Quitting smoking is a challenge in itself. Nicotine addiction is a powerful enemy, especially considering the fact that nicotine is actually among the five most addictive substances on Earth. It’s up there with cocaine and barbiturates! That’s a scary thought when you set out to quit, but don’t let it deter you—millions of people across the globe quit smoking every year for good. The number of people that smoke is at an all-time low, and dropping with each decade.
If you’re determined to quit, you might be looking into alternatives like Black Buffalo tobaccoless chew, nicotine gum or patches, or even CBD gummies and oils. Wait, CBD? What’s that?
You’ve probably heard of it recently, and that’s because it’s only been federally legalized as of 2018. Since then, the market has exploded. But what’s all the hype about? Can it really help you quit smoking? Let’s dive deeper into CBD and take a look at the potential benefits it can offer smokers.
CBD is short for something called Cannabidiol. This chemical substance is extracted from hemp. You’ve probably heard of hemp—it’s that wonderfully diverse plant that can create everything from fabrics to biofuel and takes a fraction of the time/resources/money to grow and cultivate as lumber does.
Hemp is a species of the Cannabis plant, with marijuana being a close cousin. However, the two should not be confused. Industrial hemp contains 0.3% or less THC (that’s the Cannabinoid that produces a high when you use marijuana) as per federal guidelines. So, CBD doesn’t get you high, but it does provide similar benefits, including pain and inflammation management and anti-anxiety properties.
CBD is extracted from hemp and infused into a number of products. Most notably are CBD gummies, like those from Verma Farms, and CBD oil tinctures. These two options are popular among new and seasoned CBD users, but it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.
Now, for the meat of the discussion: can CBD help you quit smoking? The short answer is yes, although you shouldn’t get hung up on the idea that CBD is some “miracle cure” that will automatically cure you of nicotine addiction. CBD can help manage the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal—mainly anxiety—and may also help you sleep better. While CBD is being researched as an addiction recovery aid, we’re still not 100% certain if it can help or not. Here’s what it can do.
CBD is often used for people with high anxiety or anxiety disorders like depression and GAD. CBD helps calm the mind and manage anxiety symptoms, but it doesn’t actually treat the anxiety itself. Likewise, CBD can help manage the anxiety associated with quitting nicotine, but it won’t cure you of the addiction.
When you smoke, your body and brain become chemically dependent on nicotine, and when you deprive yourself of it, things get ugly. Your anxiety will shoot through the roof, your heart rate will increase, and you’ll likely become moody or irritable.
CBD can help with all of these things, which might actually make the recovery process that much easier. If you’re not constantly on edge, you’ll be able to ignore the urge to smoke that much easier.
Research has found that CBD is effective in certain situations at helping heroin addicts battle symptoms of withdrawal and may even block the receptors in the brain responsible for the addiction. This could also apply to nicotine, though the two substances affect the brain in very different ways. We’ll just have to wait until the research matures so we can learn more about how nicotine and CBD interact.
One of the most appealing things about using CBD is that there are few to no side-effects. In fact, our bodies are actually biologically compatible with Cannabinoids. We create our own Cannabinoids inside the Endocannabinoid system, so we’re biologically designed to accept them. CBD has been shown to produce almost no side-effects. There’s no impairment like with THC, and the side-effects that have been documented are usually minor.
You may experience irritability, lack of appetite, dry mouth, or even diarrhea. The latter is about as bad as your symptoms will get, and this usually occurs from taking too much CBD during the day.
CBD products are everywhere, and with few to no side-effects, plenty of practical applications, and an affordability factor that far outweighs tobacco use, they offer a promising cessation aid/alternative to smoking. Whether you’re chewing gummies, taking a tincture, or applying topicals, CBD might be able to help you leave tobacco behind forever and help manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms.