Just like cannabis, people have consumed herbs for centuries to treat all kinds of ailments, ranging from headaches to sleeplessness. You may not know, however, that the two can enhance each other’s effects.
How so? Herbs and cannabis share an important class of compounds called terpenes. These compounds are oils that come from plants’ resin glands, and are what give plants and fruits their distinct aromas. The terpene limonene, for example, makes certain cannabis strains smell like lemon and gives mint its citrusy scent.
Interestingly, terpenes may also influence your experience with cannabis. Some people say they feel more energetic when consuming a limonene-rich marijuana strain. This could be due to the entourage effect, a theory that says terpenes and cannabinoids work together to influence the effects you feel from the plant.
If true, this means combining certain terpene-rich foods with cannabis could lead to unique effects. Add to that the many herbal remedies that exist—and you have endless possibilities for healing.
Here are four herbs that pair well with certain types of cannabis and may boost your marijuana’s therapeutic effects.
Many people use lavender to relieve anxiety and promote sleepiness. Lavender contains a terpene called linalool, also found in hundreds of plants and in some cannabis strains like:
Linalool is thought to be one of the compounds involved in lavender’s calming effects.
The research on lavender is promising, too. Some studies have shown that aromatherapy with lavender may be an effective sleep aid. In another study, people who consumed a lavender oil preparation with linalool for 10 weeks reported lower levels of anxiety.
In addition to trying aromatherapy, you can find marijuana tinctures and edibles made with lavender extract. You can also sip warm lavender tea while you consume cannabis in another form to double up on linalool’s calming effects.
Its benefits are more often associated with Asian ginseng, which is botanically different from the American plant. Ginseng shares the terpene humulene with certain cannabis strains like:
To consume it, try hot tea made with Asian ginseng (look for tea bags at health food stores and online). You can also find edible cannabis products and tinctures made with ginseng, many of which are formulated to promote energy.
Holy basil is different from the sweet basil that you often see in Italian pasta dishes. It’s native to the Indian subcontinent, where historically it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a stress reliever.
In small studies, people have reported improved stress levels after consuming holy basil leaves. It’s worth noting, however, that it can interact with certain medications, like blood thinners.
Holy basil is sold as an essential oil or in tea bags, often labeled with its botanical name tulsi. You can look for cannabis tinctures that contain holy basil. Or you can make your own, infusing it with holy basil leaves.
If you’re making your own cannabis tincture to address stress, consider using one of these calming marijuana strains:
Peppermint oil is a popular remedy for headaches. Folks usually dilute it and apply it directly to their temples. Menthol, the active ingredient, provides a cooling sensation and may help promote blood flow.
Peppermint shares several terpenes with cannabis strains rich in limonene and ocimene. Some marijuana strains that also include these terpenes are:
To help relieve the tension of a pounding headache, you may want to vape cannabis that’s rich in limonene or ocimene for fast relief, then rub some peppermint oil on your temples.
If you’re struggling with digestive problems like bloating and gas, a peppermint tea plus cannabis could really help soothe an aching tummy. You can also seek out cannabis products that are already formulated with calming peppermint.
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