It's no secret that cannabis isn't the only herb you can smoke, and many other herbs come with their own unique therapeutic effects. One herb in particular–rosemary–hosts a range of potential benefits, but can you smoke rosemary? And if so, what's it taste like?
Turns out, this fragrant, piney herb is good for more than just roasting chicken. Here's how you can use it in your own herbal smoking blends (and why you may want to!)Table of Contents
Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb from the same family as mint and sage. It's most commonly used as a cooking herb and has a potent, distinguished flavor that adds depth to herbal recipes. Plus, it's highly nutritious, adding a substantial dose of iron, potassium, calcium, other minerals, and antioxidants to meals. When eaten, the flavor is piney, deeply herbal, with hints of citrus, pepper, and mint.
While rosemary is most commonly found in the kitchen today, that hasn't always been the case. Many ancient reports show that rosemary has been used medicinally for thousands of years to help soothe a wide range of ailments, from digestive upset to memory loss. It's also frequently considered to be an immune system stimulant that can help to keep you healthy.
To reap these botanical benefits, rosemary may be eaten fresh, used to make soups or teas, or–you guessed it–dried and smoked.
We'll be honest, smoking rosemary isn't the most common thing, and you'll be hard pressed to find a bunch of evidence to prove any health benefits. Still, anecdotal reports (and a bit of what we do know about rosemary's therapeutic benefits) point us to one general conclusion: Rosemary, when smoked, offers a flavorful, uplifting botanical experience.
Rosemary can be enjoyed by any consumers looking for a fragrant herbal smoke, but it's also frequently enjoyed by cannabis connoisseurs as a flavorful addition to a joint or blunt.
Smoking, of course, comes with its own set of risks, regardless of what you smoke. As far as Rosemary is concerned, there's no reason to believe that it's any less safe than any other smokable herb. Whether you're hoping to add this to your favorite herbal smoking blends or use it to spike a joint with piney, botanical goodness, safety shouldn't be a concern as long as you take basic precautions.
The same safety rules apply to rosemary that you should apply to any smoking herb–check the source and manufacturing quality of the rosemary you choose. For instance, you should look for rosemary that is produced without pesticides or other toxic chemicals. You should also look for herbs that are third-party tested for cleanliness and quality, which will rule out mold, yeast, and other potentially toxic substances.
Also note that it may be unsafe to smoke rosemary (or to smoke in general) while pregnant. High doses of rosemary has been known to cause miscarriages.
Rosemary is safe and non-toxic to humans, but definitely pay closer attention to the effects of various botanicals on pets, and avoid smoking around your pets if you have them.
As always, we recommend consulting your physician before using any herbs with therapeutic intent.
Now, let's get to the most important part–what are the effects of smoking rosemary?
Ultimately, we have very little evidence to help us understand the range of effects that can come from smoking rosemary. However, anecdotal reports give us some understanding of what to expect. Most often, users claim that smoking rosemary helps them feel relaxed and uplifted. Rosemary, on its own, is not psychoactive, but can compliment the psychoactivity of a mild to moderate cannabis strain.
For an experience that is a bit more grounded, you may even mix rosemary with hemp flower. Delta-8-THC flower is a great option for reaping mild psychoactivity, and rosemary's mellow effects can pair nicely with an indica or hybrid strain.
Many of the effects of rosemary may be linked to its terpene content. Primarily, rosemary contains high levels of caryophyllene, a terpene that also exists in cannabis and is thought to bind with cannabinoid receptors in a similar manner to cannabinoids, like CBD or Delta-8. We need more research to understand the effects of caryophyllene, but it may be part of the reason that rosemary is thought to have such a positive impact on stress.
Let’s dig more into what we do know about rosemary’s benefits:
As we mentioned, there’s not a lot of evidence regarding the benefits of smoking rosemary, although we do have some information to help us understand the potential benefits of ingesting rosemary in general. It’s still up for speculation whether these same benefits apply to smoking the herb since some of the plant’s beneficial compounds may be destroyed at high temperatures, but here are some of the potential benefits to look out for:
Rosemary has historically been used to help promote brain health and enhance memory, although research only recently helps us understand these benefits with more clarity. A study published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology confirms that rosemary, when used aromatically, can help to improve mental focus, speed, and accuracy. When you look into the ways that rosemary has been used to improve cognition over history, you’ll often see it tied to spiritual practices involving meditation or deep thought.
Rosemary also contains favorable amounts of the terpene beta-caryophyllene, which is known for having powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. More research is needed to confirm, but some experts believe this could infer rosemary’s potential benefits for soothing pain and improving circulation.
One study found that rosemary could help to protect against brain damage thanks to its carnosic acid content. This compound is an antioxdant that helps to fight free radical damage leading to memory loss and brain damage. Thus, rosemary may help to improve cognitive recovery after trauma.
Carnosic acid is also known to help improve eye health. Some studies suggest that rosemary may help treat conditions like macular degeneration, which is one of the most common diseases afflicting the eyes in the U.S.
Rolling up herb and smoking it comes natural to some, but we're happy to give a step by step to anyone wondering how to smoke rosemary for the first time.
Before we dig into the process though, we want to stress an important point: You need fresh or whole, dried rosemary for a good smoking experience. Skip the ground, bottled cooking variety you find on the spice aisle. Once you have your whole rosemary, here's what to do:
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