We all know the many dangers of smoking tobacco, but what about smoking herbal tobacco? You might be surprised to learn that many people are now turning to herbal tobacco as a healthy replacement for smoking regular cigarettes.
Unlike regular cigarettes, herbal tobacco products are considered healthy alternatives to smoking because they are non-addictive. While they have shown to be effective in quitting smoking, many people question the safety of herbal tobacco.
Is smoking herbal tobacco the best alternative to smoking regular cigarettes?
Keep reading this guide to learn about the safety of these tobacco-free herbal cigarettes.
What Is Herbal Tobacco?
So what is herbal tobacco? The truth is, herbal tobacco isn’t actually tobacco at all. Since herbal tobacco does not contain actual tobacco, it also does not contain the drug nicotine.
This makes herbal cigarettes completely non-addictive, which is important because nicotine is highly addictive.
The only types of herbal tobacco products that do contain tobacco and nicotine are Bidis and Clove Cigarettes. These products have less tobacco than your everyday cigarette.
Bidis are rolled in tendu leaves and come in a variety of different flavors.
Clove Cigarettes, on the other hand, are made up of cloves and rolled in paper. They also come in a variety of flavors.
However, Bidis and Clove Cigarettes have been banned in the United States by the FDA. This is because flavor cigarettes tend to be appealing to minors. They are also proven to have more nicotine than regular cigarettes, despite having less tobacco.
How is Herbal Tobacco Made?
We know that legal herbal tobacco does not contain tobacco or nicotine. So, you might be wondering how herbal cigarettes are made.
Herbal cigarettes are made with herbs and either rolled in paper or used in a vape or pipe. Many of these herbs aid in different health issues, like common colds, and promote a sense of tranquility and relaxation.
Here are some examples of the most common herbs you will find in an herbal cigarette along with some of their properties:
- Spearmint leaves- May help nausea, indigestion, and gas
- Lavender- May help insomnia, anxiety, and stress
- Lemongrass- May aid in digestion and stress
- Rose petals- May reduce anxiety and depression
- Jasmine- May help mental alertness and relaxation
- Passionflower- May help insomnia and anxiety
- Licorice root- May help smoker’s cough and nicotine cravings
- Mugwort- May aid in relaxation and induce vivid dreams
- Lotus leaf- May promote relaxation and help insomnia
While these are the herbs most typically found in herbal cigarettes, there are a wide variety of smokeable herbs. Even catnip is smokeable!
In many herbal cigarette products, often more than one of these herbs will be blended into different herbal smoking mixtures. This will create an herbal cigarette with herbs that complement each other, producing a pleasant feeling, smell, and flavor.
Purpose of Herbal Tobacco
As previously mentioned, herbal tobacco is typically used as a segue to quit smoking. Even though herbal tobacco does not contain nicotine, those who choose to smoke herbal cigarettes will still have something to smoke that produces a calming effect.
There are other products that help people quit smoking such as the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, or vaping devices. The problem is that these products will often continue to keep the smoker addicted since they are still receiving doses of nicotine.
With herbal cigarettes, the simple act of smoking in itself and the mild calmness produced by the herb can help nicotine addiction on its own.
Likewise, the inexpensiveness of herbal cigarettes is another factor that makes them appealing to smokers. Especially in comparison to the rising prices of regular cigarettes.
Safety of Herbal Tobacco
Now, we will go over the safety of herbal tobacco. First and foremost, it’s important to note that any smoke that’s inhaled is not conducive to good health. This is why there will be a warning label on the package of a purchased herbal cigarette product.
You might be wondering, why would an herbal cigarette be harmful if it does not contain tobacco or nicotine?
The problem is not the herbs in the cigarette, but the chemicals that are produced when the smoker lights up the cigarette.
These herbs produce many toxic carcinogens when inhaled, just like the toxins produced by normal cigarettes. This includes carbon monoxide, benzo a pyrene, and tar.
According to the American Cancer Society, herbal tobacco can have the same long-term effects as regular cigarettes like cancer, due to this production of carcinogens. Therefore, they are deemed no safer than regular cigarettes.
That said, herbal tobacco can be a much better alternative to those who are struggling to quit tobacco because of its non-addictive properties and the health benefits of various herb mixtures. So, while the non-addictive properties make them less harmful, the carcinogen risk is equal to regular cigarettes.
However, to completely avoid the risk of long-term health consequences caused by the production of carcinogens, the ultimate goal should be to quit smoking altogether.
Buy Herbal Tobacco Today
Overall, smoking herbal tobacco can be a better alternative for those who are already addicted to smoking cigarettes. Though, if you are not already a smoker, it’s of the utmost importance to never start.
If you’re looking to buy herbal tobacco, check out our top herbal cigarette brands that you can purchase today.
Keep in mind that certain herbs can interfere with certain health conditions, medications, or make allergies worse. So, be sure to always consult a doctor before considering any herbal tobacco products.