CBD research is plunging forward, despite resistance from lobbyists, overzealous lawmakers, and pharmaceutical companies. The latest example promises big steps in those looking to end their dependency on smokeless tobacco.
Tobacco deaths are no secret, and scores of people are trying (and often failing) to kick the habit. Patches and gum offer some help, but they are expensive, and only so reliable. There are pharmaceutical options, but they come with a staggering list of potential side effects.
While educating tobacco users and offering assistance has been a step in the right direction, options for smokers don’t help those who use smokeless tobacco (chew, dip, snuss). In fact, the FDA lists no option that’s approved for smokeless tobacco users at all.
We already know that CBD (cannabidiol) can be used to help those trying to kick an opiod habit, and with that in mind CV Sciences (OTCQB: CVSI) is looking into the use of CBD as an option for those looking to kick the habit.
Nicotine works similarly to other drugs, worming its way into your bloodstream and signaling your brain to produce more dopamine. Dopamine is a feel good neurotransmitter. It’s quite literally organic happiness, secreted in the brain.
Nicotine users also get a rush of acetylcholine and glutamate, lowering stress and increasing energy. No wonder nicotine is so addictive and hard to kick. Users get a great feeling that only lasts an hour or two before dropping off, causing users to run for their legal addiction.
Nicotine, effecting the body through similar pathways to opiods, researchers are hoping that CBDs might fill in the gap, helping nicotine users kick the habit.
CV Sciences is in the perfect place to see what CBD can offer. They are involved in development of consumer CBD products and they have an in house biotech unit. Their plan is to see their research turned into lozenges and gum, similar to what is available for smokers now, but it would be effective for smokeless tobacco users as well.
One of the bigger benefits being explored is that, while nicotine enters and leaves a users system in a matter of an hour or two, CBD stays in the system for 24-36 hours. This could provide a long lasting cessation method that simply outlasts cravings.
CV Sciences will use CBD’s strong safety record as a platform to get their study off the ground quickly, and with any luck they’ll kick it off next year.
While they aren’t as big as the cabal of gigantic pharmaceutical research companies, the millions of people trying to get the tobacco monkey off their back will, no doubt, take a real interest in something that might compound the benefits of existing treatments.
Chantix, a side-effect heavy smoking cessation drug, reached sales of nearly a billion dollars in 2016. That doesn’t count the sales of patches and gum, which can cost $30-$40 for just a two week supply.
These kind of profits are the obvious reason for larger drug companies to press against CBD research in the United States, where medicine is a strictly for-profit entity.
CBD research moves forward anyway, no matter how slowly, and medical uses are being documented that range from the treatment of pediatric seizure disorders to treatment of fibromyalgia and drug addiction.