Plants that absorb cigarette smoke

Yesterday, a classmate posted a blog about whether or not cigarette smoke is harmful to our household pets, like cats and dogs. Corey came to the conclusion that yes, a household pet living in an environment with significant cigarette smoke can lead to an increase in the risk for different lung related diseases in pets. Corey’s post gave me a thought that I chose to investigate for one of my blog posts, does cigarette smoke also cause a negative effect on plants and flowers that we keep in our homes?

Many studies have been conducted to determine whether smoke from forest fires can cause harm to trees (like this one from the International Journal of Forestry Research). These studies have found that regular wood-burning smoke can have negative effects on the photosynthesis levels of trees and how efficiently they grow. Although these results appear very conclusive, I am still left wondering whether cigarette smoke might have a more destructive effect on plants due to the harmful chemical makeup in them.

In an experiment conducted by Victoria Garcia, she found that in a closed environment, cigarette smoke stunted the growth of cabbage and celery plants. In her experiment, cigarettes were placed in very close proximity to the plants whereas in a common household, the smoke would not be so close to the plants because smoke would just linger in the air in a larger environment. Unfortunately, this is as far as the research in this field goes.

If I were able to conduct a study to test my hypothesis that stems from the idea that cigarette smoke is harmful to household pets, I would need a large environment and a control group along with the experimental group that has cigarette smoke in the environment. Over time, I would measure whether the growth of common household plants or flowers was stunted when exposed to cigarette smoke for 10 minutes every 2 hours. My hypothesis would be that, yes, tobacco smoke and the other lethal chemicals in cigarettes negatively effect the growth of household plants. I’m disappointed that I could not come to a definitive conclusion in this blog post, but I believe that this could be the beginning of an interesting discussion about the further effects of cigarette smoke on not just ourselves and our pets, but also our green and leafy friends as well!

Contents

Plants can take up nicotine from contaminated soils and from smoke

Previously, nicotine was frequently used as an insecticide until it was banned by the European Union in 2009 because of its toxicity. Surprisingly, a large number of food crops and plant-derived products still contain very high levels of nicotine. Selmar’s team wanted to find out whether there are other reasons at play than the possible illegal use of nicotine-containing insecticides.

They used peppermint plants (Mentha x piperita), which contain minimal traces of nicotine, in a series of mulching and fumigation experiments. “Tremendously elevated nicotine levels were detected after fumigation with cigarette smoke,” notes Selmar.

Selmar’s team is also the first to show that peppermint plants can actually take up high concentrations of nicotine from contaminated soils. This follows the analysis of plants mulched with cigarette tobacco for more than nine days. The resulting nicotine concentrations are several times higher than the maximum residue level set by the European authorities. The research reveals, for the first time, that the reported high levels of this substance may indeed originate from tobacco.

The researchers found a drastic decrease in nicotine concentration as time progressed. This is likely because the nicotine is taken up by the roots of the peppermint plants and processed in their leaves.

“Our results suggest that the widespread occurrence of nicotine in medicinal, spice and food plants may, at least in part, be due to other nicotine sources apart from the illegal use of insecticides,” says Selmar.

In addition to the significance for the food industry, these results have a tremendous relevance for basic science: they prove that substances, such as alkaloids, can be transferred from one plant, after its death, to another.. Such “horizontal transfer of natural products” sheds light on the hitherto unexplained success behind farming practices such as crop rotation and the co-cultivation of certain vegetables.

Asian Journal of PlantSciences

INTRODUCTION

The Garden croton (Codeaum variegatum L. Blume) belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae (Dutta, 2003) popularly called spurges. It is a native of the tropics from Java to Australia and the South sea islands. The Garden Croton is highly susceptible to cold injury hence, it does not survive beyond the subtropics. It is restricted to the Southern and warmer parts of central Florida (Bailey, 1949). It is a shrub or tree with great variety of impressively colored fleshy, glossy and leathery leaves of different shapes and sizes. The leaves start with green color but later produced diverse color and colour combination patterns as they mature. Garden crotons have been used as informal hedges or screen shrub boarder, landscape or interiorscope (Jensen and Salisbury, 1972).

Garden crotons, as a tropical plant cannot stafnd either too high or too low temperature (ideal temperature is around 20°C). Generally, if the temperature is either too low or too high or affected by too drastic water stress, the plant may drop all of its leaves quickly (Facciola, 1990). Garden crotons are easily propagated in water or soil either as rooted cuttings from greenwood cuttings, leaf bud cuttings, or if plants are desired quickly, by air layering (or marcots) (Dirr and Heuser, 2009). Without pruning, the plant may attain a height of about 3-3.7 m and tend to produce the heaviest foliage at the tip of the plant. When left unprunned, they could be susceptible to attacks by epiphytes especially the mistletoes as well as show high tendencies for mutation (Taylor, 1990).

The tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum L.) is indigenous to North and South America. The leaves of the plant are the commercial product and raw material for factories. They are often cured by smoking and consumed in form of cigar or cigarette, or in a smoking pipe or a water pipe when smoked. They could be chewed, stewed, snuffed, brewed or fermented as a beverage in water (Adam, 2002). Tobacco contains the obnoxious alkaloid- nicotine, which is a psychoactive substance. This is a powerful neurotoxin. In addition to nicotine, tobacco contains over 19 carcinogens (most collectively known as tars) and more than 4,000 chemicals (Tso, 1972).

Nicotine (C10H14N2), the active ingredient in tobacco is second only to caffeine as the most widely used central nervous system stimulant (Barry and Gleeson, 1997). In combination with the tars and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke, nicotine represent a serious health risk factor for lung and cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer (Campaign, 2004). Nicotine, however, is approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an insecticide (Barry and Gleeson, 1997).

Nicotine is a colorless oil which is soluble in water and turns brown on exposure to air. It is also found in tobacco smoke and can be described as recreational stimulant smoke (Collins and Hawks, 1993).

