Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death in the world today. Yet, over 8 million people die each year from smoking.
According to a 2015 survey, about 70% of adult smokers in the US wanted to quit smoking, but conventional methods only have a success rate of around 7%.
Exciting new research suggests CBD may offer a unique solution to helping users quit this destructive habit.
Learn how users are kicking their habit with the help of CBD and what CBD products work best.
Can CBD Help Me Quit Smoking? The Rundown
It is pervasive that smokers, who want to quit, cannot do so as they become addicted to the nicotine present in cigarettes, sometimes from a very young age.
Researchers and scientists have introduced many conventional smoking cessation treatments such as nicotine gums, patches, and medication such as Varenicline to help combat smoking.
Unfortunately, most of these products yielded poor results in regards to long-term abstinence from smoking.
Here’s a breakdown of how consuming CBD oil can be a viable way of quitting smoking:
A) CBD Vapes Can Help Users Transition Away From Tobacco
Part of the addictive qualities of smoking involves the very act of smoking. Many people find smoking to be a habit. By switching to hemp products like vapes or hemp cigarettes, users can still get the experience of smoking tobacco without actually smoking tobacco.
Many smokers prefer CBD vapes because they can be used to substitute for nicotine while giving the same experience as smoking a cigarette.
Additionally, since CBD is a compound that is not addictive, it will be substantially much easier to quit smoking or vaping hemp in the future than it is to quit tobacco because of the nicotine present in cigarettes. This is the same concept used to combat opiate addiction when people switch to Kratom from pharmaceutical opiates. Kratom can then be quit much more easily.
B) CBD May Curb Cravings For Nicotine
The latest research and scientific evidence has proved that CBD oil modifies the circuits in the brain related not only to relieve chronic pain and diseases but also to drug addictions. CBD’s ability to influence drug-seeking behaviors stems directly from the ability to interact with the neural systems that cause these behaviors.
Past research has shown that nicotine is known to cause an elevation in extracellular levels of dopamine – the chemical in the body that fuels the body’s drug-seeking behaviors and provides a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.
An increasing amount of research has shown that CBD affects dopamine levels which tends to reduce smokers’ addictive behaviors. A study by Scherma et al. showed that CBD tends to boost levels of an endocannabinoid called anandamide, which can increase levels of dopamine in our body. This eliminates the need for nicotine.
This shows that CBD may be an effective, practical, and natural smoking cessation treatment with little to no side effects of consumption.
C) CBD May Help Alleviate Withdrawal Symptoms from Nicotine
CBD is non-addictive and is known to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and provide pain relief by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system. All of these are symptoms associated with withdrawal after someone gives up smoking. Preventing withdrawal symptoms is the biggest challenge in the treatment of tobacco addiction.
Evidence has increasingly mounted, proving that CBD oil is the key to managing these symptoms and successfully ending your smoking habits.
Although research is ongoing, CBD oil has already shown a lot of potential in easing tobacco withdrawal symptoms. This is possible through its safe and profound therapeutic effects and its ability to produce specific neurocognitive effects that target different processes in nicotine addiction.
What Does Research Have To Say About CBD For Quitting Smoking?
Over time, CBD oil has gained traction in the health and wellness sector for its numerous health benefits, especially helping smokers quit smoking.
Controversy still exists around the use of CBD oil due to recreational marijuana use and substance abuse, but awareness about the possible health benefits of CBD oil and its use as an effective smoking cessation solution is increasing.
Study #1: CBD for Nicotine Withdrawal
A 2018 study investigated the effects of CBD on nicotine withdrawal where thirty nicotine-dependent smokers were given 800 mg of CBD or a placebo after overnight tobacco abstinence. Following this, each participant was shown several different pictorial tobacco cues such as drinking or smoking, and their tobacco cravings and withdrawal symptoms were examined.
The study’s findings revealed that the smokers who were administered 800 mg of CBD showed a reduced salience in cigarette cues compared to the group that was administered the placebo.
The study highlighted the potential role of CBD in reducing the salience of drug cues and a possible treatment option for people trying to quit smoking.
Study #2: CBD & Cigarette Consumption
Another randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study by Celia J.A. Morgan et al. investigated the effects of Cannabidiol consumption in reducing cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers.
The study consisted of twenty-four smokers, half of whom received a CBD inhaler and the other half received a placebo inhaler. The participants of the week-long study were instructed to use the inhaler every time they felt the urge to smoke.
