CBD To Quit Smoking: Can CBD Oil Kick Nicotine Addition?
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Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Yet, millions of people worldwide still smoke cigarettes—a testament to how addictive and difficult it is to break the habit.
But could CBD oil provide some relief?
There are many anecdotal reports of smokers using tobacco-free hemp cigarettes and CBD oil to help them nick the nicotine addiction and tobacco withdrawal symptoms.
A recent study found that smokers who used a CBD-based inhaler for one week had reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 40 percent compared to those who used a placebo inhaler .
That’s a significant reduction, and it’s especially promising given that CBD has few side effects and a favorable safety profile.
Of course, more research is needed to confirm these findings, but early evidence suggests that CBD oil could be a helpful tool for smokers trying to quit.
If you’re thinking about giving it a try, be sure to talk to your doctor first—and remember, quitting smoking will always be a challenge, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.
In this article, we'll explore the addictive behaviors around nicotine addiction and how CBD may help with cigarette cravings.
CBD is the main active component in hemp plants. It's non-intoxicating and physically non-addictive. Some people have been using CBD products to help them quit smoking, with some promising outcomes.
While research on CBD's effectiveness in smoking cessation is relatively new, it does show promise in reducing cravings and subsiding nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
You can find CBD products in many forms, from CBD oils, capsules, gummies, and smokable products. Tobacco smokers may enjoy reaching for CBD smokables to break the habit of reaching for cigarettes.
CBD is found to be safe and well-tolerated for most people, but it's important that you use high-quality CBD products for safety. Always shop from reputable sources and reference third-party lab tests.
How Does Nicotine Addiction Work?
It's no secret that cigarettes are addictive. But what many smokers don't know is how exactly nicotine addiction works. Before we get into how CBD may help kick the habit, it's helpful to look at the science behind nicotine addiction and how it affects the brain.
Nicotine addiction is one of the hardest habits to break. That's because nicotine is a powerfully addictive substance that changes the brain in subtle ways, making it hard to quit even when you really want to.
When nicotine enters the brain, it sets off a chain of chemical reactions that ultimately lead to feelings of pleasure and relaxation. These feelings are short-lived, however, and smokers quickly develop a tolerance to nicotine's effects, which leads them to smoke more in order to get the same level of satisfaction.
Over time, nicotine addiction can cause lasting changes in the brain, making quitting even harder. For example, chronic exposure to nicotine can increase levels of a chemical called dopamine, which reinforces smoking behavior by providing a sense of pleasure and reward. This is the same reward system that gets high-jacked in drug addiction.
Another reason why cigarette consumption is such a challenging habit to kick is because of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms many people experience when they try to quit.
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms: What Is It?
Nicotine withdrawal is the term used to describe the physical and psychological symptoms that occur when a person quits smoking cigarettes. The severity of the symptoms depends on how long and how much a person has been smoking.
Generally, withdrawal symptoms begin within the first 24 hours after quitting and peak by day three. However, some people may experience withdrawal symptoms for weeks or even months.
Common symptoms include:
Cravings for nicotine
While nicotine withdrawal can be difficult, it is important to remember that the symptoms are temporary and will eventually disappear.
Many resources are available to help you through this process, so don't hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.
Can You Use CBD To Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
For smokers looking to kick the nicotine habit, cannabis products have become popular because they are naturally derived, non-addictive, and have few side effects.
While more research is needed to investigate the efficacy of CBD products, preliminary findings show that the endocannabinoid system may play an important role in supporting physical withdrawal symptoms and the circuit reward system that's hijacked in addiction .
Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a vast network of receptors throughout your body that helps regulate many important functions, from mood and appetite. One of the key ways that it does this is by helping to regulate the release of neurotransmitters, like dopamine, which is involved in the brain's reward system. This is why the ECS is thought to play a role in addictive behaviors, like smoking cigarettes.
Let's have a look at some of the preliminary research surrounding CBD and tobacco addiction.
CBD May Reduce Nicotine Cravings
A new study has found that CBD may be a promising treatment for smoking cessation for its anxiolytic properties and has been shown to modulate drug cue salience.
The study looked at a group of smokers who were given either CBD or a placebo. The participants were then exposed to cigarette cues, and the researchers found that the CBD group was less likely to smoke in response to the cues than those who had received the place .
This suggests that CBD may help reduce the urge to smoke in people trying to quit. The researchers say that further studies are needed to confirm these findings, but the results are promising.
CBD May Alleviate Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Cigarette smoking is notoriously difficult to quit. In fact, according to some estimates, only about 5% of smokers can quit successfully without assistance . Many factors contribute to this low success rate, but nicotine withdrawal is one of the primary addictive drivers of cigarette smoking.
