CBD to quit smoking

Smoking is one of the greatest threats to health, since it is the cause of death of more than 8 million people a year, of which more than 7 million are direct consumers and about 1.2 million are passive smokers, exposed to second-hand smoke.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), there are about 1.3 billion smokers in the world and every day, 100,000 young people under 18 years of age.

It is a global epidemic of great magnitude, in which the multinational tobacco companies do their best to hide its harmful effects, increasingly known to the general public thanks to the work of awareness against smoking.

Use of CBD for smoking cessation

Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the cannabinoids present in the Cannabis Sativa plant, can help in the fight against tobacco addiction, due to its anxiolytic properties.

A clinical study investigating the role of cannabidiol in nicotine addiction showed very positive results. It was a double-blind study on 24 smokers who wished to quit smoking. They were divided into two groups of 12 who were instructed to use a CBD inhaler when they had the urge to smoke. There was no difference in the placebo-treated patients, while the CBD inhaler group reduced smoking by 40% during treatment. The results also show a certain degree of persistence of effect during the follow-up period.

These data, coupled with the large amount of experimental evidence available, suggest that CBD can be used as a potential treatment for nicotine addiction to help those who wish to quit smoking.

If you want to include CBD oils in your daily routine, we recommend starting with a low concentration, a 10% or 15% CBD oil, and then gradually increasing it, in order to further consolidate its effects in the long term. 

It is important to note that it is necessary to have patience and give time to this treatment, since CBD has a different effect on each person and it is necessary some time to experience the rhythm of its effects in each organism. 

Recommendations to quit smoking

Some tips to quit smoking that will help you achieve your goal are: 

  • Avoid triggers, such as situations in which you smoke socially (dinners with friends, breaks with co-workers, etc.).
  • Chew sugarless gum or anything that can keep your mouth occupied in a way that is harmless to your health (nuts, etc.).
  • Whenever the desire to smoke appears, do your best to postpone it, each time for a longer and longer period of time.
  • Do not fall into the temptation to "smoke just one", it is never just one and will always lead you back to addiction.
  • Take advantage of the reinforcement of the online community: look for support on the net, there are support groups, personal blogs and a long etc. of resources available easily and free of charge on the internet.
  • Practice sports, preferably outdoors and in contact with nature, which is proven to lower anxiety levels.
  • Try relaxation techniques and even start meditating.
  • Make daily affirmations that remind you of the benefits of quitting smoking: feeling better about yourself, being a healthy person, protecting your family and friends from the health risks of passive smoking and saving money, among others.

Nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation

The nicotine in tobacco causes a physical dependence that can cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when a person tries to quit smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) provides nicotine through alternative routes, freeing the smoker from the other harmful chemicals in tobacco.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five forms of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT):

  • Patches.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Nasal spray.
  • Inhalers
  • lozenges (lozenges).

In the case of nicotine replacement therapy, it is important to consult with a health specialist, as it is important to know how it works and in which cases it is most indicated, as well as the expectations of cure and other key issues.

Other alternative therapies for smoking cessation

There are several complementary therapies to help those who wish to quit smoking. 

  • Hypnosis: although the AECC (Spanish Association Against Cancer) indicates that hypnosis for smoking cessation applied in isolation has not proven to be an effective treatment for tobacco dependence, results could be significantly improved when combined with other therapies aimed at behavioral change.
  • Acupuncture: this technique is accepted by the WHO as a treatment for smoking cessation, since the changes produced by inserting needles in acupuncture points produce a change in the levels of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine...), which affects the emotional state and desire.
  • Magnet therapy or magnetic therapy: technique also known as biomagnetism or magnet therapy, non-invasive, which uses magnetic waves to create various types of effects in the body to help cure pathologies, ailments and injuries.
  • Laser therapy or cold laser therapy: technique also called laser acupuncture or soft laser; it consists of using a low power diode laser to change the functioning of the body's cells through strategic points in charge of calming anxiety.

In any case and whatever the therapy chosen and/or recommended by the health professional, taking CBD will help you cope with the effects of withdrawal. 

And now that you have discovered just one of the many uses of CBD to reduce tobacco withdrawal anxiety, discover many others (to sleep better, take care of your skin, pain relief, improve your concentration...) by reading the articles in our Introduction to CBD section.

Source: Celia Morgan et al CNS drugs 2013 and Cancer.org.

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