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CBD: A Safer Alternative to Nicotine

There is no denying that nicotine addiction is real. With more than 50 million Americans relying on cigarettes or another form of nicotine on a regular basis, it has become an epidemic. What’s more, many of these individuals actively want to stop smoking, chewing, or vaping, but find that the habit is too difficult to break.

Research has proven that nicotine induces the release of dopamine and when used regularly, the brain’s receptors are reprogrammed to make this "feel-good" neurotransmitter dependent on the presence of nicotine, hence the addiction to cigarettes. However, many smokers are finding that CBD will actually reduce nicotine cravings.

There have been several studies to confirm CBD aids in quitting smoking. One study consisted of making CBD inhalers available to participants, which resulted in 40% of them cutting back on their cigarette habit. Another test addressed the ritualistic and social aspects connected to smoking by exposing the study participants to photos of people at parties and other social outings that were regularly smoking cigarettes.

In these studies, smokers were better able to resist the temptation to smoke. With this information, scientists concluded that smoking is both a mental and physical addiction, and because CBD promotes relaxation and prevents stress, the habitual need to “light one up” was no longer dominating to the individuals opting to vape or smoke CBD flower.

For smokers who enjoy the experience of escaping for a cigarette break and catching a breath of fresh air, savoring a few minutes of solitude, or chatting with a buddy, the pre-rolled CBD flower “joint” fulfills every aspect of that. For those looking for a quicker, more convenient alternative that's more like an e-cig, there's the CBD vape pen to use instead.

One of the most confusing aspects of CBD is whether or not it is legal. All too often CBD is confused with THC, or marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD that is derived from the hemp plant does not produce psychoactive results. This differentiation is a determining factor as to the legality of CBD. While both CBD and marijuana come from the Cannabis family, the type of plant varies widely in the presence of THC, the chemical compound that produces the "high."

Overall, the hemp plant variety produces 0.3% or less of THC, whereas the marijuana version contains as much as 30% of THC. It is important to note that federal law prohibits THC but state laws vary widely. Additionally, CBD oil can be extracted from both plant varieties, and the existing cannabinoid properties determine whether or not the THC side effects of euphoria, paranoia, and increased appetite will be experienced, or if the relaxing, distressing, pain-reducing, feelings of calm will be the result.

Based on the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD is legal as long as:

● The CBD contains less than 0.3% of THC

● The hemp plant is grown by a licensed individual or company

● The hemp plant meets both state and federal regulations

According to a survey conducted by the Brightfield Group, 24% of tobacco users are turning to hemp rolled cigarettes or vaping as a cessation aid. Bottom line, choosing CBD, whether in the form of cigarettes or e-cigarettes, is a much safer and healthier alternative to smelly, unhealthy nicotine cigarettes.

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