Literature is replete with effects of tobacco on animal or human systems resulting in breathing problems, lung cancer and liver cirrhosis. This has led to the banning of cigarette smoking in public places, age limit on cigarette purchase and raising of tax on tobacco companies in many countries. However, there is paucity of information on the effects of tobacco on plant metabolism which necessitated the present study. In this study, we investigated the effects of cigarette tobacco extract on garden croton stem cuttings in a plant-plant interactive hydroponic assay. This was with a view to determining the capacity for root regeneration and proliferation and plant mutation/mutagenicity using well known reciprocal mutants-the Guinea broad leaf and Guinea narrow leaf garden croton cultivars.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Test plants: The two cultivars of garden croton cultivars used are: The Guinea broad leaf (Gold dust or Aureomaculatum) and Guinea narrow leaf cultivars. The two cultivars of the garden croton plant were collected from the Babcock University Chapel premises, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria in August and November, 2008. The fresh green stems were cut using secateurs and razor blade and were enveloped tightly in transparent polythene sachet bags to prevent desiccation. The two cultivars are well known reciprocal mutants.

Preparation of tobacco infusion extract: The procedure for the preparation of the tobacco infusion (extract) was adopted with slight modification from breakfast tea practice. Consequently, the London King-size tobacco cigarettes, a product of the British America Tobacco Company (BAT) Ibadan, Nigeria, was used for this study. Three cigarette sticks (0.7 g each), (an equivalent of one cup (one lipton) teabag which makes 270 mL brewed tea (standard England teacup) was brewed with Babcock University sachet water and brought to boil under bunsen burner flame for 30 min. A serial dilution in logarithm units of ten and in percentage was prepared from the original concentration of the infusion and the pH of each was read.

Experiment on garden croton cultivars: Fifty milliliter of each logarithm and percentage serial dilution was taken by a syringe and put in each beaker. Three stem cuttings of both Garden Croton plant cultivars (Guinea broad-leaf and Guinea narrow-leaf) were placed in each beaker and covered with a sachet size polythene bag. Equal amount of distill water was used as the control.

Statistical analysis: The means of the various treatments and the control were compared using the General Linear Model (GLM) analysis of variance software package by Statistical Analysis System (SAS, 1999). When there is significance, treatment means were compared using the Duncan Multiple Range Software Option.

RESULTS

Low concentration of cigarette tobacco infusion (1-20% dilution) stimulated early root initiation under one week in the Guinea broad leaf garden croton stem cuttings. Higher concentration (30-90% dilution) delayed rooting by a week. Undiluted (100%) tobacco infusion delayed root generation further until four weeks (Fig. 1, 6).

Root elongation was concentration dependent under percentage dilution of the tobacco infusion. Root length increases as the concentration of the extract increases except the undiluted extract (Fig. 1). However, the highest tobacco-treated root length value (c. 1.7 cm) was below the control (c. 2.5 cm).

The root number was optimum (c. 16) at 50% extract dilution surpassing the control (c. 8) but decreases as extract concentration increases (Fig. 6).

Under logarithm dilution, both root length and number increased beyond the control values. Optimum root length (3.3 cm) and number (c. 9) were supported by low to medium tobacco infusion concentration (1×10-(6-8) dilution) in the Guinea broad leaf cultivar. The Guinea narrow leaf cultivar required above average extract concentration (1×10-4-5 dilution) to yield optimum root length (3.1 cm) and number (5). Higher concentration in both cultivars inhibited root elongation and proliferation (Fig. 2-5).

Overall, tobacco infusion enhanced growth (root length and proliferation) better in the broad leaf cultivar than the narrow leaf. The pH for percentage dilution was more acidic (5.27-5.43) than the logarithm dilution (5.32-6.89). The acidity decreases as the concentration of the tobacco infusion increases. The percentage dilution has more of brown color infusion while the logarithm dilution was more or less colorless.

DISCUSSION

B-vitamins are essential component of enzymes or enzyme co-factors promoting plant growth. Their discovery (White, 1937) impacted positively on in vitro plant growth assay and led to the rapid development of Plant Tissue Culture (PTC).

Currently, no research information on the effects of the tobacco raw extracts on any aspect of plant growth was found in literature. However, nicotinic acid (niacin) has been routinely used in vitro as a mandatory beneficial vitamin component of most plant nutrient media in plant tissue cultures (Hartmann et al., 2002; Klein and Klein, 1970; Caponetti et al., 2005; Dubey, 2006).

Fig. 1:

Root length of stem cuttings of Guinea broad leaf garden croton grown in tobacco infusion percentage dilution series

Fig. 2:

Root length of stem cuttings of Guinea broad leaf garden croton grown in tobacco infusion logarithm dilution series

Niacin (Vit B3) in the form of nicotinic acid has also been routinely used in vitro as an essential (mandatory) component of most plant nutrients in growth media.

Tobacco plant cells, tissues or organs have featured severally and prominently in the development of PTC. Historically, several studies have also used hydroponic plant growth system to develop or raise isolated plant cells (Haberlandt, 1902). Cytokinin was later found to induce organ formation in tobacco callus culture (Skoog, 1944). Appropriate combination of cytokinin with auxin in a specific ratio also induces root and shoot formation using this tobacco system. This has led to the development of the universally accepted Murashige and Skoog (1962) plant growth medium.

Fig. 3:

Root length of stem cuttings of Guinea narrow leaf garden croton grown in tobacco infusion logarithm dilution series

Fig. 4:

Number of roots from stem cuttings of Guinea broad leaf garden croton grown in tobacco infusion logarithm dilution series

Fig. 5:

Number of roots from stem cuttings of Guinea narrow leaf garden croton grown in tobacco infusion logarithm dilution series

Fig. 6:

Number of roots from stem cuttings of Guinea broad leaf garden croton grown in tobacco infusion percentage dilution series

Today, the most commonly used vitamins (biocatalyst/growth stimulator) in PTC include: Thiamin (Vit B1), Nicotinic acid (Vit B3), Pyridoxine (Vit B6), Glycine, Inositol, Panthothenic acid (Vit B5) and Biotin (Vit H). However, thiamine is often considered essential while nicotinic acid and pyridoxine are usually additive (Dubey, 2006). Whereas thiamine is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and the biosynthesis of some amino acids, nicotinic acid (niacin) is a respiratory coenzyme (Beyl, 2005).

Despite the extensive use of tobacco plant system in PTC, there is no information yet in literature from our extensive search on the effects of synthetic tobacco extracts on plant growth. The indispensable role of leaves as primary photosynthetic light-capturing and atmospheric gas (CO2, O2, H2O) exchange organ (Trigiano and Gray, 2005) cannot be overemphasized. However, leaves can undergo extensive often unusual, modifications due to the nature of their environment, its genetic system and evolutionary history. These attributes are extraordinary characteristic of the Codiaeum variegatum cultivars. They exhibit variety of beautiful leaf color combinations which could be up to fourteen on a single leaf, such that no two leaves on any of its branches could display the same color pattern on the same plant. Notwithstanding, the leaves could be devoid of visible variegation. In addition stem cuttings and detached leaves possess the capacity to root readily in either polluted or ordinary water-system within fourteen days.

