The US Surgeon General has said, “Smoking cessation [quit smoking] represents the single most important step that smokers can take to enhance the length and quality of their lives.” New research shows that vaping or smoking CBD may help smokers quit.
CBD May Help People Quit Smoking
Smoking causes major health problems for individuals and the public. Quitting smoking has proven long-term health benefits. Giving up smoking can extend life expectancy by up to a decade. But quitting smoking is hard. A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, reported that about half of all smokers try to quit in any given year. Only 6% will succeed in quitting smoking. Tobacco addiction is the one of the most severe forms of addiction with the lowest quitting rates.
The good news is that CBD may help. A recent scientific review of 14 research studies suggests that CBD may help people quit smoking as well as reduce the negative effects of quitting other drugs.
CBD Eases Nicotine Cravings
One study in this review showed that CBD may reduce nicotine cravings. Researcher took a group of smokers who wished to stop smoking. They then instructed the smokers to vape CBD oil whenever they felt the urge to smoke. It turns out that those that vaped CBD smoked 40% fewer cigarettes during the week of treatment. The trend in the data showed that smoking would continue to decline with CBD use. The data collected shows how “CBD may be effective in reducing cigarette use in tobacco smokers”
The researchers believe that there is “reason to be optimistic about the potential of [CBD] vaporizers.” Vaping CBD could reduce tobacco use/dependence worldwide.
The mere fact that CBD can reduce cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers is revolutionary. Use of hemp and CBD alternatives to cigarettes could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Vaping CBD may become an important addiction treatment as it becomes more common, safe and available. The authors believe that CBD may be so effective “in the future, the next generation of cannabis users might never be exposed to nicotine or tobacco in the first place.”
Quit Smoking by Reducing Anxiety
The researchers noted that CBD reduced some symptoms associated with nicotine addiction by activating the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of the receptors in our nerves that bind with CBD, THC, and anandimide. This system has been found to play a big role in anxiety, mood-related symptoms, pain, and insomnia. A 2019 survey of scientific research shows that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in common brain and body processes behind substance use disorder, in particular by dampening the payoff of taking addictive substances.
Researchers have found that, cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids have the potential to reduce craving and relapse in when people are quitting smoking. CBD helps by reducing the memory of drug rewards, and reducing how much effect cravings have on the brain. Using CBD can also reduce the effects of drugs that that lead to addiction.
Vaping CBD works by activating the endocannabinoid system. Researchers also found that the endocannabinoid system has “intense interactions” other target neurotransmitter systems that are involved in addiction. The report found that “CBD has been associated with many neural circuits involved in the acquisition of addiction and subsequent drugseeking behaviors.” This makes it a promising treatment for many sorts of addiction.
These findings add to “a growing literature that highlights the importance of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction.” The study suggests that CBD plays a role in reducing attention on cues that trigger people to smoke such as feelings of anxiety. The research reported that tobacco craving fell at the same time as did the smoker’s anxiety levels.
All of these findings should be great news for those that struggle with quitting smoking and reducing anxiety. If you smoke, take the time to learn more about how vaping could help you quit or reduce your intake.