Smoking Lavender: Is it a Safer Alternative to Tobacco?

by Kat Austin September 15, 2023 7 min read

Smoking Lavender: Is it a Safer Alternative to Tobacco? - Vida Optima™

If you're here, you've probably heard whispers about an unconventional trend: smoking lavender. It's an intriguing idea, isn't it? But before you light up that lavender, let's dive into the details: Can you smoke lavender, and is it a safer alternative to tobacco? 

We’ll take it from the top:

Table of Contents
Can You Smoke Lavender?
Is Smoking Lavender Safe?
Is Smoking Lavender Safer Than Tobacco?
Benefits of Smoking Lavender
How to Smoke Lavender
Other Smoking Herbs That Aren’t Tobacco

Key Takeaways

  • Smoking lavender can provide a mild, relaxing experience without the addictive properties of tobacco.
  • It's not a high, but a soothing way to unwind and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.
  • Remember to use it in moderation, and opt for high-quality lavender for the best results.

Can You Smoke Lavender?

Dried lavender and bentonite clay in apothecary jars sold at herbal supply shop

Lavender, scientifically known as Lavandula, is a flowering plant that's native to the Mediterranean region. It's famous for its lovely purple flowers and calming aroma. 

Lavender enthusiasts claim that inhaling lavender smoke can induce a sense of relaxation and calm. It's not about chasing a high, but rather a gentle way to unwind and de-stress. Many people use it as an alternative herb to help them stop smoking tobacco, while others add it to cannabis to enhance the smoking experience. 

So, the answer is yes–you can smoke lavender, but should you?

Is Smoking Lavender Safe?

The next most important question is “Is it safe to smoke Lavender?”, because just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. The answer is both yes and no–as far as smokeable herbs are concerned, Lavender is safe. In other words, it’s not going to produce any serious and immediate side effects like smoking a noxious weed would. 

However, it’s important to note that smoking anything comes with some level of risk. The process of burning herb and inhaling smoke releases toxins and moves them through the lungs. This is true for tobacco, cannabis, and all other smoking herbs

Some people claim that vaping helps to reduce this risk–though the jury is still out on this notion. 

Is Smoking Lavender Safer Than Tobacco?

In general, there’s no evidence to help us compare the effects of smoking tobacco to the effects of smoking lavender. We can’t say if one is safer than the other–but we can say that high-quality, fresh lavender doesn’t contain all of the other chemicals other than tobacco found in traditional cigarettes.

Some (but definitely not all) of the chemicals found in cigarettes include:

  • Nicotine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Ammonia
  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Acetone
  • Tar
  • Vinyl
  • Chloride
  • Lead
  • Ammonia

Lavender contains, well, lavender. And because it doesn’t contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance, smoking lavender isn’t usually habit forming. So, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions here. 

Benefits to Smoking Lavender

While scientific research primarily focuses on the benefits of lavender when used in the form of essential oil or topical products, the act of smoking lavender has its own unique potential advantages. 

Though we lack concrete evidence that smoking lavender offers the same health benefits, it's worth noting that this aromatic endeavor may allow for the inhalation of a trace amount of lavender essential oil.

According to research, Lavender (used for aromatherapy, not necessarily for smoking) may offer plenty of therapeutic benefits, including:

  • Linalool: Lavender is a rich source of the linalool terpene, which is known for its therapeutic properties. While there isn't substantial research on smoking lavender specifically, we do have insights from studies on smoking cannabis, which also contains the same terpene. Research suggest that linalool absorption can occur through smoking, regardless of whether it's lavender or cannabis.
  • Anxiety Alleviation: Lavender has long been associated with reducing anxiety. A 2019 review on lavender oil highlights its potential for providing relief from anxiety. This could translate into a soothing effect when lavender is smoked, though more research is needed. A 2009 study found that linalool exhibited anti-anxiety properties in rats.
  • Immune Support: Lavender is believed to have immune-boosting properties. While we can't say for sure if smoking lavender directly enhances the immune system, it's possible that the inhalation of lavender's aroma may have some positive influence. The same 2019 review above lists immune-boosting as a potential benefit. 
  • Improved Sleep: Lavender is a well-known sleep aid. Inhaling its fragrance before bedtime has been shown to improve sleep quality. Smoking lavender could potentially offer a similar calming effect, aiding those who struggle with insomnia. Research suggests that lavender can improve self-reported sleep hygiene scores. 
  • Headache Relief: Some studies suggest that lavender may help alleviate headaches. While this effect has been observed with lavender oil, it's conceivable that smoking lavender could have a similar impact, albeit to a lesser degree. One study found that people responded better to lavender as a migraine treatment than to a placebo. 
  • Wound Healing: Lavender's wound-healing properties have been explored through animal studies with positive results. Smoking lavender may not directly speed up wound healing, but it could indirectly contribute to overall well-being, which supports the body's natural healing processes.
  • Pain Management: There is evidence to suggest that lavender aromatherapy can reduce the need for pain medication, such as morphine, in clinical settings. While this relates to the inhalation of lavender's aroma, it hints at the potential for smoking lavender to provide pain relief, though further investigation is needed.
  • Anti-Bacterial Properties: Research has found that lavender may have antibacterial properties, potentially combating harmful bacterial strains like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. While these studies don't directly apply to smoking lavender, they underline the therapeutic potential of lavender compounds.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Research has shown that linalool, a major component of lavender, can inhibit inflammation. While this has been studied in rats, it hints at the possibility of smoking lavender providing anti-inflammatory benefits in humans.
  • Nicotine Withdrawal: For those quitting smoking, lavender could be a valuable ally. Lavender's calming properties may help mitigate withdrawal symptoms like jitters and irritability, making the transition to a smoke-free life more manageable. One study found that lavender, when paired with other herbs, had an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effect when used as an aid to stop smoking. 
  • Reduced stress: Inhaling lavender oil has been shown to reduce cortisol levels by up to 60%, potentially aiding in achieving a restful night's sleep. Reducing cortisol, the stress hormone, may help to reduce overall stress levels and combat some of the side effects of unmanaged stress. 

