Category Archives: tobacco blending

High Desert Tobacco, NOT selling tobacco

Yep, the headline is right. Unfortunately, High Desert Tobacco has been forced into a position of not selling any tobacco of any kind.

It’s a long, drawn out, sort of thing having to do with payment processing. So, due to the current difficulty with processing payments, High Desert Tobacco has dropped all of their whole leaf tobacco offerings.

They will still offer everything else! Rolling papers, cigarette tubes, rolling machines, injector machines, shredders, filters, and flags though and at damn good prices too!

Whole leaf tobacco – not what you think

Whole leaf tobacco

Not the evil weed you’ve been led to believe

High Desert Tobacco sells only natural whole leaf tobacco. We decided on this product, instead of selling commercially prepared tobacco products, for many reasons. Some of those reasons are:

  • It is a simple agricultural product, not taxed.
  • Whole leaf tobacco does not have 599+ chemicals introduced into commercial cigarettes.

  • Natural tobacco in the whole leaf form has many uses beside that of smoking or chewing.

  • The end user has total control over how he/she uses the tobacco leaf.

Tobacco, in general, has come under attack mostly due to the devastating health effects seen in people who have been smoking commercially produced cigarettes and chewing tobacco. What most people do not know, because they have never been told, is that natural tobacco is not nearly as harmful as the anti-tobacco lobby would have you believe.

“Being one of two main categories exempt from being required to label the ingredients (the other one being alcoholic beverages), tobacco products are usually laden with additives. Any attempt to make labeling the ingredients obligatory has been smothered by the tobacco industry. Now, I have heard many times that cigarettes have additives, but once I looked deeper into the subject, I realized this was not only true, but true to a perverted extent.

In the US, the industry uses over 600 intentional chemical additives to blended cigarettes. Furthermore, there is a myriad of additives present in tobacco final products which are not intentionally added, but are simply a by-product of growing and production process.

These include: various microorganisms, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, heavy metals, foreign materials such as metal, cardboard, styrofoam, wood fragments, small animals and insects, and other elements such as organic solvents and dioxins.

The tobacco industry claims that all of the additives used in the manufacture of cigarettes and other tobacco products are approved for use by the FDA GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list. However, problem is the ingredients on these lists have never been approved in products that are intended to be burned or inhaled. ” Citation – forgotten-healing-properties-of-tobacco

We, at High Desert Tobacco, are working to bring the tobacco user back to the natural form of tobacco as it comes from the tobacco farm. Simply cured, by air, heat, or fire, and baled up.

Now that we’ve done a short introduction, let’s get into some of the things that whole leaf tobacco can be used for. We’ll start off with uses that do not involve the smoking, chewing, or other ingestion of tobacco.

Tobacco can make an effective pesticide and pest repellant! Tobacco dust and a tea made from tobacco dust makes a very effective pesticide and pest repellant! A very little of this goes a long way too. Tobacco leaves should be dried until they are brittle then ground into a very fine powder. A hand cranked coffee grinder that can grind “espresso” will do fine for this.

Your tobacco dust can be sprinkled around the base of your plants to discourage insects and rodents. Dust poured into gopher holes will make them vacate that hole. You can also make a tea from the dust to make a nicotine spray for your plants. Here’s the mix!

  • 1 teaspoon tobacco dust

  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap

  • 1 gallon of water.

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Mix the amount of liquid soap into your water. Then, mix in the tobacco dust, and after the entirety of your tobacco dust has been added, slowly mix in the black pepper while stirring the whole mix. Stir for 5-10 minutes then let steep for 1 hour. After than, it’s ready to be sprayed onto your plants. remember that nicotine can be absorbed through the skin so, wear appropriate protection.

Medicinal Use


“Indians used tobacco as a pain reliever for ear aches, toothaches and as a poultice. The leaves of N. attenuata variety were mainly used for the medical purposes. In fact, currently there are test studies being performed to find a way to extract the pain relieving components of tobacco and remove the addictive ones to use for medical purposes. Note that the medical profession will not allow nicotine to be a treatment for medical issues or mental illnesses due to to the health risks; but they are studying the benefits of tobacco nonetheless.

To make a poultice, crush the leaves to place on the affected area to relieve medical issues.

Skin Rashes, Eczema and rheumatismIndians used a poultice of tobacco leaves to put on skin inflammations to help soothe and relieve pain. Although there is documented accounts that tobacco has pain relieving qualities, this author could not find any information on how tobacco soothed skin inflammation.

