by Deborah Malka MD, PhD
Read time: 4min.
CBD cigarettes have become popular with people looking to unlock the wellness potential of CBD and doing so in a more traditional (and familiar) delivery method – cigarettes. But, are they a healthier way to smoke?
If you are a former tobacco cigarette smoker, you’re one of many. Tobacco cigarette smoking among adults hit an all-time low last year. If that’s you, you’ve made a good decision. The long-term damage tobacco smoking can do to your body is staggering, and it’s estimated to cause nearly a half a million deaths in the United States each year.
While quitting smoking tobacco cigarettes is a great accomplishment, people who have successfully kicked the habit still may miss the act of smoking – from the muscle memory of holding a cigarette between their fingers, bringing it to their lips, taking a drag – to the social habit of smoking – taking a smoke break at work or having a cigarette while having drinks with friends.
“Those types of behaviors aren’t because you were physically addicted,” says Three Wells Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Deborah Malka. “They’re simply habits you’ve formed that are often hard to shake. In my experience, I’ve seen that once someone has quit tobacco cigarettes and the nicotine craving is gone, smoking a CBD cigarette, or any herbal cigarette, can help in those social situations where smoking as a habit is triggered. It’s certainly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes.”
What’s Inside a CBD Cigarette?
While a tobacco cigarette contains nearly 600 additives, including the highly addictive nicotine, a CBD cigarette has far fewer ingredients, including less than 0.3% of THC. A CBD cigarette contains CBD-rich hemp flower that has been ground up and rolled into a cigarette shape. A CBD cigarette usually contains between 80 and 120 mg of CBD and doesn’t contain the carcinogenic additives that are so dangerous to tobacco cigarette smokers.
CBD Helps the Brain and Body in Amazing Ways
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce medicinal effects that can range from pleasant to profound. CBD can keep the immune system functioning and control inflammation in our central nervous system. These two actions help keep our bodies working in a state of homeostasis, maintaining the body’s proper internal environments such as temperature and fluid balance. Further, CBD is a known neuroprotectant, meaning it helps preserve the structure and function of neurons and brain tissue. Many diseases involve the breakdown of neurons in specific regions of the brain, so keeping them as healthy as possible can be a key to well-being and health.
CBD helps with:
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Reducing anxiety, stress
- Cardiovascular health
- Maintaining brain and nervous system health
- Reducing pain
It’s also demonstrated substantial promise with epilepsy, tumors, menstrual and menopausal side effects, and ADD/ADHD.
How a CBD Cigarette May Make You Feel
While smoking a tobacco cigarette can cause you to feel a “rush” or a buzz, the effects of smoking a CBD can be anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), relaxing and sedating. And, without the addictive nicotine, smoking CBD provides that enjoyable feeling without the cravings in between cigarettes. While CBD produces a variety of physiological effects, it does not contribute to the “high” feeling that THC causes.
If you’re looking for the fastest way to feel the effects of CBD, smoking, without a doubt, is the way to go. Smoking allows the CBD to go directly into your bloodstream which give it what’s called a high bioavailability versus many other ways to ingest CBD. In other words you get more of the CBD into your system and faster. While you may have to wait hours to feel the effects of CBD after eating a CBD product or swallowing a CBD capsule, smoking CBD will give you the desired effect within seconds or minutes and could last 2-3 hours depending on dosage.
Side Effects of Smoking CBD Cigarettes
As with any type of smoking, there is an increased risk for bronchial inflammation and cough. The list of side effects of using CBD, in general, is short and may include:
- Dry mouth
- Loose stools
In addition, some hemp-derived CBD, especially that grown out of the country, has been known to have high levels of heavy metals.
Can You Fail a Drug Test from Smoking a CBD Cigarette?
It depends on where the CBD product was derived from. Pure CBD will not show up on a drug test. However, CBD derived from hemp may show up on a drug test if you use a large enough quantity, as the small percentage of THC in hemp strains can add up. While using that much is an exceptionally rare occurrence, it’s still something I want you to be mindful of. If you use hemp CBD in lower quantities it is usually safe for a drug test.
If you’re accustomed to smoking, and you want to take advantage of the wellness benefits of CBD or you’re looking for a faster-acting delivery method…or both, CBD cigarettes may be the perfect solution for you.