Type of Plant: This 6- to 12-inch tall groundcover spreads by underground rhizomes to form extensive colonies under optimum growing conditions.
How to Grow: Dried coltsfoot seed rarely germinates, but "fresh" seed, as well as potted plants, are available online. Rich, moist soil and a location in full sun or part shade are this plant's preferred growing conditions.
Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)
Herbal Properties: Many ancient cultures smoked mugwort to promote vivid dreams. It also produces a very mild psychotropic effect while you're awake.
Smoking Qualities: This herb is a light smoke with a pleasant, slightly sweet flavor.
Type of Plant: Mugwort is a spreading perennial growing up to 2 feet tall.
How to Grow: While seeds are available online, mugwort is easier to start from a potted plant, or by transplanting a clump from an established patch. Mugwort thrives with little care once established, but beware: it can become invasive, especially in moist locations. Cut the dried stalks to the ground each fall.
Uva-Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Herbal Properties: Also known by the Algonquin name kinnikinnick, this native plant has long been smoked by Native American tribes for ceremonial purposes.
Smoking Qualities: Uva-ursi herb is a medium smoke with a strong earthy flavor.
Type of Plant: This attractive woody groundcover, which grows about 6 inches tall, is a popular landscaping plant.
How to Grow: Uva-ursi is very difficult to propagate by seed, so it's best to obtain potted specimens from a native plant nursery in your area, or from an online supplier. Grow in full sun or light shade; excellent drainage is essential. Uva-ursi is drought-tolerant and requires little care once established.
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Herbal Properties: Mints are used primarily to impart flavor to smoking blends. There are many varieties worth experimenting with, including spearmint (Mentha spicata) (pictured above), peppermint (Mentha piperita), and chocolate mint (Mentha x piperita 'Chocolate'). Close relatives of mint, including lemon balm (lemony flavor) and yerba buena (sweet menthol flavor), are often incorporated in smoking blends, as well.
Smoking Qualities: Varies by species.
Type of Plant: These herbaceous perennials spread to form extensive colonies under optimum growing conditions.
How to Grow: Mints are easier to establish from potted plants, or by transplanting a clump from an established patch, than by sowing seeds. Part sun and rich, moist soil are the preferred growing conditions. Mints can become invasive in the garden, especially in moist areas, so you may want to confine them to a pot. Cut the dried stalks to the ground each fall.
Sage (Salvia spp.)
Herbal Properties: Sages are used primarily to impart flavor to smoking blends. There are many varieties worth experimenting with, including white sage (Salvia apiana), black sage (Salvia mellifera), and pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) (pictured above). Beware though: One type of sage, Salvia divinorum, has strong psychotropic properties and is illegal in many states (many gardeners find themselves accidentally breaking the law).
Smoking Qualities: Varies by species.
Type of Plant: Most sages are shrubby perennials, ranging from less than 1 foot to more than 6 feet tall.
How to Grow: Growing conditions vary by species, but most sages prefer full sun and dry conditions. Cut them back about 50 percent each fall.
How To Make Your Own Herbal Smoking Blend
Smoking mixtures are largely a matter of personal tastes and preferences—experiment with different herb combinations to see what suits you best—but here are the basics to get you started.
- Harvest fresh, young leaves, ideally in the morning after the dew has evaporated.
- Dry the leaves slowly indoors—try hanging them in bundles from the ceiling or spreading them out on a window screen (see our article on drying techniques here). Don't dry them fast in an oven, as you want the leaves to retain a bit of moisture for a smoother smoke.
- Once dry, crush the leaves by hand into an even consistency.
- Combine according to the guidelines below:
- Mullein is the ideal "base" for smoking blends because it is such a light, smooth smoke. It should form about 50 percent of the mixture.
- Then add several other herbs for the "body" of the blend. Mugwort and skullcap create a headier smoke, while uva-ursi gives it more of a tobacco-like quality. Add a bit of coltsfoot if you're lungs are irritated from frequent tobacco use. Combined, these herbs should constitute about 40 percent of the blend.
- Use flavoring herbs, like mints and sages, for the final 10 percent of the blend.
- If the blend is too harsh when you smoke it, trying spritzing the dried herbs with a spray bottle to reintroduce moisture.
- Store smoking blends in glass jars or resealable plastic pouches.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
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* Aloe vera used to heal skin wounds. * Aloe vera plant is used to heal burn. * Helps in speeding recovery time after surgery. * Aloe vera gel is used on blisters. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing insect bites. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing rashes. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing sores. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing herpes. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing urticaria. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing fungus. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing vaginal infections. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing conjunctivitis. * Aloe vera Plants are also helpful in healing allergic reactions. * Aloe gels are applied on dry skins to give them glowing effect. * Helps in reducing acne. * Helps to reduce sunburn. * Aloe vera helps to fight frostbite. * Aloe vera uses includes fighting from shingles. * It helps in screening out x-ray radiation. * Aloe vera used to reduce psoriasis. * Aloe vera used to reduce rosacea. * Aloe vera used to reduce warts. * Wrinkles from aging are reduced by applying Aloe vera. * Aloe vera used to reduce eczema. information made available by: http//www.aloeveraplant.org/medicinal-uses-aloevera-plants.php
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Koo HJ, Lee KR, Kim HS, Lee B-M. Detoxification effects of aloe polysaccharide and propolis on the urinary excretion of metabolites in smokers. Food Chem Toxicol. 2019;130:99-108.
