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8 Reasons to quit nicotine and give CBD a try instead

Female slowly exhaling smoke
Just Breath

If the recent tobacco prohibition in South Africa has not driven you to put down the old proverbial crutch and quit nicotine, perhaps our list of reasons to quit nicotine and give CBD a try will at least motivate you to try a healthier alternative. There is a range of local and imported products available to promote the health and wellness benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD is mostly extracted from the hemp plant and has an extensive list of uses and benefits. Yes, some products are manufactured from CBD which has been extracted from marijuana, however, during the extraction, they leave behind most of the THC (the psychoactive component found in marijuana) leaving less than 0.3% – not enough to get you high!

A number of options are available in the form of tobacco style alternatives, I use the word “style” as the dried plant version can be rolled and smoked like tobacco, but because it contains no harmful cigarette ingredients and does not fall under the Tobacco Products Control Act 83 of 1993. Which means when you do find a quality product you can roll up guilt-free! 

In a study questioning if CBD would reverse attentional bias to cigarette cues in humans having nicotine withdrawal, which was published in 2018 by UCL – London’s Global University it was concluded that regular smokers were smoking 40% less after a week of CBD treatment. The placebo taking counterparts were reporting an increase in regular smoking after a week trying to quit nicotine. This is attributed to stress and anxiety in the face of a lack of nicotine. 

Any of the reasons below should motivate you to give CBD a try and kick tobacco once and for all!

Gorgeous Tattooed Red head girl exhaling smoke

1. NO NICOTINE

Nicotine is a plant alkaloid, found in the tobacco plant, and an addictive central nervous system stimulant. It acts as an agonist at the nicotinic cholinergic receptors in parts of the brain which are responsible for the release of dopamine and serotonin. These are feel-good hormones! Trying to shake a smoking habit by using nicotine substitutes like vapes and patches could prove difficult, as you are still getting the nicotine fix. Your brain might just jump to lighting a cigarette when it needs more nicotine. CBD vapes and hemp flowers contain no nicotine!

2. NON-ADDICTIVE 

CBD causes no psychoactive activity and is considered non-addictive. In fact, it acts as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory, to name two on a long list of ailments, and has proven its stride in the fight against cancer and symptoms for patients fighting the same battle.

3. TASTES DELICIOUS

Smoking hemp flower as rolling tobacco or with a tobacco pipe activates the high levels of CBD once it is heated (carboxylated); it tastes clean, smooth and floral with none of the bitter smoke or taste of burn. The terpenes, flavonoids and some essential oils all work together to give you a delicious smoking experience. Vaping, on the other hand, may prove to give you a more concentrated CBD dosage. It is made up of CBD concentrate, natural flavouring agents and a carrier oil, more likely than not: MCT, which is extracted from the humble coconut. Furthermore, it contains no artificial flavour or any additional additives. All-natural deliciousness!  

4. SAME-SAME, BUT DIFFERENT

For most tobacco smokers, it is not just the actual annihilation of smoke, it is also the physical habit of lighting up a cigarette. Many smokers have found solace in traditional vaping devices to replace the cigarette altogether, smoking a “healthier” alternative that still contains nicotine. CBD vapes and hemp flowers (if you prefer rolling your own) offer a much healthier alternative.

5. SMELLS LIKE…

Well, not like burning tobacco but CBD vapes are practically odourless. The smell of burning hemp flower is seductively fruity sweet with a note of grass. The smoke dissipates quickly leaving no trace or lingering odours.

6. COST COMPARISON

Regardless of whether you are comparing the pre-  or post-pandemic cost of a box of cigarettes, cutting nicotine out of your smoking experience will see you smoking a lot less. You will most probably only smoke when you feel like it, and not every time your brain needs the nicotine fix. At the time of publishing a disposable vape pen was retailing at R295.00, which lasts approximately 12 days. My preferred brand of cigarettes retailed (pre-COVID) at around R38.00 a box (20) which lasted me a day – that is R456.00 every 12 days!

7. HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL

Nicotine is known to cause jitters, headaches and other discomforts, unlike CBD which relaxes you and relieves pain by boosting the production of anandamides. Your mood is naturally boosted, it helps with concentration and inspires creativity. 

8. LEGALITY

Hemp has unfortunately been classified and grouped as marijuana. Therefor some legal battles exist to decriminalize the growing, processing and sales of industrial hemp around the world. As Gazetted on 23 May 2019 (No. 42477) hemp and CBD has been made legal for productions and sales, with restrictions, in South Africa. Hemp was excluded from the Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965 for an exemption period of 12 months. 

As a previous devotee to the entjie myself, it is not easy to quit nicotine for what ever reason it may be. I found it easy to kick a five-year habit once I decided that it was something that I wanted to do, for myself! But, marijuana sure as hell helped a lot! 

CBD has all the answers and with the recent legal developments, many doors are about to open in terms of job creation, skill development, eco-consciousness and sustainability to name a few. Take advantage of the opportunity to give CBD a try, and decide for yourself if it is worth quitting nicotine.

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