The study’s findings showed that the smokers treated with CBD reduced the number of cigarettes they consumed by about 40 percent, while the placebo group showed almost no difference in the number of cigarettes smoked.
The results of this study, combined with previous knowledge about the effects of CBD and its possible clinical benefits, found CBD to be a potentially viable treatment option for nicotine addiction.
How Does CBD Oil Help Combat Nicotine Addiction?
The use of CBD oil to fight nicotine addiction is still a relatively novel concept and requires more research. However, several types of studies have made significant strides in exploring the effects of CBD on the body and how long it stays in the system that leads to the possible benefits it has to offer.
One outlined a theory that highlighted a plausible reason as to why CBD aids smokers to reduce their cigarette intake and helps them quit smoking. The theory suggested that CBD acts as a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 receptors in the nerve cells in the spinal cord and the brain. This causes a reduction in the boosting properties of nicotine and helps with pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal.
Another mechanism brought forward by recent research has shown that the neurochemical effects of nicotine in rats significantly reduced the inhibition of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which is responsible for the breakdown of anandamide (AEA). Elevated AEA levels contributed to the effects brought about by CBD consumption on the body.
While significant strides in research on the effects of CBD have been made, the investigation of the science behind the therapeutic effects of CBD is still relatively inconclusive.
We have yet to fully comprehend how CBD acts on the neurochemical level to combat addiction. However, several anecdotal reports from different consumers of CBD oil have shown significant promise for the use of CBD oil in helping people withdraw from smoking cigarettes.
How to Use CBD for Quitting Smoking
Now that you know about the therapeutic effects of CBD, it’s time to learn how you can consume CBD. Fortunately, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing how you can consume CBD.
Here is a breakdown of the most common ways you can consume CBD, with the pros and cons of each method.
A) CBD Oil Tinctures
CBD oil tinctures are one of the safest ways of consuming CBD.
You can take CBD oil tinctures and apply them sublingually directly under your tongue. Since the sublingual area of your mouth is rich in capillaries, administration of CBD in this area allows the compound to reach your bloodstream much quicker, thus, creating a more rapid response.
We recommend that you start by taking one drop of the oil 3 times a day and incrementally increase the dose later on.
- Cheap and readily available
- More discrete
- Enters the bloodstream much faster and has a quicker effect on the body
- It doesn’t satisfy the act of smoking like a vape or hemp cigarette
- Difficult to gauge dose
B) CBD Vapes
The most common way of taking CBD is by vaporizing CBD oil in vape. Vapes are easy to use and produce very little smoke.
Additionally, when inhaled, it allows the CBD to enter the lungs, where it goes into the bloodstream.
Many smokers move from smoking to vaping CBD oil because of the reduced health risks, convenience, and ease of use.
However, it is important to note that vaping is still not considered entirely safe as it can harm your lungs and possible chronic lung problems such as emphysema.
Moreover, vaping is a relatively new invention, the long-term safety of which is still unknown.
- Reaches bloodstream faster
- Easy to use
- Produce little smoke
- May cause allergic reactions
- Possible long-term health effects
C) CBD Cigarettes & Pre-Rolls
Out of all the ways you can imagine using CBD, smoking CBD cigarettes and pre-rolls is probably the fastest delivery route, which means that CBD can be felt almost instantaneously.
Unfortunately, smoking CBD cigarettes and pre-rolls is not recommended if you have a pre-existing lung condition. In this case, we would recommend consuming CBD using oil tinctures or capsules.
- Provides the highest concentration of CBD
- The fastest method to deliver CBD to the bloodstream
- Negatively affects the health of your lungs and throat
- Not suitable for people with pre-existing lung conditions
- High concentrations might not be suitable for people who don’t need it
D) CBD Patches
CBD patches serve as an excellent way to consume CBD that can provide pain relief and solve skin problems for numerous people.
CBD patches use transdermal delivery to provide your body with the necessary dose of CBD in such a way that you can consume it for hours without having to do anything. You don’t have to remember to take a pill or smoke a vape. You can apply the patch and leave it on for hours.
Some CBD patches can be applied for only a few hours, while some can last for a whole 24 hours.
- Easy to use
- Can help reduce swelling, pain, and skin problems
- Cheap and easily available
- A steady means of consuming CBD for hours
- Patch might irritate your skin
- Does not enter the bloodstream quickly
- The effects are not as long-lasting as other means of consumption
E) CBD Capsules
CBD Capsules or softgels offer a convenient way of consuming CBD that goes through your digestive system. The capsule may also contain other ingredients to complement the effects of CBD.
