For cigarette smokers and those who use cannabis, it can be challenging to beat the habit.
In September 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that tobacco kills more than half a million adults yearly in the United States.
Many smokers want to stop, and over 400,000 of them call state-funded quitlines for assistance each year.
Marijuana use among tobacco users is common and may impede quitting, but co-use rates among quitline callers are unknown.
In an effort to stop, some people are taking natural routes such as smoking lavender and other herbs to beat the habit while “simulating” the act of smoking.
But despite lavender being unapproved, with unknown side-effects, some people believe that it can be helpful.
At Indy100, we spoke with health professionals, herbal experts, and those who’ve experienced smoking the lavender to better understand the phenomena.
What are the benefits of lavender?
For one, its soothing properties have been found to reduce stress.
Dr. Jenelle Kim, founder of JBK Wellness Labs, said: “Lavender has a wide range of benefits. When inhaled as an essential oil, it has been found to reduce stress and anxiety in clinical studies. Further research shows lavender’s ability to lower anxiety in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery and in people visiting the dentist. It’s also known to improve sleep, reduce pain, lessen tension, and induce a general sense of relaxation. When applied topically, lavender is known to reduce inflammation and scarring and improve acne due to its antibacterial qualities.”
Dr Kim also noted that most lavender is available as” loose leaves,” which is customary for use as a tea, “so there could be additional ingredients added that are not safe to smoke and inhale.”
Why is lavender so calming?
The calming sensation of lavender due to linalool, an aromatic terpene also found in cannabis.
“Linalool is a terpene also found in cannabis that has anti-anxiety, stress relief, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant affect. Terpenes are the fragrant part of various herbs, spices and plants,” said Ashley Wynn-Grimes MS, RN-BC, CEO of Cannabis Nursing Solutions, author of Asa’s Medicine and executive director of Cannabis Patient Advocacy Association.
She also noted that lemon is another example of something that contains a terpene called limonene.
Wynn-Grimes also noted that applying heat to anything alters the chemical composition , so she wouldn’t recommend smoking lavender. However, topicals such as oils she suggests will help “reap the benefits.”
“Oils applied topically could be a great option for skin inflammation or aromatherapy via a diffuser has been very helpful as long as it is used intentionally like as an anchor in meditation practices. Topical application does not penetrate to the bloodstream. This is true for cannabis topicals as well,” she said.
Heather Hanks, a nutritionist with USA RX., also noted that smoking anything is not the best because of the damage it can do to your lungs, but recommends “inhaling” the herb instead.
“I would recommend using inhaling lavender instead. Aromatherapy is safer than smoking cigarettes and can still provide relief from anxiety, depression, etc.,” she said.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Breanna Robinson on Indy100
Published: October 28, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News