Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking?
Cannabis was – and still is – a controversial product. Even today, CBD’s association with “marijuana” is an unnecessary blemish on its record. Ironically, this attitude is just as likely to exist among cigarette smokers.
But thanks to rigorous public education, cigarette consumption is at an all-time low in the U.S., with the most recent CDC statistics showing a rate of just 14%. But despite this, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the united states, claiming almost 500,000 American lives every year.
The good news is that most smokers want to quit. But thanks to the efforts of tobacco companies, nicotine is designed to be as addictive as possible. At this point, forcing people to buy tobacco products is the only way to ignore the stigma, ostracization, and shame smokers face for their health choices.
That being said, should we look down on tobacco smokers? Absolutely not. What we need to do is make quitting as easy as possible. And while cessation aids like gums, lozenges, inhalers, patchers, and prescription drugs exist, they don’t always work.
So, could CBD be another option for smokers to try? Although the evidence is far from solid, cannabidiol could be what the doctor (hasn’t) ordered.
CBD and Addiction
Early studies suggest CBD isn’t just helpful for smoking cessation, but it may also be a powerful tool against addiction to “hard” drugs, like heroin and other opioids.
A 2013 study by the University College London determined that people who used cannabis during cigarette cravings were less likely to smoke.
The study gave inhalers to participants in two groups. The control group received CBD, while the placebo inhalers contained no cannabidiol.
After the experiment, researchers noticed a 40% decrease in cigarette smoking among CBD users, compared to no change in the placebo subjects.
However, this was a preliminary study, and it’ll take much longer for us to see if CBD is a viable smoking cessation aid.
But there seems to be mounting proof that CBD can generally help with addiction by reducing drug cravings.
For example, a 2019 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry examined CBD’s ability to reduce opioid intake among addicts. The double-blind research observed CBD’s effects on opioid cravings. Subjects receive a “drug cue” to trigger their desire to consume the substance.
The groups were split into three. One received 400 mg of CBD, another took 800 mg, while the third received a placebo. Unsurprisingly, the CBD subjects showed a dramatically lower consumption rate following the cues, with 400 mg being the ideal dose.
How Does CBD Help With Addiction?
The exact mechanism (if it even exists) isn’t well-known. But a 2016 study published in Psychopharmacology may explain.
Dr. Celia Morgan, one of the study’s authors, later explained in an interview:
”We found that CBD seems to reduce the salience of cues. It also can reduce anxiety and may affect a memory process called ‘reconsolidation,’ which is where when a memory of the reward of smoking is re-activated by seeing someone smoking, it is rendered vulnerable to destruction.”
In other words, CBD provides relief by helping users forget the positive reinforcement caused by smoking at certain times, creating a barrier to this destructive reward system. At the same time, it helps prevent the nervousness that makes smokers feel they need cigarettes to handle.
Why Try CBD to Quit Smoking?
CBD is versatile in more ways than one. But what makes it so handy as a quit smoking aid is its flexibility. Unlike “marijuana” (cannabis containing over 0.3% THC by dry weight), hemp-derived CBD won’t cause intoxication.
Since CBD won’t make you high, you can use it in regular doses or as-needed at the onset of cravings.
If you ask a smoker why they smoke, one reason they give may be “relaxation.” In the minds of many smokers, tobacco calms them down, especially during stressful situations.
Although this feels true to someone who smokes, it’s a matter of false perception. Tobacco withdrawal causes several symptoms, anxiety being one of them. The “calming effect” comes from satisfying your nicotine craving when you smoke.
In other words, calmness from nicotine is an illusion. Consciously, you feel satisfied. But below the surface, your body experiences things like high blood pressure and increased heart rate.
CBD, however, isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Counterproductive or dangerous bodily effects don’t underscore its benefits.
Which CBD Products Can Help Me Quit Smoking?
Several CBD products are available, all of which may help you quit smoking. The only caveat is that CBD has to enter your bloodstream, so topicals aren’t an option in this case.
CBD oil is the OG CBD product. Taken sublingually (under the tongue) and then ingested. The sublingual step lets a portion of the CBD get straight to your bloodstream through the mouth and gums. The liver does the rest.
However, oil takes an average of 45 minutes for full effect. This means it’s not the best choice for unexpected cravings.
Still, taking it regularly can maintain a steady stream of CBD in your body, potentially providing a consistent “shield” to help reduce your compulsion to smoke.
CBD capsules are softgels with a specific pre-measured dose of CBD oil. They’re mess-free and more discreet than their liquid counterpart but rely exclusively on the liver to metabolize CBD.
As a result, capsules offer the lowest bioavailability and potentially longer delayed effects than CBD oils.
Like capsules, CBD edibles fully metabolize in the liver, making them equally slow to take effect. The good news is that edibles come in various options, from candy to baked goods.
Edible CBD products stand out because of how enjoyable they can consume. But as far as efficacy, they’re up there with capsules and oils.
Initially, CBD smoking was limited to vape oils and e-liquids. Recently, some vendors have offered niche products, like hemp buds or joints.
Inhaling CBD through a vape or dried flower provides virtually instant effects, as the cannabidiol goes straight to the bloodstream from your lungs.
Smoked hemp CBD also provides a more authentic smoking experience, which helped make regular e-cigarettes popular. However, there are health concerns regarding the safety of e-cigarette devices. We also don’t fully understand the long-term consequences of smoking dried cannabis.
How Do I Use CBD to Quit Smoking?
There’s no guarantee CBD will magically cure your addiction to nicotine. Some experts say it could be more addictive than heroin.
Don’t worry, though; millions have still successfully kicked the habit. Success depends on choosing the right strategy.
So what’s the best way to avoid relapsing into tobacco mode? Ultimately, there are three ways you could try.
Oils, capsules, and edibles take a while to kick in, but the effects can last up to eight hours once they do. Once you have the correct dose, regular CBD consumption may (theoretically) keep cravings at bay.
A loose comparison might be the Nicotine patch since both are meant for controlled, sustained effects.
We already mentioned some of the benefits and health concerns of vaping or smoking CBD joints. But despite the pros and cons, smoking CBD is a perfect way to deliver a quick dose to crush cravings as they happen.
However, be prepared to “light up” frequently if cravings become the bane of your existence – and they will be in the first few days.
If you’re okay with both ingestible and smoked CBD, then using both is an ideal combination. Oils, edibles, and capsules provide a slow and sustained effect to reduce cravings, while smoked CBD helps get sudden, unexpected urges under control quickly.
Will CBD Help Me Quit Smoking?
Although it seems plausible on paper, the instructions above are based on what little research we have. They operate under the assumption that CBD effectively controls addictive behavior – something promising, but not proven.
In other words, feel free to take our suggested approach, but this isn’t medical advice. Currently, the best way to become tobacco-free is to speak to a doctor about your options, including CBD.
But if you want to get the best out of your smoke-free journey with CBD, Tessera Naturals offers a unique formula including nano-CBD. This form rapidly improves bioavailability, allowing you to do more with less.
- Tobacco is one of the most addictive (if not the most addictive) drugs
- Cigarettes claim about 500,000 lives per year in the U.S.
- Some evidence suggest CBD can curb smoking
- CBD’s potential anti-addictive properties may help with other drug problems
- Don’t use CBD for any reason until you speak with a doctor
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