Can I smoke Mint?
Mint is probably one of the most popular herbs on the planet, its use spanning throughout the ages and geographical regions. Everybody recognizes the signature menthol flavor and burning sensation of the mint plant, whether it is used in food, beverages, toothpaste, lozenges, natural healing products, and even rolling fillers to mix with your favorite legal herb.
What are the benefits of smoking mint?
There are over 600 different species in the Lamiaceae family (that's a lot of different Mojito options) and they are highly resilient plants that can thrive in various climatic conditions around the world. This number may seem large, but it does include hybrids that result from hybridization, a natural phenomenon where some mint species’ ranges overlap.
Interestingly enough, plants in the mint genus have been used from time immemorial as cooking ingredients and for medicinal purposes, but we have not been able to find a single scientific study relatives to the benefits of smoking mint.
What is the history of smoking mint leaves?
Most of the readers innocently Googling " Can I smoke Mint? " probably aren't aware that before people were looking for natural tobacco alternatives and considering smoking mint, menthol cigarettes definitely had their glory days and one of their benefits was that you just looked cool as hell. Which is definitely not the case anymore, just to be clear. Just like your mustache, just shave that thing already dude you're not Burt Reynolds.
The mixture of any mint flavor (usually spearmint or peppermint flavor) with tobacco rolled in "herbal cigarettes" were a huge hit to a certain segment of cigarette smokers for quite a few years beginning with the Axton-Fisher Tobacco Company marketing them as "Spud Menthol Cooled Cigarettes". In this case, it was not actual dry mint herb mixed with tobacco, but rather mint flavor, pretty much like putting peppermint oil on a cigarette.
Does smoking mint help you quit smoking?
Needless to say that like any tobacco product that relies on its users cravings, menthol cigarette use was widely adopted as an alternative to "regular" tobacco that had less harshness as well as a kind of smoking cessation aid, some companies in the tobacco industry evidently resorting to shameless "sophisticated" public relations tactics to convince smokers that menthol cigarettes was a way help to reduce withdrawal symptoms from nicotine and even quit smoking entirely, however absurd that can sound nowadays.
Are menthol cigarettes illegal?
A regulation crackdown inevitably happened in the North American tobacco industry when their lobbying couldn't contain the sheer amount of scientific studies that exposed the various and generalized risks and negative health effects tobacco poses to the human body.
Federal regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. as well as countless public health advisory committees, health and human services and tobacco control organisms gradually starting controlling tobacco use, the selling of tobacco products and tobacco products catering to kids or young adults like flavored cigarettes, flavored rolling papers and now the ongoing vaping trend, flavored e-cigarettes and vape juices.
Disadvantages of smoking mint cigarettes
Menthol cigarettes inevitably makes starting smoking easier, quitting harder and has the same toll on the health care system as regular cigarettes, so it's surprising that smoking menthol cigarettes is still legal, even though a 2021 news release by the FDA announced it intends on banning menthol cigarettes soon. Although the release does not detail a specific date, we can expect to see the Department of Health address the legal situation of what had been marketed as smokeless tobacco by numerous companies to make the product more attractive.
So to get back on track, if you're asking yourself what are the benefits of smoking mint, we have to be clear and state that there is absolutely no study supporting the fact that smoking mint (of any type) could provide any health care benefit and you should be careful of any company using such statements.
So is smoking mint bad for you?
Whilst the risks of menthol cigarettes have been proven beyond doubt, we have not been able to find tangible research that suggests smoking mint is harmful, at least not beyond the normal scope of risk associated with a human inhaling any type of smoke.
One definite benefit of smoking mint is that it does not contain any addictive substance like nicotine so if you're not used to smoking cigarettes (aside from the fun ones) you won't create a physical dependency.
If you're trying to stop smoking tobacco with other natural smokable herb blends, it's pretty much like going cold turkey and unless you have an iron will, you might need to rely on some type of stop smoking aid like nicotine gum or other nicorette-like product or even vaping to some extent.
We do want to reiterate that some herbal blend companies advancing any type of benefits from their smokable herb mixes, even seemingly inoffensive things like smoking mint is healthier than tobacco, or that other smokable herbs like Cloves, Damiana, Raspberry Leaf, Coltsfoot or even Catnip could have an effect on body or mind functions is misleading, if not dishonest. No data or scientific research claims unilaterally that smoking anything is good for you as of yet and you should always do so at your own risk, and never when pregnant or suffering from any type of health condition that could potentially be dangerous.
Okay soooo, is it safe to smoke mint leaves?
Most mint species are judged as "safe" to smoke. However, just like many other of life's pleasures, you should always be smoking mint leaves in moderation. Long-term exposure to inhalation of smoke may cause a range of side effects, such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth and even increased risk of heart disease.
Jokes aside now, can smoking Mint get me high?
Unlike some other smokable herbs, such as marijuana, mint leaves won’t get you high. The plant contains no known psychoactive properties that could resemble cannabis. We even went down the Erowid rabbit hole to save you a trip, and wow can people ingest crazy things, but no reports of smoking mint to get high.
Mint’s enjoyable flavor and non-psychoactive properties, combined with this smokable herb's accessibility may be the reason why it's such an easy solution for people looking for a cheap smoking cessation aid online.
Smoking mint leaves might help cigarette smokers overcome the scourge of tobacco products and reduce the long-term negative health effects on their bodies without resorting to expensive stop smoking aids, nicotine gum and lozenges being just about as expensive as regular tobacco cigarettes!
Fun facts about smoking Mint
If you've ever wondered why Hollywood actors could chain-smoke countless cigarettes without instantly getting cancer, emphysema or posing a public health issue to the rest of their film crews (we're looking at you, MadMen!), it might be because mint was frequently used as a tobacco substitute in Herbal Cigarettes for the film industry. The fact that mint herbal cigarettes did not have much harshness and its flavor when smoked still kept some resemblance to the familiar menthol taste actors were used to made it a good way for a non smoker to look real without coughing like a maniac or developing a life threatening habit.
Smoking anything isn't good for you, but smoking mint leaves still remains relatively safe in the general scope of things, and it provides a great flavor addition to your herbal spliff when used in combination with other smokable herbs.
However, we do need to reiterate our disclaimer for the billionth time and really drive home the point 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.
*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.*
Wanna learn more about Mint? Browse our sources below!
Lamiaceae. (2020, August 2). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamiaceae
Brandt, A. M. (2012). Inventing Conflicts of Interest: A History of Tobacco Industry Tactics. American Journal of Public Health, 102(1), 63–71. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2011.300292
Nicotine & Tobacco Research. (1753). OUP Academic. https://academic.oup.com/ntr
Commissioner, O. of the. (2021, April 30). FDA Commits to Evidence-Based Actions Aimed at Saving Lives and Preventing Future Generations of Smokers. FDA. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-commits-evidence-based-actions-aimed-saving-lives-and-preventing-future-generations-smokers