Smoking cigarettes causes millions of deaths per year, and tobacco itself is thought to be one of the most addictive substances in the world. More than 7 million people die from tobacco-related issues every year.
Recently, CBD gummies have been garnering a lot of attention due to their supposed potential to help people quit smoking.
Does it sound like a novel remedy?
Oh, yes, it does.
Does it make sense to use CBD gummies if you want to quit smoking?
Here’s what you need to know about CBD and addiction. I’ve also prepared my list of the best brands that make high-quality, lab-tested CBD gummies.
Best CBD Gummies to Quit Smoking: Top Brands for 2022
Area 52 specializes in all sorts of cannabinoid-based extracts from organic hemp. After making big headlines thanks to its line-up of delta 8 THC products, the company has followed through with its “True Full Spectrum” gummies containing 25 mg of CBD and 5 mg of delta 9 THC — but still below 0.3% following the 2018 Farm Bill.
For me, these gummies make a little go a long way. You can feel the entourage effect from that extra THC, but it gets you nowhere near the “high” feeling. It’s like you gain +5 for all your daily activities, whether you’re doing laundry or working on an important project. At the same time, there’s no jittery or anxiousness, just pure relaxation.
These cannabinoids are also infused with minor cannabinoids, including CBG, CBN, and CBC, as well as terpenes, such as myrcene, pinene, limonene, and beta-caryophyllene.
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
Royal CBD was established in 2018 by a team of hemp advocates, researchers, and scientists. Since then, the company has become a true powerhouse that offers every classic form of CBD on top of several novel formats.
The Royal CBD gummies contain 25 mg CBD and 2 mg of THC (still within legal limits), potentiating the whole-plant synergy resulting from the interactions between cannabinoids and terpenes. Royal CBD is a good place to start if you are looking for a store to buy CBD gummies from.
The gummies are also high in myrcene, a relaxing terpene that can make you feel sleepy. Myrcene also increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, ensuring that more cannabinoids end up in your circulatory system.
While the Area 52 full-spectrum CBD gummies work better for me in terms of relieving daily stress from cigarette withdrawals, these seem to be more effective in the evening when I need to get ready for sleep.
Gold Bee is one of the most unique companies in the CBD space. The company specializes in full-spectrum CBD products from organic hemp that are infused with organic superfoods, such as raw honey and coconut oil.
Like Royal CBD, the Gold Bee full-spectrum CBD gummies are formulated with 25 mg of CBD and 2 mg of THC. The CBD extract comes from terpene-rich strains, which the company grows with the help of local farmers.
The Gold Bee gummies are also vegan. The brand stays true to its mission, which is not to include any animal-derived ingredients in its product. Another benefit is that the gummies are also sweetened with honey and organic cane sugar, which sets them apart from the majority of CBD sweets.
Not to mention that they have a nice deep flavor.
CBDistillery is one of the pioneer companies in this industry. It has been making high-quality CBD gummies for over 6 years now, starting with a modest selection of a few products.
These gummies are made from a full-spectrum hemp extract, so they might leave a stronger aftertaste. They also come with 30 mg of CBD per piece, which might be difficult to dose if you maneuver within the standard dosage range.
On the other hand, they’re a good pick if you’re looking for high-potency gummies.
If you need a stronger daily dose of CBD gummies to quit smoking, this product may meet your expectations. CBDfx offers 50 mg of broad-spectrum CBD per serving, so you’re getting a potent dose of CBD accompanied by minor cannabinoids and terpenes — but without traces of THC.
On one hand, this is good because some people simply don’t want to take any amount of THC in their supplements. But on the other hand, you won’t be able to embrace the full entourage effect, so it’s kind of a compromise.
Speaking of the entourage effect, CBDfx offers a variety of CBD gummies, including those infused with delta 9 THC, but you need to live in a state where marijuana is legal to buy them.
