CBD for treating tobacco addiction?
By José Carlos Bouso
José Carlos Bouso is a clinical psychologist and a doctor of pharmacology. His areas of interest are psychopharmacology and the therapeutic properties of entactogens, psychedelics and cannabis. He has conducted therapeutic research with MDMA, pharmacological research with several substances of plant and synthetic origin and has also performed studies on the long-term neuropsychological effects of substances such as cannabis, ayahuasca and cocaine. He is author of the book “Qué son las drogas de síntesis” [What are synthetic drugs?], and co-author of “¿La marihuana como medicamento? Los usos médicos y terapéuticos del cannabis y los cannabinoides” [Marihuana as medicine? The medical and therapeutic uses of cannabis and cannabinoids] and “Ayahuasca y salud” [Ayahuasca and health]. His research has been published in scientific journals. He is currently the director of scientific projects at Fundación ICEERS.
Although cannabis has long been considered as a “drug of abuse”, in recent years an increasing number of studies published in the biomedical literature indicate that either the plant itself or some of its compounds may be of use in treating addictions. For example, a recent review sets out the current evidence on the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in modulating addictive behaviour, looking at the results of research with animals on the potential role of some cannabinoids in treating psychostimulant addiction 1 . More specifically, there is evidence to indicate that pharmaceuticals that are CB2 receptor agonists may be of use in treating cocaine addiction 2 . Certain observational studies have also been published showing that cannabis may be a substitute for more dangerous drugs, including alcohol 3 . Finally, another recent review compiled current studies focusing on the possible properties of CBD (cannabidiol) as an intervention for addictive disorders 4 . This article will review the current evidence for considering cannabis in general, and CBD in particular, as a possible aid for quitting smoking.
Tobacco in figures
According to a report published in 2014 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) 5 , tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical substances, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful for health and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. According to this report, the spectrum of medical problems that can be caused by smoking include: shortness of breath, exacerbated asthma, respiratory infections, cancer (larynx, oropharynx, oesophagus, trachea, bronchus, lung, acute myeloid leukaemia, stomach, pancreas, kidney, ureter, colon, cervix, and bladder), coronary heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, osteoporosis, blindness, cataracts, periodontitis, aortic aneurysm, atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease, hip fractures, infertility and impotence.
According to another WHO study, tobacco continues to be the principal preventable cause of death in the world, killing approximately 6 million people each year and causing economic losses estimated at over half a trillion dollars 6 . The latest report of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System, which gathers data from 22 countries representing nearly 60% of the world’s population, shows that there are approximately 1,300 million smokers in those countries, of whom 205 million had made some attempt to quit smoking in the last 12 months 7 . According to the American Cancer Society, only 4-7% of people are capable of giving up smoking in any given attempt without medicines or other help while around 25% of smokers using medication manage to stay smoke-free for over 6 months. Psychological counselling and other types of emotional support can boost success rates higher than medicines alone 8 .
Nicotine addiction or tobacco habit?
Although the accepted theory on drug addiction appears to be that it is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, causing a deterioration in control of consumption despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her 9 , an ever larger number of experts are beginning to challenge this view of addiction as a brain disease 10 . At least two studies have found that the percentage of people who recover from their addiction throughout their lives is, in nearly all cases, over 80% 11 . The results of these studies also indicate that tobacco addiction is the one of the forms of addiction with the lowest cessation rates.
One of these reasons may be the extent to which conventional wisdom in our society ascribes tobacco addiction to the pharmacological effects of nicotine. If attributing addiction to the substance used is a problem for understanding drug addiction in general, in the case of tobacco addiction it becomes especially paradigmatic. The problem with drug addiction in general, and tobacco addiction in particular, is, as we have explained, the problem tends to be attributed to a disorder of the brain caused by a pharmacological agent, when at the base of all addictive behaviour, what is actually introduced is a habit. And this habit is established, not so much by the effects of the substance itself, as by the behaviours involved in seeking and consuming the substance. And it is these habits, as forms of conduct, that are difficult to correct. Indeed, in the specific case of nicotine it is very difficult to train animal models to be addicted to the substance. And as we have seen, the rates of tobacco cessation by pharmacological means (including patches, gum and any other nicotine-based pharmaceutical preparation) are distressingly low 12 . Therefore, of all the reasons for which tobacco proves addictive for so many people, the fact that it contains nicotine is probably the least significant. It is precisely the fact that it is a habit, which is generally established over a long time –in most cases over several years– that makes it so difficult to correct. As humans, we establish our everyday behaviour by means of habits and the more ingrained a habit is, the more difficult it is to change. This is all the more true, insofar as the habit –as in the case of tobacco– offers such versatility for that the individual can indulge it when engaged in an animated conversation, in a state of depression or when waiting for a bus – in short, in nearly every aspect of his or her life, except sleep. This versatility and generalisation make the habit of smoking so especially difficult to correct.
