Taste of Hope

Not Pot, but the Blend Trend

A trip into any of several independent markets in Murfreesboro reveals a rainbow of customers with varying backgrounds purchasing tiny bags of an herbal mix.

While a disclaimer on each package reads “Not for human consumption,” the nearby bongs, glass pipes and scales reveal the herbal mix’s actual use. A quick web search results in lengthy descriptions of the herbs on sites like WeedSmokersGuide.com.

Earlier this year, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen made the use, manufacture, distribution and possession of synthetic marijuana and cocaine illegal, which raises many questions about the legality of “herbal incense” bags still hanging in stores across the state. But technically, Bredesen outlawed specific synthetic cannaboids, including JWH-018, JWH-073, HU-210 and HU-211, which offer a high similar to that of marijuana.

Two local entrepreneurs, who requested to be identified only by their initials, J.D. and A.S., saw Bredesen’s decision as a challenge to create a new blend of herbs that would offer a similar aromatic experience.

“After K-3 became illegal, we started doing research to see what it was,” A.S. said.

The duo launched Nibirian Herbs in midsummer and attempted several mixes before settling on a blend they’ve dubbed Vampire Blood. Given the current craze of vampire-related anything and everything, the two men jumped on board. J.D. said the name was chosen after watching a character on “True Blood” drink vampire blood and become fuzzy.

“That’s the type of aroma our product produces,” he said, adding that a gram sells for about $12.

“It generates a relaxed, euphoric feeling when you burn it in your house,” A.S. added.

Vampire Blood is marketed as herbal incense, but is often “misused” by customers.

“Whatever you, as a consumer, choose to do with it when you leave the store is up to you,” J.D. said.

He likened the product to Reddi-wip, which is intended for pies, not whippets, which are the gas-filled steel cartridges in cans of whipped cream. The gas is nitrous oxide.

“We’re not promoting the misuse of our product,” he contends. “When you do burn it, the smoke is no more harmful for you than if you’re burning nag champa (a popular incense).”

A.S. chimed in by saying, “We’re not doing anything wrong. We’re giving them a pleasant aroma for their house.”

Vampire Blood isn’t the only brand out there offering a similar experience—K10, Skunk, Herbal Bliss, Faded Moon and Exotica are all also available around town.

“People prefer our blend to the competitors,” J.D. said.

And he may be correct.

Kareem Yafai, owner of Middle Tennessee Market near the corner of Greenland Drive and Middle Tennessee Boulevard, said Vampire Blood outsells the other two brands available there.

While customers must be at least 18 years old to buy the herbal incense, they come in all shapes, sizes and ages, Yafai said.

Very commonly, the herbal blend is purchased by “everybody that is on probation who can’t smoke.”

“I think that’s why it was made for—there’s no THC in it,” he said, referring to the active ingredient in marijuana.

Given the common use, or misuse, of the product, Yafai said it doesn’t seem necessary to label the products as incense.

“I think they did that for the police, so they couldn’t know it was like a drug, or used as a drug. But now, I don’t think they should put ‘Not for human consumption,’ because the information is all out there.”

Regardless of its legality, consumers are still wary of making it known that they smoke it. Two women who recently purchased some Vampire Blood from Middle Tennessee Market were willing to talk, but requested to remain anonymous.

At age 40, one woman said she used to smoke marijuana but kicked the habit after her daughter was born. Well, and “because it’s illegal,” she said.

She still gets the urge, though, and once she discovered K3 and then Vampire Blood, she opts for it instead.

“It’s very, very, very similar (to marijuana) and almost has a trippiness to it,” she said. “But it doesn’t last as long, and you don’t get the munchies.”

Her friend said the high lasts longer if you smoke it several times in one sitting. “If you feel yourself coming down, you can just smoke it a second or third time,” the 34-year-old explained.

The side effects of smoking this legal herbal mixture are relatively unknown, save for the rapid heartbeat, nausea and dizziness associated with the outlawed blends.

The two women showed some concern about the unknown side effects of the chemical-laden herbs, but it wasn’t going to stop them from smoking.

“It worries me more to test positive on a drug test than the possible (health) effects,” the second woman said.
The first woman added that she wasn’t really bothered by the risk “because I pretty much live a healthy life other than that, and I don’t put chemicals in my body anymore.”