Things We Looked At While Choosing the Best CBD Gummies to Quit Smoking
Since the CBD market is unregulated, different brands have different quality standards. There are many great manufacturers out there, but there’s an equal number of fake brands selling sub-par products disguised as premium supplements under marketing fluff.
I always do my research before trusting a new brand with my money because I consider CBD a sort of health investment.
The quality of CBD gummies is affected by the following factors:
The CBD gummies in my ranking are pesticide-free and come from non-GMO hemp. They also contain the declared amount of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
How do I know it?
Because I can look into the lab reports. Every company on this list publishes batch-specific certificates of analysis (COA) for their products, including the results for potency and contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, solvents, and other toxins.
If there’s one universal rule for buying CBD gummies to quit smoking — never buy from a company that hides its lab reports.
Hemp plants can be used for many things, but did you know they’re very dynamic bio accumulators?
In other words, they draw up everything from their environment — including the good and the bad substances.
How do you ensure that your gummies are made from hemp that contains only the good ones?
First, go back to the lab reports and confirm the lack of pesticides and heavy metals. Second, look for other proof of being organic, such as the USDA badge.
And most importantly, steer clear of hemp imported from China. The vast majority of such plants are mass-produced and thus grown in poor conditions.
A great thing about using CBD gummies to quit smoking is that they contain a premeasured dose of CBD in every serving.
But, it would be pointless to go through a quarter of the package during one session to achieve the desired results, wouldn’t it?
When shopping for CBD gummies online, be sure to check the potency. It can be expressed in the total amount of milligrams, but the manufacturer should also mention the amount of CBD per gummy.
Some common concentrations include 10 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg of CBD in every serving.
Unlike most methods people use to quit smoking, CBD gummies are fun to eat.
That doesn’t change the fact that some gummies out there taste like ass.
That’s because they’re full of wheat syrups, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and other nasty additives.
High-quality CBD gummies are made with organic ingredients; and, if you can’t find any organic gummies, keep an eye out on ingredients that you’d never use in your kitchen. Gummies are simple, there’s no need to meddle with their ingredients.
The texture of CBD gummies is just as important as their flavor. They should be chewy — but not melt in your mouth right away. On the other hand, if they’re too hard, it will take away all the fun from eating them.
From my experience, the best texture is almost always achieved with gelatin. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some pretty amazing vegan gummies out there — I even put a few on my list.
Can You Use CBD Gummies to Quit Smoking?
If you want to answer this question, we need to look into the problem of cigarette addiction first.
Besides an obvious physical addiction, smoking can be behaviorally addictive, meaning you’ll form habits around that activity to the point where a sheer thought of its absence makes you feel uncomfortable.
With a physical addiction, all you need to do is withstand the withdrawal period and you’ll be ready to get back to normal functioning — from a physical standpoint, of course.
Now, with behavioral addiction, it’s a different story. This one is more complex because the brain gets wired to particular activities that often lead to a pleasurable sensation associated with receiving a reward for different achievements in life.
That’s why nicotine patches and gums don’t meet their purpose; they’re only designed to combat physical cravings.
It’s quite obvious when you think about it. Imagine going out for a cig 20 to 40 times a day, and then suddenly saying “okay, cut the cheap talk, let’s go cold turkey.”
What most people don’t realize is that their brains see this decision as a form of punishment.
You’re cutting yourself off your daily source of dopamine for an effortless activity, which causes your brain to rebel against it.
In the next section, I explain how CBD gummies can help reduce cigarette cravings, withdrawals, and the risk of relapse.
How CBD Gummies May Help You Quit Smoking
Although CBD gummies aren’t the first-choice treatment for quitting smoking, there’s a good reason why people are turning to this product to ease their withdrawals and curb cravings.
CBD has many health benefits due to its interaction with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). People use it to alleviate a wide range of symptoms and conditions, such as pain, seizures, tremors, autoimmune diseases, insomnia, anxiety, depression, neurodegeneration, and more.