Vaping cannabis as an alternative to smoking tobacco
As cannabis users increasingly become aware of the health dangers of smoking, some of them are trying to replace the smoking of cannabis (which involves combustion) with vaping (which does not). Indeed, it is well known that the risks of smoking derive precisely from the combustion of the material smoked, rather than the products smoked. Even so, surveys on preferred methods of consumption indicate that the immense majority (more than 90%) of cannabis users still prefer smoking, even though they recognise that vaping is the most effective way of reducing the harm 13 . Even in states like California, whose citizens are famous for their worship of healthy lifestyles, the preferred means of consuming cannabis in medicinal marijuana dispensaries is by smoking (86.1% of those interviewed), far ahead of vaping (used by 21.8%) 14 . These results may be somewhat skewed by the fact that so many of those surveyed started out as tobacco consumers who when they subsequently began to use cannabis, also preferred to smoke it. It is also well-known that many consumers manage to give up smoking not only “joints” but also tobacco when they start vaping cannabis. In a recent letter to the journal Addiction, Hindocha et al. set out a series of examples in which vaping cannabis is accompanied by a reduction in tobacco consumption. According to these researchers: “ there could be reason to be optimistic about the potential of vaporizers. If vaporizers can reduce cannabis and tobacco co-administration, the outcome could be a reduction of tobacco use/dependence among cannabis users and a resultant reduction in harms associated with cannabis. Indeed, if vaping cannabis becomes commonplace in the future, the next generation of cannabis users might never be exposed to nicotine or tobacco in the first place” 15 .
Use of CBD in treating the tobacco habit
CBD is in vogue. Whereas in the 1990s seed companies vied to obtain the strain with most THC, they are now competing for more narcotic varieties – in other words, those with the highest CBD content. We don’t know the reason for this change: whether cannabis consumers have grown tired of such a strong high (THC concentrations in Dutch marijuana have been falling by 0.22% per year since 2005 16 ); whether it is a result of the industry’s marketing campaigns attributing the medicinal effects of cannabis to CBD; whether it simply reflects a market in which consumers want a varied product offering different experiences depending on what they are looking for at any specific time, or whether it is combination of all of these factors, or even some other reason. One other possible reason is the fashion for CBD oils which –albeit the labels do no state as much– also contain sufficient quantities of THC to possibly cause a consumer to test positive in a roadside saliva test. Moreover, for reasons we shall not go into here, the legality of these oils is decidedly dubious.
The way CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system is not yet fully understood. Indeed, some articles discuss mechanisms of action that others ignore altogether, and vice versa. I will therefore leave it to readers to search for the mechanism of action of CBD. A recent review on the possible role of CBD as an anti-addictive pharmaceutical, quoted above 17 , after appraising this mechanism of action, concludes that “CBD has been associated with many neural circuits involved in the acquisition of addiction and subsequent drugseeking behaviors, making it an interesting pharmacological candidate to treat substance-use disorders”.
Only one study has researched the role of CBD as a treatment for addiction to tobacco smoking. In a pilot clinical study, the effectiveness of CBD was compared against a placebo in treatment of tobacco addiction. (A pilot study is one with a small number of subjects, used to test a working hypothesis before moving on to a larger, and therefore more economically costly, sample). It was double blind (neither researchers nor subjects knew who received what treatment), randomised (patients were assigned one or other treatment at random) and placebo controlled (the active pharmaceutical was compared with an inactive one). 24 subjects were recruited who smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day and given an inhaler to be used whenever they felt the urge to smoke. Twelve subjects (6 females) received an inhaler containing CBD and the other twelve (6 females) received an inhaler with a placebo. Treatment lasted one week. During this time, they recorded their cravings for tobacco and anxiety on a daily basis. A follow-up interview was conducted 21 days after treatment. Following the treatment week, cigarette consumption in the CBD group had fallen by 40%, a significant contrast with the placebo group, but these differences were not kept up after 21 days. Both groups reported the same reduction in craving and anxiety over the 7 days the treatment lasted, but, again, by day 21 they had returned to the initial conditions. The authors conclude: “the preliminary data presented here suggest that CBD may be effective in reducing cigarette use in tobacco smokers, however larger scale studies, with longer follow-up are warranted to gauge the implications of these findings. These findings add to a growing literature that highlights the importance of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction” 18 .
