Smoking isn’t cool anymore. I know that seems like an obvious statement, what with the constant rhetoric of how harmful it is and the rise of self-care, organic, sugar-free, processed food awareness. However, if you’ve ever been around kids, from Kindergarten to teens lately, and they find themselves in the down-wind of a smoker, they often make an audible sound of disgust. This is a great thing, right? It means the amount of new smokers is slowing to a halt! But what about the people who have always smoked and continue to do so? I’m not talking about the occasional cigarette when having drinks with friends. I’m talking about the bona fide smokers.
The number of smokers in the US has greatly decreased and is expected to continue to do so, not only because the price of a pack of cigarettes is outrageous. In addition, many cities across the US have strict rules of where, when and how far from certain areas you can smoke (1). If health isn’t a good enough reason to quit, then the pure inconvenience of it should be.
Truth be told, cigarettes are highly addicting and immensely difficult to give up. The addiction is not only chemical, but physical, emotional and mental. Quitting also has a tremendous impact on the body and mind. We sometimes forget nicotine is a drug that is highly addictive. You’re not supposed to quit.
However, it IS possible. There are so many products out there both on the shelves of your local pharmacy and prescriptions that can aid someone in quitting smoking. Patches, medications, gum, psychological tools and meditation, but it seems these products and ideas will only work if you have the pure will to quit. Alone, they are just delaying the process, or teasing the person into thinking they are quitting.
A LOT of people have used products to successfully quit smoking and have prolonged their life by years. The first day of quitting smoking, the body already begins to regenerate. You breathe better, sleep better and your lung tissue is a miraculous organism, as it can fully recover from the damage smoking did if you quit soon enough.
But what about the people who just can’t do it? They’ve tried everything and then start again by sneaking one after work and then suddenly, they’re a smoker again.
One of the main ways CBD affects the human body is through its impact on the endocannabinoid system. Many studies have shown a link between addiction and the endocannabinoid system. This suggests there is a possibility CBD could be a potential for people to beat addictions such as smoking.
The process of quitting cigarettes is two fold. You have the dependence of the actual drug; nicotine. And then you have the ‘habit’ of the routine, timing and social aspects to smoking. Many products which aid in quitting smoking only address the first issue.
Nicotine replacement products like gum and patches are ineffective in helping people kick the routine and emotional and mental need for their cigarette. Their nicotine cravings will subside perhaps, but they will still have strong pull towards the other aspects of smoking.
The most exciting research about how CBD can help a person quit smoking is CBD may help with nicotine withdrawal. When nicotine is consumed it causes a sharp rise in dopamine in the reward parts of the brain. Dopamine is a chemical found in the brain and is also known as the ‘feel good’ chemical. It is linked to feelings of euphoria, motivation and concentration.
Over time, the chemistry changes in the brain, meaning the body will only accept nicotine to release dopamine.
When somebody tries to quit smoking, the body struggles to produce the familiar dopamine levels, and when it cannot, withdrawal symptoms can occur.
Research shows CBD can affect the dopamine pathways in a positive way which means that it could be useful in helping people with a number of addictions, including cigarettes (2).
Withdrawal symptoms are one of the main reasons people slip and fall back into the smoking habit. Withdrawals can be horribly painful and uncomfortable. When a smoker is in withdrawal they can experience headaches, fatigue, depression, sever body aches, sweats, insomnia, anxiety and depression. The majority of people who continue to use their drug of choice begin quitting with great intentions but will give up once withdrawals kick-in.
CBD does not totally eliminate withdrawal symptoms but has shown the potential to greatly help the person to manage them better. We already know CBD has shown potential benefits for depression, anxiety and insomnia; it is a no-brainer to consider using CBD to support these exact issues during withdrawals. If CBD can minimize the withdrawals so they are manageable, it greatly increases the chance for success in quitting once and for all.
While there is still limited research and more to be done on CBD for all addictions, the studies are incredibly promising and hopeful. There are many ways you can ingest CBD, and with very little chance of overdosing with CBD (3), adding it to a different kind of routine in place of cigarettes may be a more preferred method to smoking.
Quitting smoking is not easy. You might as well arm yourself with everything you can to be prepared for the withdrawals and cravings and give your body and your health a fighting chance to feel and live better.
This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.
The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnosis, cure, or treat any healthcare issue.
Our products have not been approved by the FDA and should not be considered for use as a nutritional supplement.
Please consult your doctor or other appropriate medical professional before adding CBD or any of our products to your routine.