New research sheds light on another interesting feature that may spark the attention of psychiatrists and addiction specialists.
Here’s how CBD gummies may help you quit smoking.
1. CBD for Withdrawals from Smoking Cessation
Nicotine addiction is very strong, similar to heroin or alcohol. That’s why many people find it nearly impossible to quit smoking. The barrier of withdrawals becomes too difficult to overcome.
Cigarette addiction reaches way beyond the urge for another cigarette. The symptoms include anxiety, difficulty concentrating, irritability, sleep deprivation, and even depression.
Withdrawals can last up to several weeks. If the period of withdrawals wasn’t so difficult to overcome, there would be higher cessation rates around the world.
But that’s not the case.
CBD is the modulator of the ECS. The ECS contributes to homeostasis and guards the body against environmental factors that are trying to disturb our inner balance every day.
This system controls essential biological processes, such as body temperature, appetite, fertility, mood, memory, pain perception, immune response, and more.
By eating CBD gummies, you help your ECS maintain a sufficient level of endocannabinoids and thus support your body in dealing with withdrawals.
2. CBD for Tobacco Cravings
A 2018 UK study analyzed the potential benefits of CBD on smoking-related behavior. This double-blind randomized trial involved a sample of 30 subjects who were addicted to smoking. Each of the subjects was taking 800 mg of oral CBD solution or an equivalent dose of placebo.
Then the subject were watching pictorial tobacco causes, such as parties, drinking, or other people inhaling smoke; they were analyzed for their cravings, blood pressure, heart rate, and withdrawal symptoms.
The research team found that a single dose of 800 mg of CBD could help reduce the pleasantness of the images related to smoking cigarettes compared to the group that took a placebo — especially among the participants who only went through cessation once for this study.
3. CBD for Anxiety After Giving Up Cigarettes
In addition to modulating the activity of the ECS, CBD acts on over 60 molecular pathways to interact with various systems and organs in the body — which explains its therapeutic potential.
One of these pathways involves the regulation of the GABA receptor that can balance the ratio between two neurotransmitters: glutamate (excitatory) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (inhibitory).
High levels of glutamate and low levels of GABA are linked to the hyperactivity of the brain and elevated feelings of anxiety. By modulating the GABA receptor, CBD helps to maintain balanced levels of both neurotransmitters — contributing to equilibrium in your nervous system.
Optimized GABA activity improves stress response, enhances focus, and prevents episodes of anxiety.
CBD can also improve the functioning of serotonin receptors. Serotonin is the key neurotransmitter responsible for mood and emotions; its low levels are associated with anxiety and depression.
In contrast, having too much serotonin in your system can lead to muscle spasms, shivering, tremor, and overactive reflexes.
While CBD doesn’t directly increase your serotonin levels, it slows down its reuptake by acting on the 5-1HTA serotonin receptor so that your brain can use it optimally.
As a result, through CBD you can maintain the proper functioning of brain cells and lower the incidence of anxiety and depression on top of helping reduce tremors and muscle spasms.
4. CBD for Using Fewer Cigarettes
One study analyzed smokers who wanted to give up their habit. Each smoker was taking an inhaler with either CBD or a placebo in a vape cartridge. The subjects were asked to inhale the content of their device every time they felt the urge to smoke.
When the study ended after one week, the CBD group reported a 40% reduction in cigarette consumption, while the placebo group didn’t notice a significant change in the number of cigarettes smoked.
The authors theorized that this effect could result from CBD’s indirect interactions with the CB1 receptor. CBD increased the natural levels of anandamide — one of the two major endocannabinoids — and it mitigated the mood-elevating properties of nicotine.
In a study published in the journal Psychopharmacology (Berlin), Hindocha et al. conducted a series of experiments where vaping cannabis was linked to reduced tobacco consumption.
