Can CBD help me stop smoking?

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We all know what smoking does to our bodies in short and long term.  In fact, a study published in 2008 cited tobacco as the single greatest cause of preventable death internationally! 

Saying that, most smokers would agree that it is the smoking cessation (quitting) that causes the most problems. The reason behind it is simple - the nicotine addiction. Numerous studies have suggested a link between nicotine addiction and the endocannabinoid system ( a group of receptors in humans brain involved in a variety of physiological processes such as appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory). The latest research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) can help if you are trying to stop smoking! 

In September 2014, a study completed by University College London researchers was published in Addictive Behaviors. University researchers attempted to investigate whether low doses of CBD could help smokers who wanted to quit smoking to overcome their nicotine addiction.

Celia J.A. Morgan led the research team, and 24 participants ages 18-35 were selected. Half of the participants were male, while the other half were female, and the study utilized a double-blind and placebo-controlled model. In order to participate in the study, participants were required to smoke more than 10 cigarettes each day, and they also needed to have a goal of beating their nicotine habit.

Next, participants recorded the number of cigarettes that they smoked throughout the week before treatment. They were then split into two groups and given an inhaler to use each time they felt a craving to smoke. One group was given a placebo, while the second group received CBD.

Participants then recorded their inhaler use over the next week, and they also kept track of the number of cigarettes they smoked. Researchers also sent out texts once per day asking participants to rate their level of craving for cigarettes.

Researchers found that those in the placebo group showed no difference in the amount that they smoked. However, those in the CBD group smoked, on average, 40% less after just a 1-week period.

“We found that CBD seems to reduce the salience of cues. It also can reduce anxiety and may affect a memory process called ‘reconsolidation,’ which is where when a memory of the reward of smoking is re-activated by seeing someone smoking, it is rendered vulnerable to destruction”, says Dr. Celia Morgan, co-author of the study. “CBD might mean these positive smoking memories are gradually erased,”

You can read the full study by clicking here.

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