Everything You Need to Know About CBD and Quitting Smoking
Posted on August 27th, 2020
Every year, it is estimated that tobacco smoking leads to the deaths of more than eight million people across the world. This number includes both smokers and non-smokers who are affected by third party smoke. It may seem surprising that smokers continue this habit knowing its dangerous nature. However, smoking is largely addictive and can be hard to break.
Smokers who decide to quit smoking on the other hand do not have it easy. Strong and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms make it very hard for those trying to quit achieve long-lived success.
Research suggests that CBD oil may be helpful to those quitting smoking. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, may ease the stress and symptoms of anxiety associated with the withdrawal symptoms from the cessation of smoking; great news for cigarette smokers looking to kick this habit, and lead healthier lives.
Read on below to find out more about CBD and how it may be used to help smokers quit this habit for good.
How Addictions Develop
To understand why it is so hard for smokers to quit smoking you need to first understand how a nicotine addiction develops.
In the short term, smoking produces a positive feeling in the user’s body. Every time you inhale cigarette smoke, the nicotine molecules therein travel to the brain via the bloodstream. As these molecules cross the blood-brain barrier, they interact with various receptors leading to the release of dopamine; a fairly strong neurotransmitter that is involved in the reward pathways of the brain.
Simply put, the inhalation of cigarette smoke leads to the release of mood-inducing hormones. These hormones are responsible for providing a feeling of reduced stress or pressure.
Over time, a strong habit is formed. This happens as the brain correlates smoking with the resultant release of dopamine, a neurochemical reward. The neurotransmission involved in self-control and stress shifts over time as this reward pathway is triggered over and over again when smoking.
It is worth mentioning that the body of a smoker, including the brain, is not actually addicted to nicotine. But rather, the neurochemical reward triggered by its consumption.
At this point, it is clear to see just how deeply the brain’s reward chemistry is involved in people with a tobacco addiction. This is part of the reason why some smokers find it so hard to quit smoking.
Ways of Quitting Cigarette Smoking
It is true that most smokers find it hard to successfully quit smoking. However, some have actually done it by avoiding their nicotine fix and braving through a period of cold turkey.
However, for those who struggle with shaking the habit, there are a number of ways they can use to wean themselves off tobacco. Nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gum, and even vaping are some of the main options available. These may help smokers looking to gradually reduce their overreliance on cigarette smoking through nicotine replacement therapy.
In this approach, smokers get their nicotine fix, though at a reduced level, from sources other than tobacco cigarettes. This helps them reduce their overreliance on nicotine. It also helps them avoid the act of smoking, which is considered to be carcinogenic.
While this approach does have its advantages, it also means that the brain continues to get its nicotine fix. However, the nicotine consumption is at a lower volume, for longer. This means that smokers trying to quit may find it harder to get over their addiction to nicotine further down the line.
Whenever such a person goes without their nicotine fix for longer than normal, they are likely to experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, depression, weight gain, headaches, and sore throat among others.
Adding to it, such individuals are more likely to succumb to their nicotine cravings whenever they engage in an activity that reminds them of smoking.
So, is there a way for smokers to quit smoking without having to brave through the negative effects of nicotine withdrawal? Well, according to research findings, CBD oil may help those trying to quit achieve their goals, without the negative effects. If you are wondering how this happens, continue reading below.
Studies Investigating CBD and Quitting Tobacco Smoking
In recent years CBD has also emerged as another product that may be used to help cigarette smokers achieve their goal of quitting. CBD is an active compound found in the cannabis plant. This compound is typically extracted from industrial hemp plants. Some of the main uses of CBD may include helping relieve inflammation, insomnia, and symptoms of anxiety, among others. This active ingredient normally produces its positive effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
According to research findings, CBD might also help smokers quit by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
One study published in the journal of Addictive Behaviors found that CBD helped smokers reduce their consumption of cigarettes by a significant margin over the course of a week. It was also observed that drugs that interact with the ECS could be effective at helping smokers overcome their overreliance on nicotine.
In this study, a group of 24 smokers with the desire to quit smoking were involved in a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot. The group was then divided into two, each with an equal number of members. Members of one group were given inhalers with a placebo while the other group was given a CBD inhaler. The instructions were for each member to use their inhaler whenever they craved a cigarette.
After a week, members of the group using the CBD inhalers reported a 40 percent decrease in cigarette consumption. Furthermore, the smokers that had used the CBD inhaler also reported that this effect was maintained, even after the conclusion of the study, during a subsequent follow-up.
Researchers conducting the study observed that CBD may hold promise when it comes to helping smokers get over their addiction to nicotine. However, these findings also demonstrated the need for further studies on the effects of CBD on cigarette smokers.
How to Use CBD
There are a number of reasons why CBD may be seen as a better option, over the existing options, when it comes to helping smokers quit this dangerous habit. For starters, CBD is generally considered safe and has little to minimal side effects on users. Furthermore, since legal CBD products have a low concentration of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, they do not have the same psychoactive effects of marijuana upon use.
When it comes to helping smokers overcome their nicotine addiction much more effectively, CBD may show promise. However, those looking to use this product to quit smoking should first consult their physician before using CBD as it may interact with some medications.
CBD can be consumed in a variety of ways. One way is through a CBD oil tincture. Here, CBD oil is packed in a dropper bottle and can be introduced into the body sublingually by dropping a few drops under the tongue. Some may find the taste of CBD oil to be overwhelming. If that’s the case, you can look to alternative products like CBD water solubles. These can be incorporated into beverages such as juices, teas, and smoothies.
For smokers that would like to mimic the smoking action, vaping may be an option. Vaping actually feels like smoking, given the inhalation and exhalation actions involved. CBD oil e-liquids and extracts are a way to introduce this natural substance into the body through the lungs. However, there are reports of lung-related illnesses as a result of vaping, so we advise speaking with your doctor first.
CBD isolates and or extracts like CBD butter can also be added to different dishes for consumption as edibles.
Quality CBD Products
It is important that you only buy and consume quality CBD products. This ensures that you get the full effects that you are seeking. Look for high-quality products from reputable companies, like Tanasi. Our products are lab tested by a third party for quality assurance purposes. As such, you can be sure that you are getting high-quality CBD that has the full spectrum of cannabinoids with a low THC content, below 0.3 percent. While CBD is federally legal, be sure to check with state and local laws as they may vary.
Smoking is a dangerous habit that can result in harmful illnesses and may even lead to death. People looking to quit smoking usually have a hard time getting over this habit due to their overreliance on nicotine. While nicotine replacement therapies can help smokers reduce their consumption of cigarettes, it continues to feed nicotine to the brain. And this is what maintains the addiction to this substance.
CBD, which has little to no side effects, may help users reduce cigarette consumption. And, CBD’s interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system might also help with a nicotine addiction.
To ensure that you get the desired results, be sure to consult your physician before you start using CBD products.