Hindocha noted that:
“There could be a reason to be optimistic about the potential of vaporizers. If vaporizers can reduce cannabis and tobacco co-administration, the outcome could be reducing tobacco use/dependence among cannabis users and a resultant reduction in harms associated with cannabis/tobacco. Indeed, if vaping cannabis becomes commonplace in the future, the next generation of cannabis users might never be exposed to nicotine or tobacco in the first place.”
Considering that smoking is, indeed, a passing trend, the future for our kids looks much brighter.
Benefits of Eating CBD Gummies Instead of Smoking Cigarettes
For some smokers, the difficulty of kicking the habit is more about the ritual of smoking rather than the actual physical addiction.
Whenever you’re stressed or whatever your excuse is, you can pull out a cig, light it up, and steadily inhale the smoke — every day, every month, every year.
Now, going cold turkey after years of habitual smoking is like tearing apart part of your identity. It’s comparable to the loss of someone close.
While vaping CBD appeared beneficial in the aforementioned studies, it doesn’t address the behavioral problem. The puffing habit remains the same, it’s just the tool that gets replaced.
That’s why CBD gummies are a better option if you want to quit smoking. Not only do they provide all the benefits that come from vaping, but they also cut you off from the smoking habit.
If you don’t mind lower bioavailability and a slightly delayed onset, CBD gummies can be a good alternative to nicotine patches and gums.
How to Use CBD Gummies to Quit Smoking
The evidence supporting the benefits of CBD for those who are trying to quit smoking is piling up. But how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your supplementation? How do you know you’re not wasting money down the drain?
Here are a few tips to help you maximize the benefits of CBD for smoking withdrawals and other pesky symptoms.
Buy High-Quality Products
The quality of your CBD gummies is the major factor when it comes to their efficacy in helping you quit smoking. The rule of thumb is to purchase only from reputable suppliers.
The following principles should guide you into the right decision:
- Hemp source: choose companies with in-house non-GMO hemp fields that don’t spray pesticides on their plants. Avoid mass-produced hemp from China because such plants are often contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins.
- Extraction method: CO2-extracted CBD gummies are the best if you want to quit smoking because this method doesn’t require toxic solvents or high temperatures to pull the beneficial compounds from the plant. Steer clear of CBD products extracted with hydrocarbon solvents; they’re difficult to purge and may leave a toxic residue in the extract.
- Lab reports: brands that provide batch-specific certificates of analysis (COA) are more trustworthy because such lab reports are the only proof that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for. Third-party laboratories analyze the product’s chemical profile and purity; if there’s something wrong with it, the lab analysis will spit it out. Avoid manufacturers who refuse to show their COAs.
Start with a Low Dose
A great thing about using CBD gummies to quit smoking is that they take away the hassle of measuring out your dose, as you need to do with oils.
However, you still need to know your optimal dosage. And this aspect doesn’t have a universal solution because everyone is different.
Factors that are at play include your age, weight, gender, metabolism, the severity of your nicotine addiction and withdrawal symptoms, your unique body chemistry, and the potency of your CBD gummies.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can follow the dosage instructions of your manufacturer, or consult a doctor experienced in cannabis and CBD use.
I recommend taking a low dose at first — something like 20 mg per day — and seeing how your body reacts to CBD. If that’s ok for you, you can start taking more and reassess how many gummies provide you with the sweet spot for your withdrawal symptoms and sensitivity to tobacco stimuli.
Choose Full-Spectrum CBD Gummies to Quit Smoking
Full-spectrum CBD leverages the entourage effect because it comes with all phytonutrients from hemp.
This includes CBD, adjunctive cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and trace amounts of THC.
These compounds create a synergy that enhances the therapeutic potential of the whole extract.
In other words, your body resonates better with whole-plant products than with isolated cannabinoids.
If you’re concerned about taking any amounts of THC in your system, you can choose broad-spectrum gummies; they contain almost everything that their full-spectrum counterparts do — except for the THC.
Is CBD Addictive?