Above all, some members of the cultivars characteristically produce specific mutant(s) of varying leaf color and/or shape (Ogunwenmo et al., 2007) spontaneously, which are very stable or sometimes reversible. Consequently, this choice of the garden croton as the test plant for regeneration in nicotine polluted water.

So far, no mutant, carcinogenic growth or even death was observed over the range of concentration used and during the duration of this study. Nevertheless, tobacco cigarette stick infusion enhanced rooting in garden croton test plants used. Lower concentrations of the cigarette infusion (1-20% dilution) enhanced early root initiation and root elongation. However, at higher concentration (30-90% dilution), rooting was delayed by a week and root length reduction was observed. Consequently, it appears some cultivars of garden crotons have the capability to catabolize nicotine to nicotinic acid which has been found to stimulate root regeneration. This might justify the routine use overtime of nicotinic acid as a mandatory component of plant tissue culture media (Dubey, 2006). The pathway for this catabolic reaction has, however, not been established and therefore, yet unknown. Nevertheless, it is possible that the plant produces enzymes which are capable of catalyzing the conversion of nicotine to nicotinic acid, a reverse process of the biosynthesis of nicotine from nicotinic acid which is catalyzed by nicotine synthase (Caroline et al., 2008; Nicholson and Dagley, 1970; Salisbury and Ross, 2002). The results of this study suggests that low concentration of tobacco infusion may be a good medium not only for garden croton root regeneration from leaf and stem cuttings, but also an appropriate native source and substitute for niacin vitamin requirement in in vitro assays.

The responses of the two cultivars (Guinea broad and narrow leaf) to logarithm and percentage dilution differed. The broad leaf was superior to the narrow leaf in root formation (Fig. 2, 3) and length in the logarithm and percentage dilution. Generally, root lengths were significantly higher (p<0.05) in the logarithm than the percentage dilution for both broad and narrow leaf cultivars. These varied responses are not unexpected as the two morphotypes have demonstrated natural reciprocal mutation (Esan et al., 2008). However, the more frequent mutant is the broad leaf which mutates to produce the narrow leaf morph thus making the latter probably, the more stable form. This is a natural phenomenon in this cultivar.

All leaf cuttings eventually produced roots in all concentrations, except the undiluted extract. Thus, diluted tobacco infusion was not lethal or adversely inhibitory. Indeed, it enhanced growth at low concentrations.

CONCLUSION

This result is important in the biodegradation of nicotine in the soil as a result of environmental pollution from tobacco manufacturing companies, producing farmers and tobacco users especially cigarette smokers. Graden croton, Codiaeum variegatum, can be used to control and breakdown nicotine into harmless but useful component like niacin, a plant growth promoter easily metabolized by plants.

References

Chemicals in smoke help plants grow sturdier, study shows

When fires rage through forests, they often char acres upon acres of plant life and scar a landscape for years to come. Some plants have learned to use this destructive force to their advantage — moving into competitors’ now-empty territory or producing seeds that burst open from the heat.

Now researchers have identified another way in which widespread flames benefit some fire-following plant species: A family of chemicals in the smoke makes the plants hypersensitive to lower, altered light levels, triggering them to grow thicker, sturdier stems than they otherwise would have.

The findings were published online Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“People have known for a long time that there’s something (in smoke) that induces seed germination … but it’s only in the last five years or so that anybody has been able to isolate a compound that works,” said study editor Winslow Briggs, a biochemist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.

In 2004, researchers established that chemicals known as butanolides — now named “karrikins” after karrik, the local Aboriginal word for smoke — were inducing fire-responsive plants to germinate in the wake of a fire.

In the latest study, researchers identified precisely what the chemicals do to Arabidopsis thaliana, a common North American weed whose 30,000 genes have been mapped. The scientists found that exposing the plants to karrikins, derived from burning plant cell walls, activated a handful of genes associated with light sensitivity.

Given that the quality of light that reaches a seed below ground changes after a fire — the protective canopy is burned away, and the soil is blackened, bending the light into redder territory — the researchers exposed plants to a different spectrum of light and measured whether exposing the plants to karrikins made a difference.

“If you grow plants in low light, they generally grow tall and spindly because they’re searching out for more light, but they’re less robust,” said lead author Steven M. Smith, a molecular biologist at the University of Western Australia.

But when exposed to karrikins, the first stems that the plants grew were 25 percent to 30 percent shorter than their unexposed counterparts and the first leaves that emerged were about 50 percent larger and more robust, Smith said.

The findings could have implications for both plant recovery after a fire or for commercial farmers, said Ian Thomas Baldwin, founder of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, a renowned research institution in Germany.

With smoke-derived technology, farmers could plant seeds, induce weeds to grow before the seeds sprouted and kill off all the weeds in the ground. They could then use karrikins to tell the crops to grow once the fields were clear, said Baldwin, who was not involved in the study.

“It would give you another tool in the toolbox to grow a weed-free crop without having to use poison,” Baldwin said.

Explore further

The secret life of smoke in fostering rebirth and renewal of burned landscape

(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.
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Citation: Chemicals in smoke help plants grow sturdier, study shows (2010, March 30) retrieved 1 February 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-chemicals-sturdier.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Do my cannabis plants mind me smoking near them?

Hello,

I live in a 1 room apartment, and I have a small grow tent next to the TV. Unfortunately, I have the bad habit of smoking cigarettes. And I smoke inside my apartment.

Obviously, my 2 plants receive a lot of nicotine-infused “fresh air.” Is a lot of nicotine in the air a problem for my 2 young ladies? As much as I like smoking cigarettes, I think I like my plants more.

Should I give up smoking?

Thanks,

Anonymous.

Hi there anonymous,

Good question! As a smoker myself, I know that smoking cigarettes is a lovely, but bad habit and I do have some bad news for you.

I recommend to work on your habits in this case.

You will have to make a choice here I think. Do you want your plants to perform best? Or rather smoke cigarettes. Just like any other living being, and maybe even more than most, plants need fresh air exchange, otherwise they will not perform to their fullest.

Another thing is that tobacco smoke has tons of harmful ingredients that you want to keep away from your plants in order for them to thrive. Even if you would not smoke cigarettes, but joints without tobacco, it would still be better to not expose your plants to this.

