Can You Smoke Passion Flower? What to Know

a pink passion flower

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From mullein to chamomile, the tradition of smoking dried herbs and plants stretches back thousands of years as a well-integrated part of society, culture, and medicine. Passion flower belongs to this library of herbs as a stress-relieving plant with relaxing, sedating properties.

Those wondering whether one can smoke passion flower will be pleased to know that the plant offers a gentle smoke that provides many wellness benefits. Read on to learn more about smoking passion flower, the plant’s unique properties, and whether smoking is the best way to reap the benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • Passion flower is an herb with a long history of use to soothe anxiety, relieve pain, and combat insomnia.
  • Smoking passion flower is possible, but not advised as smoking can introduce harmful carcinogens to the lungs.
  • Instead, it’s recommended to ingest passion flower via a capsule or as a supplement added to beverages.

    What is Passion Flower?

    Passion flower, also known as Passiflora incarnata and maypop, is a perennial climbing vine native to the southeastern United States. It is named after its unique flower, which is said to resemble the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during the crucifixion. 

    Passion flower has a long history of use in traditional Native American medicine, particularly for its calming and sedative properties. The leaves of the plant were used to make a tea designed to treat insomnia, hysteria, epilepsy, and pain. Dried leaves could also be smoked.

    The plant contains various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, alkaloids, and glycosides, which are believed to contribute to its therapeutic effects. Its calming properties have been attributed to its ability to increase the levels of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps regulate excitability, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Passion flower has also been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which may contribute to its overall health benefits.

    In addition to its calming effects, passion flower is used to treat other conditions including insomnia, anxiety, and nervousness. It is often used as a natural alternative to prescription sedatives and anti-anxiety medications. Some studies have also suggested that passion flower may have analgesic properties, helping to relieve pain and muscle spasms. However, more research is needed to understand the extent of its therapeutic potential fully.

    Benefits of Smoking Passion Flower

    Traditionally and today, passion flower is a supplement used to treat ailments ranging from insomnia to anxiety. While little to no scientific data indicates that the passion flower tangibly impacts the body, some anecdotal reports and medicinal traditions suggest that using the herb has numerous benefits. There are also many varieties of passion flower with potential differences in effects ranging among species.

    Anxiety

    Few studies have explored passion flower’s ability to soothe anxiety, but what little exists suggests some efficacy. A 2001 study examined the plant for treating generalized anxiety disorder, and passion flower performed as well as oxazepam in alleviating depression with fewer side effects. Another animal study found that passion flower had sedative, calming effects in mice. 

    Many naturopathic healers recommend passion flower for anxiety, but more research is needed to provide scientific data that supports this claim.

    Sleep

    Passion flower’s sedating, calming effects may be useful for those trying to achieve sleep and quell insomnia. One study found that it could potentially positively impact sleep cycles and help users fall asleep faster, showing an increase in deep sleep while reducing REM sleep. Fighting insomnia helps promote overall rest, lowers day-to-day stress, and cultivates the other benefits of good sleep.

    Anti-inflammatory

    Some findings also indicate that passion flower has anti-inflammatory properties, which would correlate with its ability to soothe stress. One study found that a species of passion flower had pain-relieving effects and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential treatment for inflammation-related pain. 

    Potential Risks and Side Effects

    While passion flower is generally considered safe when used in appropriate amounts and forms, smoking it can pose certain risks. Reported side effects of ingesting passion flower include drowsiness and even mild hallucinations, though with the many species in existence, these aren’t universal.


    Passion flower use of up to 800mg has appeared safe in some studies, but used in excessive amounts over 3.5 grams over two days may be unsafe. Topical use of passion flower has not been evaluated, and women who are pregnant should avoid it, as it may induce uterine contractions.

    How to Smoke Passion Flower

    There’s no universal dose of passion flower ascertained safe or beneficial for consumers, so those who want to smoke the plant should consider their health condition, history, age, and other individual factors.

    Passion flower is easy to smoke alone or add to your favorite herbal or cannabis-derived blend. Some online stores or dispensaries will sell cannabis or CBD joints mixed with passion flower or other herbs ready to smoke. 

    You can also purchase rolling papers, loose-leaf passion flower, and any desired herbs for an at-home joint. CBD particularly complements passion flower, as the latter enhances the relaxing abilities of the former and allows users to appreciate all the terpenes and flavors of a particular hemp strain.

    Alternatives to smoking

    When the plant material is burned and inhaled, it can produce smoke that contains harmful chemicals and irritants. These chemicals can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Prolonged or excessive smoking of passion flower or any substance may also lead to lung damage and respiratory issues over time. 

    Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to passion flower smoke, which can manifest as skin rashes, itching, or difficulty breathing. It is essential to be aware of any allergies or sensitivities you may have before smoking passion flower or any other substance. 

    Furthermore, smoking passion flower may interact with certain medications or medical conditions. If you have any pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using passion flower in any form, including smoking.

    Alternatively, products like our sleep powder mix passion flower with other relaxing herbs to achieve the same health benefits. Some manufacturers will make passion flower supplements to be consumed in pill form.  

    The Bottom Line: Should You Smoke Passion Flower?

    Passion flower is not typically smoked for recreational purposes, but those seeking to take advantage of its medicinal benefits may opt to try it. While it is possible to smoke passion flower, it is not the ideal method of consumption. Rather, the active compounds in passion flower can be better and more effectively enjoyed through other methods like brewing tea or herbal supplements. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What drug is passion flower?

    Passion flower is an herb with natural sedative properties thought to be useful in treating anxiety and insomnia. 

    Is it safe to eat passion flower?

    Oral consumption of passion flower is one of the safest methods of ingestion compared to smoking or vaping. You can consume passion flower as a tea, a pill, or a powder to mix into beverages.

    How does passionflower make you feel?

    Passion flower generally makes consumers feel relaxed and at ease. Traditional medicine has used passion flower to combat anxiety and relieve insomnia, so some may feel sleepy or sedated when consuming higher dosages.

    Sources

    1. Akhondzadeh, S., Naghavi, H. R., Vazirian, M., Shayeganpour, A., Rashidi, H. H., & Khani, M. (2001). Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 26(5), 363–367. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2710.2001.00367.x
    2. Janda, K., Wojtkowska, K., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., & Skonieczna-Żydecka, K. (2020). Passiflora incarnata in Neuropsychiatric Disorders—A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 12(12). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123894
    3. Toda, K., Hitoe, S., Takeda, S., Shimizu, N., & Shimoda, H. (2017). Passionflower Extract Induces High-amplitude Rhythms without Phase Shifts in the Expression of Several Circadian Clock Genes in Vitro and in Vivo. International Journal of Biomedical Science : IJBS, 13(2), 84-92. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5542920/
    4. Park, J. W., Kwon, O., Ryu, H. W., Paik, J., Paryanto, I., Yuniato, P., Choi, S., Oh, S., & Ahn, K. H. (2018). Anti-inflammatory effects of Passiflora foetida L. in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. International Journal of Molecular Medicine. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2018.3559

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