Unfortunately, the absorption rate of CBD via capsules is the slowest amongst all the methods. While going through the digestive system, the CBD in the capsule loses some of its potency and takes around 30-90 minutes to produce its effects.
In addition to a capsule, CBD oil can be baked into cookies and brownies and infused in different candies and chocolate bars, depending on what you like. CBD oil can be also be added to your teas, smoothies, coffee, salad dressings, and other food items.
However, ingesting CBD oil orally means that it has to travel through the GI tract before going to the liver, where it is metabolized. This can take time, which is not ideal for curing your nicotine habits since the nicotine cravings demand immediate gratification.
- Cheap and readily available
- Gives an idea of the exact dose that you are consuming
- CBD goes through the digestive system and loses some of its potency
- Effects take at least a few hours to kick in
There’s an overwhelming number of options for you to choose from, such as tinctures and cannabis-infused chocolates. However, before deciding to consume CBD oil, it is important that you first consult with your physician in case you are on any medication since there is a chance that it can interfere with them.
What’s The Dose of CBD for Quitting Smoking?
There is no ‘perfect’ CBD dosage to take.
The amount of CBD oil that you take depends on multiple factors, including your metabolism, weight, age, gender, and the intensity of the cigarette withdrawal symptoms you experience. The dosage differs from person to person.
We recommend that you start by taking 12-15 mg of CBD each day in three different doses and observe the effect of this dose on your body. If this dose works for you, you can incrementally increase your dosage with time. Remember to always stay below 70 mg of daily CBD oil consumption.
Consult with a practitioner before taking an initial dose, and then slowly increase your dosage from there. Your physician will be able to better guide you on how much CBD oil you should take.
How to Assess CBD Products for Quality Before You Buy
It is important that you strictly consume high-quality CBD products purchased from reliable and reputable brands, or it may not work at all.
Remember to check the THC content of each product, including tinctures and vape oils. The THC content should not be above 0.3%.
It is also of paramount importance that you choose certified products that meet the US hemp cultivation standards. Brands that entrust third-party sources to conduct their lab tests should also be prioritized since they can be better trusted.
What are the Health Risks of Smoking?
Different researchers have repeatedly proven that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, and more.
1. Smoking Damages the Lungs
Smoke significantly amplifies your risk of developing these ailments and causes irreversible damage to your lungs and overall health. Around 70% of all lung cancers are caused due to smoking.
2. Smoking Causes Cancer
Smoking is mainly responsible for lung cancers but can also cause cancer in the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, bowel, cervix, liver, kidney, pancreas, and stomach.
3. Smoking is Harmful to Others Too
Breathing in second-hand smoke, also known as passive smoking, enhances the risk of acquiring acute respiratory infections and middle ear disease. This has a probability of leading to the same illnesses as first-hand smokers.
Second-hand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among non-smoking adults every year.
Inhaling cigarette smoke puts our vital organs under a lot of stress because of the heat pulled in with the smoke. Ultimately, these organs face irreparable cumulative damage and may not function properly, leading to more serious chronic health issues.
CBD Oil To Quit Smoking: Key Takeaways
Smoking is a direct threat to our lives, which is why so many smokers wish to quit. However, due to their addiction, they stop trying or struggle with it. Many smokers don’t quit smoking on the first try and need several attempts before they can succeed.
While nicotine replacement therapies can help smokers reduce their cigarette intake, they fail to help smokers quit smoking entirely. CBD oil can serve as a viable solution for smokers trying to fight their nicotine addiction.
With minimal side effects, CBD oil helps smokers deal with their withdrawal symptoms and ignore cigarette cues. For smokers looking to end their addiction, CBD oil may be the key to breaking the suffocating chains of their addiction and living a better life. Make sure to consult a physician first before trying out any CBD oil product to get the best results possible.
- Health Effects of Tobacco Use. 08.10.2021. What It’s Like to Quit Smoking. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. fda.gov. 
- Hindocha, C., Freeman, T. P., Grabski, M., Stroud, J. B., Crudgington, H., Davies, A. C., … & Curran, H. V. (2018). Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal. Addiction, 113(9), 1696-1705. 
- 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. 
- Scherma, M., Masia, P., Satta, V., Fratta, W., Fadda, P., & Tanda, G. (2019). The brain activity of anandamide: a rewarding bliss?. Acta pharmacological Sinica, 40(3), 309–323. 
- National Health Service. Common health questions. 2018. What are the health risks of smoking? nhs.uk