The benefits of CBD are becoming more well known and widespread as the industry continues to grow. To add to that list of benefits, recently, CBD has been making big headlines in research journals for its ability to help with tobacco addiction.
How Does Nicotine Addiction Work?
Understanding nicotine addiction is paramount in order to dive deeper into the possibilities of CBD usage helping to alleviate the dependence on the substance. According to Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, nicotine releases a chemical called dopamine in the same regions of the brain as other addictive drugs. It causes mood-altering changes that make the person temporarily feel good. Inhaled smoke delivers nicotine to the brain within 20 seconds, which makes it very addictive — comparable to opioids, alcohol, and cocaine. This “rush” is a major part of the addictive process.
When someone stops using tobacco, nicotine levels in the brain drop. This change triggers processes that contribute to the cycle of cravings and urges that maintains addiction. Long-term changes in the brain caused by continued nicotine exposure result in nicotine dependence, and attempts to stop cause withdrawal symptoms that are relieved with renewed tobacco use.
Studies Show Promising Results for CBD & Nicotine Addiction
The physical addiction combined with the behavioral addiction of someone being used to smoking cigarettes for a certain amount of time can make it increasingly difficult to quit. Studies such as Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction show that CBD helps with cravings as well as withdrawal symptoms that make it so easy to slip back into the habit.
Another study by researchers at the University College of London indicated that CBD could act as a deterrent against smoking. This 2013 pilot study took place over a week, and it tested the potential effect of CBD on 24 dependent smokers by dividing them into two groups. Twelve were provided with a CBD inhaler, and 12 were provided with a placebo inhaler, and the participants were told to use the inhalers whenever they had the desire to smoke. The results were very encouraging: participants that made use of the CBD inhalers smoked 40 percent fewer cigarettes than they usually did per week — a drastic contrast to those who made use of the placebo inhalers.
Another recent study (conducted specifically on cocaine and morphine addiction) also displays “therapeutic potential” for CBD breaking the cycle of other kinds of addictive behavior. While further research still needs to be done on the topic, these studies show promising results for CBD being able to help cigarette smokers quit.
How CBD Can Help Break Nicotine Addiction
According to CFAH, CBD has a versatile therapeutic profile. Consumers use it to relieve a wide range of conditions and symptoms, including pain, muscle spasms, tremors, seizures, sleeplessness, autoimmune conditions, neurodegeneration and dementia, and more. Recently, CBD has garnered the attention of psychiatrists and addiction experts for its potential in dealing with tobacco addiction. CFAH also explains the different effects of CBD that can help break nicotine addiction:
1. CBD Alleviates Withdrawal Symptoms After Quitting Cigarettes
Physical addiction to tobacco reaches far beyond the urge for another cigarette. Withdrawal symptoms develop within a few days and involve irritability, anxiety, difficulty falling asleep, high blood pressure, headaches, and depression. CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), which maintains homeostasis throughout the body.
CBD is a potent inhibitor of FAAH — an enzyme that breaks down the body’s natural endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain (CB1) that can influence mood, pain, sleep, and reward regions in the brain. Supplementing CBD oil helps users maintain a sufficient level of their own cannabinoids and thus reduces the dysfunction of the aforementioned processes.
2. CBD Curbs Tobacco Cravings
A 2018 study that came out of the UK in May 2018 investigated the potential benefits of CBD on smoking-related behavior. This double-blind, randomized study included a sample of 30 addicted smokers and found that a single 800 mg dose of CBD could help to reduce the “pleasantness” of images associated with smoking cigarettes compared to the placebo group, especially for the participants who only went through one day of cessation for the study.
3. CBD Eases Anxiety After Quitting Cigarettes
On top of regulating the ECS, CBD uses over 60 molecular targets to interact with the body, which explains its therapeutic versatility. High levels of glutamate and low levels of GABA are associated with the hyperactivity of the brain and increased feelings of anxiety. By modulating the GABA receptor, CBD helps to maintain equilibrium in the nervous system, preventing bouts of anxiety, improving stress response, and enhancing focus.
4. CBD Reduces Cigarette Consumption
The same 2013 study that examined smokers taking an inhaler with either CBD or a placebo vaping cartridge, with the results showing a 40 percent reduction in cigarette consumption, had the authors conclude that this effect could be attributed to CBD’s indirect interactions with CB1 receptors. Not only does CBD increase the natural level of anandamide — one of the two major endocannabinoids known as “the bliss molecule,” but it can also mitigate the boosting properties of nicotine.
Helping the Smoking Community One Product at a Time
No matter what type of CBD consumers are ingesting, research continues to show that it can help smokers reduce their reliance on cigarettes. One company, TAAT Global Alternatives, is using CBD to provide nicotine and tobacco-free smoking alternatives to help smokers quit the addictive tobacco products.
Using hemp as the main ingredient, they produce 100% plant-based pre-rolls made with a proprietary patented blend that resembles the taste of cigarettes. For consumers who want to quit smoking, but miss the taste and smell of real cigarettes, this is a great alternative that can help them quit the real tobacco.
There is quite a lot of evidence that shows how successful CBD can be in helping cigarette smokers quit their addiction. Show some of these studies to your customers who are looking for an alternative to nicotine patches or special diets.