Also there are claims that some plant viruses can survive burning and travel through cigarette smoke as a vector in the air, finding their way to other plants and causing potential complications.

Even if the plants seem to perform okay, we assure you they would perform better with fresh air exchange.

So maybe you could find a way to smoke but make sure your plants are not a victim of second hand smoke? Maybe you could smoke under the exhaust hood in your kitchen, or smoke only outside?

And even though I am a smoker myself like I said, both you and the plant would perform better with fresher air.

Good luck!

6 Indoor plants that filter cigarette smoke

The Amazon jungle is considered the lungs of the earth filtering out carbon dioxide. Closer to home, Indoor plants are regarded as the lungs of the office, filtering out harmful toxins like cigarette smoke (carbon monoxide).

The dangers of cigarette smoke (Carbon Monoxide)

Cigarette litter is a pain in the butt but carbon monoxide kills! Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that is incredibly dangerous in high quantities. Small doses of carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms in employees, smokers and secondary smokers, without anyone realising it is there. Complete exposure to this gas results in Carbon monoxide poisoning and death.

Indoor plants that filter carbon monoxide

Life Indoors, the indoor plantscaping division of Life Green Group, decided to explore what indoor plants filter out air pollutants produced by tobacco smoke, that would be best suited to an office, smoker’s home, designated smoking area or restaurant’s smoking room.

1. Umbrella tree (Schefflera arboricola)

The schefflera is a wonderful plant that thrives indoors it is incredibly hardy and its dark green leaves have a waxy shine. Leanne the divisional manager of Life Indoors recommends you keep them dust-free to keep the plant healthy. Not only will the schefflera filter out tobacco smoke but benzene, formaldehyde and toluene too.

© Mokkie

2. Bamboo palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

It’s certainly no drag taking care of the bamboo palm as it likes to be neglected and commonly dies from being over-watered. The bamboo palm is one of the most well-known indoor plants and the perfect plant for a smoker’s home or a designated smoking area.

© Pluume321

3. Golden pathos (Epipremnum aureum)

Interior plantscapers enjoy working with the golden pathos creatively and it makes for a great addition to a livingwall. It is also a creeper so it works well on shelves. The golden pathos can handle cold temperatures and low light, making it a useful indoor plant for tricky rooms.

4. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)

Fight the affects of addition with the rubber plant – the rubber plant is ideal for absorbing carbon monoxide in the office or home. Interior plantscapers recommend you use the rubber plant in areas with a lot of space as this indoor plants can get extremely large, making it great for atriums.

Variegated variety © Cliff Cooper

5. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Protect employees from air pollutants and sick building syndrome with the benefits of the spider plant. The spider plant also makes a great eco-wall addition. It is also one of the few indigenous indoor plants in southern Africa, along with the Natal Mahogany.

© Mokkie

Indoor plants filter the air of carbon monoxide and other harmful air pollutants – facility managers, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

© Spaceo

6. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema spp.)

Air pollutants and a build-up of carbon monoxide is a smoking gun for not only your health but for employee productivity. The Chinese evergreen is a very hardy indoor plant thriving in most indoor conditions. It also comes in a variety of colours from deep sea green to silver.

© Mokkie

5 Plants That Can Help Purify Indoor Air, According to Science

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Want to clear the air in your home or workplace? Get some greens, says research presented today at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting. But not just any greens: The new study looked at five common house plants and found that when it comes to removing harmful chemicals from the air, some are better than others.

Indoor air pollution is a common and important threat to human health, according to researchers from the State University of New York Oswego, and can even lead to symptoms of “sick-building syndrome,” such as headache and fatigue. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gasses from cigarette smoke, paints, furniture, copiers and printers, cleaning supplies, and dry-cleaned clothes, are often to blame.

“Buildings, whether new or old, can have high levels of VOCs in them, sometimes so high that you can smell them,” says Vadoud Niri, PhD, an assistant professor of chemistry who led the new study. Inhaling large amounts of VOCs can cause short- and long-term health problems, he adds, including dizziness, asthma, and allergies.

RELATED: The 10 Worst Plants for Your Allergies

Installing ventilation systems or other high-tech solutions can help remove VOCs from indoor environments—but they can be expensive, and Niri wanted to find a cheaper, simpler way to improve air quality. So he turned to plants, which take in carbon dioxide through their roots and leaves. Previous research has also shown that greenery can absorb VOCs like benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde.

Niri and his colleagues built a sealed chamber containing a mix of different VOCs and monitored it over several 12-hour periods, both with and without different plants inside. They measured how quickly each plant took in the different VOCs, and how much of the chemicals remained in the air by the end of each experiment.

While all of the plants they tested reduced at least some of the air pollution, certain ones were more helpful than others. “Based on our results, we can recommend what plants are good for certain types of VOCs and for specific locations,” says Niri. Here’s a breakdown of the five plants they tested and what, exactly, they found:

Image zoom Lauren Juratovac for The Sill

1 Dracaena (Dracaena frangas)

All five plants did a good job removing acetone (you’ve probably noticed its smell in nail salons—the pungent chemical is present in nail polish remover). But the popular Dracaena plant, with its trunk-like stems and shiny leaves, took in more of the gas than any other greenery tested (94% over the 12-hour study period).

RELATED: How to Reduce Pet Allergens at Home

Image zoom Massimo Russo/EyeEm/Getty Images

2 Jade plant (Crassula argentea)

Out of the five plants tested, this easy-to-care-for succulent—also known as a friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree—was the best at removing toluene (91%), a strong-smelling chemical often associated with paint thinners.

RELATED: How to Protect Your Home from Dangerous Mold and Mildew

Image zoom Image Source/Getty Images

3 Spider plant (Chrolophytum comosum)

The spider plant ranked first for removing ethylbenzene (62%), p-Xylenes (92%), and o-Xylene (93%)—chemicals that are found in inks, rubbers, adhesives, paints, and varnishes. This plant is adaptable to many environments, and often produces baby plants, or spiderettes, that can be repotted and grown to full size.

RELATED: Your Secret Allergy Triggers, Revealed

Image zoom jumnong/Getty Images

4 Bromeliad (Guzmania lingulata)

This spiky, colorful house plant (it’s related to the pineapple!) was best at removing benzene (92%), a toxic gas present in motor vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke. It was also the most effective, overall, at removing multiple VOCs—taking up more than 80% of six out of the eight chemicals studied. For this reason, “it could be a good plant to have sitting around in the household or workplace,” says Niri.

