Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking

Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking? Exploring the Potential Benefits and Risks

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Can CBD help you quit smoking nicotine?

It doesn't matter if it's you who finally had enough of smoking and decided to turn your life around or the loved ones who are pushing you to drop this habit, it doesn't make quitting any easier for you. Putting an end to smoking is NOT easy, and that's why people are ready to spend money, and time looking for a miracle that will help them stop quickly. Patches, chewing gums, hypnosis, Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking, there are so many different mental and physical methods to try to help people quit smoking, but have you heard that CBD can help you quit smoking?

Over the last couple of months, we started seeing more and more articles about people using CBD to quit smoking. Therefore, Reakiro has decided to investigate further. Is it a complete myth or can CBD help you quit smoking?

Health benefits of quitting smoking

Before diving into the belief of CBD helping smokers to quit, let's look at a couple of reasons why you should consider stopping smoking cigarettes.

  1. Reduced Risk of Cancer: They do write "Smoking Kills" on those cigarette packs and it's true. Smoking is the leading cause of various types of cancer (including lung, throat, mouth, oesophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas and others). So quitting smoking lowers the risk of developing these cancers.
  2. Improved Cardiovascular Health: The risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease is exceptionally high among those who smoke on a regular basis. It is because smoke damages the heart and blood vessels, putting your heart in great danger.
  3. Lowered Risk of Respiratory Issues: Nicotine damages the lungs and human respiratory system. You may hear about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Also, as smoking reduces lung capacity and endurance, physical activity may be more challenging for you. If you quit smoking, you can not only slow the progression of these diseases and improve lung function but also increase stamina and have better physical fitness overall.
  4. Longer Life Expectancy: Considering smoking nicotine brings a myriad of diseases, quitting will mean reducing the risk of premature death and prolonging your life expectancy. Scientists say that even quitting later in life can have substantial benefits for overall health and longevity.
  5. Improved Oral Health: gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer - and this is not the end of the list. Really bad breath and stained teeth are definitely in the top three signs of a heavy smoker.

There are more. It is believed that smokers' immune systems are more susceptible to infections and different types of illnesses. Another one is dull, almost grey skin, 'thanks' to nicotine that increases the risk of wrinkles and skin ageing. Quitting smoking strengthens the immune system and has a positive influence on overall health. It also improves fertility and increases the chances of successful conception.
These are some of the major things to consider when putting an end to smoking. Doctors are very vocal about the dangers of smoking and the damage smoking can cause not only to the organs and systems that take part in the process of smoking, but other parts of the body that suffer from what one would think is just an 'innocent' cigarette.

What Happens After You Quit Smoking?

Why is it so difficult for many if not all people to quit smoking? The thing is that the addiction caused by smoking nicotine is akin to a drug addiction since it occurs at the physical level. This is why it is so difficult to quit smoking without the help of medications and help of specialists — for quite some time, after getting rid of a bad habit, the body is set to rebuild the damage that was caused. This manifests itself not only in positive but also in negative aspects. Let’s find out what happens to the body after quitting smoking.

Negative Aspects of Quitting Smoking

As already mentioned above, after quitting smoking the body begins to rebuild its systems. This way, the former smoker begins to experience several unpleasant withdrowal symptoms. Fortunately, this only lasts for some period time — after the metabolism normalises, your health returns back to normal too.

Among the negative semptoms, you may notice:

  • Emotional imbalance: tearfulness, irritability, aggressiveness, depressed mood.
  • Sleep disorders: insomnia, restless sleep, nightmares.
  • Susceptibility to colds due to a temporary decrease in immunity.
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth is associated with liver recovery.
  • Headaches, dizziness.
  • Weight gain, because when craving for cigarettes, the former smokers ofter turn to unhealthy food and snacks.

How Does a Lack of Nicotine Affect the Body?

Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the only reason why quitting is difficult. A smoker begins and ends his day with a cigarette and gradually, it becomes a habit. Don’t they say you need just 21 days for a habit to form? No wonder smokers take breaks from work to smoke and smoke in moments of stress and relaxation. It’s a habit, a cycle you can’t break.

But what if you try to stop? Well, nicotine starvation, it is the same for all smokers. You smoke a cigarette and get a dose of nicotine that is addictive by nature. This substance enters the brain through the blood and affects nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The more you smoke, the more acetylcholine is produced in the brain, which leads to dopamine production — the well-known happiness hormone.

