According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, nicotine can be just as addictive as heroin and cocaine (although not as dangerous as illicit drugs if you quit, the younger the better). Luckily, cannabis contains a compound that can help users quit smoking, or at the very least, greatly reduce the amount of cigarettes smoked per day/week.
CBD has recently been discovered as an aid to help people struggling with a variety of drug addictions, but little research has been done to determine whether it can be used to treat cigarette addiction. In the United States alone, an estimated 36.5 million adults smoke cigarettes, and over 16 million Americans are currently living with a smoking-related disease.
Researchers at the University College London – led by Dr. Celia J. A. Morgan, a member of the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit – published a small study in the journal Addictive Behaviors which explained how cannabidiol (CBD) can help provide craving relief for nicotine addicts. For the study, 24 smokers of similar age, half male and half female, were split into two groups. One group received a specialized inhaler containing CBD, the other group got only a placebo. Both groups were instructed to use the inhalers whenever they felt like smoking over the course of one week.
The researchers were able to establish that the CBD group showed a significant difference in their overall smoking habits, while the placebo group remained unchanged. On average, the participants in the CBD group reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by 40% that week. “This (40%) was more than expected,” commented Dr. Morgan. “However, it is difficult to compare to other smoking cessation therapies as we did not ask people to stop smoking, simply to try using the inhaler when they wanted a cigarette.”
There are many treatments on the market these days for cigarette addiction, but researchers are still working on finding safer and more effective methods. CBD seems to be auspicious, however, more studies are needed before it can be implemented. In an interesting twist, Dr. Morgan also mentioned that she plans to conduct a study on the effects of using CBD to quit using regular marijuana.
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