Smoking tobacco is associated with numerous health conditions, including heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and stroke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smokers die ten years earlier than non-smokers. Shocking, right?
Besides, data from the CDC show that about 14% of American adults (over 18 years) smoke cigarettes, while over 8 million use smokeless tobacco. In fact, over 8 million people die from tobacco-related diseases worldwide.
Despite such statistics, quitting tobacco use isn’t easy. Conventional treatments don’t always help people quit cigarette smoking and manage nicotine addiction. Luckily, enhancing cognitive behavioral therapy with natural remedies may help manage withdrawal symptoms.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient from the cannabis plant. CBD has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, with many believing that it can help manage various medical conditions, including managing nicotine withdrawals. But can CBD really help with tobacco addiction? Read along to find out.
Why is it Hard to Quit Smoking?
If you have tried quitting smoking without success, you are not alone. Many others have tried (and are still trying) without success. Before we highlight how CBD may help you with tobacco addiction, let’s look at the science behind why it is dang hard to quit tobacco smoking.
The main reason that makes quitting smoking difficult is due to nicotine addiction. In fact, nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
Smoking cigarettes delivers nicotine to your brain. When in your brain, nicotine enhances the release of chemicals that stimulate parts of your brain to make you feel good. As you continue to smoke, nicotine changes how your brain works, and your brain becomes dependent on nicotine to feel good.
Another reason why it is hard to quit smoking is that, as you continue to smoke, your body and mind become used to routines that involve smoking. In other words, quitting smoking means getting used to daily routines without a cigarette in your hand. This can include when drinking a cup of coffee, talking with friends, taking breaks, etc.
If you are used to connecting these things with smoking, you’ll have a hard time going through these routines when you quit smoking. This is not to say that you can’t quit smoking. Not at all. With the right approach, you can quit smoking for good.
Common withdrawal symptoms you are likely to experience after quitting cigarettes include:
- Depressive mood
- Slowed heart rate
How CBD May Help You Quit Smoking
As earlier stated, CBD is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (another active cannabinoid), CBD does not have intoxicating effects.
Various studies suggest that CBD may be used as a wellness supplement for various physical and mental conditions. With such information, it’s not outrageous to imagine that CBD may help with tobacco addiction. Continue reading to learn how CBD may help you quit smoking and manage nicotine withdrawals.
CBD May Help Alleviate Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
As earlier stated, nicotine is as addictive as cocaine, nicotine, and other hard drugs. As such, you’ll suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit smoking.
Nicotine addiction goes beyond the need for another cigarette. Withdrawal symptoms will leave you uncomfortable and involve anxiety, headaches, irritability, high blood pressure, difficulty falling asleep, depression, etc.
The period of withdrawal is not easy to overcome. The symptoms may last for several weeks, if not months, causing serious health issues—this explains why smoking addiction is a global health issue.
Luckily, CBD may help alleviate these withdrawal symptoms and make your journey to quitting cigarettes much easier. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for various bodily functions, including memory, pain reception, stress response, sleep cycles, blood pressure, mood, body temperature, among other things.
Your central nervous system has two neurotransmitters: Serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for creating calmness in your mind. Your central system produces more serotonin and dopamine when exercising to give more relaxation and sedation. This might explain why you feel better when exercising.
Nicotine or smoking cigarettes have the opposite effect—it prevents your central nervous system from producing dopamine and serotonin. While this might give you temporary relief, you will start to want to consume more nicotine to substitute the lack of neurotransmitters in your system when the effects wear off. You’ll feel more anxious and nervous until you consume more nicotine.
Consuming hemp CBD may help reverse nicotine withdrawal symptoms. CBD achieves this by restoring the production of serotonin and dopamine to give you calmness without resorting to nicotine.
CBD May Help Ease Tobacco Cravings
If you have been smoking cigarettes for many years, then the habit is engraved in your mind. You can’t wake up one day and just quit smoking. However, you can train your body to ignore the desire to smoke tobacco cigarettes by smoking hemp CBD instead.
Smoking hemp may be your first step towards overcoming tobacco addiction. Unlike tobacco, smokable hemp products don’t have nicotine, yet they give a fantastic smoking experience. That means CBD cigarettes offer a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking in addition to preventing nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
CBD Consumption Reduces Tobacco Consumption
Researchers believe that there’s a link between cigarette consumption and CBD intake. For instance, in a 2013 study, people addicted to tobacco reduced its consumption by 40% when taking CBD.
In another study, smokers who took CBD experienced a decline in their urge to take cigarettes. During this study, 30 smokers took 800 mg CBD after overnight nicotine abstinence. The dependent smokers reported that they were less motivated to smoke tobacco even after seeing other people smoke. In other words, the participants felt less pressure from not smoking tobacco cigarettes.
However, since the trial involved short smoking abstinence (11 hours), the researchers didn’t find a significant difference in cravings and withdrawal between CBD and placebo treatments.
