Tobacco Smoking, Cannabis & Alcohol
Tobacco smoking, cannabis, and alcohol are the most commonly abused drugs by young adults and teens in our country, and worldwide. There’s a gateway theory of drug use that suggests a progression from common, easy to find drugs, like cannabis, alcohol, or tobacco smoking, to more serious forms of drug use like MDMA, cocaine, or heroine. But, while tobacco use oftentimes occurs at about the same time as cannabis use, recent research is suggesting that marijuana may not be a gateway drug to ecstasy or heroine, or cocaine, but really, only to tobacco use.
Kids that start using cannabis seem to also start smoking or vaping tobacco at a similar time in their life. And this isn’t exactly reassuring. The CDC reports that tobacco is not only the leading cause of preventable disease in the US, but the 14% of US adults who are cigarette smokers are costing our country 300 billion a year in smoking related illness. But is it possible that some components of the cannabis plant may actually be effective in curbing nicotine use? Or helping people that are trying to quit, be more effective? That may be true. The role of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction is being increasingly acknowledged, and in one study, shows a very supportive position for helping people to control their nicotine addiction.
In a small study of 24 smokers who were in a randomized controlled situation, they were given either an inhaler with CBD, or an inhaler of a placebo. They were instructed to use their inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke, and over the treatment week, this was a short study, just one week. The placebo treated smokers showed no difference in the number of cigarettes smoked. In contrast, those treated with the CBD containing inhaler, significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked, by a surprising 40% during treatment. And in follow-up that reduction appeared to be sustained. So, these preliminary data suggests that CBD could be a potential treatment for nicotine addiction that warrants for their explanation.
In fact, so much so, that the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the USPTO, has issued a notice of allowance for Vireo Health’s patent application titled Tobacco Products With Cannabinoid Additives, And Methods For Reducing The Harm Associated With Tobacco Use. So, it appears that CBD may be beneficial for reducing the anxiety and stress associated with withdrawal of nicotine use, and it may also have potential benefits when combined in tobacco products, as it has shown in previous studies for reducing irritation, inflammation, and even carcinogenicity.
Dr. Mary Clifton
Dr. Mary Clifton is an Internal Medicine doctor in New York City, with 20 years of experience in both the hospital and private practice and is also a licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide medical marijuana and is a recognized expert in CBD, Cannabis, and Medical Marijuana.
She is a published researcher, national speaker on women’s health and osteoporosis, and author of four books, and two new soon-to-be-released books on CBD and Cannabis – what you need to know, how to use them and a COOKBOOK to support ease of use.