Toothaches – This poultice could also be placed in the mouth to alleviate pain from toothaches.

Rattlesnake and Insect Bites – Indians believed that the nicotine in the tobacco would help relieve pain as well as help draw out the poison and heal the snake wound. After the poison had been sucked out, chewed leaves could be applied to cuts or bound on the bite with a bandage. This method can also be used when stung by an insect.

Colds – Indians would mix tobacco and leaves from the Desert Sage plant, or the root of Indian Balsam (or cough root), Leptotaenia Multifida. They believed this would also help with asthma and tuberculosis. They typically smoked the leaves to clear out nasal passages.

Toothpaste – In India, powdered tobacco is rubbed on the teeth for cleaning. This method is still used in India and marketed in stores around the country.

Tobacco can be, and has been, used in artwork. Naturally cured tobacco leaves, when most, are very flexible and can be manipulated easily. The center ribs of large leaves are tough and fibrous, when moist, they are easily bent to just about any form. Colors range from a bright yellow to a deep, dark, mahogany.

However, the most common use for tobacco today is smoking or chewing. By using whole leaf tobacco, you can turn it into whatever form you desire and, by blending various types, come up with a product you like better than anything on the commercial tobacco market.

Those who like chewing tobacco can experiment with various types and use various flavorings, such as molasses, fruit, salt, and liquors.

Using only a couple of types of tobacco, people can easily make nice little cigarillos rolled using regular hand rollers.

Pipe smokers will find that they can have an almost endless variety of flavor using only three or four types of tobacco. They can even try flavoring by using many of the same things the chewing tobacco maker might use.

Cigarette smokers will find that they can blend tobacco in such a manner as to have the lightest of ultra light cigarettes all the way to blending to have a high nicotine heavy flavored cigarette. These can be accomplished using one, two, or many, tobacco leaf types.

Whole leaf tobacco is, of course, the tobacco used to make any good cigar!

All of the above is easily accomplished using whole leaf tobacco that does not have the almost 600 chemicals found in commercial tobacco products.

High Desert Tobacco currently sells the four most common varieties of tobacco for cigarettes, pipe, and chewing tobacco. We also sell everything you need to turn the whole leaves into a great cigarette or pipe tobacco.

One of the great motivators for using whole leaf tobacco is to reduce the cost of smoking. For cigarette smokers, that cost can be around $1 per pack. It only takes 8 ounces of tobacco to make a full carton of cigarettes. A full pound of whole tobacco leaves (costing about $16) will yield around 12 ounces of shredded tobacco. That’s enough for 1 1/2 cartons of cigarettes.

What we feel is an even greater advantage though is quality. With whole leaf tobacco, a person who smokes can blend their tobacco to develop a cigarette or pipe tobacco that is the absolute best they have ever had. I like a very light cigarette but I want some flavor too. I’ve easily managed to do that by blending four types of tobacco:

In real world amounts of tobacco for a full carton of cigarettes, that would be:

  • 4 oz Virginia Brightleaf Flue Cured (very light and lower in nicotine)
  • 1.6 oz Virginia Flue Cured ( average nicotine and a bit more flavor)
  • 0.8 oz Tennessee Burley (high nicotine and can be harsh if too much used)
  • 1.6 oz Turkish (Oriental) Izmir (Very low nicotine but has a nice spicy flavor)

That’s my “current” favorite blend. It’s quite light from my perspective but certainly has good flavor. I have given some cigarettes made of that blend to friends who have described it as smoking nicely flavored air. I’m still experimenting! Who knows, next week, I may have another favorite formula!

Our Youtube channel has good videos that can help the beginner with preparing whole leaf tobacco for use. We even have a “how to roll your own cigarettes” video.


Avoid the “Tax Monster”!

Stop feeding the enemy! Really, we feed the government more than enough through payroll and sales taxes. there is no need to feed it more money to waste in order to get the things you desire.

Many of the things you buy are taxed heavily long before you get your hands on them. Then, you have to pay sales tax on top of it! It’s simply wrong.

The government tries to say it’s taxing the “business”. Ummmm…. bullshit!

Yes, the “business” that produces the things subject to heavy excise and “sin” taxes do send that money to the treasury but, YOU PAY THE TAX in the form of increased cost for the product you want! Every time the government institutes, or increases, a tax on something, YOU PAY in the form of increased prices.

Well, there is a little known secret.

If you’re willing to do so, you can get the materials before any tax is imposed and then put it all together yourself. by doing that, there IS NO excise tax!

