3 Ways Hemp Might Help with Quitting Nicotine
January is a great time for many to cut out old, unhealthy habits and replace them with healthier ones! Every year, quitting smoking or vaping nicotine is among the top most popular resolutions for the new year, and for good reason. Quitting nicotine not only saves an excess of money, but can also help to save lives! What better way to start the new year than to kick nicotine dependence to the curb?
Statistics on Nicotine Use
According to the CDC, smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year. In recent years, vaping nicotine has become increasingly popular, especially among younger generations. In 2022, an astounding 1 in 4 high and middle school students claimed to use e-cigarettes, according to data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey.
Why is it so hard to quit nicotine?
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that is extremely difficult for users to quit. According to the Addiction Center, nicotine addiction is the most common addiction among Americans. Similar to hard drugs, nicotine use creates dopamine production and serotonin release within the brain, causing mood to be enhanced and the user to feel good within about 20 seconds. Also similar to hard drugs, once nicotine levels decrease, users begin to feel withdrawal symptoms that intensify until nicotine is reintroduced into the bloodstream and brain.
3 Ways Hemp Might Be Able to Help by…
- Reducing anxiety
Anxiety and irritability are among the most common symptoms users experience when withdrawing from nicotine. Serotonin and dopamine levels are directly impacted by nicotine, so when those levels decrease during withdrawal, moodiness and anxiety often kick in. These fluctuations in mood can be overwhelming for the user going through withdrawal and are difficult to overcome.
Scientists believe the main receptors in our body that hemp interacts with are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are primarily found in the nervous system and it is believed that hemp may affect these specific receptors by altering serotonin. Research has shown that hemp products have been beneficial in improving mood and reducing stress for many.
A study published in 2020 focused on the effects of hemp on patients who experienced pain as well as neurological and mental health issues. The findings were that after 3 weeks of hemp use, patients with non-cancer pain and mental health symptoms reported improvements in pain and mood levels.
2. Easing physical withdrawal symptoms
Along with mental and emotional symptoms, nicotine withdrawal also manifests itself as pesky physical symptoms. Physical discomfort including headaches, nausea and insomnia are all common during the quitting process. These physical symptoms can be debilitating for folks in the midst of withdrawal and can often prompt users to give up on quitting.
Research has shown that hemp can be beneficial in reducing pain, inflammation and symptoms of insomnia for many. In a scientific study published by the Permanente Journal, evidence shows that hemp helps tackle the root causes of insomnia, whether it be anxiety, or pain. The correlation between hemp and its effects on sleep is still being researched, but it is thought that hemp lowers cortisol levels in the body, thus acting as a sedative for those who struggle with sleep and experience high levels of cortisol at night.
3. Altering the ritual
As mentioned previously, nicotine use greatly impacts the brain. Because so many smokers/vapers partake ritually before or after certain day to day activities, the brain begins to link certain actions with nicotine consumption. These specific day to day activities that are not avoidable (such as finishing a meal or a cup of coffee, taking breaks at work, driving for extended periods of time, etc.) and can often be triggering for people going through nicotine withdrawal.
Replacing nicotine with all natural hemp products might be helpful in making it through withdrawal, especially for those experiencing frequent triggers throughout the day. Oral stimulation is commonly missed during withdrawal, therefore keeping candies and mints on hand when cravings arise can be especially helpful. Our edibles such as boujee bears or dream drops can aid in keeping hands and mouths busy, promote calmness and peace, all while potentially decreasing cravings. In a study published in 2013, participants who were given hemp inhalers reduced their cigarette consumption by 40% whereas there was no change with those who received a placebo.
Non-addictive and straight from mama earth, hemp might just be the answer in helping achieve quitting nicotine goals! We at Appalachian Standard are encouraging folks to embrace this year as the year of self-love, 2023 is becoming the year of 2020-me! We hope to be an ally and supporter for achieving all the health and wellness goals this year!