Breaking Down the Addictions: Comparing the Addictive Qualities of CBD and Tobacco


Smoking remains one of the top global health concerns in developed and developing countries. The problem with tobacco smoking is that this habit is highly addictive, with regular users getting quickly hooked on the impact of nicotine on their brains and nervous systems. That’s why over 22% of the global population are tobacco addicts (as of 2020 data), which gives us the scary figure of 1.3+ billion smokers. 

The problem of tobacco use is pretty complicated, as tobacco is legally sold worldwide, with all adults having unconstrained access to cigarettes, pipes, and a more recent advancement – vaping pens with nicotine-containing e-liquid. Thus, people get exposed to the versatile health risks of tobacco smoking every day, with a realm of toxic chemicals entering their bloodstream, hearts, and multiple organs every time they light up a cigarette and make the first puff. 

Quitting smoking is challenging, mainly due to nicotine’s addictive properties, but CBD offers a novel solution to this issue. Read on to find out how CBD can help you resolve the tobacco dilemma and overcome the initial cravings for tobacco in the process of smoking cessation.

How CBD Affects Tobacco Cravings 

The algorithm of tobacco addiction is simple: smokers use cigarettes throughout the day to support the levels of nicotine, an addictive agent, in their bloodstream, as it diminishes in the bloodstream as a result of body enzymes’ work. Thus, the nicotine craving can be reduced if the process of nicotine breakdown can be slowed down. As a result, the effect of one cigarette should be more durable in the smoker, freeing them from the necessity to smoke more cigarettes within a short period. 

This is what CBD can do for the human organism. As the study of Dr. Philip Lazarus, a professor at Washington State University, showed, smokers who applied a CBD inhaler reduced their cigarette consumption by 40% due to the cannabinoids’ effect on the metabolizing enzymes in the human body. The researcher’s team found that one active metabolite in CBD – namely 7-hydroxy(OH)-CBD – was responsible for inhibiting nicotine metabolism. As a result of such effect, CBD could contribute to the longer duration of nicotine’s effect on the user’s organism, thus preventing high levels of tobacco consumption and easing the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. 

Can CBD Help One Quit Smoking? 

Smoking cessation is easier said than done; according to recent studies, over 70% of regular smokers in the USA plan to quit this bad habit, while only 7% indeed succeed. These figures suggest that it’s a great challenge to withdraw from the highly addictive habit, even though most smokers realize the full spectrum of disastrous effects every cigarette has on their bodies. Thus, it may be a huge relief for many to find out that CBD can become a helpful companion in the challenging task of ousting cigarettes from your life. Here’s how CBD can help. 

CBD Smoking as a Substitute 

The first obvious way to take advantage of CBD is to use pre-rolls or CBD cigarettes instead of regular cigarettes. The hemp market is varied and mature today, with numerous products with zero THC and nicotine available for fans of smoking. This way, you can simplify the cessation process by shifting to hempettes – a non-addictive substitute that will deliver potent stress relief due to CBD content but will contain no nicotine to fuel your addiction. Learn more about the difference between CBD and regular cigarettes at

Reduced Nicotine Cravings 

Second, as we’ve already discussed, CBD as such can help smokers reduce their nicotine cravings during the process of quitting. Smokers often over-consume nicotine because its breakdown in the bloodstream occurs too rapidly, urging the person to take another cigarette and replenish the nicotine level in their organism. However, with the metabolism-inhibiting properties of CBD, nicotine can stay longer in the bloodstream, thus reducing the need for smoking more during the day. 

Smooth Transition without Withdrawal Sufferings 

Quitting smoking is a highly stressful event for everyone, as withdrawal from an addictive substance takes time and effort. Many smokers report feelings of stress and anxiety during this hard transition period, and some even develop depressive symptoms. CBD can help with this transition process because it’s a popular stress and anxiety remedy people use worldwide. Thus, CBD can reduce or prevent smoking withdrawal symptoms and simplify that transition to a healthier life without physical or emotional torture. 

Top CBD Products for Smokers Planning to Quit 

So, which products can be of help once you decide to quit smoking? It’s up to you to select what works the best, but here are the top recommendations of former smokers that can help you out. 

  • Hemp cigarettes. Though hemp cigarettes still mean smoking, technically speaking, they are nicotine-free. Thus, you may perceive this CBD product as your first step toward quitting smoking. Besides giving you the pleasure of lighting a cigarette and making puffs as usual, you get instant stress relief and sedation with high CBD bioavailability. 
  • CBD vaping pens. Vaping is trending today, so you won’t have trouble finding your optimal dose and appealing flavor. Many CBD manufacturers add vaping devices to their product ranges in an effort to give regular smokers a safer and non-addictive experience. Thus, you can easily transition from nicotine to CBD vaping without abandoning the habit of smoking. 
  • CBD oil tinctures. Tinctures can help you eliminate the smoking habit altogether, which is impossible with CBD vaping and hempettes. They have long-lasting effects and are relatively cheap compared to other CBD-infused products. Thus, you get a potent dose of CBD by administering the oil sublingually and can combat nicotine cravings pretty quickly. 
  • CBD patches. This is probably the most convenient method of CBD use because a CBD patch can be applied for 24 hours. Thus, you don’t need to carry bottles with CBD oil or vaping devices with you, getting a steady supply of CBD through the patch. 
  • CBD capsules and softgels. Those who want to quit smoking altogether and don’t like patches can try CBD caps. They are a popular and pretty affordable product type in the modern market, so you won’t find it hard to locate a product for your budget and preferences. However, please remember that caps are the slowest in terms of effects. So, plan their administration in advance to avoid situations of acute stress or cravings. It’s better to formulate a daily routine of CBD intake, say, three times a day, to keep the CBD level constant and avoid the unpleasant sensations of smoking withdrawal. 

Final Word 

As you can see, quitting smoking is a complicated yet possible task, and CBD can help you with it. CBD itself is absolutely non-addictive, which has been proven by many clinical studies. Thus, it can soothe the stress and anxiety accompanying nicotine withdrawal, slow nicotine metabolism, and relieve unpleasant symptoms. Try this method out to see that a tobacco-free life is possible without suffering. 

The author of this material is Tia Moskalenko, a cannabis expert, researcher, and industry advocate with an extensive experience in consumer consulting. Tia works as a regular blogger at AskGrowers and educates the audience about the therapeutic uses and benefits of CBD products for health.