Health & Wellness
CBD as Treatment For Nicotine Addiction
CBD as Treatment For Nicotine Addiction
As research on CBD continues to improve, scientists have increasingly found that CBD has the potential to play a powerful role in the treatment of addiction. While the incidence of smoking has decreased in the 21st century, nicotine addiction continues to plague our society and the health hazards associated with smoking continue to affect the lives of both smokers and non-smokers alike. Researchers in the field of addiction have been hopeful that CBD will be a great help for those looking to quit.
Quitting smoking can be incredibly difficult, especially when considering the withdrawal symptoms that accompany breaking an addiction. Restlessness, cravings, headaches, irritability, depression and anxiety are debilitating symptoms that prevent many people from kicking the habit.
With symptoms lasting anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on how long and how much you’ve been smoking, it’s no wonder that ex-smokers usually have to try several times before finally quitting for good.
All this being said, it’s worth considering how CBD can help those struggling with nicotine addiction. CBD can help rewire our brain’s pathways for pleasure, reward and memory as well as reduce a smoker’s response to cues that may trigger cravings. To understand what this means for addiction recovery we first have to address how nicotine addiction affects our brains.
When you begin smoking cigarettes, the nicotine begins reprogramming the receptors in your brain to create a physical dependence on the substance. Nicotine causes our brains to create a surge of dopamine in the reward center which is what makes us associate smoking with pleasure.
Over time, nicotine causes our brain’s neural-receptors to only accept nicotine and hinders the brain from naturally producing as much dopamine without the aid of nicotine. This causes the experience of pleasure and reward associated with smoking to become more hard-wired in the brain over time. This strong link between pleasant memories and smoking makes quitting all the more difficult.
When a tobacco smoker tries to quit, the brain triggers strong cravings and goes into withdrawal as it seeks out the same levels of dopamine it was used to.
Withdrawal symptoms and cravings may be triggered in as little as two hours since your last cigarette. Preliminary studies have shown CBD to be helpful in returning receptors back to their pre-addicted state.
Although CBD doesn’t directly affect nicotine withdrawal symptoms it can affect the way that smokers respond to cues that are normally associated with smoking, such as stress and memories that are linked to prior habitual smoking behaviors.
CBD can help play an important role in reducing the intensity of the connection between the pleasure centers of our brains and nicotine. In a recent addiction study, participants who were given an inhaler with CBD still felt cravings for cigarettes and experienced withdrawal symptoms when they did not smoke but were also not responding as strongly to external cues associated with smoking.
This ultimately helped the participants smoke less and, ultimately, quit.
The effects of CBD on nicotine addiction treatment becomes apparent when you consider the stress-relieving qualities of CBD. Consuming CBD can help a former smoker deal with the constant stress of being unable to satisfy their nicotine cravings.
When going through a nicotine withdrawal period it can feel like an uphill battle as irritability, headaches and cravings can cause more stress in your daily life. CBD can have anxiety-relieving and relaxation properties which can help those fighting off cravings better concentrate on their day to day.
CBD vape cartridges are a good option for those looking to nurse the habit of taking a drag from a cigarette while also receiving the anxiety/stress-relieving properties of CBD. Although the effects are more short-lived when inhaled, the effects are also felt more quickly than other forms of consuming CBD. This makes CBD vape cartridges perfect for moments of extreme stress or anxiety. Vaping CBD can also help you transition more easily from nicotine because the similarity of inhaling from a vape can serve as a replacement for the familiar motions of smoking.
Breaking a nicotine addiction can also affect sleep patterns. The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can interrupt sleep, and smoking may have become part of a regular nighttime routine. Studies have shown that taking CBD before bed can greatly improve your deep sleep cycle and it is often consumed together with melatonin either through an edible or tincture form.
Although CBD does not directly stop nicotine habits or addiction, it does affect the way that your brain remembers the pleasure of smoking and may help mitigate intrusive thoughts about smoking as you go through the nicotine withdrawal period.
Quitting smoking is about more than just overcoming a physical addiction. It’s also about breaking habits. Consuming or smoking CBD can help relieve some of the anxiety associated with this process.
Most evidence suggests that CBD can be a helpful aid in the treatment of nicotine addiction and can give those looking to kick the habit a greater chance of making it a permanent change. Make this the last time you quit smoking with the help of CBD.