Cannabis and compounds derived from it can help treat a number of ailments and illnesses. But it apparently can help people kick a very nasty habit as well.
A new study from the Addiction journal found that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound in marijuana that does not get users high but is responsible for many of the drug's medical benefits, can help people quit smoking. A previous study showed that CBD users cut back on smoking by 40 percent after one week compared to smokers who were given a placebo. But these new researchers investigated why exactly CBD caused those results.
The researchers tested smokers who had abstained from smoking overnight. Some of the participants were then given a placebo while others were given CBD. The researchers found that those who were given the placebo had a stronger response to photos related to smoking than those who were given CBD. This meant that people who use CBD have less of a attentional bias towards smoking, meaning they are less consumed by recurring thoughts about smoking. If a smoker isn't constantly thinking about smoking, then there's a greater chance that they won't pick up the habit again.
However, CBD isn't a perfect solution. The researchers noted that the CBD didn't seem to affect the actual physical symptoms of withdrawal or craving for cigarettes, or prevent impulsive behaviors.
But, they also noted that they only gave the smokers a single dose of CBD. It's possible that continual or regular use of CBD would begin affecting those other factors as well.