RELATED: Want to Live Longer? Plant Some Greenery

5 Caribbean Tree Cactus (Consolea falcata)

These hardy cacti produce tiny flowers and grow well with lots of sunlight. While it was not the best at removing any one chemical, it did still remove more than 80% of ethylbenzene, p-Xylenes, and acetone, and about 60% of benzene, toluene, and o-Xylene.

RELATED: 25 Ways to Detox Your Entire Home

The Bottom Line:

The idea of using plants to remove chemicals from indoor air isn’t new; it’s known as biofiltration or phytoremediation and has been studied since the 1980s. (NASA did some of the first and most cited research on the topic.)

Other research has looked at how specific plants can remove single VOCs, such as formaldehyde, from the air. But Niri’s research (which is illustrated in a new video from the American Chemical Society) differs in that it compared various plants and looked at the rate of simultaneous removal of several VOCs.

Niri points out, however, that his study was performed in a sealed chamber—not a real-life setting. The next step in his research is to test these plants’ abilities in an actual room; he’d like to eventually put plants in a nail salon for several months, for example, to see whether they can reduce levels of acetone that are potentially harmful to people working there.

He also says that while plants may significantly improve air quality in polluted indoor areas, it’s still better to eliminate the source of these harmful chemicals in the first place. Cigarette smoke, for example, has been shown to release more than 7,000 chemicals into the air. “The plants might take up some of the VOCs,” Niri says, “but I don’t think they will be able to get rid of all the chemicals and the smell of cigarette.”

5 Plants That Clean the Air

Indoor air pollutants have been known to cause many negative health conditions. Twenty-five years after NASA’s study, the World Health Organization is still very concerned about the negative effects of poor indoor air quality. Though this issue doesn’t get as much coverage as outdoor air pollution, over a million people die every year from chronic obstructive respiratory disease caused by indoor air pollution.

Poor indoor air quality can also contribute to the development of lung cancer and pneumonia. In addition to these conditions, less serious problems such as asthma, allergies, and infection can also be caused by indoor air pollution.Here are some of the most common culprits responsible for indoor air pollution:

  • Formaldehyde: This chemical is commonly found in carpets, glue, paint, upholstery, building materials, cigarette smoke, fuel-burning appliances
  • Benzene: Plastics, pesticides, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, lubricants, and synthetic fibers can all harbor benzene.
  • Trichloroethylene: This toxin can be found in spot removers, adhesives, rug cleaning solution, typewriter fluid, and paint removers.

How Do Plants Clean the Air?

At this point, you may be wondering how NASA scientists used plants to clean the air. Can you reproduce their results in your own home? Air purification using plants does not require any special scientific equipment. The plants themselves do most of the work! It’s common knowledge that plants use light and carbon dioxide to create energy. Using a similar process, plants can absorb other harmful gases such as the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) mentioned above.

Examples of Plants that Clean the Air

Gerbera Daisy

With its bright, large blooms, the Gerbera daisy is a popular houseplant due to its attractive appearance as well as its air-purifying properties. This plant can help to remove trichloroethylene and benzene in the air. Gerbera daisies also have the added benefit of releasing more oxygen than typical houseplants. This can be very helpful for those suffering from breathing disorders.

Peace Lily

Peace lilies are easy to care for and very resilient, making them especially popular with those who don’t necessarily have a green thumb. The plant can grow to about 16 inches and produce lovely white blooms. Peace lilies can help reduce toxins such as benzene, ammonia, formaldehyde, acetone, xylene, ethyl acetate, and trichloroethylene.

Spider Plant

The long, grass-like leaves of the spider plant make an ideal hanging houseplant. These plants are also easy to care for and are quite hardy. The spider plant can remove xylene and formaldehyde from the air. To get the best results, place the plant near your kitchen or fireplace, since these areas are prone to carbon monoxide build up.

Bamboo palm

The bamboo palm is another popular purifying houseplant due to its tropical look and insect-repelling quality. This plant also packs a big punch when it comes to purifying the air. The bamboo palm can remove substances like benzene, formaldehyde, chloroform, carbon monoxide, and xylene.

Golden Pothos

The broad leaves of the golden pothos make an attractive houseplant whether displayed in a hanging basket or small pot. The vines of the golden pothos can grow up to 40 feet in length, so some maintenance is required to avoid a plant of unmanageable size. Use golden pothos to reduce toxins such as formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide, and xylene.

Before you run out and buy an expensive air purifier, why not try cleaning the air in your home with these houseplants? All the plants listed above are easy to care for and require very little maintenance, so even novice growers won’t be intimidated. This solution is not only more cost-effective than air filters or purifiers, it will also make your home more attractive and pleasant. If you are concerned about indoor air quality, pick up a few of these plants from your local nursery and enjoy cleaner, healthier air.

Plants don’t just clean the air indoors. They keep our our outside air clean too. The Green Ribbon would add 80 acres of green space to downtown Toronto. This would have a tremendous affect on Toronto’s air quality in the dense south core. If you value clean air, .

The best 11 Smokable Herbs to make your own herbal tobacco

Smokable herbs can reduce your tobacco addiction

A Herbal smoking blends is an excellent solution for many who are struggling daily to consume less tobacco.

Although not a perfect solution – smoking cessation being primarily dependent on the smoker’s personal desire and discipline to quit – the detoxification process can be more efficient when undertaken slowly and gradually.
A blend of smokable herbs used as a tobacco substitute is a convenient and harmonious way to reduce or stop smoking completely.

The ideal herbal smoking blends will contain a wide range of herbs you can smoke that have positive effects for the detoxification process, including soothing smokable herbs to relieve the nervous system, to remove tobacco toxins from the respiratory system, to relieve coughing, and, when necessary, to strengthen the body during detoxification.

Mix me with nature, My effect better that way

Because the herbal smoking blends contains legal smokable herbs, but does not contain tobacco, nicotine or other addictive substances, anyone interested in quitting tobacco can simply prepare a herbal cigarettes at any time without fear of addiction and without the exhausting struggle with the craving to smoke, leading to a rapid decline in the need for tobacco.