Home brewers of beer and makers of wine have known this for decades! They make their own beer and wine, bypassing the federal and local excise taxes entirely.

Another segment of consumers are being taxed to death and are slowly finding out they too can bypass the taxman.That segment of the population are those people who smoke tobacco in various forms, pipe, cigarettes, cigars…

Cigarette tobacco is taxed the most heavily at the federal, state, and local, levels. the taxes are now so high that in some places, the lowest price for a pack of cigarettes is over $10!!!! Now, smokers have found that they can save thousands of dollars per year by purchasing their tobacco essentially “straight from the farm” in whole leaf form. All they need to do is shred that tobacco, blend it to their preferred taste, and make their own cigarettes or pipe tobacco.Cigar smokers discovered this a long time ago!

One company catering to the smokers who want to dramatically lower the cost of their cigarettes, as low as $1 per pack, is High Desert Tobacco! They are an online retailer only and you must be over the age of 18 to use their site. They offer the four most common types of tobacco used to make cigarettes and pipe tobacco as well as everything you’ll ever need to make the best, lowest cost, smoke you’ve ever had.

So, if you smoke, pipe, hooka, or cigarettes, head on over to High Desert Tobacco and start saving thousands of dollars per year!

If you’re paying more than $1 per pack of smokes, you’re paying too much!

OK, that $1 per pack is variable but, an average cost per pack of cigarettes really should not go much more than that! Right now, cigarettes and cigarette tobacco is under tremendous pressure from excessive taxation. In Nevada, the tax on cigarettes has just been increased by ANOTHER $1 per pack! That’s a state tax on TOP of federal excise taxes! That will bring the retail price of commercially produced cigarettes above $6 per pack. In some states, taxes are so onerous that the cost of a pack of cigarettes, even the bad ones, is over $10!

People who are willing to go to a small bit of work, easy work, can easily reduce their costs of smoking cigarettes to under $1 per pack and end up with a cigarette that is the best tasting, chemical free, most satisfying, cigarette they could imagine.

I’m talking about buying tobacco in unprocessed, whole leaf, form and then shredding and blending that tobacco so you can make your own cigarettes. You can get everything you need at High Desert Tobacco!

Of course, if it’s worth it to you to spend 5 to 10 times as much for a chemical laden pack of commercially produced cigarettes, well, that’s up to you.

If you don’t want to spend that much, and still want to have the best cigarette you’ve ever had, keep reading!

The process is pretty simple. You buy three or four ( I use four) types of good tobacco leaf, strip out the big center rib from each leaf, shred the leaf, blend your shredded tobacco in the proportions that give YOU the smoke you like best, then make your cigarettes either rolling with traditional rolling papers or use cigarette tubes and inject the tobacco into them.

I use four kinds of whole leaf tobacco:

  • Virginia Flue Cured – This is traditional cigarette tobacco found in every American blend.
  • Virginia Brightleaf flue Cured – A very light flavored, lower nicotine, tobacco.
  • Tennessee Burley – An air cured tobacco also traditionally part of American cigarette blends.
  • Turkish Izmir – A small air cured leaf that is used to add flavor. It’s very mild and sort of sweet tasting.

My latest experiment was blending 1 ounce of tobacco in the following proportions:

  • .3 ounces of Virginia Flue Cured
  • .3 ounces of Virginia Brightleaf
  • .2 ounces of Tennessee Burley
  • .2 ounces of Turkish Izmir.

All of the above is available now, as well as everything you need to use it, at High Desert Tobacco.

The result of the above formula is a very smooth, fairly light, flavorful smoke!

OK, so what about the whole thing of getting whole leaf tobacco?

Very simply, buying whole leaf tobacco is cheaper! It is not taxed other than local sales tax since it is a pure agricultural product. It is not yet classified as a “tobacco product” since it has not been processed into usable form!

Another detail about using whole leaf tobacco, just as it comes from the farmer, is that no chemicals have been added to it. In fact, if you’re concerned about possible chemicals from fertilizer or insecticides, the leaves can be washed! Yep, just use a damp sponge to wipe them down or even quickly rinse them under cold water and let them dry out again until they are still pliable but not wet before you start pulling out that big center rib and shredding them.

Speaking of that big center rib, you can see it clearly in the photo of Virginia Flue cured tobacco below:

Virginia Flue cured tobacco. The big center rib of the leaf is easy to see here.
Virginia Flue cured tobacco. The big center rib of the leaf is easy to see here.

