CBD May Reduce Nicotine Cravings

Liz Filmer
28 Mar 2023

A new federally sponsored study has uncovered that CBD may aid tobacco users in quitting by decreasing cravings. Washington State University (WSU) investigators studied CBD's effects on nicotine metabolism. Nicotine is the main addictive element of tobacco.

The analysis published last month was conducted with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Revealed that moderately low doses of CBD greatly hindered a critical enzyme linked with the processing of nicotine in the body, which could help prevent cravings.

"The whole mission is to decrease harm from smoking, which is not nicotine per se, but all the carcinogens and other chemicals in tobacco smoke; if we can minimise that harm, it would be great for human health." WSU professor Philip Lazarus, senior study author

Whilst more analyses concerning human subjects are required, the study scrutinised liver tissue and microsomes originating from specialised cell lines that showed that CBD deterred multiple pertinent enzymes, including CYP2A6, the main enzyme metabolising nicotine.

This suggests that CBD could impede the overall nicotine metabolism in smokers. CBD was found to inhibit the enzyme's processing of the nicotine by 50 per cent, even at a low dose concentration. In other words, it would appear that you do not need much CBD to see the effects. Another team is currently pursuing a follow-up trial that involves tobacco smokers.

From a damage-lowering perspective, the importance of this study could be noteworthy. Nicotine is highly addictive; offsetting cravings by a small share could have verifiable public health consequences.

Tobacco use has already been declining precipitously among the public. Gallup released a Gallup poll released last year found that young people are now more than twice as likely to smoke cannabis over cigarettes.

A separate data analysis in August found that for the first time, more Americans had openly admitted to smoking cannabis or eating edibles than those who said they'd smoked cigarettes in the past seven days.

Meanwhile, optimistic early analysis from Johns Hopkins University, New York University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham suggests that psilocybin, the principal active component of "magic mushrooms", may significantly help with quitting smoking.


Liz Filmer