Smoking Catnip (Nepeta Cataria)

A mint herb used for infusion by ancient Europeans prior to the tea herb’s arrival from Asia, for treating muscle spasms, headaches, fever, and seizures. The Chinese used the leaves for relieving chest pain and believed that they cause good mood and happiness. The catnip as a smokable herb was customarily smoked as treatment for asthma and bronchitis.

Some users say that smoking catnip helps them find calm after a long day and forget about their worries.

Effects of Smoking Catnip

Smoking the herb leads to a sense of gentle euphoria, the intensity of which varies from person to person. The herb infusion is excellent for stomach spasms, especially during menstruation.

Catnip: What Else Should You Know?

Because of its cannabis-strengthening qualities, catnip is an excellent for herbal mix with weed and/or tobacco consumption and for alleviating stomach pains and digestive problems. The herb can also be used for preventing a common cold if consumed immediately upon appearance of the initial symptoms (such as a sore throat). It is also excellent for reducing fever, profuse sweating without fever and alleviating flu-related pains. The herb may also prove effective in cases of nausea.

Smoking Damiana (Turnera Aphrodisiaca)

Damiana was used by the Aztec Indians for treating impotence. Mexican women used these fragrant leaves when making love to their husbands. The herb’s importance in Mexico was such that it was considered a “national treasure” and its export as a live plant was forbidden.

Damiana has been used for centuries primarily as an aphrodisiac and sexual tonic

Effects of Smoking Damiana

Smoking Damiana leaves leads to a pleasant feeling. Infusing the herb influences the soul and causes a slight emotional high that can last for up to 90 minutes. A cup of damiana tea before sleep induces a sense of calm prior to love-making and prepares the “field” for pleasant dreams (that may be of an erotic nature during the first seven days of smoking). The herb may also increase 3-D characteristics and color intensity of dreams. More intense effects can be experienced by smoking the herb in a pipe together with drinking an infusion of the herb about an hour before getting into bed with your lover.

What Else Should You Know?

Many people tell of how the herb changed their lives. Besides arousing sexual passion, it has also been proven as a natural anti-depressant and revitalizer. The herb is also useful for gradually reducing use of cannabis and tobacco among smokers. People who quit smoking cannabis (and even alcohol), occasionally enjoy smoking or drinking the herb because of the pleasant feelings of calm it induces as well as the enhanced visual effects, without side-effects or a “hangover”. If you want to know more about damiana as smokable herb for herbal mix with weed.

GET YOUR DAMAINA HERBAL MIX

Smoking Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris)

Warning: Not to be used by Pregnant Women!
Mugwort was used in the ancient world for protection and divination. The herb was used for alleviating pain and for healing and was known as enabling super-natural powers and lucid dreams. The mugwort was also hung by the entrance to homes in order to banish negative spirits. It was used by Roman soldiers to fortify themselves on their campaigns and even by mariners and other travelers when their supply of tobacco expired. Some users report comparatively mild results, whereas others experience full blown psychedelic trips whilst sleeping!

Effects of Smoking Mugwort

This smokable herb leads to a euphoric and dream-like feeling. Smoking mugwort at night arouses lucid and colorful dreaming.

Mugwort: What Else Should You Know?

Smoking mugwort assists in alleviating pain and placing it in your shoes alleviates painful foot muscles. An infusion of the herb can be used for cleansing the liver and encourages a state of lucid dreaming (REM sleep). The herb can also be smoked for reducing the side-effects of smoking cannabis.

Smoking Mullein (Verbascum Thapus)

In ancient cultures, mullein was used as a counter-measure to acts of witchcraft and evil spirits and was even smoked to treat a painful throat and congested lungs.
Mullein is mildly relaxing, helps to promote calm feelings, and fights against anxiety.

Effects of Smoking Mullein

Although mullein was not considered as causing a “high”, it may nevertheless assist in reducing addiction to and damage from tobacco.

Mullein: What Else Should You Know?

Mullein assists in calming cough and other lung-related issues. It is posibble to add Mullein to herbal mix for weed, its enables a smokers to reduce the consumption of tobacco and cannabis, until cessation. The herb helps to alleviate pain and, in facilitating more relaxed sleep, has a calming influence on coughing, muscle spasms and seizures. Mullein also frees up mucus and is beneficial in the treatment of health problems. Its preparation may cause skin irritation.

GET YOUR MULLEIN HERBAL MIX

Smoking Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata – P. alata)

The herb was infused into tea by the Incan Indians and was used for enhancing and refining the influences of hallucination-arousing substances. In large doses, it acts as an inhibitor of the MAO enzyme.

Passionflower is remarkably effective for interrupting nicotine addiction.

Effects of Smoking Passionflower

When smoked in a pipe, passionflower results in short-term euphoria and can also be rolled into an herbal cigarettes . One teaspoon of the herb infused in hot water for 10 minutes will lead to a calming influence and pain relief.

Passionflower – What Else Should You Know?

In contrast to its name, the herb does not arouse passion (and maybe even the opposite), but rather, is used for peaceful and pleasant sleep and as a great substitute for sleeping pills. Many smokers successfully quit nicotine by preparing their cigarettes with the passionflower herb – some who do so in the morning were able to refrain from smoking tobacco for the entire day. The herb also assists in reducing cannabis consumption.

Smoking Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara)

In ancient times, dry coltsfoot leaves were used for preventing tuberculosis. In the 19th century, it was mixed with tobacco to utilize its positive influence on the lungs while doctors in Ancient Greece recommended smoking coltsfoot to soothe coughing and asthma. Like other herbs beneficial to the lungs, coltsfoot is today illegal.

The leaves of the coltsfoot contain zinc which is useful as an anti-inflammatory or even as an expectorant.

Effects of Smoking Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot is friendly on smokers’ lungs and serves as an excellent substitute for tobacco in cigarettes.

Coltsfoot – What Else Should You Know?

Smoking Coltsfoot may assist in clearing lung congestion. In infusions, coltsfoot helps sooth coughing and clearing lung congestion while chewing it helps alleviate throat pain and infection as well as to reduce mucus and even overcome the flu virus.

