Cannabis, like all plants, has various natural compounds humans have evolved to process and use, over the nearly 3 millennia we’ve been in contact with it.
Humans have been in contact with cannabis since 2900 BC, though our endocannabinoid system wasn’t discovered until the 1980s. Popular science and medicine until then assumed cannabinoids were only in marijuana plants or hemp. However, ancient civilizations and cultures were acquainted with many natural herbs besides cannabis that have proven natural benefits on their own but can exponentially increase the medicinal effects of cannabis when rolled and sparked with it, while reducing harm from the smoke. It’s a win, win, win…you get the spliff. I mean—gist.
With modern research showing that cannabinoids and terpenes occur often in other plants & foods, I wanted to give a spotlight to some of the most OG herbs humanity has been rolling with, and how it can supercharge today’s blaze – true Stone Age fashion if you will – via their historical uses, benefits, and some of my experiences with them.
Check out these 5 herbs that help boost the natural effects of cannabis below, and throw them on your shopping list to keep you elevated, energized, and creative during your next smoke sesh.
1. Damiana – A terpene-rich herb to combine with cannabis
One of my personal favourites, Damiana is a small shrub native to Central America and the southwestern US, known for its very fragrant yellow flowers. Shamans of the area discovered the plant’s soothing, tantalizing effects when consumed by smoking alone or drinking in a tea.
Naturally high in terpenes, I regularly roll joints (Sativa dominant) with Damiana and love it for the heightened, tingly body high it accentuates as well as the creative state it gets me into. It tunes you into that uppity energy and helps focus it on one thing at a time, like sustaining energy for recording a song! You can find it in your local health food store, apothecary, or online. Damiana is also a natural aphrodisiac so – have fun with this one.
2. Mugwort an energy-boosting herb
A very aromatic family of flowering plants, Mugwort is a herb belonging to the Artemisia genus of Europe and has different uses for each part of the plant. This herb is a stimulant for an overall energy boost, pain relief, and stomach acid regulation (which is very key in avoiding long term negative effects like cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome).
Another powerful harm reduction factor of Mugwort is that its a bronchodilator, thanks to a-pinene, and will not only open your lungs up for a better high but will protect their linings afterwards (side note: this may cause you to cough more than usual. But it’s worth it.)
Combining dried mugwort leaves with fresh flowers is a powerful, lucid high that routinely helps me organize my thoughts when writing songs and getting them down on paper. It also keeps me energized when the weed wears off, so you can avoid any mental fogginess while still retaining the stoned feeling and experience. Recently I’ve found that even smoking it with a strong Indica can help avoid the “indacouch” tendencies that can sometimes happen.
3. Lavender a sleep-aiding herb that can be combined with cannabis
French or English, it’s purple and smells like heaven. D-Linalool is a terpene found mainly in lavender and emphasizes mood enhancements when consumed with weed. Our bodies process linalool relatively quickly so lavender and cannabis is like, having a fuzzy housecoat and then putting slippers on to match. Oh, the feeling!
Lavender is great as a sleep aid and partners well to weed in this area too, as it targets your nervous system and aids in deep relaxation and release of tension. I use lavender early mornings or late nights, but for me I find a small amount does a lot both in flavour and effect. I find it helps even my keel as sometimes my energy gets a bit too spontaneous, but the biggest plus it has for me is keeping my airways clear and feeling fresh – otherwise making pot cookies with it or something is a way to go also (and just as sensational).
4. Passionflower has plentiful of myrcene to relieve your anxiety
This native plant of the southeastern states is very potent! Naturally psychoactive, it’s classified as Passiflora Incarnata, and for you Latin buffs out there (is anyone?) you’ll know this describes a nature of cycle or incarnation. Passionflower on its own is very effective in giving rest to an overactive mind or resetting your sleep cycle which makes it a perfect partner with lavender, and with weed can really intensify the effects of a high, making it more of heavy stone and great for escaping heavy anxiety.
Abundant in Myrcene (also found in mangoes which are great for improving your high), this plant is taken up very quickly by the endocannabinoid system and can really get you “comfortably numb” in no time. Be careful though! Passionflower’s other natural effects don’t make for chronic (read: daily) use. I’ve only smoked passionflower from a pipe once and can confirm, it’s very strong.
5. Lemon balm gives great results with Sativa
You should be able to guess from its citrusy name that lemon balm has very strong terpenes in its leaves. Lemon balm has big benefits in improving your mood and cognitive function and responds well to more active Sativa strains due to also being high in Myrcene.
Lemon balm is super lightly flavoured when dried but retains its texture which makes it grind up nicely with weed. I normally combine it with mugwort also as the two have a lot of great decongestant/anti-inflammatory properties. This is important for me when in the booth or doing multiple takes, and can even help loosen up your vocals quicker without the risk of vocal fatigue. Both of these herbs come in a blend on this website, with plenty of others available.
Have you combined any of these herbs with cannabis, or is there one we missed? Let us know in the comments below, and follow us @cannalifenet for more 420 news and info.