The health risks of nicotine dependence from smoking cigarettes are well-documented. Seven out of 10 smokers say they want to quit. But as most smokers will tell you, quitting is much easier said than done.
There is growing evidence that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, has the potential to help people who want to stop smoking. The purpose of this article is to inform you of research on this topic and discuss some ways that CBD oil can be incorporated into a plan to quit smoking.
CBD for Smoking Cessation – Research Studies
Although much more research needs to be done, a couple of recent studies in the UK produced some encouraging results.
A 2013 research study by CJ Morgan et al at the University College London examined the impact of CBD on tobacco addiction. It was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 24 smokers who wanted to stop smoking. Two groups were given either a CBD inhaler or placebo inhaler. They were told to use the inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke.
The results showed a ~40% reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked by those using the CBD inhaler during the week of treatment. Follow-up results also indicated some maintenance of this effect.
This 2018 research study by C Hindocha et al at the University College London examined whether CBD may be a promising smoking cessation treatment. It was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 30 non-treatment seeking smokers. Two groups were given either 800mg of CBD orally or a placebo. They were then shown pictures of smoking cues or triggers. Factors including withdrawal, craving, side effects, heart rate and blood pressure were assessed repeatedly.
The results indicated that CBD reduced the appeal and pleasantness of cigarette triggers after overnight abstinence. CBD did not affect tobacco craving, withdrawal or side effects.
Neither of these small research studies provide clear evidence that CBD will help everyone that wants to stop smoking. But they do indicate that CBD might be able to help some smokers overcome both the physical and psychological components of nicotine addiction.
Practical Strategies for Using CBD Oil to Stop Smoking
We operate the largest CBD oil group on Facebook so we get to hear directly from CBD oil users on a daily basis. The question of whether CBD oil can help quit smoking gets asked quite a bit. And other members often comment on those posts to share their experiences.
Here are a couple of strategies involving CBD that have been used successfully by group members:
1. Switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping CBD oil
Many group members have told us that they’ve quit cigarettes by switching to vaping CBD oil. Vaping gets the CBD into your bloodstream quickly and can help reduce the anxiety and irritability that often come with nicotine withdrawal.
The downside to this approach is that you’d be effectively stopping nicotine “cold turkey.” This is because typical CBD vape oil products don’t include any nicotine. The upside is that if it works for you, you’ll be completely off of nicotine. And you may then be able to transition from vaping CBD to another delivery method such as drops, gummies or capsules.
Our Beginner’s Guide to Vaping CBD Oil can help you get started.
2. Switch to vaping with a CBD vape additive
If stopping nicotine “cold turkey” is a concern or just doesn’t work for you, you can try a CBD vape additive. CBD vape additives are formulated to be added to your regular vape juice.
The strategy here is to gradually reduce the amount of nicotine in your regular vape juice over time. As in #1 above, the CBD included in the combination of your regular vape juice and CBD vape additive can help manage your withdrawal symptoms.
3. Switch to non-vape CBD oil products
If vaping just isn’t for you, there are other ways to consume CBD that may still be able to help you quit smoking. CBD oil drops, gummies and capsules are the most popular non-vape options.
Many group members have told us that CBD has helped them successfully quit smoking without vaping. But as with #1, you’d be effectively stopping nicotine “cold turkey” which can often be very difficult.
The bottom line is that none of these strategies will work for everyone. But knowing some strategies that have worked for others can help you come up with your own plan.
Based on the limited research to date and the experiences that users have shared with us on Facebook, CBD oil may be an effective option to help you quit smoking. More research on this topic is needed and quitting is never easy. But creating a plan to stop smoking that you can stick with can greatly improve your chances of success. We look forward to hearing your success story!
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