Every year, it is estimated that tobacco smoking leads to the deaths of more than eight million people across the world . This number includes both smokers and non-smokers who are affected by third party smoke. It may seem surprising that smokers continue this habit knowing its dangerous nature. However, smoking is largely addictive and can be hard to break.
Smokers who decide to quit smoking on the other hand do not have it easy. Strong and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms make it very hard for those trying to quit achieve long-lived success.
How Addictions Develop
Read on below to find out more about CBD and how it may be used to help smokers quit this habit for good.
Smoking is a dangerous habit that can result in harmful illnesses and may even lead to death. People looking to quit smoking usually have a hard time getting over this habit due to their overreliance on nicotine. While nicotine replacement therapies can help smokers reduce their consumption of cigarettes, it continues to feed nicotine to the brain. And this is what maintains the addiction to this substance.
In recent years CBD has also emerged as another product that may be used to help cigarette smokers achieve their goal of quitting. CBD is an active compound found in the cannabis plant. This compound is typically extracted from industrial hemp plants. Some of the main uses of CBD may include helping relieve inflammation, insomnia, and symptoms of anxiety, among others. This active ingredient normally produces its positive effects by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Born in India, grew up in Serbia, lived and traveled throughout the world, Xavier’s uprooted existence fuels his instinct for exploration. With a masters degree in research psychology, he is a passionate educator on the topic of psychedelics, trying to reconcile the astounding nature of the realms beyond with what sense we can make of them in this one. Currently living in Southeast Asia and working as a staff writer for several major psychedelic websites.
All this said, the science of the therapeutic effects of CBD is still in its infancy and we don’t quite understand its addiction-breaking action on a neurochemical level; however, numerous positive anecdotal reports are abundantly available online. People seem to be having genuine success with using CBD oil to quit smoking both cigarettes and THC-rich cannabis.
CBD is known to act as a stimulant of the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for promoting rest, healing, rejuvenating, and regenerating) and as an inhibitor of the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for eliciting responses to stress and triggering the fight-or-flight mechanism). Its calming effects are harnessed to relieve anxiety, depression, pain, and stress in general. All of these factors correlate with smoking, and alleviating them can greatly contribute to how efficiently smokers can use CBD oil to stop smoking.
Ways to Take CBD to Quit Smoking
The problem with quiting tobacco is not quiting. It is staying a non smoker. (Quiting is just the first step as all smokers know who struggle with quiting)
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Merely replacing the process of smoking with inhaling a dose of CBD oil seems to calm the craving for nicotine and make cigarettes seem at least acutely unattractive. This represents a great psychological benefit for those who are seeking to use CBD oil to quit smoking as the physiological pattern is quite strong in smokers, and especially connected with the state of mind during stressful or social situations.
Psychologically, vaping as a method that resembles smoking can also potentially help tobacco users drop the habit. A 2014 global survey of over 19,000 cigarette smokers found that 81% of respondents had completely transitioned to e-cigarettes, while the rest cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked while simultaneously vaping. These results imply that vaporizers can act as a psychological substitute for cigarettes; the combination of transitioning to a vaporizer and using the addiction-breaking properties of CBD oil to stop the nicotine cravings should, in theory, eventually lead the user to quit smoking altogether.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. Nicotine triggers a release of serotonin, which translates to the feelings of calmness and contentment associated with cigarette smoking. However, in between—and while quitting—cigarettes, nicotine withdrawal starts to set in and the decreased levels of serotonin in your brain can result in decreased energy, moodiness, anxiety, and depression. This is when you start to crave that next smoke.
When using CBD oil to quit smoking, the best delivery method may be a CBD vape. Part of what makes it so difficult to quit smoking is the reinforced habitual nature of it. The ritual of smoking—being able to step outside and bringing the cigarette to your lips—is a big part of what makes cigarettes pleasurable and difficult to give up. CBD oil vapes provide a way to ease out of nicotine addiction without having to break the physical habit of smoking.
In periods of sudden stress, when someone would ordinarily go have a cigarette, they can vape instead. The inhale-exhale action will be largely the same, but a nicotine-free CBD vape pen can deliver calming, relaxing effects in a matter of minutes. The effects do not last as long as with other CBD oil delivery formats, but vaping CBD oil is ideal for on-the-spot relief and sudden nicotine cravings. And as a bonus, CBD vapes produce practically no odor, so you’ll enjoy the act of smoking without that infamous, lingering cigarette smell afterwards.
Breaking the Cycle of Addiction with CBD Oil
Other CBD oil products like edibles and capsules can also be incorporated into your daily routine to reap the potential anti-inflammatory, serotonin-boosting benefits of CBD oil. Because these ingestion methods have to be metabolized through the digestive tract, they can take up to an hour to work, but the effects can last most of the day, meaning they will work in the background, subtly helping the brain and body maintain homeostasis.
CBD oil can activate the brain’s 5-HT1A receptor, which boosts the availability of serotonin in a similar way to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. (CBD oil is also being researched as a potential aid in managing depression. ) So, CBD oil may help reduce the stress, anxiety, and irritability associated with attempts to quit smoking.
The brain has a natural desire to create links. Anyone who has tried to quit smoking will know all too well that during that first coffee of the day, or perhaps after a meal, the desire to have a cigarette suddenly amplifies as the brain connects that activity to the action of smoking. Breaking this chain of learned memories and reinforced behaviors can be a long process, and is one which adds another hurdle to quitting cigarettes.
Nicotine addiction is the number one reason cigarette smokers struggle to quit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that more people in the United States are addicted to nicotine than any other drug. What’s more, the research suggests nicotine may be as addictive as cocaine or heroin.