Not only is there the physical nicotine addiction, but there are also the mental and emotional dependencies that make quitting so difficult. According to a recent study, however, CBD may relieve the worst withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for smokers to give up cigarettes.
Smokers who used a CBD inhaler felt less craving for cigarettes and experienced less anxiety and difficulty sleeping than those who didn't use the inhaler .
Is CBD Addictive?
CBD is not physically addictive. This means you don't have to worry about developing a dependence on CBD if you use it regularly.
There's a lot of interest in the medical community on CBD's potential to support opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction with very few minor side effects to worry about .
How Do Nicotine Patches Work?
Nicotine patches and nicotine gum are supposed to help you quit smoking, but they're actually just as addictive as cigarettes. Nicotine increases levels of the chemical dopamine, which leads to feelings of pleasure.
Nicotine patches deliver a slow and steady amount of nicotine to your brain—this way, your body is still getting the nicotine it craves but without the other nasty chemicals found in cigarettes and smoke that damage the lungs.
Over time, the brain becomes accustomed to having high dopamine levels, and it starts to adjust its chemistry to compensate. As a result, people who use nicotine patches can find it difficult to stop because their brains are no longer producing enough dopamine. In other words, they're addicted to the patch because it's providing them with a steady supply of dopamine.
Compared to the potential addiction to nicotine patches, CBD oil or tobacco-free CBD cigarettes seem like a much more desirable option for many.
How People Are Using CBD to Stop Smoking
Most people who use CBD to stop smoking start by buying a CBD vape pen. This is a great option because it means you can get your dose of CBD throughout the day, as needed, rather than reaching for a cigarette.
If you're not a fan of vaping, you can also take CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue). This is a great option if you want to get your CBD but don't want to smoke. Again, it's easy to control your dosage with this method.
However, one of the latest trends is using CBD cigarettes. Unlike regular cigarettes, CBD cigarettes do not contain tobacco, meaning they are tobacco-free. In addition, CBD cigarettes are said to provide a more natural way to consume CBD.
Neurogettes contain pure, organically-grown hemp buds high in CBD rolled into a neat cigarette shape with a robust filter.
While there is no guarantee that CBD cigarettes will help everyone quit smoking, they may be worth a try for those struggling to give up cigarettes.
Shop For High-Quality CBD Products
The CBD industry is still fairly new and unregulated—so while there are a lot of great CBD products out there, there are just as many scams and potentially harmful CBD products.
Shop from a reputable source with plenty of online reviews that provide manufacturing transparency about their products. Always reference the third-party lab reports to ensure the product is hemp-derived, contains the indicated amount of cannabinoids, and is free from contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents.
Use Full Spectrum CBD (Or THC-Free Broad Spectrum CBD)
There's much debate over which is better—full spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate.
CBD is just one of many active compounds found in the hemp plant. Minor cannabinoids and terpenes can help to amplify the effects of CBD towards better endocannabinoid system support than just using CBD alone in a concept called the entourage effect.
Full spectrum CBD oils and natural hemp cigarettes may contain up to 0.3% THC—this isn't enough to produce intoxicating effects. Still, some people may want to avoid THC altogether, which is where broad spectrum CBD may be useful.
Broad spectrum CBD still contains supportive terpenes and cannabinoids but undergoes an extra processing step to remove THC. This isn't available as hemp cigarettes, but Neurogan does offer many CBD oils, capsules, and gummies in THC-free options.
Start With Low Doses Of CBD
Because CBD hasn't been widely studied clinically for tobacco addiction, there aren't any clear guidelines on how much CBD you should use to influence tobacco craving and withdrawal symptoms.
The general guideline for using CBD for the first time is to start low and go slow.
While CBD is found to be generally well-tolerated in most people, it's possible to experience negative side effects such as an upset stomach, drowsiness, and headaches if you take too much at once.
Oral CBD makes it much easier to control the dose than smoking hemp cigarettes. CBD gummies and CBD oil might be a great introduction before vaping cannabis or hemp cigarettes and joints.
The Takeaway: Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
You've probably tried to quit a few times. Maybe you've even succeeded for a while, only to find yourself back at it a few months (or weeks, or days) later. It's tough to kick the habit, but there's one tool that you might not have considered: CBD.
The role of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction is being increasingly acknowledged. And recent research suggests that CBD may help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking. So, CBD may be worth a try if you're looking for a natural way to kick the nicotine habit.
While more research is needed, CBD shows promise as a tool for helping people to quit smoking cigarettes. If you're interested in trying CBD to quit smoking, talk to your doctor first to see if it's right for you.
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