Study Reveals a Compound from Cannabis Plant Can Help Smokers Quit
There is good news for tobacco smokers all around the world! They can now kick this habit out of their lives through a compound called Cannabidiol (CBD) that is extracted from the cannabis plant.
A study published in the journal Addiction is the first to investigate and research the psychosomatic influence of cannabidiol on the withdrawal of nicotine. According to the preliminary research, this compound, unlike other compounds of the cannabis plant, refrain from producing a psychoactive “high.”
The study took place in a placebo-controlled environment of 30 cigarette smokers and showed evidence of reversed attentional bias in smokers to cigarette cues.
Initially, the research started with a test that gauged the participants’ typical cigarette routine. Thereafter, two more tests were conducted on them after they abstained from overnight nicotine consumption for roughly 9-13 hours.
Results revealed that the participants who got a CBD had no rise in the attentional bias. On the other hand, those who showed a placebo had an increased bias towards all cigarette-related images. In the same context, the attentional bias was far less in the participants who abstained overnight.
Chandni Hindocha, a Ph.D. student and the author of the study at the University College London explained, “Cannabis, and the brain system which it acts upon, the endocannabinoid system, is highly associated with tobacco use, but I wanted to investigate if a component of cannabis, cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid could be used in a positive way, to treat withdrawal.”
“The second reason was that there was another study in 2013 that showed that a week of CBD inhaler vs placebo reduced cigarette smoking in the following week by 40%.”
That said, this research, like all studies, has its fair share of limitations. One such drawback is that there is no clarity of the efficacy of CBD in assisting addicts to quit the usage of tobacco.
“Many questions still need to be addressed such as what is the efficacy of CBD in comparison to leading smoking cessation drugs? Can CBD be used as an adjunct to smoking cessation drugs? What dose of CBD is actually required for the desired effect on craving and withdrawal? Is there another mechanism by which CBD acts?” said Hindocha, expressing the need to address the questions arising from the study.
A similar study released in Scientific Reports went on to investigate the effects of CBD on reducing the impulsiveness and enhancing the memory of the participants. However, the researchers could not zero-in on credible evidence that CBD had on improved cognition in nicotine addicts who abstained overnight.
“Cannabidiol can reduce some aspects of nicotine withdrawal in dependent cigarette smokers, which include the attentional bias to and liking of drug cues, but did not affect craving withdrawal, cognition or impulsivity associated with withdrawal. This is likely because we gave people a single dose of the drug,” Hindocha added
It is clear that CBD can now be considered the face of the nutraceutical market, even though the author of this study discourages people from treating themselves with CBD just yet.