Saturday, May 25, 2024

Can Cannabis Help You Quit Smoking Cigarettes?

If you live in a state where weed is legal and you’re ready to take quitting smoking seriously, it might be a good idea to have some fast-acting edibles handy for when the urge to smoke strikes.

Nicotine is widely known to be one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and it is certainly the most addictive legal drug in America. According to the CDC, tobacco causes about one in every five deaths in America. While there have been some positive results from anti-smoking campaigns that have helped reduce the number of new smokers in recent years, nothing close to a cure for nicotine addiction exists today. 

There are all sorts of products on the market that try to help those addicted to nicotine move away from tobacco, including patches, gums, lozenges, pills and everything in between. In recent years, some have even started to turn to cannabis in the form of CBD gummies and even THC. But can these cannabis derived edibles really help you quit smoking?

Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie via Unsplash

RELATED: Can CBD Help You Quit Smoking Cigarettes?

Recent studies have shown CBD has been effective in helping with cigarette withdrawals, and decreasing one’s desire to smoke. One study, by University College London, found that using CBD helped reduce nicotine desire almost instantly. “The study found that after a single dose of CBD treatment, heavy daily smokers find smoking-related cues less visually attention-grabbing,” UCL said

CBD and its connection to smoking cessation has spawned many brands to market their gummies to those trying to quit. When it comes to THC, however, there has been far less research done in general. Further, with marijuana still illegal and untrusted on a federal level, it is much easier to promote CBD, which has been widely accepted as having very few negative side effects. But when you take a look at some of the benefits of medical marijuana and reference the main side effects of nicotine withdrawal, you can start to see the reason some are turning to marijuana to help quit smoking.

According to the National Cancer Institute, some of the most common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include irritability, insomnia, anxiety, depression and others. Any one of these symptoms can be difficult to overcome on your own, but combine them all at once and one can be left feeling debilitated. Coincidently, some of the benefits of marijuana include alleviating depression and anxiety.

In regards to sleeplessness, Americans have used a little bit of weed to fall asleep on restless nights for generations. Many of marijuana’s perceived benefits seem like they would directly benefit those experiencing severe nicotine withdrawal. But with limited research and a federal prohibition, it is still difficult to say if THC can definitely help you quit smoking. 

If you do decide to give THC a try on your nicotine-quitting journey, edibles would be the logical choice, as smoking a joint instead of a cigarette does not exactly constitute the whole “quitting smoking” idea. But marijuana edibles may have not been highly effective at treating nicotine withdrawal, as it turns out, because they often take upwards of one to two hours to kick in and produce the symptom-relieving effects. This may no longer be the case, however, now that several manufacturers have released fast acting edibles.

Photo by HighGradeRoots/Getty Images

RELATED: How Many Edibles Should You Eat? Your Guide To Edible Dosing

The newly-popular fast acting edibles use different scientific techniques, like emulsification, to get the THC into your system much quicker, mirroring the high of smoking rather than the delayed and elongated high of traditional edibles. This new formula allows edibles to bypass the stomach and get into the small intestine faster, so the effect is more similar to smoking

Just like with nearly all aspects of marijuana research, there needs to be more analysis on whether or not marijuana can help those addicted to nicotine and other dangerous and addictive substances. If, however, you live in a state where marijuana is legal and you are ready to take quitting smoking seriously, it might be a good idea to have some fast-acting edibles handy for when you really want to head to the store and buy a pack of smokes. 


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