While a joint rolled from any quality cannabis strain always makes for a delightful journey, sometimes you crave some heightened, botanical effects.
Luckily, cannabis isn’t the only plant that can enhance the mood—we all know lavender and chamomile, for example, can help us feel calm and relieve stress. But if the pine-y fragrance of rosemary needles have ever made you wonder "Can I smoke this beautiful herb?" you’ll be pleased to know the answer.
There's something almost magical about drying and curing your own herbs to roll into a joint—it feels like a special kind of alchemy.
What is Rosemary?
This aromatic herb hails from the Mediterranean and is in the same plant family as mint and sage. It's also a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. Its flavor has hints of pine, pepper, mint, lemon, and wood, making it a delicious addition to poultry, meat, and veggie dishes.
But there’s more to rosemary than its culinary uses. Since ancient times, it has been one of the most popular herbs for its supposed medicinal benefits—including soothing indigestion and improving mood, immunity, and memory. In fact, many drink it as a tea to boost their health. And, of course, some creative consumers have found that this aromatic herb is also a pleasant plant to smoke when dried.
Smoking Rosemary leaves
While, there aren’t a ton of studies around the benefits of smoking herbs, there's no doubt that smoking rosemary leaves is definitely pleasant. When mixing it with some other botanicals and herbs—like cannabis—the piney, citrus-y flavor can enhance the high experience.
While it isn’t common to smoke rosemary, some adventurous "cannaisseurs" have confessed their love for this fragrant herb.
So, can you actually smoke rosemary? Yes.
Is smoking Rosemary bad for you?
As far as smoking can be safe, rosemary is pretty safe plant to smoke. And as long as you don't overdo it, adding it to your J won't hurt your lungs any more than smoking any other herb.
There are a few things, to keep in mind in terms of your health when smoking rosemary. For one thing, the source of the herb is a big factor. It can be hard to trust that your herbs come from reliable distributors free of pesticides or other toxic treatments. The best thing you can do for your health is to make sure that any herbs you buy come from quality, safe sources. Buy organic, food-grade herbs. Rule of thumb: If you wouldn't eat it, you definitely shouldn't smoke it.
One more thing to note: it is not recommended to take high amounts of rosemary when pregnant, as it can potentially induce miscarriage. Other side-effects of taking very high doses of this herb include vomiting, spasms, and fluid in the lungs. As always, consult a health care professional before experimenting.
Effects of smoking Rosemary
So, what are the effects of smoking rosemary? One appealing one: some users claim that this plant helps them feel much more relaxed. And, when mixed with a relaxing strain of indica-leaning cannabis, the calming effects could be amplified.
Although there are limited studies regarding how smoking rosemary can make us feel and the effects of smoking rosemary is mostly based on anecdotal evidence, its relaxing effects are likely linked to the terpene caryophyllene. This aromatic compound exists in many plants—including cannabis and rosemary—and can bind to our endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptors may helping regulate the body's systems and soothing stress.
Benefits of smoking Rosemary
Ingesting rosemary may offer many medicinal benefits. But there isn’t a ton of proof that smoking the herb provides the same benefits—mostly because the compounds of many plants aren’t heat-resistant. Still, it's important to know what the potential benefits of ingesting this piney, citrus-y, and peppery herb could be:
Rosemary is known as the “Remembrance herb.” While the origin of this name is mostly tied to spiritual practices, rosemary can, in fact, enhance memory and concentration. Research published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology outlines that the aroma from this herb can improve concentration, speed, and accuracy of thought.
Beta-caryophyllene is one of the main anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary, and it may help your system improve blood circulation and the perception of pain.
Some studies have found that rosemary can be protective against brain damage. It contains carnosic acid, which may help fight free radicals in the brain and even help improve recovery.
As mentioned above, rosemary is rich in carnosic acid, a compound that can promote eye health. Some studies suggest that rosemary may help treat diseases affecting the outer retina, like macular degeneration, which is one of the most common eye diseases in the United States.
How to dry Rosemary
There's something almost magical about drying and curing your own herbs to roll into a joint—it feels like a special, ancient alchemy. Want to learn how to dry rosemary? You're in luck. It's not a tricky process at all.
Use twine or a rubber band to tie fresh rosemary sprigs into a bundle. Then, hang them upside down out of direct sunshine in a dry, well-ventilated room. The rosemary will dry after fourteen to twenty-one days—you'll know when the leaves are rigid and no longer malleable and the color has faded from a lively green. To protect the rosemary from dust as it air-dries, place it in a paper bag.
You can also dry rosemary in the oven, although if you go over 100 degrees, you may degrade the flavor of its leaves. Spread the leaves out on baking paper and leave it for about two to four hours. Once dry, you can remove the leaves from the rigid spine and grind it in a grinder or break apart with your hands. Then it's ready to add to a joint.
How to make a herbal smoking blend
Mixing herbs with cannabis, or even just with other aromatic, smoke-able plants, is a fun way to tailor your cannabis to your tastes and amp up the therapeutic effects.
Follow these simple steps to create herbal smoking blend:
- Build your base.
You can use your favorite cannabis or hemp flower strain or another smoke-able herb like mullein. You're aiming for this to make up 50%.
- Add other smoke-able herbs.
Rosemary, mugwort, rose—add whichever other herbs you'd like based on flavor and sensory effects. This is 40% of your mix.
- Enhance the flavor profile.
Create a heightened aromatic profile with high potency herbs like lavender, mint, and sage. This will be 10% of the blend.
Roll your joint.
Smoke it in nature for an extra botanical experience.
You don’t necessarily have to blend several herbs to create a good herbal spliff. Simply mixing 50/50 weed and rosemary will elicit pleasure. It's up to you—that's the fun of smoking plants.
If you'd like to try smoking ready-made herbal blends, try Miss Grass Hemp + Herb Minis—high vibes without the THC trip thanks to botanicals that really do enhance the mood.