Science is finding that CBD reduces cravings for alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine and heroin.
Speaking personally, I have used CBD to stop smoking cigarettes and putting tobacco in my joints, as well as dramatically lowering my use of THC-rich cannabis.
Based on the exciting new research, which I will talk about in this article, along with my own experiences and more than a handful of anecdotal evidence, CBD (and cannabis in general, for that matter) is going to become a hugely valuable tool in the battles against addiction and mental health in the coming years.
It’s not a cure. It’s a tool. And a tool can only do so much. But what it can do – reduce cravings, lessen withdrawal effects, promote calm, etc – can make an ingrained habit that much easier to change… for good.
What is CBD?
To start with, just in case you don’t know, CBD is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant.
While it doesn’t get you high, it does have a wide-ranging therapeutic effect. Especially with people with some sort of discomfort, disease or medical condition.
How can CBD help me quit smoking?
Research has found CBD to be effective at reducing anxiety, a potent anti-inflammatory, and a neuroprotectant (protects the brain). These effects make CBD useful in the treatment of anxiety and mental health conditions, insomnia, diabetes, acne, Alzheimer’s and addiction. There is also some evidence suggesting it can relieve chronic pain and even kill cancer cells.
– CBD can reduce cigarette cravings
It seems that, by interacting with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system – a bodily system that is in every mammal – CBD has the ability to alter the attention bias of the brain. That means it can help you to ignore things that previously were impossible to ignore, like cravings and habitual thinking patterns.
Take this study, for example, which gave a group of smokers an inhaler that administered doses of CBD. They were told to take a puff anytime they fancied a cigarette. The researchers didn’t tell the participants to not have a cigarette, just to have a dose of CBD first via the inhaler. Another group were given a`placebo.
Remarkably, the subjects given CBD lowered the amount of cigarettes they smoked by 40% during the study and had reduced cravings for nicotine! 40%, and that’s not even trying.
– CBD can relieve withdrawal symptoms
As CBD can boost mood, relieve stress and reduce inflammation all at once, it makes a promising treatment for people going through withdrawal from any substance or behaviour. This review published in Neurotherapeutics found that CBD reduced some symptoms associated with substance use disorders including anxiety, unstable mood, pain, and insomnia.
Rather than tobacco, however, the subjects in the study were abstaining from opioids, which are notoriously hard to get off. The withdrawal effects from nicotine should be far less severe and CBD should help make them very manageable.
– You can smoke CBD
Although it is probably unhealthy to smoke any substance, CBD can be smoked in the form of hemp of CBD-rich cannabis flower. If you’re in the UK, you can buy CBD flower (or hemp, as it has very tiny amounts of THC) here.
This is stuff I used to give up smoking tobacco. I would just roll cigarettes of hemp as well as using it as a tobacco replacement in my joints. It honestly made giving up tobacco a doddle.
You can also vape CBD flower or a CBD e-liquid. This way you avoid the toxic chemicals that combustion produces.
What CBD products are best for quitting smoking?
This is currently available to buy in the UK as it is technically classed as hemp. And hemp is legal to grow and make products out of. It also has almost no THC, which is the compound in cannabis that gets you high.
It’s basically cannabis (or weed) with significant levels of CBD that doesn’t get you high or stoned in any way. And it’s actually a very effective way of administering CBD, especially as it;s combined with other beneficial compounds present in cannabis, like terpenes and flavonoids.
Dry herb vape
You can use a dry herb vaporiser to vape CBD flower or hemp flower. Dry herb vapes are little devices that heat up your hemp until its essential oils are vaporised and can be inhaled.
Here’s some more info about dry herb vapes and where to buy one.
You can also use CBD eliquid – either in your own e-cigarette or vape unit or you can buy disposable CBD vape pens prefilled with it.
These disposable pens come ready charged and can be puffed on just like a cigarette, which makes them especially valuable if you’re trying to kick the habit of smoking cigarettes.
CBD and flower and e-liquid are handy because they give you a new ritual to replace smoking. CBD oil, on the other hand, may be less rewarding psychologically but will still offer the same effects, just a little less immediate after consumption.
You can buy CBD oil here.
We all know the dangers of smoking tobacco. We all know it’s time to stop. While this has been difficult in the past, CBD makes it so much more realistic.
It can reduce your cravings for tobacco, it can make the withdrawal effects much easier to deal with, and in the form of hemp flower it can even replace your tobacco in cigarettes or joints.