Does cannabis and nicotine have any withdrawal effects when taken together for a long time? In this article, we will talk about the combined effects of cannabis and nicotine and how their withdrawal effects differ from each other.
Nicotine is a type of chemical that contains nitrogen. Nicotiana tabacum came from the nightshade family and is the type of nicotine in tobacco plants. Although it does not cause cancer per se, nicotine is an addictive substance that causes detrimental effects when used excessively. But other than nicotine, there are other harmful chemicals and cancer-causing agents in tobacco cigarettes that can lead to severe health complications such as lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, cancer, primarily in the respiratory system, leukemia, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cataracts and macular degeneration, infertility, miscarriage, and other pregnancy complications, among others.
According to a 2019 survey conducted by the Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey (2020), 8 out of 10 people vaped nicotine 30 days before the survey. Amongst these users are aged 15 to 19 (87%) and 20 to 24 (86%). In connection to these numbers, 31% of ages 15 to 19 claimed to vape on a daily basis in comparison to the 38% remaining in ages 20 to 24.
Tobacco and tobacco-related products are dangerous. According to a study in 2010 by Neal Benowitz, M.D., 435,000 deaths per year in the United States are caused by smoking-related diseases. That is one in every five deaths in the United States (Gabbey, 2018).
Nicotine is what makes quitting tobacco difficult. Due to the pleasure it brings to your brain, it urges you to have more until you become dependent on it. But regardless of the length of time, you spent in smoking, to entirely stop smoking it can improve your health. It is not an easy task to stop one’s nicotine dependency but there are a number of effective treatments available to help you overcome it. (Mayo Clinic, 2020).
That being said, there is a belief that marijuana is as safe or even safer than alcohol and cigarettes. And as it is also useful as pain relief medicine as well as for mental health illnesses, several states are advocating to legalize it. Still, marijuana is the most popular illegal drug, and there are risks in smoking it. It is important to also bring into light the effects and risks of marijuana use as it is still considered as an illegal substance at the federal level (Lautieri, 2020).
Cannabis and Nicotine: Beating Nicotine Addiction with Cannabis
Scientists and researchers have been examining nicotine’s influence in the brain for years. These studies lead them to the conclusion that nicotine dependence and addiction can lead to physical and behavioral changes by habits, routine, and emotional alteration.
When tobacco is inhaled into your lungs, nicotine becomes more addictive as it allows the substance to reach the brain within seconds. And with the release of dopamine within minutes, it causes the person to crave for more. However, upon quitting smoking, smokers will experience mood swings, isolation, worthlessness, low self-esteem and self-confidence, irritability, and anxiety as they enter the state of withdrawal symptoms and it is also possible to feel impatient, frustration, difficulty in sleeping, anger, and concentration issues.
In the same way, a patient suffering from withdrawal symptoms may experience other physical and mental withdrawal symptoms such as depression, diarrhea, severe cravings, elevated hunger, and restlessness.
Luckily, there are several treatments to counter nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as:
● Support groups, counselling, or stress management workshops
● Essential oils and herbs
● At-home changes
● Electronic cigarettes
● Cognitive retraining
● Drug therapy or aversion therapy
● Forms of therapy measured by PET imaging
● Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) consumption
Let’s take a look at what research says about cannabis and nicotine.
Researchers revealed that in recent years, cannabis is not as addictive as other illegal substances. In fact, the addictive behavior of a person with nicotine addiction can be controlled and reduced particularly by CBD because of its non-addictive and non-psychoactive attributes. It was also uncovered that CBD can control nicotine addictive habits.
A 2013 study by Celia Morgan exposed the 40 percent reduction in addictive behaviors shown by CBD inhaler participants compared to the subjects who smoked tobacco. In addition, cannabis and CBD can help to alleviate and treat withdrawal symptoms triggered by nicotine dependence and addiction such as;
● Irritability depression
● Sleeping difficulties
● Panic attacks
On top of that, there are specific cannabis strains products that can remedy nicotine withdrawal symptoms:
To improve moodiness and irritability: Pineapple Kush, Blue Dream, & Harley Mandala
To improve sleep: Skywalker, Granddaddy Purple, & God’s Gift
To avoid further damage such as lung irritation and worsening of existing respiratory issues, it is recommended that tobacco consumers use cannabis and CBD by vaping, oral ingestion, transdermal administration, or topical administration instead of smoking. Trying and testing a variety of strains and consumption methods are likewise crucial to determine what works best for you.
Nicotine addiction is more predominant in people with substance-abuse disorders or mental illnesses, and although it is less likely to happen to people who do not have these illnesses, everybody is exposed to nicotine addiction nonetheless. To avoid diseases associated with tobacco smoking, quitting tobacco is highly recommended. Cannabis and CBD are strong enough to overcome nicotine dependence and addiction. With this, it will help you to improve your well-being by relieving negative withdrawal symptoms, so you too must best believe that you can beat it yourself (Skrobin, 2019).
Whether or not it is nicotine dependence, quitting the use of something that has been a part of yourself for a time is difficult especially when it becomes an addiction. People that are addicted to nicotine must not be a taboo nor a stigma because they too, need help to recover what they lost. And assisting them in their journey to quit smoking is cannabis or CBD.
Although not entirely good in its own right, by harnessing the benefits of cannabis to be a better person, this too can be your helping hand. There are also other ways to cure it such as taking medications, seeking help from other people through counselling, rehabilitation, and psychological support.
Nonetheless, nothing beats cure than prevention. And the best way to prevent addiction and the complications that comes with it is to not use tobacco in the first place at all. By not using it, you are not only keeping the people around you to smoke but most especially to keep children away from it.
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Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey (2020). Canadian Tobacco and Nicotine Survey,
2019. Retrieved June 14, 2020, from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200305/dq200305a-eng.htm
Felman, A. (2018). Everything you Need to Know About Nicotine. Retrieved June 14,
2020 from https://sunrisehouse.com/quit-abusing-marijuana/compare-smoking-cigarettes/
Gabbey, A. E. (2018). Nicotine Addiction: What You Need to Know. Retrieved June 14,
2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/nicotine-and-related-disorders#withdrawal
Lautieri, A. (2020). Smoking Cigarettes Compared to Marijuana. Retrieved June 14, 2020, from https://sunrisehouse.com/quit-abusing-marijuana/compare-smoking-cigarettes/
Mayo Clinic. (2020). Nicotine Dependence. Retrieved June 14, 2020, from
Skrobin, N. (2019). How to Naturally Beat Nicotine Addiction with weeds. Retrieved
June 14, 2020, from https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/how-to-naturally-beat-tobacco-dependence-addiction-with-cannabis-and-cbd/