The good news is that CBD itself doesn’t have addictive properties. Of course, smoking marijuana can be habit-forming, but the majority of hemp-derived products are available as oils, gummies, and vapes — all of which contain less than 0.3% of THC.
CBD doesn’t change the way your brain functions. The WHO has issued a report where it acknowledges that the abuse potential of CBD is the same as that of a placebo. Moreover, case studies are suggesting that CBD can help curb cravings linked to behavioral addiction.
Nicotine Addiction And Its Social Consequences
Tobacco smoking is the first preventable cause of death and one of the most difficult addictions to overcome.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that approximately 14% of people over the age of 18 smoke cigarettes. This contributes to a massive 34.3 million people who are regular tobacco smokers. Over 8 million uses smokeless products, such as vape pens or E-liquid tanks.
Smoking tobacco can result in compromised lung function, heart disease, cancer, and a range of comorbid diseases.
Despite knowing all the risks that are being conveyed in social campaigns and written on the labels of cigarettes, people still choose to smoke.
That’s probably due to withdrawal symptoms that are challenging to overcome.
Common Withdrawal Symptoms After You Quit Smoking
Withdrawals from quitting smoking vary between individuals and are determined by one’s body’s dependence on nicotine.
The most common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea and abdominal cramping
- Depressive mood
- Slowed heart rate
- Thinking problems
The following symptoms are less common but can appear in those who are heavily addicted to cigarettes:
- An unquenchable urge to smoke
- Feelings of frustration
- Mood swings
- High sensitivity to stress
The most important element of successful smoking cessation is to learn how to manage these withdrawal symptoms.
And CBD seems to meet these requirements perfectly.
Unfortunately, this isn’t what most doctors will recommend to you as the first-choice treatment.
How Is Smoking Addiction Usually Treated?
To combat the plague of smoking addiction, pharmaceutical companies have invented nicotine gums and patches. However, these tools may not be sufficient because they only target the physical face of addiction.
In theory, nicotine gum or patch should deliver an amount of nicotine high enough to satisfy your cravings and ensure successful cessation.
But in practice, some people just don’t care about the nicotine; it’s the ritual they want to maintain, which explains why cigarette smokers are turning to nicotine-infused vapes for damage control.
Not to mention that the physical withdrawals from quitting can be quite severe among heavy smokers if they drop their habit abruptly.
If you’re seeking out an effective way to quit smoking — besides using CBD gummies — look for a reputable behavioral therapist near you and ask them about cognitive behavioral therapy to help “rewire” your brain to stop thinking cigarettes are pleasant.
Key Takeaways on the Best CBD Gummies to Quit Smoking
CBD gummies are a promising tool for those trying to quit smoking and control tobacco withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and focus impairments.
They can also help you ignore cigarette cravings by making you less prone to cigarette cues.
And most importantly, CBD gummies leave away the habit of vaping, so your addiction can be curbed from both the physical and behavioral perspectives.
Just make sure your CBD gummies come from a reputable brand that uses full-spectrum hemp in its products and tests them regularly for potency and purity.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!
- Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., Klosterkötter, J., Hellmich, M., & Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry, 2(3), e94. https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2012.15 (1)
- Hindocha, C., Freeman, T. P., Grabski, M., Stroud, J. B., Crudgington, H., Davies, A. C., Das, R. K., Lawn, W., Morgan, C., & Curran, H. V. (2018). Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 113(9), 1696–1705. Advance online publication. (2)
- Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics: the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1 (3)
- Morgan, C. J., Das, R. K., Joye, A., Curran, H. V., & Kamboj, S. K. (2013). Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings. Addictive behaviors, 38(9), 2433–2436. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.03.011 (4)
- Hindocha, C., Lawn, W., Freeman, T. P., & Curran, H. V. (2017). Individual and combined effects of cannabis and tobacco on drug reward processing in non-dependent users. Psychopharmacology, 234(21), 3153–3163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-017-4698-2 (5)