By Merin M.
Apart from psychotropic drugs, nicotine is considered one of the most addictive substances that afflict people around the world.
According to the National Institute of Health, cigarette smoking proves fatal for one out of five Americans. Each year, almost 87 percent of fatalities occur due to lung cancer and 30 percent, due to other kinds of cancer. It has also found that people who quit smoking before the age of 50, reduce their risk of death by half.
However, quitting cigarette smoking is not all that easy, a fact borne out by the smokers themselves. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, only six percent of smokers succeed in quitting this addiction in any given year. This has given a boost to the sale of nicotine patches and antidepressants to help smokers quit. However, their success rate remains dismal.
So, what’s the way out? Researchers point towards CBD or cannabidiol oil, derived from the cannabis plant. This oil offers a dual advantage. One, it is easy to use as it can be added to your morning coffee, just as you add sugar. Two, it is natural and does not display any side effects.
CBD oil helps to quit smoking
It may come as a surprise that CBD oil has proven better than other remedies for quitting smoking. This cannabis compound acts by engaging cell receptors in the same way as done by antidepressants in treating nicotine addiction. The action of CBD oil helps release feel-good neurotransmitters that reduce nicotine cravings, much like serotonin.
More importantly, CBD oil helps by actually modifying memories and associations that trigger nicotine cravings. Smokers are most prone to triggers. Their craving for a cigarette may get triggered by something as innocuous as a toilet call or a cup of morning tea or coffee or even feelings of anxiety.
To fulfill these cravings, the smoker is left with no choice but to light up. This mental association of smoke with an act works as the main trigger for smokers to smoke. Slowly and slowly this gets ingrained in the memory, and the smoker is caught in a vicious circle of learned memories and reinforced behaviors.
Memory – the main culprit
It dawns that the mental association of your daily activities with smoking is what compels you to smoke. The cure lies in breaking this association at the mental level. This is where CBD oil enters the picture.
Researchers have found that CBD is capable of overwriting learned memories and replace them with ones that don’t trigger the urge to smoke. This was experimented in 2016 on rats, where nicotine was replaced by morphine. According to the study published in Addiction Biology, rats were given a dose of morphine at a particular place to form an association.
This was then reinforced by repeating it till it got ingrained into their minds. The only way to reduce the pleasure associated with this reinforced behavior was to bring in changes so that this association feels no more pleasurable to the rats.
This is what CBD oil seemed to have done. It changed memory that automatically got uncoupled from their trigger. Not only was this oil able to shake off the habit, but also prevented the risk of relapse.
CBD oil helps with nicotine withdrawal
Researchers turned to humans from rats and targeted people addicted to cigarette smoking. Using CBD oil, the researchers were able to change and reduce the feelings of reward associated with nicotine. When smokers were given CBD inhalers in a controlled experiment, such was its effect that there was a drop of almost 40 percent in cigarette consumption, as per a study conducted in 2013 and reported in Addictive Behaviors.
In another study conducted in 2018 and reported in Addiction, nicotine addicts were deprived of cigarettes for a day and then shown triggering images. Those who had used CBD oil were less cranky and had reduced response to the triggering images. Loss of a strong urge to smoke was quite evident in smokers using this oil.
Using CBD oil
Smokers can take CBD oil in many ways. They have the options of CBD inhalers and pills, Medix CBD gummies and oil drops. All of these can be ordered online and are effective memory-altering natural supplements without side effects.
CBD oil is undoubtedly a godsend for smokers who want to break the shackles of nicotine addiction. The positive CBD effects observed in breaking this addiction promises to help the addicts kick their smoking habit for good.