In their article, the authors of the study offer a series of explanations, based on the effects of CBD on the Endocannabinoid system, which might explain the results. These include the action of CBD on CB1 receptors (as a weak reverse agonist), and its properties as an inhibitor of the enzyme that breaks down the anandamide (FAAH). These actions may be related to a reduction in the boosting properties of nicotine. They also offer some speculation on psychological causes, such as the possible action of CBD in reducing attention on contextual cues that may be involved in maintenance of nicotine consumption.
However, there are doubts that remain to be clarified. As explained, in this study, reported tobacco craving fell by the same amount in the CBD and placebo groups, as did anxiety levels. These scores were taken once a day, but not after the inhaler was used in response to the desire to smoke a cigarette. It is possible that in general terms the placebo is capable of reducing the desire for consumption and anxiety, since the scores had normalised by the 21-day follow-up assessment, when neither group was using the device. Perhaps the CBD, by acting as an anxiolytic 19 , might be a substitute treatment for progressively quitting tobacco, due to the fact that the subject is not as anxious. This study did not assess the possible anxiolytic effect following inhalations. Nonetheless, this pilot study provides more evidence that tobacco addiction is more a habit than a pharmacological effect of nicotine. If tobacco addiction were a matter of nicotine addiction, after a week, when the desire for consumption had already disappeared and where the number of cigarettes –and therefore the nicotine– has been considerably reduced, there would be no reason for the withdrawal symptoms to reappear, inducing subjects to start smoking tobacco again. Finally, as we saw in the previous section, many people quit smoking when they start vaping. It is therefore possible that cannabis and/or CBD inhaled by some means other than smoking might be of use for people who want to quit smoking. As Morgan and collaborators conclude, more studies are necessary in this regard. What does seem clear is that smoking, more than an addiction to a drug (nicotine), is a habit, and like all habits, its interruption causes anxiety. In this regard, replacing tobacco with vaporised cannabis and/or CBD may be a useful substitute measure, although this requires more evidence before it can be confirmed.
Although cannabis has long been considered as a “drug of abuse”, in recent years an increasing number of studies published in the biomedical literature indicate that either the plant itself or some of its compounds may be of use in treating addictions. For example, a recent review sets out the current evidence on the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in modulating
Ten Best CBD Products For Smoking Cessation
In this article, we evaluate the 10 best CBD products for smoking cessation.
CBD (also called Cannabidiol) is a compound extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike marijuana, it is sourced from a non-psychoactive form of hemp, so it doesn’t produce the same euphoria or high of smoking pot. This means that it is void of uncomfortable effects like paranoia or anxiety. Cannabis has been used since at least as far back as 2900 BC to treat a variety of ailments, and its increasing popularity among consumers is due to the fact that it works so well.
Tobacco kills over 6 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization, and most smokers know of its dangers but still cannot quit without intervention. This underscores nicotine’s powerful addictive properties. When a whole segment of the population is doing something they know will make them sick and probably contribute to their demise, yet they continue to engage in it, something is very wrong.
CBD is being used to potentially treat a wide range of conditions ranging from insomnia to epilepsy, but what about using it to help you quit smoking? Studies show that it may be a powerful tool in your arsenal that can assist you in stopping for good. In this article, we will review the top ten CBD products to help you quit smoking. At the end of the review, we will also provide a more detailed explanation of CBD, and how it may help you to give up the smoking habit.
Elixinol’s Stress-Less Full-Spectrum Capsules may be an ideal option for calming the jitters, taking the edge off anxiety, and promoting wellness for those who are trying to kick the nicotine habit. They contain 15 mg of CBD each plus ashwagandha, a compound thought to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. For those looking for a higher potency product, the who are a little more daring, there’s an ultra-high potency (4000 mg) tincture to try, along with several other great products.
Elixinol is highly reviewed for both quality and effectiveness. Each of their products undergoes third-party lab testing, and the brand is US Hemp Authority Certified. They offer free shipping and a money-back guarantee.
We get it, there’s really nothing like having a small, soft, cigarette tucked between your fingers, with a couple of quick puffs to take away your stress. But here’s the thing, CBDfx has a vape pen that can give you the same muscle-memory habits of smoking, but with much more therapeutic effects.
