Have you ever thought about the variety of scents that go hand in hand with certain strains of cannabis?
The citrus, the gassy, or even the signature cookies smell?
While originally a consequence of basic genetics, these scents have now become integral parts of the strains that are available in the current ever expanding cannabis industry, with hemp flower alongside it.
These scents (and tastes, too) are a result of varying levels of compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are minor compounds with flavorful, aromatic, and even therapeutic properties.
Found in all types of plants, terpenes go much further than just being utilized for differentiation between cannabis or hemp flower strains.
One of the most popular plants known for its unique terpene profile is Lavender.
Alongside cannabis, Lavender is popular for its unique scent and properties of relaxation. Although a beautiful plant, a majority of these properties are largely attributed to a terpene called Linalool.
Found in both Cannabis and Lavender plants, Linalool is one of the major terpenes utilized in essential oils, and is explicitly known for it’s relaxing and sedative properties. As a result, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen an interest in the concept of smoking Lavender in recent months.
Wait… Can you smoke lavender?
With the link between these two amazing plants, it’s not shocking to see a surge of interest in the idea of smoking lavender.
In today’s article that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing.
First, we’ll be covering some of the history behind Lavender along with its primary terpene, linalool. After that, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about smoking it.
What is Lavender?
Lavender is one of the most captivating plants on the planet. This is no surprise, given its vibrant colors, signature scent, and extensive use throughout time.
How did it become so notorious though?
Part of this is due to the history, and another part is due to the effects.
Lavender is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. The name actually comes from the Latin lavare, meaning quite literally, “to wash”.
Today, lavender is used in many different ways. It is commonly incorporated into food, cosmetics, medicine, and of course, fragrance.
Types of Lavender
There are two types of lavender: true lavenders and false lavenders.
True lavenders include Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender) and Lavandula stoechas (French lavender).
False lavenders include Lavandin officinalis (German lavender), Lavandula dentata (Spanish lavender), Lavandula officinalis (Italian lavender), and Lavandula latifolia (Scotch lavender).
The differentiating factor is that “true” lavenders are often used in perfumes because they smell great and typically last longer than false lavenders. They’re also used in aromatherapy because they have been said to have therapeutic properties, which we’ll cover a bit later on.
On the flipside, “false” lavenders are mostly used in foods, beverages, and medicines because they add flavor and aroma.
History of Lavender
The name Lavender comes from the Latin word “lavare” which means “to wash”. It was originally used to describe the aroma of the flowers, and later became associated with the plant itself.
Originally found in Europe, Lavender has been cultivated since ancient times. Its use dates back to the Roman Empire, when they would use it to treat wounds and burns.
It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that Lavender began to be grown commercially. During this time, Lavender was primarily used as a perfume ingredient, rather than a medicinal herb.
In the early 1800s, Lavender was introduced to North America by European settlers. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that Lavender truly took off. With the invention of synthetic fragrances, Lavender became a mainstay in perfumes.
Today, Lavender is still a popular fragrance ingredient, however it’s now used for so much more than just making your favorite cologne.
Did you know it was even used as an insect repellent?
As mentioned earlier, Lavender is famous for its calming effects attributed to compounds called terpenes. One of the terpenes that is synonymous with lavender and the calming factor is called Linalool, also commonly found in Cannabis.
This compound is highly responsible for the distinctive smell of Lavender, and is also present in other aromatic plants, such as Rosemary and Sage.
Although Lavender contains a high concentration of Linalool, it also contains other compounds such as Limonene and Citronellol.
In fact, did you know there are over 100 different terpenes found in lavender?
That’s right. Not only that, but each of these terpenes also partially contribute to the unique aroma and effects of lavender.
To add onto this terpene madness, there are two types of terpenes found in lavender: monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.
Monoterpenes contribute to the floral fragrance of lavender. They’re often used in perfumes and aromatherapy oils.
This is in comparison to sesquiterpene oils, which tend to be stronger than monoterpene oils. These are commonly found in essential oils and are most closely associated with lavender’s medicinal benefits.
Linalool & Effects of Lavender
When it comes to terpenes, linalool is the primary one that takes the cake when it comes to the reputation that lavender has.
What actually makes the relationship between linalool and lavender so harmonious, though?
Well, there’s a few reasons.
For starters, Lavender is one of the most common mediums one can find linalool. That said, regardless of consuming via lavender or other herbs/oils, linalool has some of the following effects:
1. Linalool may reduce feelings of nervousness and tension. This makes it potentially useful for people who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks.
2. Studies have shown that Linalool may be helpful in treating symptoms of depression.
3. Linalool is known to promote sleepiness.
Being such a prominent flower in many regions, these effects of Linalool have become synonymous with being derived from Lavender.
The Million Dollar Question: Can You Smoke Lavender?
That said, Lavender is a popular herb used in many different ways. From tea to soap, lavender is versatile and enticing to say the least.
However, when we mean versatile, we mean it. Get ready to roll up.
Yes, that’s right… you can smoke lavender.
Best Ways To Smoke Lavender
There are many different ways to smoke lavender. Some people prefer smoking lavender flowers directly, others use dried buds, and some prefer to infuse lavender oil.
Regardless of the method used, there are several things to consider when smoking lavender.
First, be careful not to overdo it! The effects of Lavender are strong and compound when consumed via smoking. If you’re new, start small and consider mixing it with hemp flower to dilute the effects.
Second, smoking anything always comes with risks and can be damaging to your lungs.
Of course, these are general precautions you should take regardless. As long as your diligent and source your lavender reliably, Lavender is a great herb to add to your routine, especially if you’re looking for a great way to relax after work.
It’s a wonderful stress reliever and can easily help you unwind after a long day.