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CBD for Smoking Cessation: Crush the Habit Easily- for Good!

Written by Della O’Brian

If you have ever been a smoker, you know how irritating it can be to quit. Smoking cessation symptoms range from irritability to nausea and headache. Additionally, the smoker’s family, friends, and colleagues can attest to the monster-like aggression many smokers exhibit when quitting. And even using the most competent smoking cessation drug is not always enough to prevent the patient from relapsing, and there can be devastating side effects. [2] Is there a solution?

After all, it’s no secret that cigarettes are bad for your health and the health of those exposed to your smoking. According to the CDC, about one in five deaths in the United States each year are directly caused by cigarette smoking. [2] CBD could minimize the side effects you experience from quitting smoking so you can reverse the damage your body has received from smoking.

 

What makes CBD ideal for smoking cessation?

CBD’s lack of intoxication and its anxiolytic effects make it perfect for smoking cessation. The anxiolytic effects are auspicious since anxiety is a primary symptom of tobacco withdrawal. [2]

Neuroimaging and human experimental research suggest that CBD could decrease the salience of smoking cues. While in naturalistic research, cannabis with high levels of CBD decreased cue salience to stimuli. [4] Other studies confirm the phenomenon, which researchers observed more when smokers were exposed to stimulus for shorter periods. Thus, indicating that CBD targets automatic bias, opposed to attention bias within conscious cognitive control. The finding suggests that CBD targets a critical implicit process related to relapse. [2]

The first study to investigate CBD for nicotine cessation occurred over one week. Participants were either supplied with a placebo or a CBD inhaler to use when they felt like smoking. As a result, the participants who used CBD smoked 40% less than the placebo group. [3]

During acute abstinence, attentional bias skyrockets. In a study by Hindocha et al., CBD reduced smokers’ attentional bias towards cigarettes. Research shows that those who use CBD during smoking cessation experience less explicit pleasantness when viewing cigarette images than those using the placebo. [2] Moreover, attentional bias predicts short-term relapse and could cause addiction.

The key takeaway is that CBD is ideal for smoking cessation due to its anxiolytic effects, relief from attentional bias towards cigarettes, and absence of intoxication.

 

References

1- 2014 surgeon general’s report: The Health Consequences of smoking-50 years of progress. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-anniversary/index.htm. Published May 21, 2021. Accessed January 26, 2022.

2- Hindocha C, Freeman TP, Grabski M, et al. Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal [published online ahead of print, 2018 May 1]. Addiction. 2018;113(9):1696-1705. doi:10.1111/add.14243

3- Morgan CJA, Das RK, Joye A, Curran HV, Kamboj SK. Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: Preliminary findings. Addictive behaviors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330. Published September 2013. Accessed January 26, 2022.

4- Morgan CJA, Freeman TP, Schafer GL, Curran HV. Cannabidiol attenuates the appetitive effects of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in humans smoking their chosen cannabis. Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2906701/. Published August 2010. Accessed January 26, 2022.

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Della O’Brian

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