Attempts to quit smoking lead to a decrease in the production of acetylcholine and, accordingly, dopamine. This leads to a feeling of foggy brain, you feel tired, it becomes challenging to gather thoughts.
Now let’s move to CBD. Potentially, does cbd help you quit smoking?

What Is Important to Know About CBD

Cannabidiol also known as CBD, was considered a narcotic drug for many years. But only one of more than a hundred of its compounds, called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, has narcotic properties and is illegal in many countries. Cannabidiol is not a psychoactive substance, has no narcotic properties, and is therefore recognized as safe.

Cannabidiol interacts with an intricate system, almost a network of receptors (CB1/CB2) also known as candocannabinoid system, that has a signalling role in regulating and balancing out the body.

Does CBD help you quit smoking? Scientific findings.

We at Reakiro believe in the power of science. We also believe that every person should be educated about the potential benefits of CBD. That's why when answering the question about CBD and nicotine addiction, we turned to one and only - science. The research is fairly limited, but here's what we know.

The 2013 pilot study entitled ‘Cannabidiol Reduces Cigarette Consumption in Tobacco Smokers: Preliminary Findings’ by the researchers at the University College London states that CBD may assist with nicotine addiction.[1] In this pilot, randomised double blind placebo controlled study 24 smokers were randomised to receive an inhaler of CBD or placebo for one week. For that week they were instructed to use the inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke and the results were promising! The placebo treated smokers showed no differences in number of cigarettes smoked, but those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by surprising ~ 40%. This drastic contrast suggest CBD to be a potential treatment for nicotine addiction.

‘Cannabidiol disrupts the reconsolidation of contextual drug-associated memories in Wistar rats ‘ is another study conducted in the field of addictions, specifically conducted on cocaine and morphine addiction. [2] Scientists were trying to determin whether cannabidiol (CBD), would affect reconsolidation of drug-reward memory, reinstatement of morphine-CPP, or conditioned place aversion.

They found that established memories induced by a drug of abuse could be blocked after reactivation of the drug experience. "Taken together, these results provide evidence for the disruptive effect of CBD on reconsolidation of contextual drug-related memories and highlight its therapeutic potential to attenuate contextual memories associated with drugs of abuse and consequently to reduce the risk of relapse.”

Although further research should be conducted to give us a better understanding of how CBD can combat unpleasant side effects of quitting smoking, these preliminary findings display immense potential for CBD as an effective way to curb those nicotine cravings.

CBD & Sleep

CBD being a natural compound with a multitude of therapeutic benefits, is considered to be a powerful ally when it comes to sleep. CBD has been found to be a natural way to ensure a good night’s sleep.[3] We suggest having a closer look on our article A Good Night's Sleep with CBD to find out more about how CBD could help with those negative side effects from nicotine that affect your sleep.

CBD & Anxiety

Nicotine withdrawal can no doubt trigger your anxiety, and suddenly you are dealing with an onslaught of unpleasant symptoms, from sweaty palms and an elevated heart rate to racing thoughts of fear and panic. This is where cannabidiol has risen as an anti-anxiety alternative.
In 2019, the results from a study from Kyoto University, showed that the participants who took CBD had lowered anxiety symptoms, comparable to Paroxetine - a popular anti-anxiety medication. [4] Want to look further into how CBD could potentially alleviate symptoms of anxiety? See How to Use CBD for anxiety.

Can I get addicted to CBD?

By its nature, CBD is non-addictive and non-psychoactive, which means it won't get you high and you won't become addicted to it. The WHO (World Health Organization) has stated that CBD “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential” in humans”. Additionally, subsequent reviews of CBD safety and side effects have found that CBD has a “favorable safety profile” and is well-tolerated in humans.”

Therefore, CBD could be considered as an effective method of replacing a habit without becoming habit-forming itself. Of course, further research is needed to explore CBD as a quitting smoking tool.

Final thoughts on CBD & Nicotine

As you can see, there is great evidence showing that CBD benefits can help with nicotine addiction. So if you're looking for natural ways to stop smoking, and decide to try CBD, Reakiro is here to help you on your CBD journey.

Battling nicotine addiction is not easy, and you shouldn't be doing it on your own. Be sure to get support from professionals trained to treat tobacco dependence and consider joining a community stop-smoking group or starting in-person or telephone counselling.

Sources:

  1. Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: Preliminary findings
  2. Cannabidiol disrupts the reconsolidation of contextual drug-associated memories in Wistar rats
  3. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
  4. Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders
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