Natural Herbs to Smoke in Place of Tobacco

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you are someone who has never smoked before, or are a 10-year tobacco user looking for something to fill the void, there are herbal alternatives which may suit you. Numerous herbs are sold online and in many tobacco shops specifically for smoking. Often you'll find a blend of two or more herbs and sometimes liquid extract additives.

California Poppy

The California poppy is a small upright perennial native to California that produces bright orange cuplike flowers. The dried leaves and stems of this flower are often smoked in place of tobacco or marijuana. Smoking the California poppy will produce a mild euphoria according to Drug It is non-addictive and has no recorded side affects other than the mild high. Often times people use California poppy in place of the opium poppy because it contains some of the same high inducing chemicals such as elerythrine, sanguinarine, protopine, and bhomochelidonine. This relaxing herbal smoke is legal and mild but it is not recommended to drive after smoking this product, according to the Herbal Smoke Cafe.

Calamus Root

Calamus root is an aquatic plant that has grown throughout many places in the old and new worlds. Native American tribes commonly used calamus root as a stimulant, according to the website Basement Shaman. This plant is chewed as well as mixed with tobacco or other herbs for a smoking blend. The liquid extract of calamus root can be added to blends or smoking herbs, such as the California poppy. The effect of calamus, according to the Shamans Garden website is both stimulating and helpful to minimise anxiety. In extremely high doses, according to the Drug Safety Site, calamus can produce a high similar to LSD. A common side effect of using too much of this herb is vomiting. Take caution when attempting to collect calamus root in the wild, the plant is often mistaken for the poisonous blue flag.


A plant native to the Gulf of Mexico region, damiana has been used by the Native Americans for years as an aphrodisiac according to the website Herco. This plant is known to treat anxiety and depression and smoking the herb, in place of tobacco, will produce a mild euphoric high. The effect lasts between one and one and a half hours according to the Herbal Smoke Café website. Damiana is a shrub that grows to six feet in height and produces small aromatic yellow flowers. The leaves are legally harvested, dried and used in smoking blends as alternatives to tobacco and marijuana.


Catnip isn't just for the feline members of the family. Many human herbal smokers prefer its mild relaxation affect as well. A member of the mint family, catnip is native to the Mediterranean but is now grown in many places across the globe. Both the leaf and flower are harvested, dried and often mixed with other herbs such as damiana to create maximum efficiency smoking blends. The effects of this legal herb are mild at most.

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About the Author

Michaelyn Erickson has been writing since 2005 and has been published regularly in a variety of northwest publications. She has written a science fiction novel and is now working on a children's book series. Michaelyn attends Evergreen State College where she is pursuing a degree in sustainable living.