A new federally funded study has found that CBD may help tobacco users quit by reducing cravings.
Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) looked at the effects of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid on the metabolism of nicotine, the main addictive component of tobacco.
The study, published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology last month, showed that relatively low doses of CBD significantly inhibited a key enzyme associated with the processing of nicotine in the body, which could stave off cravings.
“The whole mission is to decrease harm from smoking, which is not from the nicotine per se, but all the carcinogens and other chemicals that are in tobacco smoke,” WSU professor Philip Lazarus, senior author of the study, said in a press release. “If we can minimize that harm, it would be a great thing for human health.”
While researchers say more studies that involve human subjects are needed, the study that examined liver tissue and microsomes derived from specialized cell lines showed that cannabidiol inhibited multiple relevant enzymes—and that included CYP2A6, the main enzyme that metabolizes nicotine.
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