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.

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.

  • Disclaimer:
    This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your doctor or other licensed medical professional. Do not delay seeking medical advice or disregard medical advice due to something you have read on this website.

Comments

35 thoughts on “Healthy alternatives to tobacco that are the perfect mix with cannabis”

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  3. good article.no surprise big cig companies are the first to cash in on the marijuana market.

  4. Van Nelle had in jaren 70 4 of 5 oude machines omgebouwd voor fabrikage van joints. Dus Karton filter met grote trechter.Het werkte maar nooit meer iets van vernomen.Was fabriek in Drachten .

  5. Hejo,

    didnt you use google? this thing is an HOAX!

    the whole source website is an satirical page!

    man man man

    1. Hi Martin. “The story was originally posted by the satirical website Abril Uno (Spanish for April 1, also known as April Fool’s Day).” We know 🙂

      Thanks and best regards,

      Martijn

  6. In the past year of increased discussion about cannabis legalization many articles have been posted with– guess what– a picture of a “JOINT” at the top. Especially in the eyes of children (and they look at more pictures than you think) this is sneak $igarette advertising. Whether or not intentional Dark Money is flowing to make it happen, this flood of rolling papers in the media has the effect of a last-ditch effort to Bail Out Philip Morris and the other oligarchs.

    Whether they contain tobacco or cannabis, H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide $igarette “rolling papers” are public health disaster #1 in the history of the human race with 200 million deaths since 1853, currently 6 million a year! Latest Surgeon General Report: “tobacco” (mainly $igarette $moking) costs the US economy $289 billion a year!

    But there is one redeeming angle to this Marbleburial M story– if the pro-cannabis community now succeeds in promoting the use of vaporizers and Long-Drawtube One-Hitters, everyone will know how to tear a tiny piece off the end of a joint or $igarette and VAPE it in a 25-mg-serving-size one-hitter; once this practice spreads into the nicotine-addicted population, $igarette sales will shrink to a TENTH of their present volume, millions of lives will be saved, Reynolds, Lorillard, BATCO et al. will find honest work to do with their $-obedient workforce, and some cannabis blog editor will win a Knowitwell Prize for Medical Victory #1 of the century.

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  10. Everybody should have be the right to utilise marihuana for his or her personal. I cogitate this is an human right and to interdict cannabis with police force is against them and against the existence.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Jeroen,

      Thank you for your comment 🙂 and for sharing this tip! We are currently in the process of revisiting and updating many of our articles, so when this one has its turn, we will consider adding mullein to the list. In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  11. I would REALLY like to know how the author defines “healthy” in this case. Is it simply because of nicotine? Or have you actually considered the levels of PAHs ( benzopyrene, benzoanthracene) or other carcinogens such as Formaldehyde produced when someone burns sage or rosemary?

    reminds of BS marketing on food “now less salt”. yeah compared to 40% salt, 35% is less, but the reality is you dont even have those numbers do you? did you even look into the constituents of lavender smoke as you proclaimed it a “healthy’ alternative to tobacco? Tobacco has been studied in large populations for decades, hence why we know its so harmful. Just because we dont have the same amount of data on inhalation of mint smoke to the lungs, does not mean you can just claim its healthier.

    Finally, have you actually even tried smoking these things with joints? i mean seriously, do you even actually believes this nonsensical drivel yourself?

    1. Olivier - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Tan, nicotine is a poison and highly addictive which is why the tobacco alternatives in the article can be considered “healthier” alternatives. On top of nicotine tobacco contains over 200 toxic substances and chemical additives that are not present in the proposed alternatives. If you get the ratio right, they actually burn fine as well. From a health point of view vaporizing or eating cannabis has been proven to be much better than smoking. This I should have probably mentioned in the article. Have a great week! Olivier

      1. I think you put entirely too much emphasis on Nicotine. Using your logic, the whisky barrel wood chips I use for BBQs are a ‘healthier’ alternative. Yo, there is no nicotine in cotton wool, is that also ‘healthier’ to smoke than tobacco?

