Can I smoke Calendula?
Yes you can smoke Calendula in herbal smoking blends or mixed with your favorite legal herb, although don't expect any health benefits as no studies support those type of claims. This smokable flower is, like auto CBD strains, typically used as a supportive element in herbal blends consisting of other herbs you can smoke like mullein, sage, chamomile and mint.
What is Calendula aka Marigold?
Calendula, also known as Marigold, is a flowering plant of the Daisy (Asteraceae) family, one of the largest on Earth, that boasts over 23 600 species.
Calendula flowers are a very popular ornamental plant known for its ability to repel many insects. It can be found on home altars celebrating the Day of the Dead in Mexico and Central America.
Calendula is renowned in many cultures as a dream herb that is prone to inducing lucid, invigorating dreams you tend to remember with vivid clarity the next morning.
Like many other herbs, Calendula has been historically used as a natural remedy for a very wide list of potential health benefits. From ear infections to sore throats and other respiratory problems as well as having some anti-inflammatory healing properties that could heal Ulcers, it’s hard to believe a loose herb could have so much effect.
Some of those claims of course have varying levels of scientific support, with some animal and cell-based studies confirming some of the traditional uses but also uncovered the antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of this herb.
The Calendula genus is native to central Europe and the Mediterranean. It includes 25 species, the most common ones being English or pot marigold ( Calendula officinalis ) and field marigold ( Calendula arvensis ).
Pot marigold or common marigold is also simply known as calendula and its petals can be used as a great smokable flower in herbal blends that provide a subtle flavor and a great visual support with its bright orange leaves.
Field marigold has been used traditionally in Spanish and Italian folk medicine for fevers, reducing inflammation, and fighting cancer. People would crush the leaves and use them to close wounds while the flowers were applied to burns.
Of course there are numerous other lesser-known types of marigolds in that area of the world, each with its own characteristics and properties.
Native American & Other Marigolds
Calendula is present on all continents, with French marigold (Tagetes patula) leaves and flower petal infusions are used as traditional remedies for wounds, sores, dental infections, skin conditions, cough, and stomach disorders. Tagetes minuta is used in Africa, Latin America, and Pakistan for a variety of purposes including reducing fever and xxtracts of the wild marigold can kill bacteria, fungi and repel insects.
Potential Benefits of Calendula
Calendula is a smokable herb that has potential benefits from being ingested as herbal tea or tinctures, used in topical ointments, in essential oils and even in some health supplements.
As with any natural health product, regulations set manufacturing standards for calendula supplements, but don't guarantee safety or effectiveness and some common side effects of calendula include nausea, drowsiness, and gastrointestinal issues. Always speak with your doctor before supplementing or smoking anything especially if you are pregnant or have immune system issues.
In traditional healing, Calendula is a commonly used herbal medicine for treating inflammation, skin conditions, wounds and is also believed to be beneficial for its calming effects a bit like Chamomile, acting on anxiety relief and sleepiness.
At Spliff Herbals we do not recommend using calendula for any of its unproven potential health benefits, but rather for its rich aroma and great coloration in herbal smoking blends combined with mullein leaf.
Is smoking calendula good for you?
Smoking blends can have a variety of effects, based on the herbs used but you must always assume that smoking anything, including herbal blends or herbal cigarettes, is inevitably harmful for your health.
Carbon monoxide, tar and a long list of chemical compounds are inhaled from the combustion process of any smokable herb, even as seemingly inoffensive as peppermint or uva ursi, which is why vaping dry herbs will always be a safer choice.
It is important to remember that smoking has long been seen and approached as a ritual, either personal and communal, and a culture that we have essentially lost sight of with the current cannabis and tobacco cultures.
While we don't encourage people to develop a smoking habit, we do encourage those who do smoke already to take control of their habit and de-stigmatize it both to themselves and to others who judge them for it.
For its aromatic properties, we see smoking calendula petals better suited in a smoking blend as a supportive herb like other great smokable flowers like Passionflower and Skullcap. We combine it with other less fragrant smokable plants for a more balanced flavor profile and smoother burning properties. You can order herbal smoking blends online from headshops or manufacturers, and even find some in a physical headshop near you.
If you're more of a DIY type of person, you can also buy smokable herbs and flowers to smoke through trusted herbalists in your area or herb importers online, although those aren't always in the perfect leaf form and de-stemmed.
When wildcrafting smokable herbs, consider who and where you are taking them from and ask yourself if the environment is prone to any potential bacterial risk (if the environment is humid). Like tobacco, you don't want your herbal smoking blend to be dried to a crisp, but you don’t want it to be humid either as that can be harmful to your health.
For a more flavorful smoke, you can combine calendula with other more intense smokable herbs like marshmallow leaf, coltsfoot and even rose petals! then cure and then finally store in an airtight container.
Possibly Effective For
Studies have found that some chemical compounds found in Calendula may have a variety of health benefits, although studies are few and far beyond. From what is readily available online here are a few that we've noted (we'll spare you all the details, but references are at the end of the blog if you wanna geek out) :
Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) may be effective for :
reducing radiation dermatitis and pain from radiation therapy.
treating foot conditions that cause injuries or calluses, reducing the number of wounds, dead tissue, and bad smell (ew.).
speeding up wound healing in a variety of different ways (in animal studies).
promoting new blood vessel formation and repairing connective tissue.
treating oral inflammation and wounds.
Insufficient Evidence For
There is insufficient evidence to support the claims that marigolds help fight infection and improve symptoms.
There is limited evidence to suggest that marigolds may relieve cramps by reducing muscle spasms.
In vitro research has shown that pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) can lower inflammatory cytokines and block the inflammatory Cox-2 enzyme.
In cell studies, both pot marigold and French marigold (Tagetes patula) increased the production of IL-10 and lymphocytes, important for immune function.
Bioactive compounds found in marigolds may prevent depression by increasing blood flow and stimulating the heartbeat.
In diabetic rats, pot marigold reduced blood sugar levels, improved diabetes-impaired learning and memory, and reduced body weight.
Marigolds may protect the heart by reducing the risk of heart attacks by increasing blood flow and stimulating the heartbeat, even when oxygen levels are low.
Calendula as a natural tobacco alternative
Calendula is a natural tobacco alternative with the role of a supportive herb to add a soothing sensation in herbal smoking blends. Mixed with other flavorful smokable herbs like Mint or Sage, Calendula pairs excellently with terpenes like Limonene. The flavor of calendula adds a hint of Citrus that reduces the harshness sensation in your throat and your lungs after having inhaled your favorite legal herb.
Where to buy Calendula smoking blends
If you just want to try smoking Calendula on it's own or craft your own herbal blend, it is available in both dried and fresh forms, and can be found at most natural health stores and herbalists.
Always be wary of where to source calendula petals and verify their origin and state of conservation.
Is smoking Calendula safe?
When blending calendula with other herbs, it is important to keep the dosage low so as not to cause any negative side effects. Calendula is generally safe for use by humans, but you should always seek the guidance of a healthcare professional before smoking anything in case there are any adverse effects associated with its use. Calendula is a smokable herb featured in many herbal smoking blends and herbal cigarettes, even some prerolls combined with other smokable plants and flowers like mugwort, catnip, lavender, and even marshmallow roots.
We want to reiterate that there is no evidence that smoking calendula is effective for treating any ailment or has any health benefits.
*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.*
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