In the past, cannabis has gotten more than its fair share of bad press. However, research done has made us aware of the fact that cannabis compounds, like THC and CBD can be used to help manage addictive behaviors. Cannabis is now considered to be an exit drug as opposed to its former “gateway drug” title.
Observational studies have also discovered that cannabis can be used as a substitute for nicotine and alcohol as it is considered safe. This is unlike tobacco, which kills about 6 million people every year and leads to massive economic losses. The World Health Organization released a report indicating that tobacco smoke contains 69 substances which are known causes of cancer.
The Global Tobacco Surveillance System gathers data from 22 nations which make up about 60% of the global population. The latest report shows there are 1.3bn nicotine users in the above 22 countries. Of the 1.3bn, 205 million have tried to quit smoking in the last year.
Of those who tried to quit, 4-7% can manage to kick the habit without any help or medication while 25% of the nicotine users manage their withdrawal symptoms using medication.
So, can we use CBD to help treat nicotine addiction?
While the exact effect of CBD on nicotine addiction is yet to be fully understood, one pilot study noted a decrease in cigarette consumption with the administration of CBD.
The clinical study studied the efficacy of CBD to help treat tobacco addiction. The study involved 24 individuals who consumed more than 10 cigarettes in a day. Half of the group got an inhaler containing a placebo and the remaining 12 got an inhaler with CBD. The study lasted a week with researchers recording the individual’s anxiety levels and nicotine cravings daily.
Three weeks after the treatment, an interview was conducted that discovered that the consumption of tobacco in the group that received CBD inhalers had reduced by 40%. While the subjects had reverted back to their initial conditions by the 21st day, the study shows promise and indicates the need for more studies to be done on this, on a much larger scale.
When it comes to CBD and other stimulants, we recommend not mixing CBD with any stimulants. This is because interactions between the drugs may lead to weight loss, reduced appetite or insomnia. Sleeping disturbances may in turn lead to increased anxiety and mood swings. Therefore, we suggest either using CBD oil alone but not with other stimulants unless studies have shown otherwise.
For those struggling with nicotine addiction, CBD can not only ease withdrawal symptoms such as weight gain, anxiety and sleep disturbances but it can also reduce cravings for cigarettes. While no study has explicitly recommended CBD as a nicotine substitute, you can help manage your addiction yourself using the information above and carry on with a life free from nicotine.
Many firms are involved in extracting different compounds from the cannabis plant. Pure Extract Technologies Inc. is one to watch. This company focuses on extracting plant compounds and it has made a name for itself serving licensed cannabis producers in Canada.