Smoking Basil - Benefits, risks and herbal blends

Smoking Basil - Benefits, risks and herbal blends - SPLIFF

Can I smoke Basil?

Basil is an herb that has been used for a very long time. It is a member of the mint family and can be used to flavor foods, beverages, and even in medicine. Basil has many health benefits according to Ayurveda practices, including the ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve digestion, reduce inflammation and protect against some cancer cells.

However, those claims still need to be supported by more scientific research or by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to be taken seriously.

But, can you actually smoke it? Let’s find out in the post below.

History of basil and common uses

Basil is a perennial herb. Belonging to the mint family, it grows in clumps and has a flavor that's similar to oregano but less strong. It's often used in Italian and French cooking with rosemary, but it's also used in many Asian cuisines and Indian dishes. Basil is also known as sweet basil and holy basil, depending on where it comes from. 

Photo from Urban Farmy

Basil is a staple in Italian cuisine and can be found in dishes like pesto, pasta sauce, and pizza. Basil is often used to flavor foods after they've been cooked, especially soups and stews. It can be added to marinades or sauces as well as stuffed into pasta or bread. Basil leaves are usually sold fresh or dried. They are also considered edible and antiviral, as they're high in vitamin A and other antioxidants like beta-carotene, which helps fight off free radicals in your body. 

You can also refresh yourself with a cup of basil tea by boiling some water and pouring it over fresh basil leaves for a few minutes before drinking the mixture through a strainer.

So, can I smoke Basil?

Basil can be a great way to use the herb in your cooking. Basil is an aromatic herb that can be used in many ways, but smoking it may not be one of them. While cooking with basil is perfectly safe, smoking basil is not recommended just like cannabis because it will release carcinogenic chemicals into the smoke.

What happens if you smoke dried basil?

Cooking dried basil is typically safe but if you want to smoke it then you must take precautions. Smoking dried basil emits the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, including tar and carbon monoxide. Smoking basil can enhance one’s mood but it is not considered psychedelic.

Basil has been linked to hypoglycemia in certain individuals. Basil and basil essential oil might be harmful if used as a medication because of their constituents. These contain toxins that have been shown to raise one's chance of developing liver cancer.

A little disclaimer here to inform you that you should always consult your health practitioner before smoking anything or trying a new medicine. They will give you better medical advice than any article you can read on internet blogs.

Can Basil be a drug? 

The answer is no. Basil is not a drug. However, it can be an effective treatment for some conditions.

Basil has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for everything from wounds to depression, headaches and asthma. It has also been used as a recreational drug in the form of smoking marijuana or eating basil seeds.

It's true that some people use basil leaves as a recreational drug, but this isn't because they believe it will make them happy or healthy (although some may think so). Instead, they are using it to mimic the effects of illegal drugs like marijuana.

Yet further scientific research needs to be conducted to support the use of herbs like basil as drugs, or even to support any health benefits or effects on the mind and body. Be aware of charlatans that try to sell you smokable products for your well-being. As we already said, smoking anything can be harmful to your health and you should always consult a doctor before smoking anything.

What are the benefits of smoking basil? 

In addition to its culinary uses, basil can be used as a replacement for tobacco in aromatherapy products. There are not many benefits of smoking tobacco. Some people actually claim that ingesting small amounts can cause headaches, dizziness and vomiting, but this as yet to be confirmed by scientific sources. Even if basil has certain health benefits, smoking it might be harmful.

Is Basil good for your lungs or the liver?

Some Internet forums say that your lungs will function more efficiently if you drink tea with basil leaves on a daily basis. Basil leaves, in their most basic form, can be used as a lung cleanser. 

Basil contains eugenol which has been shown to inhibit the buildup of fat in the liver, hence preserving the organ's health. Additionally, apparently, basil helps to restore the natural pH of the body and maintains healthy bacteria levels in the gut flora. The presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut is supposed to strengthen the immune system, treat respiratory diseases like bronchitis, and encourages proper digestion.

However, and sorry for repeating ourselves, but it is very important here at Spliff Herbals that you understand that no scientific data can prove any of those claims yet, so you should consult your doctor for more information.

Is smoking Basil bad for you?

Smoking basil is not recommended because the herb is a stimulant and it can increase blood pressure and heart rate. It is also said that smoking basil has many side effects like making you feel dizzy and nauseous, so it is better to consume it in tea or as a food. The benefits of smoking basil are limited and not worth the risk to your health, as obviously, smoking anything is harmful to your health.

Can you get high by smoking Basil?

Basil is a member of the mint family, which includes many other herbs like oregano and thyme. These are all herbs that share similar traits in terms of how they affect your mood, energy levels and focus. In fact, it's said it is possible to get high by smoking basil! 

Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash 

The THC contained in cannabis is responsible for the high you feel when you smoke marijuana or consume edible cannabis products. When you smoke any herb containing THC, it gets absorbed into your bloodstream through your lungs. Once absorbed into your system, it interacts with receptors in various parts of your brain producing dopamine, thus enhancing the mood and giving a feeling of aphrodisia.

Basil is safe to eat in little quantities in food. On the other hand, bigger pharmaceutical doses can be proved toxic.

However, you should not consume basil as a drug as you would with cannabis, as it can be toxic in high doses. Always seek medical advice concerning consuming this herb or any other herb to be sure it is safe for your mind and body. Further research still needs to be done to prove any claim about this herb.

How can you smoke basil?

You can also smoke basil by mixing it in different herbal blends. Basil is one of the most popular herbs used in aromatherapy. It can be combined with other herbs like peppermint, mugwort, mullein, passionflower, or skullcap for a more aromatic experience. 

Basil can also be smoked with marijuana buds or other forms of pot.

Can smoking basil help you quit smoking tobacco?

Yes, in theory, but the science behind it is not conclusive. The idea is that smoking basil helps you quit smoking tobacco because the flavor of basil can be quite addictive in and of itself.

It’s also been suggested that the smoke from burning basil leaves has a beneficial effect on blood vessels, which may help to reduce your cravings, but this still needs to be proved.

Conclusion - Can I smoke basil?

Basil is a great herb to grow and use in your cooking. It's versatile, looks great as a plant and has an amazing flavor. But trying to smoke basil leaves is a bad idea as it offers toxic smoke to your lungs, like any other herb. 

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

Instead of smoking basil, try growing it in your garden! You'll enjoy all the benefits of fresh herbs while they're still alive and active on your kitchen countertops!

Do you want something flavorful? Well you’re right up the alley for lavender on this one! Mint is also another great smokable herb that provides fresh and vibrant aromatic properties.

*This article is not to be interpreted as a statement of any form by Spliff but merely a compendium of information compiled from other sources. These statements have not been evaluated by Health Canada, FDA or any other regulatory body. Consult your doctor before ingesting or smoking any herbal product.*

If you have any valuable information to add or a correction to address, please reach out to a member of our team at



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