Many people struggle for years to quit smoking. Could CBD be the answer? A recent study shows CBD could help people quit smoking. Read on to find out more. 

Study Shows CBD Could Help People Quit Smoking

A federally funded study shows CBD could help people quit smoking by reducing tobacco cravings. 

The study was conducted by researchers at Washington State University (WSU) and published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology last month. It looked at the effects of CBD on the metabolism of nicotine, the main addictive component of tobacco. It showed that low doses of the cannabinoid could inhibit a key enzyme associated with nicotine processing in the body leading to a reduction of cravings. 

“The whole mission is to decrease harm from smoking which is not from the nicotine per se, but all the carcinogens and other chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke,” said WSU professor and senior author of the study Philip Lazarus. “If we can minimize that harm, it would be a great thing for human health.”

The study showing CBD could help people quit smoking examined liver tissue and microsomes from specialized cell lines. It reveals that CBD inhibited multiple relevant enzymes including CYP2A6, the main enzyme that metabolized nicotine. It showed that the cannabis constituent inhibited the enzyme’s processing of the chemical by 50%, even at the low dose concentration in which it was administered. 

“In other words, it appears that you don’t need much CBD to see the effect,” said Lazarus. 

While the results of the study showing CBD could help people quit smoking looks promising, more research is needed to determine its full effects. Lazarus and his team are actively pursuing a follow-up clinical trial involving tobacco smokers to establish CBD’s efficacy in treating nicotine addiction. 

“Further investigation will be required to determine the potential for CBD and potentially other cannabinoids as agents for tobacco cessation therapy,” the study said. 

The study that shows CBD could help people quit smoking was conducted with support from the National Institute of Health’s National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences.

Other Studies That Show CBD Could Help People Quit Smoking

There have been other studies that show CBD could help people quit smoking in the past. For example, a 2018 study showed that 800 mg of CBD is more effective at reducing the pleasantness smokers associate with cigarette smoking as compared to a placebo. 

A 2013 study showed that participants who used a CBD inhaler every time they wanted to smoke reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 40%. 

A 2021 animal study found that CBD stopped all signs of nicotine withdrawal exhibited by rats. 

However, the current study stands out because it indicates that the inhibition of the key enzymes leads to, “increased plasma nicotine levels per cigarette smoked and a reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked, thus diminishing the adverse health effects of smoking.”

This can lead to significant implications regarding harm reduction as nicotine is a highly addictive substance that’s extremely detrimental to health. The fact that just a small amount of CBD could have such an impact spells good news for health outcomes. 

Other Ways CBD Reduces Smoking Habits

CBD and other cannabis products have been shown to reduce smoking habits in other ways. 

For example, many people have reported they are smoking more marijuana and less nicotine since marijuana became legal. A separate Gallup poll released a data analysis in August showing that more Americans openly admitted to smoking marijuana or eating edibles than those that said they smoked cigarettes in the last week. 

Another theory to look at is cannabis’s ability to reduce anxiety. Many people smoke when they are anxious. It’s possible that CBD may eliminate that anxiety making them less likely to smoke. 

Can CBD Treat Other Addictions?

Research reveals that CBD could help people quit smoking. But can it help with other addictions? A 2015 review of both animal and human studies established its potential. 

Studies revealed that addiction is strongly connected to the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When CBD enters the body, it interacts with receptors in the ECS in such a way as to reduce cravings. It may be effective in reducing intoxication, withdrawal, and cravings associated with opioids, marijuana, and alcohol. 

Can Psychedelic Mushrooms Help People Quit Smoking?

In somewhat related news, there’s promising early research that suggests that psilocybin, the main active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’ can strongly assist with quitting smoking. In 2021, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NDA) approved a grant for researchers at Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham to study how the psychedelic constituent can help curb cigarette addiction. Studies are ongoing. 

About CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabis constituent. It has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and pain and improving sleep patterns. It is included in the prescription drug EPIDIOLEX which treats rare forms of epilepsy in children. 

CBD has also been looked at for its ability to improve mental health, protect against cognitive decline, reduce cancer and cancer symptoms, and benefit heart health. It can be taken in oil, pill, or topical form.