To assess the potential application of aloe polysaccharide and propolis as chemoprevention in smokers by measuring the effects of these natural agents on urinary excretion of major tobacco carcinogens and nicotine. To explore the synergistic effects of aloe polysaccharide and propolis by using a combination of these agents at lower doses.
Randomized, multiarm, blinded, placebo-controlled study, 4-week duration
Participants and Intervention
A total of 50 participants divided into 5 groups of 10 each.
Forty healthy smokers (20-40 cig/day x 1-10 y) and 10 healthy non-smokers (never smokers). All males, 20 to 28 years old. All students at Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Republic of Korea.
Group 1. 10 non-smokers. Placebo.
Group 2. 10 smokers. Placebo
Group 3. 10 smokers. 600 mg/day of aloe polysaccharide extract
Group 4. 10 smokers. 600 mg/day of propolis extract
Group 5. 10 smokers: mixture of 420 mg/day of aloe polysaccharide and 180 mg/day of propolis
Study Parameters Assessed
- Urinary excretion of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and cotinine
- Blood levels of creatinine, glucose, and total bilirubin
Primary Outcome Measures
- Urine levels of BaP and cotinine
- Blood levels of creatinine, glucose, and total bilirubin
All participants were young, East-Asian males.
Urinary excretion of BaP and cotinine was significantly increased in a time-dependent manner by treatment with aloe polysaccharide, propolis, and a mixture of the 2 agents. Treatment with aloe polysaccharide alone had a greater impact on the urinary excretion of BaP and cotinine (BaP, 2.23-fold increase; cotinine, 2.64-fold increase versus smoker placebo group) than treatment with propolis (BaP, 1.30-fold increase; cotinine, 2.08-fold increase; P<0.05).
The mixture of aloe polysaccharide and propolis at lower doses had an effect (BaP, 2.33-fold increase; cotinine, 2.28-fold increase vs smoker placebo group) similar to that of aloe polysaccharide alone at a higher dose, demonstrating synergistic effects of aloe and propolis products.
The enhanced excretion of carcinogens may be chemopreventive by limiting the interaction of electrophilic carcinogens with biomolecules.
Blood levels of creatinine, glucose, and total bilirubin were decreased by aloe polysaccharide alone (15.24%, 40.22%, and 48.82%, respectively), propolis alone (16.83%, 36.25%, and 52.59%, respectively), and the mixture of aloe polysaccharide and propolis (16.36%, 46.37%, and 39.20%, respectively; P<0.05).
Tobacco products cause numerous cancers, as well as cardiovascular, respiratory, and various inflammatory diseases. According to the World Health Organization, about 8 million people die each year worldwide as a result of tobacco use; more than 7 million deaths are the result of direct tobacco use and 1.2 million are due to exposure to second-hand smoke.1 In the United States, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death. Despite the decreasing trend in smoking, more than 34 million American adults continue to smoke, more than 16 million live with a smoking-related disease, and about 480,000 die each year from tobacco use.2
A current worrisome trend is the skyrocketing increase in the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes. Some people who used to smoke regular cigarettes are now switching to e-cigarettes, thinking they are a safer alternative.3 Another concerning development is the use of e-cigarettes by young people; they are the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students.4,5 E-cigarettes are highly addictive products that produce a wide range of chemicals. A CDC press release from September 6, 2019,6 stated that serious lung illnesses have been associated with e-cigarette products. While it is unclear which chemical components are causing the most damage, users of both THC- and nicotine-containing products have been affected.7
Healthcare providers have a unique opportunity to educate patients about smoking cessation and to offer tools to help them quit. A brief and effective intervention can take less than 10 minutes. An easy way to do this is to use the 5 As:
- Ask about use
- Advise to quit
- Assess willingness to attempt
- Assist in quitting
- Arrange for a follow-up
Even for patients who are not ready to commit to stopping smoking, simply discussing a smoking habit with a clinician has been shown to boost motivation and increase the likelihood of future cessation.8
In counseling to enhance motivation, the 5 Rs strategy may be useful:
- Relevance (make it personally relevant to the patient)
- Risks (address acute, chronic, and environmental effects)
- Rewards (such as improved health, appearance, and money saved)
- Roadblocks (withdrawal, cravings, and resources)
- Repetition (repeat it every time for unmotivated patients; most people make more than one attempt to quit).
In addition to counseling techniques, several first-line medications have been shown to increase long-term smoking abstinence rates, including bupropion SR, varenicline, and nicotine-containing products (eg, gum). Appropriate counseling on possible side effects and expectations is a must when adding any ancillary medicines. While both counseling and medication can be used individually, the combination of the 2 is more effective.8
Given the current epidemic of tobacco use and its effect on global health, research, such as that described in this article, on how to circumvent the harmful effects of tobacco products is timely. In this study, aloe polysaccharide and propolis extracts, both separately and in combination, limited exposure to carcinogens by enhancing their urinary excretion. Tobacco smoke contains at least 70 human carcinogens. BaP, one of the first such identified carcinogens, was eliminated via urine most effectively in subjects who had received aloe polysaccharide, either alone or in combination with propolis extract.
