Can You Smoke Sage And Is It Beneficial

Burning SageWhite SageHigh From SageEffects And BenefitsRisksHealthy SageAlternativesSmudging SageSummary

The family of sage is a very large one. There are an astounding 900 different species of sage, each and every one with their own niche and special use. The most popular varieties are the ones we are using in cooking these days.

The sage has seen many uses throughout the centuries. It has been used as a medicinal herb all from North America to Asia. It has been a vital ingredient in spiritual rituals, often referred to as smudging.

But in regions where smoking was a big part of the culture, sage saw an important role. When people would make herbal blends in order to smoke and get some sort of psychoactive effect, the sage was a very important ingredient here. It provided aroma but also intensity to the smoke.

Sage Leaves
Sage Leaves

Burning Sage

Burning sage has been done for many many years. Indigenious groups in both South and North America have been known to practice this. They would also smoke the sage but burning the sage would be done in order to cleanse rooms and prepare spiritual rituals.

The leaves of sage would be dried and then bundled up together. This bundle would be lit and then waved around so the smoke could spread. This was meant to cleanse rooms.

This technique does have some merit, as the smoke would help improve the air quality and improve certain health conditions like headaches and sore throats even. Seems like burning sage is a much more cost-effective choice instead of getting an expensive air purifier. As an aside note, keep all the windows down so the smoke can also escape and leave you with a fresh and purified room.

Can You Smoke White Sage Too

There is a very large amount of sage varieties out there to choose from. Over 900 to be exact. But there are of course some that are a lot more common than others. These would be Common Sage and White Sage.

They function much the same. So smoking white sage is very possible. It provides you with the same intense herbal aroma and flavor when mixed into your herbal blend.

These varieties are native to a lot of places around the world. Most of them being either Spain, Southern France or the USA. But all of them have slight differences, mostly in the way they grow and shape of the leaves.

Will You Get High From Burning Or Smoking Sage

There is a possibility of getting high from smoking sage, however it should be noted that the variety that will get you there is not that common. The one we are talking about is called Salvia Divinorum, meaning sage of the diviners. It’s a native variety to Mexico. 

The more commonly cultivated varieties of sage are not the ones that will give you a buzz. Most likely when people are talking about smoking sage and getting high, this is the variety they are referring to. It’s getting more and more recognition but still hasn’t really gotten most people’s attention.

We feel like we should mention that even though you might want to try the regular sage to smoke, there’s no problem with that. It will provide a very unique aroma and flavor to your herbal blend.

The variety of Salvia Divinorum is known to give you a pretty intense experience, even when not smoked too. People have been known to both chew and drink tea made from this sage. Chewing might not be the most enjoyable however, as sage tends to have a bit of bite to it.

Sage Leaves
Sage Leaves

The Effects And Benefits Of Smoking Sage

The leaves of white sage or common sage have for a very long time been used in herbal blends. The leaves are then dried in order to both preserve them but also intensify some of the aroma and flavor of them.

They were mostly used for the effect they will have on your mood. Known to make you more relaxed and calm, it has also been known to boost and preserve your memory. 

Smoking simply only sage will provide you with a very intense flavor and aroma, which is why the plant has for a long time been mixed with other herbs, most notably Mullein.

To list of a few of the benefits we have seen with smoking sage here are some of our favorite:

  • Reduces the risk and intensity of headaches
  • Increases both memory and cognitive functions
  • Makes your mood better but can also be antidepressant
  • It can provide relief for congestion

Getting rid of a tobacco or nicotine addiction is a very common reason why people are leaning into herbal blends. Here sage can provide you with almost the same intensity but without all the toxic chemicals found in cigarettes.

Just quitting cold turkey on smoking can be very difficult which is why leaning off with substitutes are such a great option. Blends with sage, mint and even mugwort can really help a lot of people.

What Are The Risks Of Smoking Sage

The sage variety we discussed beforehand was called Salvia Divinorum, which is the psychoactive variety people are referring to when smoking sage. It’s also the only variety in the large sage family that will provide you with such an experience.

That means other sage varieties are only really used for the smell and flavor they provide. This variety however is weirdly enough legal to smoke in the USA. Even though it has some pretty unstable and intense opioid-like compounds in there that get activated when smoked.

Some states have however banned the smoking of this sage variety, so do your research before lighting up a roll of Salvia Divinorum. This variety is the psychoactive one but it can also carry some negative side effects with it too. One of these being that you will feel very sick, such as stomach pain and nausea. But getting a hold of this variety is really not the easiest so you might as well go for other varieties that won’t provide you with a headache.

Lastly, just like inhaling any form of smoke, you are getting small particles from the smoke stuck in your lungs. With time they will begin to scratch the inside and you will have respiratory issues. This can become a very serious issue. 

Health Benefits Of Sage

Sage has long been used as a medicinal ingredient. But it hasn’t only been used for smoking and consuming it in other ways are a great way of getting even more health benefits.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Improved brain function and longevity
  • Stress reduction
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Has been known to lower the risk for cancer
  • Rich in vitamin K

A fun fact is that only a teaspoon will provide you with alost 10 % of the vitamin K you will need each day. On top of that it also contains potent antioxidants, which is a reason it has been known to be neuroprotective.

Other Ways Of Enjoying Sage

Cooking sage is one of the best ways to enjoy sage without smoking it. The beneficial properties of sage will be preserved even when the plant is heated in a pasta or a tea for example.

With flavors and aromas of mint, pepper and citrus it makes for a great flavoring in pastis especially. But add it as late as possible to preserve the freshness of the sage, otherwise you might end up with a bitterness to it.

Garden Sage
Garden Sage

Smudging Sage

One of the oldest ways of using sage is by smudging it. The sage contains a variety of acids which are believed to have healing properties.

  • Carbonic Acid
  • Camphor
  • Phenolic Acid
  • Carosol

Camphor is one which is used in ointments and creams, it activates the nerve endings and gives you either a cool or warm feeling.

These highly fragrant compounds are most likely why the sage has been used in spiritual contexts. The plant would be wrapped on sticks with resin and then lit up. This would be waved around in order to help ward off harmful spirits that might be present. The highly strong and fragrant aroma is what was believed would create a space between the mortal and spiritual world.

Summary And Conclusion

We have discussed widely here in this article about the pros and cons for smoking or burning sage. The plant has a very long history for being used as an ingredient in herbal blends.

A variety by the name of Salvia Divinorum is the only psychoactive one in the family of sage. On one side the sage is very rich in antioxidants and benefits your brain functions, even improving memory. Smoking the sage however will make you inhale carbon monoxide, which with time can cause cancer and respiratory issues.

So it seems the best way to get the beneficial properties of sage is to not smoke it, and instead make tea or use it in cooking. That will preserve the nutrients and protect you from the harmful smoke.

Additional Information

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