As we realize the dangers of smoking, we as a society are striving for a more tobacco-free existence, especially here in America. From nicotine patches to prescription medication, there are many different ways to quit smoking which are currently available on the market. However, these methods do not always work for everyone and often have side effects. Some people are looking for other smoking alternatives like vaporizers and electronic cigarettes. Another smokable option is CBD, an all-natural way to quit tobacco and eliminate nicotine cravings.
How Do Cigarettes Affect You?
In the United States alone, close to half a million people die every year because of cigarette smoke. The total amount of tobacco-related deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), is ten times as high as the number of American citizens who have died in all the wars fought by the United States. A reason used most often is because of the increased amounts of added chemicals in new cigarettes. Today, these additives pose greater health risks than cigarettes did fifty years ago.
- Your Heart- Smokers face a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases than non-smokers. The likelihood a smoker has to develop coronary heart disease or stroke is two to four times higher than that of a non-smoker. Smoking tobacco increases blood pressure and can cause clots due which can cause damage to blood vessels and a faster heart rate.
- Your Lungs- Cigarette smoke damages all parts of your lungs and can cause emphysema and bronchitis. Smoking cigarettes also are the leading cause in most cases of lung cancer in the U.S. Smokers are twelve to thirteen times more likely to die of COPD than those who do not and have an increased rate of developing lung cancer by twenty-five percent.
- Your Bones and Teeth- Smoking is shown to weaken the bones and put you at higher risk of breaking a bone. It can also destroy your teeth and gums, causing tooth loss and decay.
- Your Pregnancy- The reason many women should not smoke while they are pregnant is that smoking cigarettes can make it harder to get pregnant in the first place and it can increase health risks for the baby. Preterm deliveries, stillbirths, low birth weights, sudden infant death syndrome, or other congenital disabilities all see an increased risk when the mother is a smoker.
But, the harm from smoking does not stop there. In fact, smoking damages nearly every organ in your body and can cause cancer to develop anywhere in the body while also decreasing immune function.
Current Methods of Quitting
Because of the higher and stronger levels of nicotine in cigarettes, it has become even harder for people trying to quit to do so on their own. The majority of people who have been able to stop smoking have done so in fact with some form of help. This help can come in the form of behavioral therapy, pharmaceuticals, nicotine replacement therapy, and sometimes in meditation and yoga. Different prescribed medications can come with side effects. Therapy can be cumbersome and expensive, and nicotine replacement therapy still has you addicted to nicotine. But, CBD could help you quit without the side effects, the addiction, and from the comfort of your own home.
CBD as a Quitting Aide
According to multiple studies CBD has been shown to reduce nicotine addiction and addiction in general. The University College of London even found that patients addicted to cigarettes smoked forty percent less after beginning CBD use. But, why is that?
CBD is very well known for its ability to reduce or even eliminate anxiety, which is a symptom of cigarette withdrawal and one of the reasons people go back to smoking. But, CBD also interacts with a person’s memory, disrupting the process known as reconsolidation. When a person trying to quit tobacco remembers smoking a cigarette, they remember how good cigarettes have made them feel. What CBD does is makes the memories connections more malleable and capable of changing, so that urges aren’t as strong, and the memories aren’t as positive but very much more realistic.
When using CBD to quit cigarettes it is recommended to use pure CBD oil, or marijuana strains high in CBD. Aside from consuming CBD through inhalation (smoking or vaping), there are many other options available. CBD patches work similarly to nicotine patches and release CBD into the blood stream through the skin over time. There are also tinctures that applied under the tongue allow for a more controlled dosage.