Cannabidiol (CBD) may help to treat nicotine addiction
Knowledge that smoking can cause numerous adverse health effects on the human body. Significant research has concluded that cigarette smoke can cause cancer, heart attacks, COPD, and strokes, among other diseases and medical conditions. A 2008 study indicated that tobacco use results in the highest number of preventable deaths in the world, and for every cigarette that a person smokes, their life expectancy will shorten by 11 minutes.
Today, these frightening statistics are well known in the U.S., and most people would agree that smoking is harmful. Unfortunately, smoking cessation is difficult, and many people struggle to quit. The intense cravings that result from trying to give up nicotine are often strong enough to cause smokers to abandon their quest to quit. Researchers have attempted to find ways to help smokers to give up their nicotine addiction, and a recent study has indicated that Cannabidiol (CBD) could be helpful when trying to quit smoking.
UK RESEARCH STUDIED CIGARETTE CONSUMPTION AND CBD
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, but 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.
CBD SHOWS PROMISE IN DECREASING CIGARETTE USE
The results of this study indicated that the group of participants receiving CBD treatment experienced significant reduction in the amount of cigarettes that they smoked. The placebo group did not achieve similar results, as little change before and after treatment was noted. However, this reduction in cigarette consumption was present even without a change in daily craving levels, meaning CBD was helpful in reducing the amount that participants were smoking without causing an increase in cravings. Since cravings are commonly the cause of relapse, the fact that CBD did not cause an increase in cravings served as an encouraging finding for researchers.