Smoking is said to be the leading preventable cause of cancer in the US and with emphasis on the word preventable this is quite alarming. A dependence on nicotine can leave smokers with a sense of wanting and an urge for more. Annually five million people die from smoke related diseases and each puff introduces up to 81 cancer causing chemicals.
For smokers, this is nothing new and many are well aware of the dangers, so why keep lighting up? Well, the answer is easy, it’s because it is addictive.
CBD Vs Nicotine
So, what makes cigarettes feel good and become addictive? Not only is there a long list of chemicals the brain becomes reliant on but smoking releases dopamine which can essentially make you feel happy and euphoric
There is a growing consensus amongst addiction experts that nicotine dependence is as permanent as alcoholism. Taking CBD can replace the missing habit as well as relieving the stress and anxiety associated with quitting.
It is important to note that CBD is used purely for medical and not recreational purposes, it won’t leave you feeling ‘high’. Quitting smoking is more than just overcoming a physical addiction but more about breaking the habit. Withdrawal symptoms are the most the difficult part and this is where CBD comes to play, by working in direct correlation with endocannabinoid systems to relieve these symptoms.
Research suggests that CBD affects our memory or the cue that might hold the desire to smoke. CBD impacts and reduces the memory process called ‘reconsolidation’, meaning when you see someone smoking and your memory is reactivated you will be less vulnerable.
A 2007 study assessed the effects of CBD on cigarette addiction in humans. 24 smokers were recruited and split into two groups, half received inhalers containing placebo and the other half CBD, to use during cravings. Results found that the placebo group showed no difference in smoking habits whilst the CBD groups reduced the number of cigarettes they had smoked by 40%.
The reason for this as mentioned above seems to lie within our endocannabinoid system and CBD’s effect on it. Research suggests that CBD can positively affect everything from anxiety management to addiction with little to no side effects. And because CBD’s compounds are so similar to those created in the body, they can be better integrated into our system than synthetic drugs.
Our brains may associate having a cigarette with good times and being stress free, hence our desire to go for a smoke at habitual times like during a work break, after a meal, or with an alcoholic beverage.
Knowing this, it is no surprise that many individuals struggle to quit. CBD can give a helping hand in breaking the habit and users can also benefits from its medical properties. It’s even rumoured that Queen Victoria used CBD rich cannabis for menstrual cramps in the 19th century! So if it is good enough for royalty…