Make your own healing mix by growing herbs to add to your cannabis smoke or tincture.
Cannabis is a healing herb all on its own, but did you know that it also works well in combination with other herbs? And many of these options are commonly found in gardens worldwide – from mugwort to holy basil to damiana. Growing herbs to create a personalized smoke mix, vape blend, or combination tincture can give patients access to personalized medicinal goodness. Additionally, growing herbs in the garden, balcony, or window is easy and cost-effective.
Herbs to Include Your Cannabis Smoke or Dry Vape Blend
While cannabis may be one of the few herbal remedies with such profound intoxicating effects, it is far from the only smokable (or vapable) herb. Smoke blends are unique and highly customizable combinations of herbs that boost the therapeutic and experiential benefits of a joint, bong, or dry vape packed with cannabis.
Start with a mix of ¾ cannabis flower with ¼ supplemental herbs. Some herbs work best in moderation as they can burn a bit harshly, while others are excellent in larger quantities, adding flavor and aroma. Test a few sessions by creating a single serving size mix and adjust as needed.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa)
Damiana is a small yellow-flowered shrub that grows wild across the arid regions of North America, from Texas to California to Mexico. It has a long history of use as a herbal remedy for headaches, depression, upset stomach, constipation, and even as a libido booster. Combined within a cannabis smoke blend, it’s thought to increase the relaxing effects and add a mild floral flavour.
Another common herbal addition to smoke and vape blends is dried mugwort. This is an ancient herb that mildly enhances the pleasant psychotropic effects of cannabis. It’s sweet-tasting and traditionally used to increase the vividness of dreams. As a herbal remedy it has a wide variety of applications – from stomach issues to mood disorders to menstrual cramping.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Not just for cats, Nepeta cataria is an excellent addition to any herbal vape session. Cultures worldwide have relied on catnip as a herbal remedy for insomnia, stress, anxiety, and digestion. Catnip contains a compound that is similar to those found in valerian, a known herbal sedative.
Herbs to Combine within a Cannabis Tincture
Smoking and vaping aren’t for everyone, especially as a method of administration for herbal remedies. The move away from inhalables is why cannabis tinctures, capsules, and edibles have grown in popularity among medical cannabis patients over the years.
So, why not supplement a cannabis tincture recipe with a combination of other supportive herbs? Used in conjunction with cannabis, these herbs could offer profound synergistic effects,
Although not technically a herb, turmeric is a powerful addition to any cannabis tincture. Turmeric is a bright orange root from the ginger family, with well-established medicinal value. For thousands of years, cultures across Asia have used this potent, yellow-staining antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial, and anticancer compound. Today, it’s one of the most established natural anti-inflammatories, which could boost the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis is used in combination. Hewlings, S. J., & Kalman, D. S. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 6(10), 92. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6100092
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
According to “Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons,” compiled by Marc Maurice Cohen, Holy Basil (aka Tulsi) has a long tradition within Ayurveda medicine. It goes by many names, including “The Incomparable One,” “Mother Medicine of Nature,” and “The Queen of Herbs.” Within Ayurvedic medicine, holy basil has both spiritual and medicinal applications, and may reduce inflammation leading to relief of physical pain or mental stress. There are few studies to verify these results, outside of traditional medicine. Cohen M. M. (2014). Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 5(4), 251–259. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-9476.146554
Growing Herbs in a Healing Garden
Curating a personalized smoke blend or healing tincture is a heartfelt experience. It helps patients take control of, and deeply invest, in their health. Growing the herbs that go into these mixtures is taking that control and investment one step further.
Many of the herbs mentioned above, and hundreds more, grow wild as weeds in their native lands. Bringing these into your own garden provides an affordable way to grow organic, ethically-sourced smoke blends and tinctures. You can plant many herbs right alongside your cannabis plants as a useful companion plant.
But, with potentially hundreds of herbal options, what should you start with?
This herb is valued as an herb that cleanses the lungs and reduces inflammation . It creates a light smoke that has a no taste, which is why it often forms the base of smoke blends with cannabis. Mullein can also be dried and made into a tea. Growing herbs like mullein will need some space. This one can get up to six to ten feet tall, and will come back year-after-year.
Catnip and Mint
Both catnip and mint are from the same family and are perfect beginner herbs to start with. These are readily available and very adaptable. Look for starts at your local garden center in spring, and choose a sunny location with at least six hours of sunlight a day. Catnip and mint work best in pots because they can take over if left unattended in a garden.
A pretty plant with delicate flowers, growing herbs like this one is easy. Once again, like mint and catnip, you’ll want to keep mugwort contained as it can quickly get out of control within a wild setting. It grows best in dry soil, with infrequent watering, although it should do well just about anywhere. Place in a bright, sunny location.
Easily grown from seed, Damian is hardy in zones 9 to 11. Start indoors in late winter, under grow lights by sprinkling seeds over damp soil in a tray. Keep moist in the early stages and transplant once the risk of frost has passed. You can start harvesting leaves for tinctures and vape blends as soon as the plant reaches 10 inches tall.
Growing Herbs to Smoke, Vape, and Extract
Cannabis may be the most familiar herbal remedy to us these days, but it is only one out of thousands. Once you dip your foot into the world of herbalism, it’s easy to get lost in the wealth of knowledge available.
Growing herbs alongside cannabis as companion plants, or just for the potential of synergistic benefits is a journey towards taking control of your health. Cannabis and gardening are good for the mind and body. Why not reap the benefits of both?
|↑1||Hewlings, S. J., & Kalman, D. S. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 6(10), 92. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6100092|
|↑2||Cohen M. M. (2014). Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 5(4), 251–259. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-9476.146554|