Smoking tobacco products cause more than 480,000 deaths every year in the United States. Cigarette smoke is responsible for over 80 to 90% of lung cancer deaths. Clearly, consuming tobacco is not healthy and can lead to serious illness or death. So what are possible alternatives to satisfy those nicotine cravings?
You have likely heard of CBD. Maybe your hippie-dippie friend has touted its benefits to you. Maybe your local barista has offered you a shot of it with your morning macchiato. Or maybe you’ve seen oils and creams with CBD labels on the shelves of local convenience stores. With the growing popularity of CBD, hemp cigarettes are becoming more widely available. So what are these hemp cigarettes, and should you consider trying them?
Cannabidiol vs. Nicotine
Nicotine is a synthetic chemical that produces nitrogen. It is added to tobacco and when smoked, nicotine then activates dopamine, the mood-boosting chemical in your brain. Nicotine doesn’t cause cancer, but the tar and harmful gases released when smoking tobacco are what cause health problems and cancer. However, a person who wants a nicotine fix may then continue to turn to cigarettes to satisfy that craving.
Cannabidiol or CBD comes from the hemp plant. Both marijuana and hemp are cannabis plants, but they have different levels of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Marijuana has high levels of THC, the intoxicating ingredient that produces that euphoric high you often associate with smoking weed joints. On the other hand, hemp contains a tiny amount of THC (only 0.3 %) and high levels of CBD. In this regard, CBD cigarettes are not psychoactive.
What cannabinoids do provide is relief from a majority of health-related issues including joint pain, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and epilepsy. Some consumers of CBD products have reported feeling more alert and an improved mood.
Because of its health benefits and absence of adverse effects, millions of cigarette smokers are turning to CBD cigarettes as an alternative to their nicotine addiction. One of the most preferred methods of consuming CBD products is vaping. Vaping provides near-immediate relief as opposed to edible or other forms of consumption. Using cannabinoids through an inhaler usually produces the maximum results within minutes and lasts for hours.
Recent studies have suggested cannabinoids as an effective way to treat nicotine addiction and replace tobacco smoking. One such study compared two different groups of cigarette smokers. One group received an inhaler containing CBD and the other group received an inhaler with a placebo.
The week after the treatment, cigarette consumption in the CBD group reduced by 40%—a stark contrast to the placebo group. The researchers noted in their conclusions that “the preliminary data presented here suggest that CBD may be effective in reducing cigarette use in tobacco smokers, however larger-scale studies, with longer follow-up are warranted to gauge the implications of these findings.”
Brightfield Group surveyed more than 5,000 CBD users in the U.S. and found that 24% used the product to help them quit smoking and 41% completely replaced tobacco smoking with hemp. The survey also found that most tobacco smokers who quit turned to a vape or hemp cigarettes as replacements.
Most people turn to cigarettes for relief from depression, better mood, and to help regulate sleep. Hemp cigarettes have been shown to regulate sleep and work as an anti-depressant. And compared to vaping, hemp cigarettes offer a more authentic smoking experience similar to smoking cigarettes.
Most hemp cigarettes are a more healthy, organic alternative to tobacco cigarettes. So if you are looking to quit your addiction, you might want to consider picking up a pack of hemp cigarettes.