That said, they both agreed they’d rather see their children bring home marijuana than the synthetic
kind.

“To me, pot is . . . natural,” the first woman said.

Still, more and more smokers are trying the blended alternative, available at shops all over.

For more information on the blend produced right here in Murfreesboro, e-mail nibirianherbs@gmail.com.

Share/Bookmark

Leave a Facebook comment

9 Comments

  • Rocky

    I didnt realize we had so many dumd ass people in MBoro, smoking dope and not knowing what this product will do down the road to one’s health is insane. The markets and the guys manufacturing this product should go to jail.

  • Daniel harris

    Vampire blood is the shit!! Ill smoke my life away on it as long as I’m on probation!! ***vampire blood for president***

  • Sexywitch

    Vampires blood is ok if you smoke carefully, not more than 2 hits. I’m sure you can overdose on it, just like any legal drug out there. You just have to be smart and careful. Its great for pain relief…

  • rockislandgal

    My son smoked this crap and his body went nuts. i am a nurse and saw this episode. his body began to colapse,his muscles contorted, and he could not focus his eyes. it was very frightening,,this is a horrible thing. people need to stop lookin for things like this and take care of themselves. i pray he stops this,,it scared him too. he promises he will not do it again. but i am not a fool.

  • alex reed

    i smoke vampires blood everyday you cant overose on it, i smoke a whole blunt between me nd another person and i get perfect weed high this shit is badass

  • james abernathy

    Dude its ok but any smoke inhaled directly into your lungs can be potentially dangerous. This product should not be illegal, rather we focus on legalizing marijuana. smoking this everyday is a terrible life choice and so is smoking anything for that matter.

  • Ron

    I realize smokers of synthetic things will defend these products, but understand that the usage affects blood circulation to the brain, which is how it alters your mood. It affects your organs and muscles. This is why some users wind up going to the ER. Making laws against cannibas unfortuanately prompts this usage, but this alternative is not a good work-around as far as your safety is concerned. Don’t get upset when this and other stuff gets outlawed each time some new “blend” comes out. In fact, the more this stuff becomes illegal, the worse the new blends become for you as makers try to circumvent the laws. Using the argument about how legal meds and alcohol are bad for you too, or that you’re on probation, is not a good reason to ignore the dangers. Notice that manufacturers and resellers of incense cover their butts with disclaimers. They don’t want to get sued, especially by users of the products or their families. The law works very hard to protect stupid and ignorant people, though I doubt these people would appreciate that. They complain when something goes wrong, and they complain when something protects them from that. Perhaps there should be a waiver users sign that states they cannot seek medical help if they become ill from this stuff. You just can’t have it both ways.

  • ken reed

    where can i phurchase this NEW herbal blend? lets GO! get bussy! herbalists should have seen this comming for some time now. where is the NEW replacement product? as for marijuana, bottom line, (same as it ever was) the powers that be are obviously profiting more (bang for our bucks)keeping it illegal . as for religon, the bible clearly proclames,,- the children are to pertake of the herbs of the field. they are put here for you. – live & let live, all things in moderation,, ya, right! to whom it may concern, TAKE THIS BROTHER, MAY IT SERVE YOU WELL.

  • natural guy

    Sounds like same stuff I bought and tried it didn’t kill me no convulsions either got hungry and had a euphoric state like pot I lie Cannabis its natural and God put it on earth for many reasons. But the hi heart rate hapens with pot too so critasiz unless ur a pharmacologist it will not kill u unless ur allergic point blank. It can give a mock cannibanoid syndrome effect that resembles a heart attack but is just a anxiety attack I don’t recommend underage or elderly to use becuase of the weakness of health in older people and under developed tolerance to cannabinoids in youth don’t mix drugs and drugs and alchohol and if possible smoke pot instead it was put on earth for a reason and man the one with the son he shouldn’t have it if he is under age like I said a person may be allergic or hypersensitive to canibinoids don’t blame him or vampire blood instead educate him on the dangers of addiction and that just cuz its sold in a store doesn’t mean he should smoke it if it says not for consumption its misuse of a product and so no liability to the store or company’s that make these incense

Leave a comment