This study also measured the excretion of cotinine, a major metabolite of nicotine and a marker of choice for monitoring tobacco smoke inhalation. Cotinine excretion was also enhanced by aloe and propolis products. Aloe polysaccharide extract alone was more effective than propolis extract alone, and the combination of the 2 extracts had an effect similar to that of aloe polysaccharides alone. The authors of this study suggest that the enhanced excretion of carcinogens may be chemopreventive by limiting the interaction of electrophilic carcinogens with biomolecules.
Aloe vera has long been used as a folk remedy for the topical treatment of wounds and burns. It has also been suggested to have antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antioxidant, and analgesic effects. It has been applied in patients with skin conditions, arthritis, and gastric ulcers.9 Aloe plants consist of an outer rind, sheath cells of the leaves, called latex, and an inner clear gel. Anthraquinone glycosides (eg, emodin) are derived from latex and have laxative effects. Aloe polysaccharides are the main constituents of the inner leaf gel of aloe and have been shown to have chemopreventive and immune-modulating effects.10 Aloe polysaccharide extract was used in the present study.
Propolis is a natural resinous mixture produced by honeybees from substances collected from parts of plants, buds, and exudates. It is known to have antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities,11 as well as antidiabetic and hepatoprotective activity.12 In this study, a preparation of water-soluble powder was produced by freeze-drying ethanol extract.
In addition to enhancing the excretion of BaP and cotinine, aloe polysaccharide and propolis also lowered blood levels of creatinine, glucose and total bilirubin, which is associated with protective effects on the kidneys and the liver, as well as antidiabetic activity.
Both aloe polysaccharides and propolis have excellent safety records and could be useful as potential chemopreventive agents in patients who are current smokers or who are trying to quit smoking.
Aloe Vera and cannabis
Aloe vera is known to have many health benefits. It is good for your hair and the immune system. However, did you know that aloe vera can be beneficial for your cannabis plants? Aloe vera can help you to grow marijuana easy.
Aloe vera is a succulent that has a gel form filled with nutrients that can benefit your cannabis plants. Many growers of cannabis have found the organic way of growing cannabis to be better for the environment and their plant. The use of plant species for organic gardening helps with the prevention of pests and fertilization of cannabis.
What is Aloe Vera?
Over the years, aloe vera has been used in many food and cosmetic products. Aloe vera is a green plant like cannabis. It is native to the Arabian Peninsula. Although it can be found in the tropics. Aloe vera leaves are thick and large with a gel substance within. The gel and leaves have an array of medicinal and therapeutic benefits. As stated before, aloe vera is very beneficial for humans as well.
Aloe vera and humans
There has been comprehensive research on the benefits of aloe vera. The leaves and gel are reported to have antioxidant properties. It can help to combat the bacteria called Mycoplasma. Even antibiotics are unable to tackle these bacteria.
Additional research also provides evidence that samples from young aloe might protect the skin from radiation. This may be the reason there are many aloe vera sun cream. The infusion of CBD in aloe vera cream can also help to prevent sunburn.
Also, you can put aloe vera on burned skin. Aloe vera has similar effects on certain conditions like cannabis. Research on mice shows that there was a reduction in depression in the mice after they were treated with aloe vera. We do not know if this study is reflective of the same benefits in humans. Therefore, there needs to be more research conducted on humans.
How Aloe Vera benefits cannabis
Aloe vera is not just good for humans, but it is beneficial to your enjoyment of cannabis. During the cultivation process, cannabis plants require a substantial amount of nutrients. Aloe vera is not just packed with nutrient, but it can dissuade pests from your crop and combat diseases. Therefore, when growing cannabis outside, you should grow some aloe vera as well if you have space.
Aloe versa is available in a foliar spray. Organic growers use these sprays to provide their cannabis plants with nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, and calcium. These nutrients are needed to help cannabis plants grow healthy. The nutrients can be absorbed through the leaves easier when it is sprayed. If the leaves look like it is lacking nutrients or diminishing, then it is better to spray them with the aloe vera foliar spray. Additionally, aloe vera can provide amino acid that is needed for healthy and bountiful crops. You can make your foliar spray using two teaspoons of aloe gel with water.
Protects against disease
There are compounds in aloe vera that can protect against diseases. It contains acemannan which has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Aloe vera also provides cannabis with saponins. These help to protect cannabis against fungi and other diseases. Saponin also helps the root of the plant to absorb water better.
Now you know which plant to cultivate along with cannabis to fight off diseases and provide the well-needed nutrients. Aloe vera is a worthwhile plant that is cheap to cultivate indoor or outdoor. Grow marijuana plants easy with aloe vera!
Marijuana and sun protection
You may be wondering, is using marijuana in the form of topical sun lotion helping guard against the sun, is smoking weed good for your skin?...
Smoke aloe vera can you
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