CBD oil is all the rage in alternative health spaces, but surprisingly, this naturally-occurring substance actually has scientific evidence to back up some of its uses. From managing appetite, pain, and even anxiety, we’re still learning all of the incredible benefits that CBD has to offer; but can it help people quit smoking? There’s some talk about CBD being able to help with addiction to opiates, but does this mean it could potentially apply to nicotine addiction, as well?
Smoking is a dangerous habit that costs nearly 800,000 lives annually and accounts for billions in healthcare costs. Second-hand smoke has become something of a public health hazard, and even employers are far warier about hiring smokers than they’ve ever been. Why? Because smoking can increase healthcare costs and unhealthy workers make for poor investments.
CBD is just one of several potential smoking alternatives available. Everything from nicotine gum to non tobacco chew is boasted as the “best” smoking alternative, but we’ll focus on CBD this time. Let’s take a closer look at what CBD actually is and how it might help.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It’s a cannabinoid—one of 113, in fact—found in the Cannabis plant. You probably recognize Cannabis for its association with marijuana, but both marijuana and hemp are separate strains of the same plant. Industrial hemp contains far lower concentrations of THC, the compound responsible for the “high” you get from marijuana. CBD is extracted from hemp, and hemp is only allowed to contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, according to federal law.
Hemp was only recently legalized (officially) at the federal level, paving the way for a new industry that has taken off in just a few years’ time. Worth billions of dollars, experts are watching the CBD market closely as it continues to grow exponentially. CBD oil, gummies, and topicals are just a few of the hottest items in CBD spaces right now.
CBD Oil Benefits
CBD oil offers a wide range of benefits for users, from managing pain and anxiety to promoting better sleep and reducing inflammation. Some uses are strictly supported by strong anecdotal evidence, whereas others are supported by scientific study. Both THC and CBD have been proven effective in pain and inflammation management, suggesting that Cannabis has far more medical applications than we originally thought.
The problem with THC, of course, is that marijuana and THC products are still illegal, according to the Fed. Despite legalization in several states, it remains a Schedule 1 Drug according to the DEA. CBD, however, offers many of the same benefits minus the “high” that THC produces, and CBD products are legal.
The Smoking Addiction
Nicotine is an incredibly addictive substance, and cigarette companies know this. That’s why they’ve genetically engineered their tobacco for several years to contain up to twice as much nicotine, making their products even more addictive and boosting profits. The problem is that once you’re addicted, it can be nearly impossible to stop. In fact, the cessation rate for smokers is incredibly low, and few ever ditch the habit.
Can CBD Help?
There have been several studies conducted on the effectiveness of CBD in treating nicotine addiction, with mixed results. This study found that when participants were given CBD via inhaler or vaping cartridge, it reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by up to 40%. Those are some pretty promising results!
With minimal side-effects, anxiolytic properties, and availability, CBD oil and other products may just be the next big breakthrough in smoking cessation efforts. Most smokers reach for a cigarette again because nicotine withdrawal causes intense anxiety and even pain, both of which CBD seems to soothe.
Is CBD Right For Me?
This question comes across a lot in new CBD users, and understandably so. The Cannabis plant has been the victim of nearly one hundred years of stigma and misinformation and listed as a harmful drug for over five decades. Many users are afraid it will show up in a drug test, compromise their mental health, or otherwise affect them in a negative way.
The fact is, CBD oil has very few side-effects, and most of them are quite minor. You may feel fatigued, headache, or at worst, you’ll get diarrhea. CBD has been found to be safe for use in people of all ages, and is even being studied for use in treating childhood ADD/ADHD.
When you’re buying CBD oil, quality matters. Don’t settle for the cheapest oil you come across. Choose a company with a reputation for excellence that uses only the best organic USA-grown hemp, modern extraction processes, and provides excellent customer service. Give up smoking once and for all by choosing CBD oil for your smoking cessation aid.