CBDfx’s disposable vape pens are small, tasty, and contain natural amino acids and fatty acids. There’s 30mg of CBD per vape pen, which isn’t much compared to Extra Strength Tincture’s products, but it’s plenty potent for the size of the vape. Using broad-spectrum, organic CBD oil, these tiny vapes are very discreet and perfect for when you need a quick fix to keep you from smoking. One of the company’s most popular flavors is the Tropic Breeze, which the company claims tastes like, “juicy mangos.”
3. Joy Organics
If you want to give your taste buds an afternoon treat and benefit from the potentially calming effects of CBD, look no further than these THC-free gummies form Joy Organics. Each contains 10 mg of CBD and they come in a handy stay-fresh 30-count jar. To break away from the need to smoke, it’s important to keep your mouth busy, and what better way than with a sweet fruit chewable?
The gummies are shelf-stable for 18 months, though we doubt they will last that long. They are vegan and made in the USA from broad-spectrum hemp. They contain no refined sugar or corn syrup, just organic cane sugar. If strawberry-lemonade isn’t your thing, you can also purchase these gummies in green apple. Yum!
Everyone knows that quitting smoking can bring on unwanted stress and nervousness. Receptra’s Relax formula CBD may help. It’s formulated with 25 mg of CBD in each dose and contains MCT oil, lavender, limonene, and passionflower to enhance its calming effects. It has a pleasant ginger-lime taste and comes in a one or two-ounce bottle with a convenient dosing dropper. The brand offers other products in their relax line including capsules and a CBD and arnica body oil that is out of this world.
Maybe you are considering vaping CBD for the first time to see if it helps you with smoking cessation. If so, look no further than this CBD disposable vape pen with a delicious pineapple express flavor. The disposable cartridges in this pen make for exceptional ease of use and are an ideal all-in-one vaping solution. This version is pineapple, but OG Kush and strawberry-banana flavors are also available for purchase. And what’s even better is that this vape pen comes ready to go — no need to fill any chambers or purchase oil separately.
6. Lazarus Naturals
Every milliliter of this CBD oil contains 50 mg of CBD. That comes out to around 1.6 mg of CBD for every drop of this tincture. It is gluten-free and vegan-friendly and contains no preservatives, sweeteners, or artificial flavors. The oil contains fractionated coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and hemp extract. This CBD oil is currently legal in all 50 states and more than 40 countries across the world.
7. Pure Hemp Botanicals
This product from Pure Hemp Botanicals is one of its most popular offerings. This full-spectrum tincture has become a favorite way to experience the many benefits of hemp, included smoking cessation. This product also contains the current maximum legal dose of trace cannabinoids per serving, which will provide you with not just CBD, but all the other valuable nutrients that come from the hemp plant. Each bottle contains 3000 mg of liquid, with each serving size of 1 ml providing you with 100 mg of CBD. All of Pure Hemp Botanical’s products are sourced from 100% domestic hemp.
Maybe you want to try out CBD, but you can’t stomach a tincture and vaping is not for you. If that’s the case, cbdMD’s CBD Oil Capsules might be the perfect option for you. These come in a bottle of 30 capsules of premium domestically grown organic cannabidiol. This quick and easy approach to getting the potential benefits of CBD is perfect for anyone just getting started or looking for an easier way to get their CBD intake.
Endoca makes some of the best CBD products on the market. Although a little pricier than some others, you can be sure that each batch of products from Endoca is third-party lab tested for quality assurance. You will get a consistent and effective dose every single time. These hemp oil drops are high in CBD and CBDa concentration, which accounts for 15% of the bottle. Like many of the others we have discussed, this is non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly. You can also get a 10% discount if you purchase up to six bottles at a time or 5% if you get three bottles at once.
10. Green Roads
Would you like to take your CBD in a fun and simple way that tastes great and also satisfies your sweet tooth? You’re in luck because you can now get your CBD in a delicious gummy toad. These Green Roads CBD Relief Toads are designed to provide you the stress relief that you would typically get from your cigarettes. Instead of smoking a cigarette, just eat one of these bad boys. They are available in a wide range of flavors.
Can You Quit Smoking with CBD?
While there is no magic cure for tobacco addiction, CBD may increase your likelihood of successfully putting down the cigarettes for good. Recent studies have shown that cannabis may have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of addictions of all kinds, including nicotine. But for most people, getting high throughout the day as a way to control nicotine cigarette craving and withdrawal is not a practical option. However, because it is not psychoactive, CBD oil may provide some serious relief from the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal. It is safe, affordable, and legal in most parts of the US.
If you are interested in quitting smoking (and if you are reading this article you probably are) then this is important news for you. It means that CBD oil might help you get rid of the cigarettes without the buzz of nicotine or the high of THC.
How Does CBD Work For Smoking Cessation?
Smokers become addicted to cigarettes because consuming nicotine causes dopamine (a powerful neurotransmitter) to be released. In turn, this impacts the pleasure center of the brain which perceives it as a pleasant reward. Once this chemical addiction is formed, the brain will continue to associate the comfortable and relaxing feeling with cigarette smoking, and it will be relentless in the pursuit of its next dopamine “fix.” In short, your body isn’t really addicted to nicotine, it is addicted to the release of brain chemicals caused by nicotine.
As many smokers know, a trigger that causes the urge to smoke can be as small as seeing someone else smoke on TV, or even just smelling it. The need for nicotine also arises when you are under stress or participating in an activity associated with your memory with smoking. This might be something like driving to work, having your morning coffee, or even upon waking up in the morning.
One study, led by Dr. CJ Morgan, was done with the help of twenty-four heavy smokers each broken into two separate groups. Each of the smokers was given an inhaler along with instructions on how to use it properly. They were also instructed to use that inhaler every time that they felt the urge to smoke. This was done for one week. It’s important to note that during this study, smokers were not asked to refrain from smoking cigarettes. They weren’t even asked to slow down.
Half of the inhalers in this study were placebo, and the other half contained CBD. The participants in the study did not know if they had a CBD inhaler or a placebo inhaler. Even though this study was done with a relatively small group, the results were promising.
There were no notable changes to the individuals with the placebo, of course. The group that received the CBD, on the other hand, reduced their cigarette consumption by over 40%! It is remarkable that this result was achieved without ever asking the participants to stop or slow down. It just happened naturally. Many of the participants even indicated that the effects lasted longer than the one week trial, even after no longer consuming CBD. This is definitely a boon for those that are interested in utilizing CBD oil to kick the habit.
Dr. Morgan feels that this result is caused because CBD potentially alters or dampens memories that are associated with smoking. Remember, as we stated earlier, nicotine causes the release of dopamine. This is something that the brain learns, and the memory of smoking is what causes the addiction. By altering the memories, the release and memory of dopamine are changed, which lessens the brain’s association between tobacco and those happy feelings.
What Is The Best CBD Product To Use When Trying To Quit Smoking?
Because everyone is unique, we curated our list so that it would include a variety of methods for utilizing CBD. What works for one person may not necessarily be suitable for another. The most commonly used method is by taking CBD in a sublingual tincture, but for many reasons, (including taste) some people prefer the convenience of a tablet. CBD is highly bioavailable when it is ingested through vaping, so for those who would like a fast-acting method, this may be preferable. Still, others might prefer it in a tasty edible that can be used as a substitute whenever they feel like having a cigarette. Many people utilize a combination of these methods.
Whichever dosing method you choose, you can be assured that all of the companies listed have an exceptional reputation for high-quality CBD that has been sourced using organic or sustainable practices. Each company is required to illustrate transparency, which means that its third-party lab testing results are available on the website or easily obtained by request. Finally, all of our CBD distributors use a clean and carefully overseen extraction method for their products.
We may not completely understand how it is that CBD might help people to quit smoking, but the results speak for themselves. Although it is not an instant “quit now” remedy, incorporating CBD into your life could help to reduce the cravings and make withdrawal much more tolerable.
The memories that trigger the urge to smoke are often so intense that they can feel impossible to ignore or overcome. This is why when someone has gone several hours without a cigarette they are usually very irritable and only care about getting that nicotine into their system. When new memories form, neurons fire in a specific order. Nicotine and dopamine intensify and strengthen the “memory trace” that these leave behind, making future triggers that much more difficult to overcome. By weakening these memories, CBD could assist people to become former smokers.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
All content at Best Choice Reviews concerning CBD (Cannabidiol) or other health-related matters are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If a reader has further questions about the use of these products, we encourage them to consult with a licensed physician or other qualified health care provider. The information included here is for educational purposes only and Best Choice Reviews is not responsible for inappropriate use of these products.
Ten Best CBD Products For Smoking Cessation In this article, we evaluate the 10 best CBD products for smoking cessation. CBD (also called Cannabidiol) is a compound extracted from the cannabis