Young Man Smoking CBD
  • October 21, 2020
  • by Tiffany Sequeira
  • 300
  • 0

The world can be a tough place — it’s loud, stressful, chaotic, and unpredictable. In essence, the world can wear you down! 

So, in many ways, we wouldn’t blame anyone for searching for relief. Practically no one wants to subject themselves to life’s uncertainty and chaos! The problem is that people tend to look for relief in all the wrong places. For many people the solution of choice is alcohol; for others, it’s food; for others, it’s seemingly innocent things like coffee. One of the most harmful ‘solutions’ of all? Nicotine. 

Thankfully, though, CBD oil has emerged as an antidote to shorter-lived, more temporary, far more addictive stresser reducers. It promotes a whole-body type of happiness that can enable one to deal with the world — without having to resort to band aid solutions. 

In simpler terms, CBD may help overcome tobacco and nicotine addiction. 

How? Keep reading to find out. 

CBD 101: What It Is, What It Does

Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is the hemp plant’s most important active ingredient. It’s a non-intoxicating, non-psychotropic compound produced primarily in the leaves and resinous flowers of the plant. High-THC cannabis produces CBD, too, though typically a plant’s THC levels rise as its CBD levels fall — most cultivars don’t create large amounts of both THC and CBD.  

While CBD isn’t psychotropic (in other words, it won’t get you high), CBD is psychoactive, or active within the mind. But that’s not a bad thing. CBD’s ability to bind to an incredible number of neuro-receptors en route to promoting sweeping neurochemical changes is actually what makes it so promising for people who need freedom from addiction!

Just as impressively, CBD’s benefits can be experienced without creating physical, chemical, or physiological dependencies. Your body won’t compensate for your CBD intake by reducing its production of any endogenous chemicals or hormones, which means you can take CBD for long periods of time, stop abruptly, and then restart without a problem. (Not that you should do that or anything, it’s just an example!)

Research has shown that CBD may reduce stress, reduce anxious thoughts, improve sleep, and relieve pain and inflammation. It also appears to be anti-seizure, anti-cortisol, and neuroprotective. 

Long story short, CBD is awesome! How might it help those who want to quit smoking/vaping/tobacco-ing it up? We’ll get to that soon…

Tobacco 101: What It Is, What It Does

“Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 constituents, including carcinogens such as N-nitrosamines and aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as toxic substances including ammonia, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and nicotine. The carcinogens are the main cause of smoking-induced cancers — lung cancer, laryngeal cancer and urinary bladder cancer — and carbon monoxide has an important role in the aetiology of cardiovascular disease. 

– The European Respiratory Society 

For something as verifiably harmful as it is, tobacco and its active ingredient (nicotine) sure have a large fan base. The CDC estimates that 14 percent of all American adults (34+ million people!) smoke cigarettes…another 8+ million use smokeless tobacco. Users report that tobacco is one of the most difficult substances to quit using…and many of them never do manage to. To this day tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death. [1]

Why all the popularity? Probably because tobacco works — at least in the short term. Its nicotine content saturates the body’s nicotinic system (kind of like CBD saturates the endocannabinoid system, except way less helpful) and provides a powerful, immediate calming effect. Higher doses of tobacco can even cause euphoria. 

People who try to escape tobacco addiction often turn to other nicotine sources, like nicotine gum, nicotine patches, or other pharmaceutical inventions. Some people switch to e-cigs and try to slowly titrate their nicotine dosage down. Anything to avoid the many symptoms of nicotine withdrawal: 

  • Nausea 
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Throat pain
  • Restlessness
  • Constipation
  • Food cravings
  • Stomach cramping
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Cognitive problems

Psychological symptoms abound, too:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of stress
  • Unshakeable anxiety
  • Irritability/frustration

Using nicotine products allows one to avoid tobacco’s other harmful ingredients, and it might even help spread out all these nasty symptoms over time. But is this type of workaround the best solution? Of course not! Tobacco cessation products actually have a pretty low success rate. 

The best solution is to titrate off of nicotine as quickly as possible by using a certain neuro-plastic substance to help your brain adapt to its new, nicotine-free environment…as quickly as possible. That substance, of course, is CBD.

Take CBD, Reset Your Brain

The human brain is an amazing thing. It absorbs incredible amounts of information and then structures this info into dynamic patterns — patterns that would ideally help a person learn from their past and evolve towards a better future. 

But what do you think might happen when you do something decidedly not helpful (use tobacco) dozens of times each day, for years or even decades, and basically teach your brain that this activity is helpful? The pattern becomes ingrained and the lie becomes accepted as fact! This type of deception is surprisingly easy to fall into. “The first principle,” said famed physicist Richard Feynman, “is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

In other words, smoking cessation requires an entirely new viewpoint: a viewpoint where your brain sees smoking for what it really is, not what you’ve made it out to be. And this new viewpoint requires all the biochemical help it can get. It needs to gain traction.

Makes sense on an intuitive level…right? Great! Let’s now move from theory to practice and see what the research is saying about nicotine addiction and CBD. 

What the Research Says

One study following smokers who wanted to quit found that CBD reduced cigarette consumption by ~40 percent over the course of a single week. Participants simply took hits from a CBD inhaler anytime they felt the urge to smoke! A control group, which received only placebo instead of a CBD inhaler, showed no improvement. [2]

Study researchers theorized that CBD agonized (activated) CB1 receptors in brain cells, effectively replacing the ‘missing’ activation of nicotine. CBD is also known to boost endocannabinoid levels by inhibiting the enzymes that break these eCB’s down, so it likely helped participants feel a little better as they detoxed, too! 

This study found something similar. Its participants, who were heavily dependent on tobacco, were given a huge dose of CBD (800 milligrams) and then shown visual ‘tobacco cues.’ These cues had far less of an impact on those given CBD and far more of an impact on those who were given a placebo. In other words, CBD seemed to reduce the reward pathways through which tobacco operates. [3]

“These findings are exciting,” Dr. Amir Englund at King’s College told iNews UK, “as they suggest CBD may interfere with some of the underlying mechanisms behind tobacco addiction and could potentially be a treatment for people who are trying to quit.” Other studies have found that even ‘conventional’ cannabis consumption is inversely correlated with tobacco; as cannabis use goes up, tobacco use goes down. 

Summing Things Up

Larger studies are still needed to validate these findings. In the meantime, though, why not be your own n=1? Why not join the incredible number of people validating CBD’s anti-addictive properties for themselves?
These are rhetorical questions, of course. If you’re ready to give CBD a try, consider our premium CBD oils. They’re designed to promote full-body balance and you break free from the more annoying weak spots of the human condition — addictive tendencies included.

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