That big dark center rib is not something you want in your cigarette. Turkish tobacco leaves also have a center rib but it’s so small that you don’t have to do anything with it. You do have to strip it out of all American tobaccos. In a pound of whole leaf tobacco, the center rib will account for about 4 ounces so, you get about 12 ounces of leaf to use in your cigarettes. That amount of tobacco will make up about 1.5 cartons of cigarettes. I usually find where the center rib has become pretty small near the top of the leaf, break the rib there, and then strip from that point downward to the base of the rib.

Once you have the center ribs out of the leaves, you’ll need to shred them. There are various methods of doing so. You can stack your leaves (all one type) and use scissors or a sharp knife to shred them. A YouTube video of doing that is here:

Another, easier, method can be using an inexpensive ($37.95) hand cranked tobacco shredder. That can be purchased on ebay ( and seen in use here:

There are power shredders of various types available too. They cost about $280 and the best is the PowerMatic shredder in my personal opinion. If that sounds like a lot of money, it is but if you figure things out, buying commercially made cigarettes is going to cost the 2 pack per day smoker about $500 per month as is. Using whole leaf tobacco, your cost per month will be less than $70 for tobacco and rolling supplies so, even buying the expensive power shredder, you’ll still save $150 the very first month and the shredder will last YEARS!

I shred all of my tobacco right away keeping each type separate until I decide to blend up a batch.

Blending is pretty easy too! I use a little pocket scale, like the one available on Ebay here ( even more accurate than the one in the video below, to measure out each kind of tobacco I want. Learning to blend your tobacco is pretty well laid out in this video:

Once you’ve got your tobacco blend figured out, you’ll know exactly how much of what kinds to order! Finding whole leaf tobacco by the pound is easy! It’s about to get even easier and a little cheaper when goes online! They’ll be selling whole leaf tobacco at $15.99 per pound while the other two major retailers sell it at about $16.99 per pound.

As for actually making cigarettes, I use a tobacco injector machine (you can get a nice one like this for about $30: to fill cigarette tubes but, I’ve also rolling using papers and filters. Either method is easy enough. Here is a video on rolling cigarettes using papers but no filters:

If you want to use an injector machine, and I bet you will eventually, this video show you how:


So, I hope this blog was informative and gave you ideas! remember, there is no really good reason to be paying $6 or more for your pack of cigarettes! In fact, if you’re spending more than $1 for each pack of smokes, you’re paying too much!

Oh, everything you need is available at!

A new retail business entity… High Desert Tobacco

As I posted before, I incorporated High Desert Heirloom LLC and had intended to use that business entity for online sales of whole leaf tobacco.

UPDATE- 4/30/2015:

The online store should be ready for business by the end of next week 5/8/2015!

Upon further consideration, I found that using the LLC for sales was not my best option so, I have established a new entity and associated domain, High Desert Tobacco. The domain and website is but, the site is not live for use just yet! There is a lot of setup to be done before customers will be able to use the site to order their tobacco or accessories.

Please stay tuned! I’ll make a big announcement when the retail site is live and ready to use!

Finding your perfect cigarette blend.

Since High Desert Heirloom LLC will soon be selling whole leaf tobacco via the site ‘’ in the near future, I felt it would be good to help prospective customers know how to actually use the stuff!

This is a fairly involved post and a bit lengthy. I’m trying to convey all the important points clearly.

Firstly, perhaps we should talk about why to use whole leaf tobacco to make your own cigarettes with.

  • Cost. The average pack of Marlboro or other brand name cigarettes cost well over $5. Using whole leaf tobacco will drop that cost to under $1 per pack!
  • Health. Now, every government agency and every doctor and everyone against smoking will say that using whole leaf tobacco is not any better for you than using manufactured tobacco products. It is MY opinion though, that whole leaf is healthier! Here is why:
    • No added chemicals! The tobacco industry does several things to tobacco that goes into the standard cigarette they sell. One of those things is to take all the stems and pieces and turn it into the same sort of pulp that paper would be made from. In fact, other than not bleaching it, the process is the same and they end up with a product called ‘reconstituted tobacco’ and they use that in their cigarette blends. In addition to the ‘reconstituted tobacco’ crap, they add other chemicals to alter taste and nicotine levels.
  • Satisfaction. Using whole leaf tobacco, you can easily make your own custom blend that has the taste and level of strength (From very mild to super strong) that you like best and duplicate that as much as you like. You could have several blends to use through the day. You might have blends for your morning smokes, another for mid day, and another for that relaxing evening smoke before bed.
  • Entertainment. What? Cigarettes for entertainment? Well, the process of shredding and blending your own batch of tobacco can be quite entertaining and many people make a hobby of experimenting just to see what they end up with.