Smoking Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)

The skullcap was used by the Indian tribes for treating rabies, stimulating menstrual activity, relief for chest pain, for expediting expulsion of the placenta after birth, and in purification ceremonies. The herb is also excellent for reducing stress, tension, nervousness and panic attacks. Although the herb essence is efficient, smoking skullcap enables its quick introduction into the bloodstream. Skullcap is good for cleansing the throat and was used as a ceremonial herb for creating visual illusions (although it may be necessary to smoke a relatively large amount to do so). Drinking an infusion of the herb is excellent before sleep or for an indulging evening at home.
The herb burns quite well. Some prefer add skullcap to a herbal mix for weed . It can be mixed with other herbs such as passionflower, and mapacho in order to create a flavorsome herbal cigarettes that leads to a calm mood.
Scullcap has the ability to inhibit viruses and bacteria, lower the level of blood pressure in the body

Smoking Sage (Salvia Officinalis)

Apart from being one of the most potent healing herbs available to humans, this magical herb is also considered the king of medicinal herbs. Ancient cultures used sage to heal almost all diseases. The herb enjoyed the status of a sacred herb and was used to symbolize good health and long life. Around the 10th century, Arab doctors believed that sage possessed the capacity to extend life, a belief that migrated to Europe following the Crusades.
Dry leaves of White Sage are used in a smoking herbal blends for a better mood. The herb encourages calm and stimulates the memory. Smoking the herb “clean” may prove to be too potent, and it is therefore often blended with mullein. White Sage also assists in clearing throat, lung and sinus congestion. The herb also helps to thicken the smoking blend and improved burning.

Discover more about sage,

Sages are used primarily to impart flavor to smoking blends.

Effects of Smoking Sage

  • Alleviates headaches
  • Enhances memory and cognitive function
  • Acts as an anti-depressant and improves mood
  • Alleviates nasal congestion and blockage
  • Tobacco Substitute for smoking

Smoking Lavender

Lavender does not cause noticeable euphoria and can be used as a tobacco substitute however is best not smoked as is. It assists in reducing restlessness and sleeplessness as well as alleviating headaches, muscular pain and flatulence.
Lavender is used for relaxation and for treating headache and belongs to the anti-septic group of medicinal herbs. According to natural medicine, it assists in sterilizing wounds and in digestive problems, nasal congestion, flu, muscle spasms, sleeplessness, burns and other external wounds, and acts as a mosquito deterrent.

Discover more about herbal blends with lavender.

How is it Used?

A lavender infusion can be prepared by pouring boiling water on 2-3 branches of fresh lavender or on a teaspoon of dry lavender flowers. After covering the infusion with a plate for 5 minutes, it can then be filtered and consumed.

Smoking Green Tea

We are used to regarding green tea as a beverage but recently its smoking has also gained momentum among herbal blends smokers. This trend began in Vietnam and spread to the rest of the world. The herbal elements that make up the tea are not damaged and do not lose their quality during the smoking process however the claim is that drinking the tea is more beneficial to the health than smoking it.
Green tea is associated with attributes that influence five vital internal organs: liver, heart, spleen, kidneys and lungs. The green tea’s importance is in its direct influence on these organs which serve as the human body’s centers of energy.
Green tea possesses vital attributes and is mainly known for its anti-oxidants. Green tea cools the body and accords it a feeling of limpness, released tension and other negative feelings.
Infusing the green tea leaves assists in problems related to sleeplessness, tension, lungs, internal infections, detoxification, constipation, and bolstering the immune system.

Smoking Chamomile

Chamomile can be smoked as a tobacco substitute by gradually increasing its dosage while reducing that of tobacco cigarettes. Because chamomile is used to curb tension and anxiety, the available influences of smoking medicinal herbs may reduce the craving for tobacco until the negative patterns of smoking vanish entirely. Chamomile can enhance the quality of sleep if consumed as a liquid solution, tea, food, smoked or steamed. Chamomile may also be used for relaxation and improving sleep for those suffering from anxiety and tension.

Chamomile tea is an excellent infusion for treating stomach pain and for digestive problems and flatulence. The tea assists in promoting relaxation and in contending better with pressure and helps with sleeplessness by relaxing the body and mind and enabling a person to fall asleep naturally.
A chamomile infusion is excellent for women during menstruation, with morning sickness and with tension related to menopause.
As stated above, the tea alleviates digestive problems. By a combined calming action (a slowing of the digestive system muscles and a calming of the intestine wall) and stimulation of digestion, the chamomile can help treat digestive problems such as: stomach-ache, flatulence, upset stomach, irritable bowel, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, lack of appetite, stomach and esophagus infections, and others. The tea can also help with stress-related headaches.

Smoking Mint

Smoking mint leads to improved blood-flow and calmed nerves, as well as a cleansing of the lungs and respiratory tracts – thereby enabling easier breathing. Smoking mint does not cause psycho-active effects.

The health attributes of the mint herb and its infusion: induces perspiration, alleviates flatulence, expectorant, suppresses nausea and vomiting, alleviates digestive problems and stomach-ache, stimulates gall bladder ad liver secretions, and anesthetic.
The mint herb is also efficient in treating the common cold, fever and sinusitis.

By adding mint to your herbal mix for weed you`ll get a new kind of freshness and flavor in your tobacco substitute
In contrast to the way in which they are perceived by many of us, tobacco detoxification and partial or total cessation of smoking are not supposed to be a complex process of difficult struggle. A blend of smokable herbs possessing a composition that is suited and agreeable to the smoker’s body can do wonders and lead to a marked reduction in cigarette and tobacco smoking, thereby resulting in a significant improvement in his health.
Share the information in this article with your family and close friends in the process of trying to quit smoking. You are also warmly invited to express your opinion and share your thoughts.
* The above should not be viewed as a recommendation; The information in this article was gathered from multiple sources; Consult your physician/herbalist prior to beginning any treatment.

Smoking Blends: The Best Supporting Herbs to Pair With Cannabis

Rae LlandAugust 30, 2017 Share Print

(nailiaschwarz/iStock) There’s a visceral feeling attached to the act of smoking: the flicker of flame, the herbs turning to ash, the taste and the curl of smoke as it exits your lips. For the smoker, it is often a ritualistic part of the day—sometimes performed alone, sometimes with company, but always with an herb of choice.

Straying from cannabis or tobacco is somewhat uncommon, but there are a variety of herbs out there that can be enjoyable to consume on occasion as well, either by themselves or coupled with an herb like cannabis. Their purposes can range widely. Some are relaxing; some can be smoked legally in public; some provide tobacco alternatives for spliff lovers; some are a good base to add to joints for the purpose of conserving cannabis reserves. As for those who simply like to explore new botanicals or craft smoking blends, these herbs simply offer a sensory adventure.

