Can I smoke Hops?

Can I smoke Hops? - SPLIFF

Smoking hops can be an easy, fun way to enhance the flavour and reap the benefits. You smoke hops like you would with a cigar or cigarette. However, there are a few things to know more about smoking hops.

Hops are the dried flowers of the hop plant known as Humulus lupulus. These flowers with lupulin are commonly used in brewing beer. Hop plants grow in many parts of the world, but they are native to temperate regions in North America, Europe, and Western Asia. Before brewing was industrialized, most home brewing used hops from local farmers.

The varieties of hops in the cannabaceae family include: 

  • Lupulus — Western Asia, Europe
  • Cordifolius —  Eastern Asia
  • Neomexicanus - Western North American
  • Lupuloides — Eastern North America
  • Pubescens – Midwestern & Eastern North America 

How are hops used?

Hops have been used in brewing beer for centuries. The primary reason for including hops in craft beers is that they have alpha acids acting as a preservative, slowing down bacterial growth and extending the shelf life for smoke beer. Hops also offer a unique flavour and aroma profile complementary to certain beer styles like lager and American IPA. 

Photo from Brewfuse


Smoking hops

Smoking hops was not a common thing before recently. When smoked, hops give off some aroma and flavours that many people like, so people are finding it better and okay to smoke hops. Hops may confer a hypnotic and sedative effects after smoking. It is not recommended you smoke hops on their own; they tend to be highly pitched — sending more energy to your head. Thus, it is recommended to smoke hops in a blend, with other natural herbs like Mullein, Catnip or even Butterfly Pea.

Are hops drugs? 

Photo by Shelby Ireland on Unsplash

Hops could actually be considered a drug. The compound known as lupulone is unique to hops, and it's psychoactive; it affects serotonin receptors in your brain, which makes you feel good (among other things) and experience a sedative effect. People smoke because it allows them to relax their minds and can move past inhibitions like after drinking alcohol. This can come in handy if you're using them for sleep or relaxation, but not enough research has been done yet to confirm anything.  

However, here at Spliff it is very important to us that you understand that smoking herbs of any kind carries inherent health risks, such as long-term lung damage. So if you must absolutely smoke herb leaves, or even smoke flower petals, always do your research and do so in moderation.

Are there any benefits of smoking hops? 

There are some reasons that people choose to smoke. First off, hops taste great when smoked, giving you an entirely different flavour that can be added to your favourite legal herb. Others would prefer smoking hops for sleep disorders, anxiety, symptoms of menopause, restlessness, and other conditions. 

It is very important to clarify that no scientific study has approached the subject of health benefits from smoking hops. 

What are the effects of smoking hops?

Are hops psychoactive?

A study claims hops contain several compounds that can act as psychoactive drugs in humans, including lupulone and isohumulone. However, these chemicals are very different from THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) and have never been shown to exhibit any psychotropic effects when smoked or consumed. Most scientists agree that you'd need about 3 pounds of hops per person per day for weeks to get high from hops alone. So this herb could not be an alternative to cannabis. On the other hand, it could be a good natural alternative to tobacco as it is nicotine-free and more enjoyable when mixed into herbal blends. 

What do hops do to your body?

You might wonder if smoking hops could get you high. Well, sadly the answer is no, smoking hops will not make you high like weed. However, you get a distinct flavour and mouthfeel.

When you are just starting smoking hops, you may feel some effects of throat irritation. This may be due to a buildup of chemicals that come with burning anything at high temperatures. However, if you experience issues with your throat, it is highly recommended that you dilute your smoke when you first start out and then gradually increase how much you use over time.

How can I use hops?

Can I use fresh hops? 

First and foremost, you may not have access to fresh hops locally. You may be out of luck if you don’t live in an area where growing hops is popular. However, when you have fresh hops, use them immediately because they can get spoiled quickly. Fresh hops can be used in the mash, boiling addition, dry hopping, and whirlpool. 

