August 08, 2022 6 min read

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
What is Rosemary?
Why Smoke Rosemary Leaves?
Is Smoking Rosemary Safe?
What are the Effects of Smoking Rosemary?
Health Benefits of Smoking Rosemary
How to Smoke Rosemary

Key Takeaways

  • Rosemary is a fragrant Mediterranean herb that’s used in cooking, but also has a history of medicinal use.
  • The potential benefits of smoking rosemary are mostly unknown, but many people enjoy the piney, peppery smoking experience.
  • Rosemary may have uplifting, relaxing benefits when smoked, and can be added to other smoking herbs to compliment their effects.
  • Pair freshly dried rosemary with hemp flower for a fragrant, stress-relieving smoke that’s federally legal and accessible.

What is Rosemary?

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.

Rosemary being prepped, bundled, and ties to be hung and dried

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.

Why Smoke Rosemary Leaves?

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.

Is Smoking Rosemary Safe?

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.

What are the Effects of Smoking Rosemary?

Now, let's get to the most important part–what are the effects of smoking rosemary?

A joint rolled with fresh rosemary leaves and cannabis flower

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:

Benefits of Smoking Rosemary

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:

Protecting and Enhancing Memory

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.

Lowering Inflammation

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.

Neuroprotective Properties

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.

Improving Eye Health

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.

How to Smoke Rosemary

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:

  1. If your rosemary is fresh, meaning it's still green and moist, you'll need to dry it. Do this by tying the fresh rosemary sprigs into a bundle and hanging them upside down in a well-ventilated area. It will take 2-4 weeks for the rosemary to dry completely, so be patient. Wet, sticky rosemary will produce a harsh smoke and will burn unevenly, which is obviously not ideal for a smooth smoking experience.
  2. Once rosemary is dry, you can grind it into a finer smoking herb. The idea is that you want the rosemary to be consistently ground, but not powdered, so that it burns slowly and evenly. Use an herb grinder, mortar and pestle, or your cannabis grinder if you’d like.
  3. Next, build an herbal mix for smoking. You can smoke rosemary on it’s own. But it really pairs nicely with mild herbs like mullein, hemp, or rose. You may even consider lavender, mint, or chamomile to add flavor depth to your smoking blend. Toss in some federally legal Delta-8-THC flower for a psychoactive spin.
  4. Roll up! (Or add your herbal blend to a bowl or pipe. Some herbal blends may even be suitable for a dry herb vaporizer, if you’d like) If you’re rolling a joint, we recommend a lightweight hemp paper or another thin paper that won’t interfere with the flavor of your herbal blend. Don’t forget to add a crutch to keep the mouthpiece from caving in and herb from slipping through.
  5. Smoke a bit, not a lot. Until you know how your botanical blend will make you feel, start with a few puffs. This is especially true if you included some form of cannabis in your herbal mix. You can always takes a few more puffs later, so it’s best to go slow and not overdo it.
Looking for legal, hemp-derived THC and flower products? Check out our Elev8 Collection.

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