On my own smoking journey, I acquired several organic herbs to see which ones paired best with cannabis. Read on to learn about the flavor, aroma, and body of some lesser-known smoking herbs, and how they can complement the flavors of your favorite strains. (Before you consume any of them, though, always consult a healthcare professional regarding potential contraindications or side effects of new substances.)

Passionflower

(AnnaDudek/iStock)

Origin and Uses

Passionflower is a perennial climbing vine, indigenous to several regions including South America, Asia, and parts of the United States. The plant boasts beautiful flowers with unique, intricate petals in a flamboyant display.

Passionflower is said to quell anxiety, soothe the mind, and calm restlessness.

Flavor and Aroma Profile

At first whiff, passionflower may not seem too appetizing. I found it to have a strong grassy smell that was generally unappealing. However, upon smoking it, it was discovered to have a more palatable profile. The flavor is earthy, with a mellow, clove-like aftertaste and a bit of bite. It was a pleasant, smooth smoke.

Texture and Effects

The herb is very bright and visually pleasing, with a variety of interesting shapes and shades to its leaves. It has large stems to pick out, but I found the herb to be easy to break up and roll. Passionflower has a subtle, mildly sedative effect that is soothing to the nerves.

Pair It With Cannabis

Passionflower is a beautiful complement to a cannabis high. Its mildly sedative effects are perfect for balancing out potent, high-THC strains that some users may find too stimulating. In addition, passionflower has a warm, clove-like flavor that pairs nicely with spicy strains dominated by caryophyllene—the peppery terpene—such as Hash Plant.

Contraindications

Side effects of passionflower are uncommon but can include nausea, rapid heartbeat, vertigo, or vomiting, among others.

Damiana Leaf

(Mizina/iStock)

Origin and Uses

Damiana is a shrub native to regions such as South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Southern Texas. The plant produces bright, attractive yellow flowers. Its aromatic blossoms eventually give way to fig-like fruits later in its season.

Damiana has been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac since ancient Aztec and Mayan times. It is also reported to have soothing, relaxing effects on the body and mind.

Flavor and Aroma Profile

Damiana is pleasing in look, smell, and taste. It is a flavorful herb, best described as minty and spicy, with a hickory-like taste. Overall, it delivers a smooth smoke. Its scent fits this profile as well, being mildly spicy, with hints of anise and citrus.

Texture and Effects

Its small, green leaves are easy to break up, with hardly any stems to remove. It rolls easily and burns very slow and clean. The effects of damiana were found to be relaxing and mood enhancing. It was soothing to the nerves and has subtle, pleasing, euphoric effects. Of all the herbs I smoked, damiana emerged as my favorite (apart from cannabis, of course).

Pair It With Cannabis

Damiana on its own is a very relaxing herb, so when paired with cannabis it creates an herbal smoke cocktail built for releasing tension. To create such a spliff, pair it with a soothing indica strain. Damiana’s hickory and mint flavors are also well suited for a bright but earthy strain such as those high in pinene—the piney terpene. For a strain that fits both of these bills consider the hybrid Super Silver Haze.

Contraindications

There are few side effects of damiana use, however there is some evidence it can affect blood glucose levels, so those with diabetes and low blood sugar should proceed with caution. Additionally, some serious side effects have been reported from those taking large doses (about 200 grams) of damiana extract.

Mugwort

(HeikeRau/iStock)

Origins and Uses

Mugwort has purple stalks and dark green leaves, and grows in North America, Northern Europe, and Asia. This herb has a history of uses connected to the uterus and menstruation issues. It is also said to help address stomach issues, anxiety, and low energy levels, and it can reportedly induce lucid dreams, among other uses.

Flavor and Aroma Profile

Mugwort has a scent akin to green tea and a taste reminiscent of sage. It is spicy and nutty with a touch of musk that can be likened to a mild cigar or cigarillo flavor. It has a slow, smooth, even burn and produces light plumes of smoke that are sometimes a little harsh. However, it can be pleasant and enjoyable in small quantities.

Texture and Effects

Mugwort is fluffy and soft with a cotton-like quality that allows the herb to stick to itself, making it easy to roll. There are many stems but they are simple to pick out.

Among its historical uses, mugwort is said to induce lucid, vivid dreams. Personally, I did experience very active dreams but this is already a common occurrence for me, so I am not able to offer a conclusive report on the herb’s effects on sleep and dreams.

Pair It With Cannabis

Mugwort may not have any overtly sedative or relaxing effects the way cannabis can, but it still makes an excellent herb to fill a spliff. Due to its reported ability to affect dreams, it’s a particularly good choice for a soothing bedtime medley. Its sage flavor pairs delightfully with strains high in linalool—the lavender terpene. Try G13 for a sweet tasting strain that will lull you to sleep for a night of mugwort-enhanced dreams.

Contraindications

Mugwort can have side effects and is not safe for use by anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, it may cause an allergic reaction in some with allergies to certain plant families.

Mullein Leaf

(isabela66/iStock)

Origins and Uses

Native to Asia and Europe, the short, shrubby mullein plant produces tall, colorful flowers and is most often perennial or biennial. For centuries, it has been smoked for its relaxing respiratory qualities. It is also said to have sedative and diuretic effects.

Flavors and Aromas

Mullein has an aroma akin to black tea, and when smoked produces a smell reminiscent of a campfire. Its flavors are very light with woodsy undertones and a hint of cedar. It is a mellow herb, often used as a base in smoking blends, and though it has its fair share of bite, it offers a very smooth smoke and burns evenly.

Texture and Effects

Mullein is very fluffy with soft fibrous leaves reminiscent of cotton or wool. It is easy to break apart and separate from the large stems. Due to its light and airy quality, it takes a little finesse to roll but is generally doable. I found it to make an excellent base herb with a mild, calming effect on a lingering cough.

Pair It With Cannabis

Mullein, at its heart, is the perfect base for an herbal smoking blend, and can be used for various purposes. It works with sativas that will hold your attention while you study or indicas to unwind after a long day.

Its flavor is also subdued, allowing cannabis’s unique taste to shine through—this herb is a quiet sidekick that keeps the focus on the cannabis.

Contraindications

There are no noteworthy known side effects of mullein, though those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their doctor or avoid use altogether.

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Rae Lland

Rae Lland is a freelance writer, journalist, and former editor for Weedist and The Leaf Online. With a focus on culture, music, health, and wellness, in addition to her work for Leafly, she has also been featured in numerous online cannabis publications as well as print editions of Cannabis Now Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @rae.lland

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