If you are looking to smoke hops, it’s important to smoke only the flower part of the hop plant. The leaves, called hop bines, should not be smoked. They give off a pungent flavour that can ruin the experience. You can experiment with different varieties of hops that might taste different.

Can I use hops in any other way than smoking or drinking beer?

Absolutely you can! Smoking hops or having a smoke beer can add a unique beer flavour, but you can use them in hop tea, coffee, and even food. You should experiment with it and see what flavours you like best. 

Do smoking hops taste like beer?

That’s a tricky question to answer. As you might know, there are other ingredients than hops in a beer that help to give her her taste. Obviously, those ingredients are not necessarily smokable. With that said, you will still be inhaling hops as you smoke them, so you’ll be exhaling pure hoppy flavours. It won’t taste exactly like your favourite beer, so you might want to open the fresh beer in your fridge as well if you are really looking for that taste. 



Hops and other herbs

What is the difference between smoking hops and smoking marijuana?

The key difference between smoking hops and marijuana is that cannabis contains more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than hops. Marijuana can contain higher levels of THC, while average hop buds have lower levels of THC. While marijuana and hops contain cannabinoids, marijuana smells stronger than hops since it produces more terpenes. Additionally, marijuana has an enzyme that converts cannabigerolic acid to form CBD or THC. 

Can I smoke hops with cannabis?

The answer is sort of, but you need to be very careful and do your research on this adjunct. As both of the herbs contain cannabinoids, if you smoke hops alone or with marijuana mixed in, you might overdo it. Many people say that smoking hops mixed with weed in a vaporizer will end up with a more intense herb than ever before. Be careful about it. You might want to use a small quantity of dried hops mixed in a natural herbal smoking blend to lower this effect.

While dried hops are often used in herbal teas and tinctures, it is not recommended that you smoke them. Hops contain essential oils and resins that can easily combust when heated; as a result, they will leave behind a burnt or bitter flavour.

A little reminder that smoking herbs of any kind carry inherent health risks, such as long-term lung damage. So if you must absolutely smoke herb leaves, or even smoke flower petals, always do your research and do so in moderation. Also, you should always consult your doctor before inhaling or smoking anything new.

Where can I find dried hops?

There are a few ways to get your hands on some dried hops. First, hop growers will often sell them to homebrewing stores and markets. Alternatively, you could contact local breweries that grow their hops. Finally, there are many online resources for purchasing dried hops; some sites also offer bulk deals with better pricing.

Conclusion - Can I smoke hops?

If you’re a smoker looking to kick the habit, you might wonder if you can smoke hops in place of tobacco. In short, yes, you can smoke hops, and mixed with other herbal blends it is a good tobacco alternative. But before you jump straight into smoking hops, there are some essential things to know about this curious alternative, so always do your own research and consult your doctor.

As part of your switch from smoking pure Green or smoking tobacco to including herbal smoking blends the next time you roll a spliff, you may find that smoking Damiana or smoking Raspberry Leaf may also suit you as base smokable herbs. 

*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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‌Bocquet, L., Sahpaz, S., Hilbert, J. L., Rambaud, C., & Rivière, C. (2018). Humulus lupulus L., a very popular beer ingredient and medicinal plant: overview of its phytochemistry, its bioactivity, and its biotechnology. Phytochemistry Reviews, 17(5), 1047–1090.

‌Lin, M., Xiang, D., Chen, X., & Huo, H. (2019). Role of Characteristic Components of Humulus lupulus in Promoting Human Health. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 67(30), 8291–8302.

‌Aghamiri, V., Mirghafourvand, M., Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi, S., & Nazemiyeh, H. (2016). The effect of Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) on early menopausal symptoms and hot flashes: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 23, 130–135.

‌Schiller, H., Forster, A., Vonhoff, C., Hegger, M., Biller, A., & Winterhoff, H. (2006). Sedating effects of Humulus lupulus L. extracts. Phytomedicine, 13(8), 535–541.


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