        I was not aware that nicotine was a registered carcinogen. As I mentioned before, the most harmful aspects of tobacco smoke are due to PAHs and other products of combustion such as Formaldehyde. These are not present in tobacco, rather are products of combustion. when you combust ANYTHING: weed, tobacco, paper, wood etc

        It seems you conflate addiction and harm due to smoke as one. So they are not addictive…does that actually mean they are healthier to smoke?

        The ACMD had to develop a multicriteria analysis model to determine the ‘harm’ due to drugs, even my focus on just compounds ignores other aspects like exposure rates or burning temperatures.

        Funny thing is (and this is a critique of pro-cannabis arguments in general) analysis of cannabis smoke has shown near similar levels of these carcinogens, sometimes even more. Thats whats so disingenuous about many supporters who talk about smoking weed, that weed smoke actually contains most of the same [200 toxic] compounds that are found in Tobacco smoke.

        The difference in carcinogensis is due to the effect Cannabinoids have on the P53 gene and Cytochrome P450. Least that was theorised by R. Melemede. Nicotine has shown to have the opposite effect exacerbating the genesis.

      2. I wonder how much variation is required to escape the duplicate post filter….

        I think you put entirely too much emphasis on Nicotine. Using your logic, the whisky barrel wood chips I use for BBQs are a ‘healthier’ alternative. Yo, there is no nicotine in cotton wool, is that also ‘healthier’ to smoke than tobacco?

        I was not aware that nicotine was a registered carcinogen. As I mentioned before, the most harmful aspects of tobacco smoke are due to PAHs and other products of combustion such as Formaldehyde. These are not present in tobacco, rather are products of combustion. when you combust ANYTHING: weed, tobacco, paper, wood etc

        It seems you conflate addiction and harm due to smoke as one. So they are not addictive…does that actually mean they are healthier to smoke?

        The ACMD had to develop a multicriteria analysis model to determine the ‘harm’ due to drugs, even my focus on just compounds ignores other aspects like exposure rates or burning temperatures.

        Funny thing is (and this is a critique of pro-cannabis arguments in general) analysis of cannabis smoke has shown near similar levels of these carcinogens, sometimes even more. Thats whats so disingenuous about many supporters who talk about smoking weed, that weed smoke actually contains most of the same [200 toxic] compounds that are found in Tobacco smoke.

        The difference in carcinogensis is due to the effect Cannabinoids have on the P53 gene and Cytochrome P450. Least that was theorised by R. Melemede. Nicotine has shown to have the opposite effect exacerbating the genesis.

      3. I think you put entirely too much emphasis on Nicotine. Using your logic, the whisky barrel wood chips I use for BBQs are a ‘healthier’ alternative. Yo, there is no nicotine in cotton wool, is that also ‘healthier’ to smoke than tobacco?

        I was not aware that nicotine was a registered carcinogen. As I mentioned before, the most harmful aspects of tobacco smoke are due to PAHs and other products of combustion such as Formaldehyde. These are not present in tobacco, rather are products of combustion. when you combust ANYTHING: weed, tobacco, paper, wood etc

        It seems you conflate addiction and harm due to smoke as one. So they are not addictive…does that actually mean they are healthier to smoke?

        The ACMD had to develop a multicriteria analysis model to determine the ‘harm’ due to drugs, even my focus on just compounds ignores other aspects like exposure rates or burning temperatures.

        Funny thing is (and this is a critique of pro-cannabis arguments in general) analysis of cannabis smoke has shown near similar levels of these carcinogens, sometimes even more. Thats whats so disingenuous about many supporters who talk about smoking weed, that weed smoke actually contains most of the same [200 toxic] compounds that are found in Tobacco smoke.

        The difference in carcinogensis is due to the effect Cannabinoids have on the P53 gene and Cytochrome P450. Least that was theorised by R. Melemede. Nicotine has shown to have the opposite effect exacerbating the genesis.

