It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes is bad for you—there’s more than enough evidence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that tobacco use causes close to 6 million deaths around the world each year.
What isn’t as evident, but is showing promise, is the use of CBD to help smokers quit nicotine for good.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound that is naturally found in the hemp plant. The market for CBD has grown exponentially over the past few years, as people report finding relief from various ailments like arthritis pain, sleeplessness, seizures, and anxiety when taking a CBD product.
Until recently, hemp was on hiatus due to a 1937 law that made it illegal to grow hemp in the U.S. The plant’s renewed legality is not only boosting the CBD market, but allowing for increased research into hemp and its non-psychoactive compound, CBD. A few of those studies are looking in depth at how CBD affects a smoker’s dependence on nicotine.
One study, published in 2013, focused on a group of 24 smokers. Half the smokers were given an inhaler with a placebo, while the other half were given an inhaler that contained CBD. All participants were directed to use the inhaler any time they felt an urge to smoke, over a period of 1 week. They were not instructed to smoke more or less—just to use the inhaler when they felt the need to smoke. None of the participants knew whether they’d received a CBD inhaler or the placebo.
The results? Members of the placebo group smoked about the same number of cigarettes as they normally did. However, the group which received the CBD smoked an average of 40% less than they did before using the CBD inhaler. Even after the week-long study was over, these participants continued to smoke less than they had before trying CBD.
Another study from May 2018 found that CBD affects attentional bias. This term refers to what happens when our brains focus on certain cues but ignore others. In this study, participants refrained from smoking for 12 hours and were given either a placebo or 800 mg of CBD. Then, they were shown a series of images, some of which related to smoking. This is where the attentional bias comes in: when a smoker sees objects that remind them of smoking, it tends to make them crave a cigarette. While those who received CBD didn’t report a reduced urge to smoke, they did find the smoking-related imagery less appealing. Though this research is in its early stages, it does show potential to help smokers quit by targeting specific parts of the brain with CBD.
It should be noted that the CBD administered for these studies was derived from the hemp plant and not from cannabis. By law, hemp-based CBD must contain no more than .3% THC which means there was no psychoactive influence as hemp CBD does not produce a ‘high’.
CBD can be taken in a variety of forms. For smokers, vaping CBD is a natural transition away from cigarettes. The act of smoking is maintained, but the product smoked is replaced with a compound that is beneficial for the body.
The other side of any smoking discussion revolves around the topic of stress and anxiety. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation, so people smoke in the belief that it reduces stress and anxiety. However, research into smoking and stress has shown that instead of helping people to relax, smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. CBD has been reported by many users to calm stress and anxiety due to the naturally occurring homeostasis relationship between cannabinoids and the human body’s endocannabinoid system. So while vaping CBD oil involves some of the ritual of lighting up and inhaling a cigarette, the outcomes are arguably vastly different.
There is no promise that taking CBD will help anyone smoke less or quit for good. But for those who have tried everything to quit, the research is promising that some smokers may find CBD an effective way to light up less.
What’s important to remember when it comes to CBD is that there is no “right” amount for everyone. If you’re taking CBD for any reason, whether it’s to stop smoking or to relieve arthritis pain, you may not see results right away. This is discouraging, no question. Especially if you’ve tried many “miracle cures” without success, it may be tempting to think CBD is yet another false promise.
So, if you’re trying CBD and aren’t seeing a change, don’t give up. It may take a while for you to determine the amount of CBD your body needs, but the result can be worth the wait.
Want to learn more about CBD? Stay tuned in to the Eco Health Source blog for the latest hemp and CBD news. We’re looking forward to more CBD research results in 2019!
Enjoy vaping and want to try CBD? Or maybe a tincture is more your style? Eco Health Source offers an extensive selection of hemp-based wellness products for healthier people and pets. Click here to visit our online store.