How many times have you tried to give up smoking? It’s not uncommon for people to have attempted it up to 30 times before kicking for good or resigning themselves to the habit. It’s not surprising that breaking a nicotine habit is so difficult. It requires an enormous mental, physical, and emotional effort. Sometimes the expectations we place on ourselves are unrealistic, and we’re destined to fail. Failure in this way can have an added psychological dimension, making it harder to try again. 

Nicotine can cross the blood-brain barrier within 10 seconds after inhalation. When it reaches the brain, it triggers dopamine and gives the smoker a small lift. Unfortunately, when the dopamine wears off, it leads to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can cause anxiety and irritation. Only 4 to 7% of smokers who attempt to quit succeed when trying it cold-turkey. Support is available in counseling and medication, but other options are becoming prevalent, such as CBD

Related: How Long Does CBD Stay in your System?

Clinical Study

A Reduction In Use 

In several studies, CBD has been shown to reduce cigarette consumption significantly. As far back as 2013, researchers at the University College London took an interest in the endocannabinoid system and its role in nicotine addiction. 

The study used 24 smokers, half of whom were given a vaporizer containing CBD, the other half were given a placebo vaporizer. The study was conducted over a one week period, during which time participants were instructed to use the vaporizer whenever they felt a nicotine craving. They were not taught to reduce their intake actively but to use the vaporizer instead of their regular nicotine intake.

At the end of the week, the smokers who received the placebo reported no significant difference in the number of cigarettes they smoked outside of the vaporizer. However, the CBD participants saw a dramatic reduction in their cigarette consumption across the week, as much as 40%. Other studies have supported this finding, and on following up with some participants, there has been an improvement in the reduction of their habit.

This shows that using CBD vaporizers can have a powerful effect on assisting smokers in reducing their harmful habit by up to 40%, breaking the cycle of continuous addiction, and leading the way to eventual cessation. 

Related: Tobacco Users Turn to CBD

Attentional Cues 

Often smokers have triggers or cues that prompt them to light up. It could be a morning cup of coffee, drinks in the pub with friends, or a specific time of day when it just feels natural to have a cigarette. Beyond the neurological nicotine craving, the cues are the most significant barrier to quitting. But in this respect, CBD can also help. 

In 2018, researchers at University College London carried out another study to explore CBD’s potential for smoking cessation. There had been evidence to suggest that CBD’s anti-anxiety properties could contribute to a reduction in the cues for certain drugs such as nicotine. The study contained 30 non-treatment seeking smokers. They were each given 800mg of CBD or a placebo in the morning, having not smoked overnight. 

Related: CBD and Caffeine: The Perfect Duo?

 Participants were then exposed to various cues, objects, and situations that would likely trigger a smoking response. Their heart rates and blood pressure were all measured repeatedly. It was found that while an 800mg dose did not significantly reduce the effects of withdrawal or craving, it reduced the appeal of cues in comparison to those administered with the placebo. 

The findings suggest that CBD can have a positive effect on those wishing to quit the habit. Particularly when exposed to high-risk situations that may cause a relapse


Old man smoke break

The Drawbacks

There is strong evidence to suggest that vaping CBD instead of nicotine or smoking cigarettes can be very useful in helping those who want to quit. It can do this by reducing craving and preventing triggers that can result in an almost 40% reduction in cigarette smoking. 

However, there are drawbacks, mainly when using CBD in the form of a Vape. Research has shown that vaping has many undesirable health consequences, including aggravating the lungs, in a similar way to corrosive tobacco, as well as being a vehicle that contributes to the spread of lung-related viruses and diseases. 

Vape products can be contaminated. Even if vape products are clean, they can still be irritating to the lungs posing a higher risk of infection and long-term damage. Vaping is not recommended and represents the highest risk to CBD consumers.

Luckily, CBD comes in many different forms. It can be consumed through oils, capsules, drinks, chocolate, tinctures, and topicals, many of which can be found at Live Black Rain. If you are determined to vape, it’s advisable to research the vape chemical thoroughly. Ensure you are comfortable with what the vape contains and that you are buying it from a trusted source. If in doubt, don’t put anything in your lungs. 

Looking for alternative methods for taking CBD? Check out your options!


Cigarette fully burned

Final Thoughts 

More research is needed to confirm the potential of CBD as an effective treatment for smoking cessation. However, the early signs are encouraging. CBD’s effect on neurotransmitters might entice someone not to light up. Across a week, there was a 40% reduction in use. Furthermore, CBD’s presence in the system placates daily cravings, making a sincere determination to quit more likely. 

Taken together, it seems like the evidence supporting CBD for smoking cessation looks strong, and many professionals, such as Professor Yasim Hurd, the director of the Addiction Institute at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital, agree that the signs are positive going forward. If you are serious about quitting, CBD can certainly help. It is not recommended to vape CBD because of the detrimental effect on the lungs, but it can be safely consumed in several other ways. 

To significantly reduce your cigarette intake, consume CBD in the mornings before your first cigarette. This should reduce your initial cravings and satisfy the cue’s influence that might encourage you to light up. However, please don’t rely on CBD as a magical cure; it will only work in combination with self-motivation and determination.

Interested in learning more about CBD? Check out our resources!