Can Weed Help You Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
Smoking, albeit harmful, is a habit that is rich in tradition. People have been smoking as far back as 5000 BC, and while its earliest uses were during shamanistic rituals, tobacco use and cultivation spread quickly when Europeans arrived America during the 16th century. Tobacco use was even perceived as elegant up until research finally revealed that smoking tobacco causes many kinds of cancers.
Smoking and using cannabis in other forms though, can help you to quit smoking cigarettes. Research conducted at the University College London discovered that cannabidiol, which is marijuana’s second most active ingredient, can help reduce cigarette addiction. The study found that cigarette use among its participant's was reduced by as much as 40% thanks to CBD, which was administered using an inhaler. Cannabis helps reduce the body’s craving in several ways, according to Celia Morgan, Ph.D., who co-authored the study. “We found that CBD seems to reduce the salience of cues. It also can reduce anxiety and may affect a memory process called ‘reconsolidation,’ which is where when a memory of the reward of smoking is re-activated by seeing someone smoking, it is rendered vulnerable to destruction,” she said.
Cannabis can be the light at the end of the tunnel for those seeking alternatives in treating addiction to opiates, heroin, and other drugs. But the University College London was the first research of its kind that explored the effect of the plant on cigarette addiction.
If you want to quit smoking today, there are so many cessation therapies you can try: from nicotine patches to hypnosis, there are many widely available methods that have been effective in helping people. But that’s not enough as more seek alternative methods.
If we look deeper into the connection between marijuana and nicotine, it doesn’t take rocket science to show that marijuana definitely seems like a promising natural alternative to all the cessation therapies available in the market. In the first place, why does smoking a cigarette feel so good? It’s all because of nicotine, because it’s the primary chemical that causes us to be addicted in the first place. Nicotine intake triggers the release of the brain’s happy chemicals, known as dopamine. When this happens, the part of our brain associated with pleasure, becomes activated. But marijuana can also stimulate dopamine release in the brain, without the harmful side effects that come with smoking cigarettes.
Marijuana can also be helpful if we look at the primary reasons most people smoke cigarettes:
• Stress and anxiety relief: As a former smoker myself, I can attest to how great it feels to light a cigarette when I’m super stressed or anxious about something. But we all know how bad that is for the body. Cannabis, on the other hand, has been shown to be useful in addressing stress and anxiety.
• Enjoyment or boredom: Being idle is one of the most dangerous triggers for smoking cigarettes. Coupled with the fact that it just feels so good, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. If you’re trying to quit smoking, be conscious of when you are idle and light up a joint instead.
• It goes great with coffee and alcohol: Use a vape instead if you need the oral fixation to accompany your coffee and alcohol intake.
If you want to take advantage of marijuana’s numerous health benefits without having to light up, there are virtually thousands of products and methods to choose from. You can eat, vape, dab, or even drink it - all while keeping your body protected from insidious diseases.