Are you looking to quit smoking cigarettes once and for all? CBD oil might hold the answer.
THC’s non-psychoactive cousin cannabidiol (CBD), is helping people treat a wide variety of medical conditions such as chronic pain, to control high blood pressure, as an anti inflammatory, childhood epilepsy, and dealing with addiction. One of the deadliest addictions out there is smoking. When I say smoking, I am of course referring to smoking cigarettes, not toking from a bong. Smoking marijuana is not without its risks, but cigarettes are far more detrimental to your health than smoking from bongs.
CBD products have helped people overcome addiction to dangerous drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. People addicted to prescription pain pills have found a new lease on life after switching to medical marijuana. Evidence suggests that CBD oil is helping people conquer drug addiction all around. Can CBD oil be used for smoking cessation?
In the United States it was estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that 15 percent of adults smoke cigarettes. These numbers have slowly been declining, but lung cancer deaths due to smoking still remain one of the biggest preventable deaths in the US. Various programs for stopping smoking exist throughout the country; some of them work, others do not. Relapses are extremely common. Often times you have to put in a couple tries before you’re able to fully kick the habit. Some tobacco smokers are finding success in using CBD and THC to kick their habit. I can speak from experience here because I am one of those people.
How Can CBD Help You Quit Cigarettes?
I was a smoker for many years, almost two decades in fact, and then one day I decided that I had had enough. I had tried quitting five times prior to this last time and while I had been able to quit for a few weeks or months here and there, nothing worked in the long term. I was starting to experience some of the side effects commonly associated with tobacco use such as coughing up phlegm, shortness of breath and constantly dealing with fatigue. I was tired of the lingering scent of cigarettes in my clothes and finding loose tobacco in my purse. I was ready to finally be done.
I must explain here that at this time I was primarily using cannabis for the high THC content. I had done some research on the side effects of CBD, and while that all sounded fantastic to me, I was more about the psychoactive effects of THC. I had been previously battling an addiction to prescription pain pills, which I had started out using for pain relief. I had been able to use cannabis as an “exit drug” to get myself off of prescription pain pills, so why not use it with cigarettes? Studies had shown that CBD can be useful in treating addiction, so why not this addiction? With that knowledge, I decided to embark upon my journey.
My quitting regimen was fairly simple. I simply stocked up on my cannabis supply and kept my dry herb vaporizer (a PAX 2 at the time) around me at all times. Whenever I felt a craving for a cigarette, I would instead just take a few pulls off of my vape. This helped me get out of the habit of craving nicotine and I instead began to look forward to my little THC vacations.
Anyone who has been addicted to cigarettes can tell you that there is more to a cigarette addiction than just nicotine replacement therapy. There is also the oral fixation and the need to do something with your hands. I can tell you right now that puffing on my vaporizer took care of both of those needs.
I was successful in my attempt, but that does not mean that my methods will work for you. I made my own plan for quitting cigarettes based on my own intuitions. What proved successful for me will not necessarily work for you. If you truly feel like you are ready to quit, then I strongly recommend that you consult with your health care physician to come up with a plan that works for you.
Can CBD help you quit that nasty habit once and for all?
The Science Behind CBD and Addiction
Addiction is caused by the release of dopamine in the brain, which acts as a “reward system”. Dopamine then stimulates the amygdala, causing us to remember the fond memories we have collected of when we have used certain substances that might be addictive. This can be something as primal as food or sex, something more like compulsive like gambling, or of course drug use including nicotine.
Numerous studies have shown that CBD can help treat addictions such as alcoholism. One such study showed that using cannabidiol on rodents addicted to alcohol inhibited the neurodegeneration associated with alcohol abuse. It is widely known that alcohol abuse causes damage to brain cells and even helps prevent the growth of new brain cells. Cannabidiol treatments were shown to reduce neurodegeneration by almost forty percent in some cases. Indeed, these results show great promise in treating alcohol addiction, so why not nicotine addiction as well?
Of course, more research is needed before we can safely say that CBD can help you quit smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, the breadth of research that can be conducted in the United States is greatly limited. Cannabis remains a schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) and as such it is difficult to even grow hemp plants for research. Even industrial hemp is illegal to grow in the US. These limitations are preventing us from discovering the full potential of cannabis, especially high CBD strains in treating serious addictions. New research on the subject could even help save lives.
Fortunately, there is hope. The World Health Organization recently declared that cannabidiol is no longer a dangerous substance. Numerous governments are coming around on cannabis prohibition and are legalizing medical marijuana. Opiate addiction and opiate overdoses are down overall in states where medical marijuana is legal and readily available to patients. This is helping to change the worldwide conversation on cannabis prohibition and cannabis as an acceptable medication. I think it’s safe to say that the times are changing, and they are changing for the better. Cannabis will never be as stigmatized as it once was. Smoking cessation programs have proven ineffective for a number of people. Those people end up relapsing, and sometimes they die. Those deaths can be prevented. Cannabidiol is the way.
Have you used CBD to help you quit smoking? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!