Smoking. Everybody knows and accepts it is terrible for our health... so why are so many people still doing it? Thankfully, due to continued research, advertising restrictions etc, fewer people are making the decision to start, however there are still a lot of people out there, particularly those who have smoked for a long time, who are unable to beat the addiction. And smoking is up there, it is thought to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
This article explores whether CBD can help you give up, and why it might be different from other quit smoking products, such as NRT.
This post isn’t going to talk in detail about the plethora of options available to aid giving up smoking – many with huge success stories. If you’re reading this, you may have tried one (or many!) of these options previously. Every smoker has more than one “giving up” experience, most governing bodies who publish statistics on smoking, quote at least 10 attempts of giving up, on average, before one succeeds.
Fear of failure is a top reason for people not even to attempt quitting smoking, failed attempts can leave you feeling dejected, weak, and have a hugely negative impact on your confidence. All of this emotion is wrapped up with smoking itself, making planning to quit a stressful experience before you even begin!
There are many on the market, and many are fantastic solutions to help you beat the cigs. However, some don’t work for all people, examples we hear include;
- Vapeing / E-Cigs – Great to stop you smoking... but how do you quite the vape? Not only are you still taking nicotine, but your muscle memory is still very much engaged in the process.
- Patches / Sprays – Again you’re still taking nicotine (which, admittedly, on its own in small doses is not thought to be too much of an issue) – But you’re still replacing one addiction with another, albeit maybe a healthier one.
We believe that many of these failures boil down to the fact that whatever nicotine replacement option you go for, your life is still being controlled by nicotine intake. When you panic about your vape battery running low... it is not that different from running out of cigarettes when your miles away from the nearest shop.
We know the health benefits of quitting are amazing, even if we have become habitual patch wearers – it’s a small price to pay right? The trouble is, as the health benefits taper off, and you forget how out of puff you used to be when you jogged that 5k, you’re at a weak point without even realising it.
The other problem is, you still feel like you’re “missing” something, and trying to replace it, rather than just moving on with your life smoke-free. Beating any form of addiction is a huge challenge for everyone.
CBD and Addiction
CBD attention is growing due to its potential to treat drug and alcohol abuse – both forms of addiction. If you’ve read other articles on this site, you’ll know that we talk extensively about how CBD can help all kinds of ailments, from pain and inflammation, to stress and anxiety. There is no special feature of CBD that helps specifically with addiction, it all comes back down to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS plays a role in all systems and functions within the human body, from our immune system, through to appetite and regulation of mood. CBD binds with receptors in the ECS, helping our body achieve homeostasis – A balanced body and mind is the best foundation for beating addiction. But there’s more.
CBD has an impact on the brain circuitry that is responsible for craving triggered by drug-related factors and stress. This is a huge step forward in understanding how CBD can help beat addiction. There are many studies underway, with one evidencing a reduction in heroine cravings following a programme of CBD.
Other Ways CBD Can Help Quite Smoking...
In addition to helping the brain manage cravings, the everyday and understood benefits of CBD can help hugely in getting through the quitting process:
- Reduced Stress & Anxiety: CBD is thought to interact with certain receptors in the brain that help to produce Serotonin. It is widely accepted that serotonin plays an important role in wellbeing and mental health. Removing the stress around smoking can make all the difference to a successful smoke-free life.
- Helps Headaches & Migraines: There are physical symptoms to quitting smoking, not just emotional ones. Headaches are a common complaint. CBD is a promising compound for headache relief owing to its Analgesic Anti-Pain effects and potential to provide stress and anxiety relief. Using CBD for migraines and headaches is also safe compared to taking regular pain medicine such as Opioids, which are known to be addictive.
- Sleep: Another victim of drug withdrawal, a lack of sleep not only impacts your day to day life, but it doesn’t help with your capacity to make good decisions. Many researchers believe that CBD helps us sleep by tackling the root causes of insomnia. This is a valid argument, as CBD has been shown to ease many of the most common causes of disordered sleeping.
- And finally, CBD is a non-addictive substance, so you are no longer feeding your addiction, meaning that relapse further down the line is much less likely.
How to use CBD to quit smoking
The first thing new CBD users need to establish is the correct dosage for them, start by reading our article about how to choose the right CBD dosage. We would always recommend using CBD Oil, taken orally under the tongue, for maximum health benefits, particularly around addiction.
Have you used CBD to help quit smoking? We’d love you to share your story with us.