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Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking?

Although the adult smoking rate in England continues to decline year on year and is now at a record low, 6.1 million people in the UK still smoke. Despite the well-documented risks associated with tobacco use, quitting smoking is a challenge for most, with the primary addictive driver of cigarette smoking being nicotine withdrawal. Indeed, in England, around 60% of smokers want to quit but it is thought that only 30% of smokers make at least one quit attempt every year. 

There are several aids available to help individuals quit smoking, including prescription medications and nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges. However, new research suggests that there could be an effective and natural alternative in Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD. CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant, which has gained significant attention in recent years for its potential therapeutic properties.

Unlike nicotine replacement therapies, CBD is not addictive. This means that individuals can use CBD to help quit smoking without becoming dependent on another substance. Compared to prescription medications, CBD is also associated with fewer side effects.

In this article, we’ll take a look in more detail at what the science says on CBD and smoking, and how it could help you quit for good. 

How CBD Can Help You Quit Smoking

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that CBD may offer benefits for individuals trying to quit smoking.

Cravings 

A variety of sources have shown that CB1 receptors help to modulate the rewarding effects of nicotine and other drugs, and can help to battle addiction.

Recent research from Washington State University on the Inhibition of Nicotine Metabolism by Cannabidiol (CBD) and 7-Hydroxycannabidiol (7-OH-CBD) suggests that CBD could inhibit the metabolism of nicotine, which means that it could curb cigarette cravings. Indeed, the research suggests that more than 70% of nicotine is metabolised by this particular enzyme and that it could be inhibited by relatively low doses of CBD.

Another two studies performed by the University College London in 2013 and 2018 showed similar, positive results. In 2013, 12 dependent smokers were given a CBD inhaler and another 12 smokers a placebo. Researchers found that those using the CBD inhaler reduced their cigarette intake by 40 percent, while those using the placebo had no significant change.

In 2018, 30 dependent smokers were given 800 mg of CBD or a matched placebo. They were then shown “pictorial tobacco cues” and were examined for withdrawal, cravings, heart rate, and blood pressure. They concluded that  a single 800 mg dose of CBD could help reduce the ‘salience and pleasantness’ of cigarette cues compared to the placebo group. 

A more recent 2021 animal study which looked at the effect of CBD administered to nicotine addicted rats found that CBD stopped all physical signs of nicotine withdrawal exhibited by the rats.

Finally, a 2019 study suggested that CBD may reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety in individuals with a history of heroin addiction. While this study focused on a different addictive substance, it raises the possibility that CBD could have a similar effect and may help reduce cravings for nicotine. 

Anxiety + Stress 

Cigarette smokers are often triggered to smoke by stressful, anxiety-provoking situations. However, research has shown that smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. Indeed, the sense of relaxation that nicotine creates is temporary, and soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings. 

CBD has been shown to have anxiolytic effects, meaning that it can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress without increasing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

In a large retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involving clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints, anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration.

Mean anxiety and sleep scores for adults using cannabidiol treatment. Anxiety and sleep scores are lower in patients who took CBD.

Mean anxiety and sleep scores for adults using cannabidiol treatment via: Morgan, C.J.A. et al. (2013) ‘Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: Preliminary findings’, Addictive Behaviors, 38(9), pp. 2433–2436. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.03.011.

In another 2019 study, which compared the acute effects of different doses of CBD and placebo in healthy volunteers performing a simulated public speaking test (SPST) — a well-tested anxiety-inducing method — CBD significantly reduced anxiety compared to placebo.

A 2015 review of studies also concluded that preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviours relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD.

Finally, increased blood pressure can lead to anxiety, and those feelings can be a trigger to start smoking again. Emerging scientific research suggests that CBD could also help to lower blood pressure.

Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory and antiemetic properties of CBD can help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms from those trying to quit smoking, and potentially help to heal the lungs. 

Smoking cigarettes exposes the body to numerous harmful chemicals and toxins, leading to chronic inflammation in various organs, especially the lungs. There is a growing number of studies that support the fact that CBD can help counter chronic inflammation, which means it could help to heal and improve lung function. Indeed, a 2014 study on mice with damaged lungs showed CBD helped lower inflammation and improved lung function.

CBD has also demonstrated efficacy in reducing nausea and headaches, which are commonly reported withdrawal symptoms from those trying to quit.

Considerations

While CBD shows promise as an aid to help people quit smoking, and it is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, there are some important factors to consider.

Safety and Side Effects: Although CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, it can cause mild side effects, such as dry mouth and fatigue. It might also interact with certain medications, so it is essential for patients to consult with their doctor before starting CBD treatment.

Source and Quality: Choose CBD derived from organically grown hemp, as this ensures minimal exposure to harmful chemicals. You should also look for third-party laboratory reports to verify how pure and potent your product is, and to ensure there are no contaminants.

Type of CBD: Broad-spectrum CBD is a great option for those who want to experience the effects of CBD without consuming THC, the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. Some clinical reports suggest that broad or full-spectrum CBD may have a better effect due to the number of cannabinoids and other plant compounds they contain that work together, otherwise known as the entourage effect.

CBD products come in various forms, such as oils, capsules, edibles, and vape pens, so you should choose a delivery method and dosage that suits your needs.

Dosage: Finding the right dose and administration method can be a trial-and-error process as results can vary significantly from person to person. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it while monitoring its effects.

Individual Variability: The effectiveness of CBD may vary from person to person; what works for one individual may not work for another.


We are Purity Hemp, the UK’s #1 Online CBD provider. Backed by science, and built on the principles of traceability, transparency & trust, we are dedicated to improving the health & wellness of all our customers.

We are proud to be one of the only companies to guarantee full traceability from seed to shelf with our premium range of products, tested by third-party, independent quality control analysts.

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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
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Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

Contains Zero THC, chlorophyll free

*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

Keep out of sight or reach of children.