Smoking is undoubtedly a very bad habit and one of the worst addictions you can have. It affects the health of the person smoking and those around them, it costs a lot of money and, socially speaking, it’s becoming less accepted and is starting to become frowned upon. It’s also a vice that can literally cost the addict his or her life.
According to a study published in 2021, most deaths from smoking occur among active smokers (86.69%), while this figure drops to 6.18% for people who have not smoked for 15 years, despite the fact that this group represents 19.6% of the total population of smokers¹. Therefore, quitting smoking has a very positive impact on a person’s health.
Nicotine, besides being one of the most toxic organic compounds in existence, is also one of the most addictive. Quitting smoking is a big challenge, as withdrawal can be very difficult to deal with. However, a new alternative is emerging as a possible option for those who want to do so, CBD.
CBD’s potential to help overcome tobacco addiction
CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another compound in cannabis that produces psychotropic effects and can be addictive, CBD doesn’t produce any kind of “high” and isn’t addictive.
In addition, CBD is a compound that has a number of properties that can help with various issues, such as stress and anxiety². Both are symptoms that occur frequently in people trying to quit smoking, so CBD could help in this regard.
Moreover, because it’s possible to consume CBD by inhalation using vape devices and e-liquids, much like tobacco, it may not only combat addiction, but also the habit of smoking itself.
Tobacco consumption isn’t only a physical addiction, but also a psychological habit that’s difficult to break. Tobacco withdrawal lasts only 24-48 hours on a physical level³, but most smokers need more time to kick the habit that they have become so used to.
Is there scientific evidence to support the use of CBD to help quit smoking?
Although more studies are needed before it can be definitively said that CBD can have positive effects in the treatment of addictions, there’s already promising preliminary evidence and human studies have been carried out.
For example, one such study was carried out by University College London, for which the results were published in 2013. Essentially, an experiment was conducted to compare the effectiveness of vaping CBD versus a placebo to see if CBD helped reduce anxiety caused by withdrawal symptoms.
During the experiment, 12 samples of vape devices with CBD along with 12 samples of placebo vape devices were distributed to a group of regular smokers, who didn’t know what was in each sample. After one week, their contents were revealed and the tobacco consumption of the two groups was compared.
As a result of this scientific research, it was found that smokers who had received CBD inhalers reduced their tobacco consumption by approximately 40%⁴ compared to their usual consumption. CBD could therefore not only be very useful to help people quit smoking, but to cut down on smoking too.
- Reitsma, M. B., Kendrick, P. J., Ababneh, E., Abbafati, C., Abbasi-Kangevari, M., Abdoli, A., … & Gorini, G. (2021). Spatial, temporal, and demographic patterns in prevalence of smoking tobacco use and attributable disease burden in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet, 397(10292), 2337-2360.
- Skelley, J. W., Deas, C. M., Curren, Z., & Ennis, J. (2020). Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 60(1), 253-261.
- Isola, R., Vogelsberg, V., Wemlinger, T. A., Neff, N. H., & Hadjiconstantinou, M. (1999). Nicotine abstinence in the mouse. Brain research, 850(1-2), 189-196.
- Morgan, C. J., Das, R. K., Joye, A., Curran, H. V., & Kamboj, S. K. (2013). Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings. Addictive behaviors, 38(9), 2433-2436.