“Hey, I can get bags of tobacco for cheap and I don’t have to do all that shredding and blending stuff!” Yep, you can buy blended pipe tobacco pretty cheaply for sure! But, you’re getting the blend the manufacturer dictates AND you’re still getting chemical additives! They add chemicals to alter flavors, burning characteristics, and o preserve the moist tobacco.

When you buy whole leaf tobacco, whether from us at or from another retailer of whole leaf, you get plain straight tobacco as it comes from the grower. Nothing added, nothing taken away. All the leaf is checked to ensure it’s in good condition and it arrives at your door, or mail box, ready to shred! It looks a lot like this:

A strong, air cured tobacco
A strong, air cured tobacco

So, let’s get on with how to find the blend you like best and how to duplicate it!

At, we’ll be selling a ‘blend pack’ consisting of about 11.2oz of flue cured Virginia brightleaf, 2.5oz of Tennessee Burley, and 2.5oz of Turkish Izmir tobaccos. That closely corresponds to the common blend used in manufactured cigarettes and is plenty for experimentation! 1 ounce of tobacco will easily make a full pack of cigarettes… actually, two or more.

There are a couple of ways to experiment and find a blend you like. A very low tech method is demonstrated in the video below but, consistency suffers a bit using that method:

You can see that the technique above is a rough “guestimation” sort of thing at best. It works, after a fashion, but is not the best method. There are better ways!

The best method is by using a small digital scale that will weigh your tobacco down to 0.01 ounces. Those are fairly inexpensive and pretty darned accurate! will be selling scales but we don’t have any in stock just yet. Many retailers sell them and you may find one that works at your local Walmart, Target, Sears, or other shops. Pawn shops often have them and sometimes, they show up at Goodwill stores.

The reason for this is that you’ll be blending your tobacco according to percentages or absolute weights and want to be able to keep track of how much of each tobacco type you are using.

After shredding a small amount of each of your tobacco types, we’ll cover that process at another time, you can get started with your experiments of blending.

First of all, I suggest you simply roll a cigarette of all Virginia brightleaf and try it out! You’ll find that it’s sort of ‘middle of the road’ in body. Not super mild nor super strong tasting. Many people prefer it.

Next, you might try putting 0.08 ounces of Virginia brightleaf with 0.02 ounces of Turkish Izmir and try that. Make sure to mix the two tobaccos completely so that the Turkish is distributed throughout the Virginia tobacco so the taste is consistent through the whole cigarette. I think you’ll find that this gives you a milder smoke.

If that mix was too mild, try going to 0.09 ounces of Virginia tobacco with 0.01 ounces of the Turkish.

Perhaps that was “OK” but not fulfilling. Now might be a good time to add the Tennessee Burley to the mix. Try 0.08 ounces of Virginia, 0.01 ounces of Tennessee Burley, and 0.01 ounces of Turkish and see how that tastes.

If it’s too strong, try cutting down the Virginia a little, maybe to 0.06 ounces, and increasing the Turkish to 0.03 ounces. If it was too light, cut the Virginia tobacco to 0.06 ounces, increase the Burley to 0.02 ounces, and keep the Turkish at 0.02 ounces.

Write down the weights each time you change the mix and notate how you liked each one! When you find ‘the right mix’ for your personal taste, you now have the proportions you need to make that blend!

For example, if you found that 0.06 ounces of Virginia blended with .0.02 ounces of Burley and 0.02 ounces of Turkish was just right, then you now know that your blend is 60% Virginia, 20% Burley, and 20% Turkish.

Using that formula, you can now blend up a few ounces! Six ounces will make about a full carton of cigarettes so, you would blend 3.6 ounces of Virginia with 1.2 ounces of Burley and 1.2 ounces of Turkish. That formula is: 6X0.6 = 3.6, 6X0.2 = 1.2.           (3.6+1.2+1.2 = 6)

Part of the fun is the discovery of what each tobacco does to the cigarette! Don’t be afraid to try things out. With a one pound “Blend pack”, you’ll have enough tobacco to try dozens of different mixes and still be able to settle on the one you like best. from that point on, you know how much of each individual tobacco to order for the future.

I hope this was informative!