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Alternatives For Tobacco

Added 6 June 2021


We all know that there is a difference between styles of rolling a joint. Some prefer to roll them pure, others do it mixed with tobacco, and for a big part, this seems to rely on your geographical location. For example, in Europe, you will find much more people mixing both and in the USA you will find more people rolling it the pure way. One fact is for sure, it is not the healthiest way of using cannabis when mixing with tobacco because let us face it, there is nothing beneficial about nicotine and tar. Nowadays and actually already for a long part of human history, there are more than a few alternatives for tobacco and in this article, we will be going over just a bit more than a handful of different herbs out there that can be a better alternative, because over the past century the tobacco industry its goal was to fool the world that it is the only thing "we can smoke". By using these alternatives you are freer to "spice up" your joint as you feel like and other benefits can be added when using the right herb. Let's take a look!


There is an abundance of plants out there that we can use the material ( herbs, flowers, leaves ) from to dry it, grind it up and roll it to smoke it just as we like to do with the flowers of our lovely cannabis plants! And the fact that these plants are nicotine-free makes them a great substitute for tobacco! And those of us who grow, there is always some free space to use in the garden to grow your own herbs! Just take a look at the growers below :


  • We will start this list off with Rosemary, not only is it a beautiful name but also an amazing plant that can be a great alternative for tobacco use. This plant can be found in many households, especially the Mediterranean ones, more specifically, the kitchen where it is often used as a spice. This actually contains the compound beta-caryophyllene and this is very beneficial to you and your body to help you with inflammation and strengthen your immune system. When smoking it, it produces a pine-like aroma.


  • Lavender is a very versatile plant that not only is found in many gardens but has so many uses we could not mention them all in this one piece of writing. From perfumes to oils and much more this one is mostly used for its aromatherapeutic features. It has calming and relaxing features and added with that goes a great smell and taste that can be a great combination with the right strain of cannabis!


  • Damiana has very nice bright yellow flowers, and is a great candidate for using it mixed with cannabis because of the following reasons. It creates a very mild high that is euphoric and could work against paranoia side effects. And not only that, it is known to be beneficial to your metabolism, like for in a case where someone's stomach might be upset this could suppress that.


  • This white and yellow candidate on this list is mostly known for its use in tea and is another one that can be a good mix with our favorite herb, cannabis. Known for its relaxing and soothing effects to make you relieve stress or just used to beat a common cold in many places. It grows in so many places and just keep in mind, don't start cutting tea bags because you really need the dried flowers.


  • What seems to be a bit of a lavender look-a-like when flowering, this smells and tastes quite different and can be good for those looking for a more spicy candidate to add. This has good antibacterial properties and another good thing is that it can be found very easy but that is the case with most plants on this list. A small tip here : sage get better with age as the plant's aroma gets stronger the older it gets and apparently white sage is the better choice.


  • Because the last one was a tasty candidate, here is another : Mint! What seems to be on the rise in the cannabis community in some places and what is considered one of the most popular tastes globally for its freshness, can actually just be added as a flavour to your joint! There are many species to choose from and all of them contain vitamins and oils that can contribute to your metabolism but just be aware that the taste can be overpowering!


  • One of the close relatives of the cannabis plants is hops and is mostly known for its use to make beer. It shares some of its terpenes that more than a few cannabis strains also have, one is myrcene, and it is related to having a positive effect against depression and such. It is actually recommended to vape rather than smoke hops because of their burning temperature.


  • No, this is not a joke! Catnip or in its scientific name, nepeta cataria, is just another plant that we can use as a substitute for tobacco. This herb can give us a sedating effect which makes u be relaxed and feel a bit more stress-free. Just be aware that it can create psychoactive effects but this is something that depens on person to person.


  • Something that many probably do not know but kratom is a relative of the coffee plants. In South-East Asia the plant's leaves are commonly used for medication but also intoxication or even a substitute for opioids so we do have to mention here that before using you have to check if it is even possible with medications you’re taking, or with your health conditions in general. When smoked it gives alleviation of pain and decreases opioid withdrawal symptoms. Changing the dose with only a gram can have a big effect on how long it has an impact and what the effect is.

Make your own

If you are planning on making your own mixes of herbs there are about 3 parts that make up a good mix :

The carrier or the base : Ideally this is light and a bit fluffy which makes it burn good and give the joint a good thickness
The supportive herbs : These are the herbs with the beneficial factors and this is where you have to look for yourself a bit what goes best with your personal needs
the flavoring herbs : This also depends on personal liking and one will use a bit more than the other of course but luckily there are many plants out there to choose from and my personal favorite is mint

You could say there is a fourth category but this is objective : herbs used for adding body, these can make the smoke more like tobacco smoke by adding “weight” or other characteristics to the smoking blend.

Here is a basic formula to go from but this depends on more than a few factors, most important, type of herbs used :

  • 2 Tablespoons base herb(s)
  • 1 Tablespoon supportive herb(s)
  • ½ Tablespoon flavoring herb(s) (or 1 teaspoon for powdered seeds or spices)


The first thing that we feel obligated to say in our conclusion is to first do your own proper research or even see your doctor before considering starting to smoke anything that has been mentioned in this article including cannabis, especially those who already have a medical condition or use medication for treatment at the moment of reading this. But then the other part, for those who smoke, we have to say is, tobacco just is not good at all, many of the alternatives mentioned here are without a doubt the healthier choice for mixing with cannabis just because of the fact that tobacco produces so much tar and then also the nicotine making it an addictive substance, hopefully, for some this will make the transition easier of going pure or just living a tobacco-free life in general! And just a little note on the side : If you were to visit coffeeshops in Holland, there are more than a few that have jars of herbal mix on their tables for anyone to use when rolling a joint!

Feel free to write down your own experiences on using alternatives for tobacco in the comment section down below!


The ultimate list of herb alternatives for tobacco in a joint - Maria Garcia ( 2020 )

Cigarette substitutes: how safe or effective are the alternatives to tobacco? - HealthDirect ( 2019 )

Beneficial Herbal Alternatives to Smoking Tobacco - Debra Maslowski ( 2021 )

How to craft your own herbal smoking blends - Agatha Noveille ( 2016 )

This article was updated June 2021



Just a precision for the Lavender,

The Lavandula angustifolia is extremely rare and very hard to find, it grows only at a particular altitude on a particular soil in a particular environment.

In the shops you will mostly find the commercial hydride called Lavandula latifolia where the essential oil and the main properties is totally different from the proper one.



Thank you very much for pointing that out!


Great information, thanks :pray::the_horns::unicorn_face: