From reducing anxiety to minimizing chronic pain, cannabidiol (CBD) has been steadily making waves the past few years. The introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill helped to remove hemp off of the controlled substances list. This move meant that CBD derived from hemp is now legal in all 50 US states.
As a result, companies jumped at the chance to create CBD products that users purport to help alleviate an entire host of conditions, symptoms, and ailments, such as neurological disorders, insomnia, allergies, and nausea. Many studies and people also have found that the healing properties of CBD may also protect against heart disease, cancer, epilepsy, and other diseases.
Quitting Smoking Isn’t Easy
Recent clinical studies have shown that CBD has promising results in the effort to help people quit smoking tobacco. Considering that there are an estimated 34.3 million adults in the US who currently smoke cigarettes, and that approximately 16 million Americans suffer from a smoking-related disease, the smoking cessation industry is considerable.
Because of the addictive nature of nicotine, quitting smoking can be a frustrating challenge for many smokers. They may quit but then start again shortly after because the withdrawal symptoms – including weight gain and stress – can become overwhelming. Other symptoms of withdrawal may include increased appetite, irritability, and mental fogginess.
Coupled with the fact that nicotine addiction has been shown to be just as addictive as drugs such a cocaine, heroin, and alcohol, it’s no surprise that smokers are willing to try almost any product or treatment to quit smoking.
Options and Products Used to Quit Smoking
Traditionally, smokers who wish to quit smoking have relied on products called “nicotine replacement therapy” that work to cull their cravings and smoking habit by offering smaller doses of nicotine. Such products include gum, patches, lozenges, pills, and inhalers. The idea is that, over time, the user can have more control over the amount of nicotine through varying dosage amounts and therefore help them reduce their dependence on it.
Some of these products require a prescription and should be used under the guidance of a health care provider.
While smokers may find these products help them successfully quit smoking, they aren’t without potential side effects. General side effects may include nausea, dizziness, skin irritation, heartburn, throat irritation, and depression.
Studies Regarding Smoking and CBD
For those seeking alternative options to help with smoking cessation, cannabidiol (CBD) had become a viable choice. Because CBD works with the Endocannabinoid system to also reduce stress, control appetite, and regulate sleep, it has been shown to be an effective treatment choice.
Additionally, the World World Health Organization has concluded that CBD is not habit-forming, while research has also not found any link between smoking cannabis (including non-THC hemp-derived CBD) and cancer or lung disease.
In this study, those who used CBD for one week were found to have smoked 40% fewer cigarettes than those who received the placebo. Another research study led to findings that CBD users have fewer “intrusive thoughts” about smoking, which gives them a better chance of quitting.
How CBD Works with Smoking Cessation
While there is still more research to be done to better understand how CBD successfully aids in smoking cessation, the preliminary findings point to the fact that hemp-derived CBD helps to reduce stress, calm the nerves, and bring about an overall feeling of relaxation. Because CBD can also reduce inflammation and treat chronic pain, it may also help smokers who smoke as a way to distract them from ailments such as this.
This study showed that a large dose of CBD (800 mg) helped those attempting to quit pay less attention to tobacco around them and to the pleasantness of cigarette cues. However, the study found that CBD did not lessen cravings.
Finally, it’s suggested that smokers may want to try CBD-infused pre-rolls as a way to help them have an experience that resembles the ritual of smoking when a craving hits.
Ways to Use CBD to Quit Smoking
CBD is an appealing choice for many people when it comes to options to quit smoking. Because CBD has little to no side effects and is non-habit forming, it can be a great choice for those who wish to avoid the traditional smoking cessation products or prescriptions.
For purposes of reducing the dependence on nicotine, CBD can be used in a variety of forms. For ease of dosing, some people prefer capsules, edibles, oils, or tinctures. These are all convenient and portable and also discreet. Still, others who feel they may miss the physical or social aspect of holding a cigarette and smoking, vaping or smoking a preroll may be an even more productive option.
Another interesting and useful way to ingest CBD is through teas and other infused beverages. This can be a way to also enjoy CBD socially, as many smokers report that the habit is often a social one for them.
For those who prefer not to ingest CBD, applying it topically through a lotion or balm may be a good choice, although it may not absorb as quickly or effectively into the bloodstream.
If you suffer from a smoking habit, it is always recommended that you consult with your doctor or care provider before attempting any smoking cessation plan.
There is Hope on the Horizon
As more scientific studies are performed on the benefits and effects of CBD, more people will become educated on the therapeutic possibilities and treatment options.
For smokers who wish to quit the habit, CBD can not only be a natural choice but can also work to improve their overall health by strengthening the immune system, promoting relaxation, improving concentration, and preventing symptoms of a number of conditions.
Because smoking is such a tough habit to break and can cause serious health issues and complications, many smokers have found that turning to CBD has been a viable and successful choice for smoking cessation.