While smoking lavender remains an unconventional choice, it holds promise as a natural way to tap into the potential benefits of this fragrant herb. Remember, though, that more research is needed to fully understand the extent of these benefits. As with any smoking activity, moderation and mindfulness are key to a safe and enjoyable experience.

A woman smoking a hand-rolled lavender joint rolled in smoking papers.

How to Smoke Lavender

If you're curious about trying it, here's a step-by-step guide to smoking lavender:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You'll need dried lavender buds, a pipe or vaporizer, and a lighter. Ensure your lavender is pesticide-free and suitable for consumption.

Step 2: Load the Lavender

Fill your pipe or vaporizer chamber with dried lavender buds. Don't pack it too tightly; a loose fill works best. If you want to roll it, it rolls similarly to fresh cannabis flower. You just need high-quality smoking papers so that it doesn’t disrupt the taste of your fresh herb. 

Step 3: Ignite and Inhale

Use your lighter to ignite the lavender gently. Inhale the fragrant smoke slowly and steadily. Fresh herb sometimes has a harsh bite, especially if it isn’t completely dry, so go slow to see how you tolerate it. 

Step 4: Savor the Experience

Take your time and enjoy the soothing aroma. If you're using a vaporizer, adjust the temperature to your preference to enjoy the flavor to cloud output you enjoy most. 

Other Smoking Herbs That Aren’t Tobacco

If you’re thinking about smoking lavender, chances are you’re open to other smoking herbs. There are many different herbs you can smoke, and many of them make a great match in personalized herbal blends. Here are some popular smoking herbs you may consider:


  • Flavor Profile: Damiana has a mild, slightly sweet flavor with hints of earthiness.
  • Aroma: It emits a pleasant herbal aroma with subtle floral notes.
  • Effects: People often smoke damiana for its potential aphrodisiac effects, mild relaxation, and mood enhancement. It's also known to alleviate stress and anxiety.


  • Flavor Profile: Mullein has a neutral taste, making it a popular base for herbal blends.
  • Aroma: It has a gentle, herbal scent that's not overpowering.
  • Effects: Mullein is commonly used for respiratory health and is believed to soothe the lungs. It's also chosen for its smoke-thickening properties and as a base for herbal smoking mixtures.


  • Flavor Profile: Peppermint provides a refreshing, minty flavor.
  • Aroma: The aroma is invigorating and cool, with a strong minty scent.
  • Effects: Smoking peppermint is chosen for its soothing and digestive properties. It can also help clear the sinuses and provide a refreshing experience.

White Sage

  • Flavor Profile: White Sage has a strong, earthy flavor with herbal undertones.
  • Aroma: The aroma is deeply aromatic, with a distinctive, sacred quality.
  • Effects: White Sage is often used for spiritual and cleansing rituals. Smoking it is believed to purify the air, promote focus, and clear negative energy.


  • Flavor Profile: Cannabis has a wide range of flavors, from earthy and skunky to fruity and sweet. Hemp has a mild, nutty flavor.
  • Aroma: Cannabis can have a potent, distinct aroma, while hemp's aroma is generally mild.
  • Effects: Cannabis is well-known for its psychoactive effects, including relaxation, euphoria, and altered perception. Hemp, on the other hand, contains minimal THC (the psychoactive compound) and is often used for its non-psychoactive benefits, such as pain relief and relaxation.

Both cannabis and hemp have their unique characteristics and potential benefits, but it's important to be aware of the legal status and regulations surrounding their use in your area. Always consume these substances responsibly and be mindful of your own tolerance and preferences.

If you’re looking for legal hemp products like CBD, Delta-8-THC (a hemp isomer that provides mild psychoactive effects), or hemp-derived Delta-9-THC, check out our collections:

The Verdict on Smoking Lavender

In the grand scheme of things, smoking lavender isn't a bad idea if you're looking for a natural way to relax and enjoy some aromatherapy. However, it's essential to remember a few key points:

  • Quality Matters: Ensure you're using high-quality, pesticide-free lavender for the best experience.
  • Seek Alternatives: If you're trying to quit smoking, lavender can be a helpful transitional tool, but consider other nicotine replacement therapies as well.

So, if you've been wondering, "Can you smoke lavender?" the answer is yes, you can! Just do it responsibly and enjoy the calming embrace of this fragrant herb.

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