Some say quitting smoking is parallel to quitting heroin. Those who haven’t had to (fortunately) overcome a heroin addiction who have quit cigs often say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done in their life. If you’re ready to kick your habit for good, there are things that can make the process easier.
Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis has shown to have a seriously positive impact when it comes to quitting smoking. Not only does CBD not get you high, but its legal in all 50 states, making it an easily accessible alternative to the cigarettes that are wreaking havoc on your health.
What Studies Have to Say About CBD and Cigarette Cessation
There have been numerous studies that highlight the power of CBD for overcoming addiction. One study however, headed by Dr. CJ Morgan of the Clinical Pharmacology Unit at the University College London, was conducted solely for the purpose of looking at CBD for cigarette addiction.
In the study (randomized, double-blind placebo controlled) 24 smokers were split into two groups of 12 people. Each person was given a vaporizer, instructed how to use it, and told to use it every time they had an urge to smoke a cigarette over the period of one week.
During the week they were told NOT to try to quit smoking or reduce the number of cigs they smoked. All they were advised to do was use the vaporizer when they had an urge to light up a cigarette.
When the week was over, the group that was given the placebo showed no reduction in the number of cigarettes they smoked. HOWEVER, the group that received the vaporizer reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by 40 PERCENT. And they didn’t even try to cut down.
Morgan believes it’s because of the way CBD affects the memories (or triggers) that hold the desire to smoke.
“We found that CBD seems to reduce the salience of cues,” noted Morgan. “It also can reduce anxiety and may affect a memory process called ‘reconsolidation,’ which is where when a memory of the reward of smoking is re-activated by seeing someone smoking, it is rendered vulnerable to destruction.”
Quitting Smoking, Serotonin, and CBD
Maybe quitting smoking is so hard because of its effects on the serotonin levels in your brain. Nicotine appears to increase serotonin levels, but it only lasts as long as the cigarette is being smoked. Did you know that when you quit smoking cigarettes it can deplete serotonin levels by up to 50 percent?
Serotonin is one of the “feel good” chemicals in your brain…and low levels have been directly linked to depression. It’s no wonder cig smokers have such a hard time quitting. Research has shown that it takes up to 3 weeks or longer to replace lost serotonin levels after quitting smoking.
Here’s how CBD can help. CBD is a 5-HT1A agonist and a subtype of the serotonin receptor. One of its main functions is the inhibition of fear and anxiety. It also inhibits the neurotransmitter cortisol, which is positively connected to stress.
CBD also binds with 5-HT1A which causes it to have the same effect as actual serotonin molecules. Put simply, CBD increases the “happy” molecules in your brain, which is why it’s so amazing for anxiety and depression.
Let’s get real though, there’s literally nothing that feels “happy” when you’re overcoming an addiction to cigs. You’re irritated. Feel like you’re crawling out of your skin. Angry. Sad. Can’t sleep. Eat everything in sight. There’s a reason so many people still smoke even though we’re well aware that people die from smoking every single day. Quitting smoking sucks.
Bringing Balance Back to the Brain
But it doesn’t have to be as bad. CBD plays a vital role in bringing back natural balance to the body and mind. Smoking cigs depletes serotonin levels, but CBD can level this out. It’s shown to increase the synthesis and release of serotonin, which can be ridiculously beneficial when you’re trying to quit.
Quitting smoking isn’t easy. It’s not. Ask anyone who’s done it and they’ll tell you that not only was it the hardest thing they’ve ever done in their life, but also that even after being quit for like 20 years or longer they still get an urge for a cigarette.
And while hearing things like this can make you wonder what the point of quitting is at all…no one should have to remain slave to a cigarette for the rest of their lives. Just in case you forgot just how bad it really is the next time it feels impossible to resist the urge to light up, check out the following smoking stats:
- Every hour, more than 50 Americans die from smoking cigarettes. That’s about 440,000 people each year.
- There are more deaths each year caused by tobacco than by HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined.
- On average, cig smokers die 13-14 years earlier than non-smokers.
- Each cigarette reduces your life by almost 11 minutes.
Quitting Smoking is Hard…CBD Can Make It Easier
There’s no getting around it. Quitting smoking is hard. But it doesn’t have to be AS hard when you know what helps make it easier. CBD is one of the most effective natural remedies to ease the anxiety, stress, and depression that are all common when you quit smoking.
And while yes, CBD is a compound found in cannabis, it’s non-psychoactive and legal in all 50 states. Rather than suffer through the stress of quitting, do yourself a favor and try vaping CBD. You don’t have anything to lose…and a whole new world to gain when you finally kick your cig addiction for good.
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Thanks for reading!
Erik Christian Johnson is a full-time blogger, self-development advocate, and full-time network marketing Entrepreneur.