By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
The inhalation of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) significantly mitigates tobacco smokers' desire for cigarettes, according to clinical trial data published online in the journal Addictive Behaviors.
Investigators at University College London conducted a double blind pilot study to assess the impact of the ad-hoc consumption of organic CBD versus placebo in 24 tobacco-smoking subjects seeking to quit their habit. Participants were randomized to receive an inhaler containing CBD (n=12) or placebo (n=12) for one week. Trial investigators instructed subjects to use the inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke.
Researchers reported: "Over the treatment week, placebo treated smokers showed no differences in number of cigarettes smoked. In contrast, those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by [the equivalent of] 40 percent during treatment." Moreover, participants who used CBD did not report experiencing increased cravings for nicotine during the study's duration.
Investigators concluded, "This is the first study, as far as we are aware, to demonstrate the impact of CBD on cigarette smoking. ... These preliminary data, combined with the strong preclinical rationale for use of this compound, suggest CBD to be a potential treatment for nicotine addiction that warrants further exploration."
Previously published clinical trials on CBD have found cannabidiol to be "safe and well tolerated" in healthy volunteers.
Separate investigations of CBD have documented the cannabinoid to possess a variety of therapeutic properties, including anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-epileptic, anti-cancer, and bone-stimulating properties.
Full text of the study, "Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: Preliminary findings," appears online in the journal Addictive Behaviors.