September 12, 2023

Is it Safe to Smoke Hops?

Smoking hops was not a common practice before 2021. The wildfires on the West Coast and the drought have caused some growers to experience smoke taint in their hop crops. The smoke taint can be a negative factor in the final product and breweries are starting to notice.

It is completely safe and possible to smoke hops and receive the pleasant, calming effects that they have in beer. When smoked properly, the humulone in hops will decarboxylate and become active in the body similar to how hop tea or Celestial Seasoning’s Tension Tamer works - the humulone in both hops and these herbs act upon the GABA receptors in the brain to calm us down.

While it is possible to vaporize hops in a vaporizer, it is best to smoke them with other herbal blends to soften the effect and help avoid an uncomfortable throat irritation. It is also important to only smoke the flower part of the hops, as the leaves (called hop bines) are toxic when smoked and should not be used for any purpose.

The compounds in hops, such as lupulin, are psychoactive and can affect serotonin receptors in the brain, giving a sedative effect. The combination of the sedative effects and the fact that hops are often brewed into beer, which has alcohol, could lead to intoxication in some people. This is why it is recommended to use caution when smoking hops, particularly with a partner.


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