CBD May Help Reduce Anxiety After Quitting Cigarettes
CBD’s role in helping manage nicotine addiction becomes clear when you consider its many perceived health benefits. One of these benefits is anxiety relief. CBD can help people quit smoking by reducing anxiety, stress, and irritability due to withdrawal.
More specifically, CBD interacts with the central nervous system via over 60 molecular targets. One of these targets helps modulate the GABA receptor to balance the levels of glutamate (excitatory) and gamma-aminobutyric (inhibitory) transmitters.
Low levels of GABA and high glutamate levels are associated with increased feelings of anxiety. CBD modulates the GABA receptor to help maintain equilibrium in your nervous system. In return, you’ll have improved focus, better stress response, and fewer bouts of anxiety.
Additionally, CBD may act on the serotonin receptor (the neurotransmitter responsible for emotions and mood). Low serotonin levels are associated with anxiety and depression, while excess serotonin levels can lead to clumsiness, shivering, and brain tremor.
Of course, CBD doesn’t directly boost your serotonin levels—it interacts with the 5-1HTA serotonin receptors to block serotonin uptake. This way, your brain will use available serotonin more efficiently, leading to the proper functioning of brain cells. In turn, this will relieve your brain of tremors, muscle spasms and lower the likelihood of having anxiety and depression.
Hemp CBD is Legal
Hemp products that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal in the United States. If you are a little familiar with cannabis, you know that THC is the cannabinoid that causes psychoactive effects. This explains why recreational marijuana is illegal in many states while hemp is legal. The best part is that hemp doesn’t cause psychoactive effects and may help manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
That means you don’t have to fear the authorities if you decide to replace cigarettes with hemp. Following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal to farm, distribute, and consume hemp products in most U.S. states. Of course, every state has unique laws regarding CBD use, but you have nothing to fear at the federal level.
Hemp CBD Contains Natural Ingredients
High-quality hemp contains 100% natural ingredients—free of nicotine, tobacco, and chemical additives. As such, you may want to replace tobacco cigarettes with hemp flower smokes. Besides the natural ingredients, hemp cigarettes taste better than tobacco cigarettes.
The best part is that since CBD is a non-toxic active cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, it won’t interfere with your brain function. On the contrary, it may help restore your brain function caused by nicotine consumption over the years. So, by taking help cigarettes instead of tobacco, you introduce your body and mind to more natural ingredients.
Saves You Money
Last but not least, smoking CBD instead of cigarettes might save you money. The truth is you don’t need to consume too much CBD to get long-lasting sedative effects. That means you may realize that you’ve saved a lot of money weeks after replacing tobacco smoking with hemp. This will motivate you to continue consuming CBD and quit cigarettes for good.
Tips on Using CBD to Stop Smoking
Having seen how CBD can help you quit smoking, it’s likely you want to give it a try. That said, here are critical things to remember when using CBD to manage nicotine addiction.
Choose High-Quality CBD Products
The quality of your CBD product will determine your experience with it. The case isn’t different when using CBD to quit smoking. Since the CBD market is highly unregulated, you need to buy your CBD products from reputable brands. That said, here are some important things to consider:
Where Hemp is Grown
Knowing the source of CBD before buying any CBD product is highly important. Like many other plants, the hemp plant absorbs substances available in the soil where it is grown. As a rule of thumb, buy CBD extracted from hemp plants grown in rich, healthy soil.
On the other hand, avoid CBD derived from hemp grown in soil with heavy metals like lead and mercury as it will be unsafe for consumption. You can find information about where the hemp is grown on the manufacturer’s website.
THC is among the cannabidiol in both hemp and marijuana. The maximum legal THC amount in the U.S. is 0.3%. Ask for lab results before buying any CBD product to confirm its THC content.
Third-Party Lab Results
Many reputable CBD brands will be willing to share their-party lab results with their customers. Lab results help confirm that the CBD product is everything it claims. This includes things like low THC content, free of impurities, among other things.
Another important thing to remember when using CBD for tobacco addiction is the dosage. However, since there’s no medical proof that CBD can help with tobacco addiction, there’s no single rule on the CBD dosage.
Besides, various factors such as the potency of your CBD product, body weight, unique body chemistry, metabolism, and the level of addiction and withdrawal symptoms will come into play. That said, it is best to start with a low dosage and increase gradually, depending on your experience. You may also want to talk to your medical practitioner to help establish the proper starting dosage for you.
Is CBD Addictive?
Fortunately, CBD by itself doesn’t appear to be addictive. CBD isn’t psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t produce intoxicating effects. A 2017 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates no evidence that CBD has abuse potential.
That means CBD use won’t change how your brain functions. Furthermore, CBD may help alleviate cravings due to behavioral addiction.
Using CBD to Manage Nicotine Addiction – Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are many ways CBD oil can help you quit smoking and manage nicotine addiction. Although more research is needed to determine how CBD can help with tobacco addiction, it is believed that CBD oil may help control withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, headaches, and insomnia.
However, if you plan to consume CBD instead of cigarettes, ensure to choose high-quality CBD products. Only buy CBD products sourced from organic hemp and remember to ask for third-party lab test results.