by Olivier on 09/03/2018 | Consumption

Healthy alternatives to tobacco that are a perfect partner for cannabis

alternatives to tobacco Cannabis and tobacco go hand in hand. However, 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?

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 mixes have come onto the market that do not contain any chemical additives. There are also mixtures that contain no tobacco at all and which are becoming ever more popular.

It’s a bit like cow’s milk. In the past, nobody asked for anything else, now more and more people are opting for alternatives. There is plenty of truth in the old saying: “Variety is the spice of life.”

10 alternatives to tobacco that are a perfect partner for cannabis

Basically, you can smoke almost any dried herbs or leaves. That said, some are better suited to it than others. As well as offering a pleasant smell 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 all 100% natural and nicotine free. Let’s get started!

1. Damiana – the aphrodisiac from the Americas

A close up photograph of the Damiana flower and plant. The fresh plant features pale green long and narrow leaves with serrated edges. It also has small yellow flowers. Besides the fresh plant is a dried herb mixture which is yellow-brown and on a white surface.

Even its name sounds like a seductive murmur. Damiana is regarded as an aphrodisiac in its native Mexico. Alongside 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

A close up photograph of a group of chamomile flowers. They are small daisy-like flowers with a small yellow solid cone surrounded by white petals. The leaves are twice divided and have a feather like appearance. The stem is green. Besides the fresh plant is a dried herb mixture which is brown with yellow dried cones on a white surface.

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, whose positive effects on health have a healthy reputation.

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 some tea bags.

3. Sage – the Cabernet Sauvignon of herbs

A close up photograph of a sage bush. It has long grey-greenish oval shaped leaves, bunched close together, with a soft speckled texture. To the right of the fresh plant is a dried collection of the sage herb, small, long and grey-green, on a white surface.

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 effect and also works as a partial anti-virus, which is why sage has been a medicinal plant throughout the ages.

4. Mate – the trendy picker-upper from the jungle

A photograph of a large yerba mate bush. It grows tall, green, and is densely packed with small green leaves. Besides the fresh plant is a photograph of a dried yerba mate mixture.

The Spanish name “yerba” just means “grass”, but mate is in fact a tree, given its size. It is a native of South America, where it has been drunk as tea 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 cosmopolitan, and it has been reinvented as a soft drink. Mate can also enhance an exciting sativa high.

5. Kratom – the power plant from Southeast Asia

A close up photograph of a Kratom plant. The leaves are dark green and glossy with a wide oval type shape. To the right of the fresh plant is a dried green-brown kratom herb mixture on a white surface.

The leaves of the kratom tree have been used traditionally as a medicine, intoxicant and opiate substitute. In small doses kratom induces euphoria and is a stimulant, in high doses it is a sedative and painkiller. 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 does everything

A close up photograph of a field of lavender. We see a bush shrub with tiny tubular purple blossoms growing in whorls of half a dozen flowers, with angular stems forming a spike. To the right of the fresh plant is a herb mixture of dried lavender of brown and purple on a white surface.

Whether as a herb, or to combat greenfly, tension or treat burns, lavender is good for everything. Just like many types 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 steaming cannabis.

7. Mint – the ultimate fresh kick

A closeup photograph of a mint plant. Its bright green petals are angular and oval shaped with serrated edges. To the right of the fresh plant is a photograph of a dried mint mixture of brown and green on a white surface.

Tea, cocktails, sauces, desserts – mint is the universally adaptable herb that brings a special freshness to food and drink. The cosmetic industry discovered mint for itself a long time ago, but not all mint is the same.

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

A close up photograph of a rosemary bush. It features green needle-like leaves clustered tightly together. Besides the fresh plant is a photograph of a dried lavender mixture of brown and green on a white surface.

Rosemary lends its unmistakeable aroma to many dishes. You should not overdo it with fresh twigs, as the bitter taste will dominate. This herb is full of anti-oxidants and beta-caryophyllene, which are also found in black pepper and cannabis.

Why not enhance the healing effect 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

A close up photograph of the echinacea flower. It features a sunflower like cone of red and orange. It has long thin purple petals around the cone. Beside the fresh plant is a photograph of dried echinacea flowers on a white surface.

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

A photograph of the ashwagandha plant in a farm like environment. It is a short, shrub with matted branches growing radially from a strong stem. The leaves are dull green, elliptic, and about 10 cm long. The flowers, which are barely visible, are small, green and bell-shaped. The ripe fruit is orange-red. Beside the fresh plant is a photograph of the dried mix of the ashwagandha plant, its yellows and light brown in appearance.

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. 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 only consume 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 the alternatives to tobacco you enjoy most in a joint or vaporizer.

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If you think weed and tobacco go hand and hand together, your nuts.......



about what?



is there some statistic about how the combustion of these herbs affect the lungs?



How could you leave out mullein? Bizarre


Scarlet Palmer

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,




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?



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.


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.



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.


Scarlet Palmer

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,




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!



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:)


Scarlet Palmer

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,



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