    2. Don’t come to a second rate website like this to post your copy pasted wiki info aiming to sound like you know what the fuck you’re on about. Stupid people filling up the world without giving anything back. Thanks again.

  12. Stijn de Witt

    Tan might have formulated it a bit nicer, but he has some good critique the author should take more seriously. You repeating your claim that ‘the tobacco alternatives in the article can be considered “healthier” alternatives.’ is just madness really. You don’t know. Period. There is no data. And frankly it is probably not so. Yes nicotine is highly addictive but it is not what is killing smokers.

    Also, I tried out some of the herbs you mention. Did you? Because frankly adding even a single leave of sage imho completely kills your joint as it just has an overwhelmingly strong taste. I would not recommend it to anyone.

    If you want a tobacco alternative, avoid sage. Also avoid mint and I suspect lavender and rosemary and chamille as well. These herbs have way too strong aroma and really take over the whole taste of the joint.

    I have good experience with Damiana, it works well. Also Yerba Mate is ok. Already mentioned in the comments, Verbascum / Mullein works well. And also not mentioned but I found simple corn silk to work well too. I made a mix of Damiana, Yerba Mate, Mullein and Corn silk and the end result feels a lot like tobacco when you roll it and also burns a lot like tobacco. It is more dry and it has a lighter taste that can become a bit like a kretek cigarette towards the end of the joint. Still looking on ways to improve on it but adding sage definitely is not one of those ways.

    I would still like to try Ashwagandha, Kratom and both white and blue lotus.

  13. I’d love to try some fo these the problem si that the tobacco industry is not interested in those alternatives, so unless you grow them yourself and dry them (for which you need some know how) it’s pretty hard to get it, or where would I go to buy some dried camomile buds?
    for toabacco you just need to go to the closest shop or gas station and you get every blend you want.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment, you make a good point. Depending on where you live, dried chamomile flowers can often be found in good health food shops being sold as loose herbal tea, as can other tobacco substitutes such as raspberry leaf. It is also possible to order them online.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  14. Sensi seeds 2016 : Tan stop commenting on our posts and send messages in private

    Tan 2017 : quits sensi seeds

    Sensi seeds 2018: block Tan from posting

    seriously, WTF? if your boy oliver cant admit he is wrong about the ‘health’ implications of smoking random garden herbs then he should make sure not to make BS posts.

    preventing my comments wont make this go away…not even in the slightest!

  15. Why can’t we open a teabag and smoke the chamomile? You mentioned that you need actual chamomile but would it work if I used a 100% chamomile teabag instead of a normal teabag? Thank you:)

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Sam,

      As long as the teabag is 100% chamomile, this should work ok. Sometimes the herbs inside teabags are chopped up so finely that they are difficult to roll into joints, but that’s the only issue I think you would have. Let us know how it goes!

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  16. All plant material will produce carcenogenic smoke when burnt.
    In the UK in the 1970’s NSM (New Smoking Mixture) was introduced for a short time to reduce levels of tar etc. in cigarettes.It was made by mixing Denatured Cellulose with Tobacco. The cellulose burns to produce CO2 and Water.
    It failed, in my opinion, because the weak tobacco mix did not taste nice. No strong hit of tars and nicotine. Of course this would not be a problem mixed with some decent hash or grass.
    I can find no reference to the product using Google and nobody seems to supply a smoking grade of pure denatured cellulose. I think the first company to market it now will make a fortune. I would do it myself but i am now OAP and have not smoked for 20 years.
    Will visit uk to join celebrations when Legalised.

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment! I’ve never heard of NSM, but maybe some of our readers have? I’ll keep an eye out for references to it, it’s an interesting concept.

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

  17. There are also various herbal mixtures that combine the effect of various medicinal herbs

  18. Wilson Soarea

    How can one buy someable Ashwagandha in Europe? All i can find is either root powder or capsules or oil…

    1. Scarlet Palmer - Sensi Seeds

      Hi Wilson,

      I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to this question, but perhaps one of our readers knows?

      With best wishes,

      Scarlet

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    Sanjai Sinha

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