Using CBD To Quit Weed: The Science (and my experience)

Using CBD To Quit Weed: The Science (and my experience)

Trying to quit smoking or even just ‘cutting back’ on smoking weed can be a little more difficult that it probably should be.

Been there !

I used to be a daily smoker (just weed). Usually only after work or on the weekends. Certainly not a stereotypical stoner by any means. But definitely everyday, and sometime more than I probably realized. It certainly wasn’t a full blown addiction…, but I was in less control of my smoking habit than I wanted to be.

Maybe you can relate?

A few years ago I used to run a CBD website, and after spending hours upon hours reading newly released medical studies, I realized that CBD was the perfect solution to help quit smoking weed…

(OK, or at least cutting back significantly, if not completely quitting)

Recent case study found that CBD can be an effective compound to help quit smoking weed AND also to help alleviate some of the minor, yet still annoying withdrawal symptoms, like trouble falling asleep quickly.

The study also found that, CBD made the transition away from marijuana easier, with fewer side effects than would typically be expected.

But I’m skeptical by nature, so I wanted to try CBD for 30 days to see if it really could help me quit smoking weed.

I wouldn’t say weed is an addiction that I crave in my life, but more of a daily routine. And like, most daily routines, they’re not so easy to break.

So I ordered some full spectrum CBD oil (that’s the good kind) and here’s what I found out…

Let’s Dive In.

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What is CBD and How Does CBD Work ?

What exactly is CBD and how does it work? This is the basics for understanding how CBD can help you quit smoking weed.

CBD is a compound that comes from the cannabis plant, but (unlike THC) CBD doesn’t get you ‘high’.

In 2018, CBD was made federally legal  at the highest levels of government, and again, it doesn’t get you ‘high’.

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CBD is one of over 100 naturally produced compounds that are found in the Cannabis plant. These 100+ compounds are called Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids directly interact with the human body, attaching themselves to receptors in our Central Nervous Systems –

More specifically, a part of the central nervous system known as the  Endo-Cannabinoid System. The main role of the Endocannabinoid System, is to maintain balance and homeostasis inside the body.

To sum it up, the cannabis plant produces cannabinoids, which fit like a ‘lock and key’ into our human endo-cannabinoid system.

It’s this interaction with the endo-cannabiinoid system that is critical for understanding how CBD can help you cut back on smoking weed (THC)

CBD And The Endo-Cannabinoid System (ECS) Simple Explanation

The Endo-Cannabinoid System is one of our most important internal bodily systems.

The ECS is responsible for maintaining balance in the human body and works similar to a thermostat.

endocannabinoid system balance Using CBD To Quit Weed: The Science (and my experience)

If the temperature in your house if too cold or too hot, the thermostat kicks in to normalize the temperature.

If you have anxiety, inflammation, or a pain response  activated in your body, then your endo-cannabinoid system kicks on to normalize (or balance) your body’s response.

Many cultures (both ancient and present) believe that you can consciously control your body’s response.

CBD and the Specific Endo-Cannabinoid Receptors (CB1 & CB2)

All cannabinoids (including both CBD and THC) interact (although very differently) with the same two types of ‘endo-cannabinoid receptors’.

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1. Cannabinoid Receptors Type 1 (CB1 receptors) – 

CB1 receptors are critical to our central nervous system and are most heavily concentrated in our brain and spinal cord.

2. Cannabinoid Receptors Type 2 (CB2 receptors) –

CB2 receptors are concentrated in various parts of the immune system, the skin cells, and most internal organs.

Because the Endocannabinoid System is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the entire body, this system of CB1 & CB2 receptors is a connected network that works throughout the body.

The ECS is responsible for regulation of pain, inflammation, anxiety, immune system response, addiction response, and many other bodily system responses, including those that lead to depression.

The reason CBD can help you cut back on smoking weed has to do with the interaction between CB1 & CB2 receptors. The high feeling caused by THC is due to the bond of THC onto a receptor.

By using CBD, you’re able to occupy the same receptor but with-out the high feeling. basically CBD and THC are in competition for the same receptor space. So by taking CBD you can still active the same receptor, but with-out the feeling of being high. Instead you’ll just feel more relaxed.

These response actions, combined with CBD’s lack of side effects, make CBD a great candidate for replacing THC products and as a natural alternative to anxiety and depression meds that for dependence like Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax, or other SSRIs.

Ingrained Habits Are More Addictive Than Marijuana Itself. 

You might agree, or you might not, but I’m of the belief that anything can be addicting, if it’s being used as an emotional crutch.

Some people are addicted to gambling, some are addicted to eating, some people are addicted to social media, their phones, sex, work, and some people are even addicted to weight lifting.

Many believe that addiction is relative.

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Studies has proven through brain scan technology, that for some people, daily routines such as gambling, hoarding, sex, or even cheese burgers could be as addictive as cocaine is for other people.

Our daily habits are as deeply ingrained as our addictions are.

Addiction and daily habits are both deeply rooted with-in our brain.

In my persona experience, I found that with quitting weed, the “daily habit of smoking” was harder to break than the “chemical need or dependency“.

I didn’t have a headache or craving or anything like that, but I did find myself wandering to the weed jar at the same time everyday.

Here’s where CBD comes into play.

Can CBD Help You Break Daily Habits (like routinely smoking weed)

The CBD molecule of the cannabis plant is much different than it’s related ‘cousin’, the infamous THC molecule.

Most notably, CBD doesn’t get you ‘high’.

Recent studies have found that CBD does in fact “reduce the noticeability of addictive cues.”

Can CBD help You Quit Smoking Weed Using CBD To Quit Weed: The Science (and my experience)

During my 30 days of CBD use, I found exactly the same thing to be true. I noticeably had less urges to fall into daily patterns.

Almost like a rut in my brain was suddenly much less deep and easier to get out of.

But my biggest ‘take-away’ was how much easier I found it to make changes in my daily routine.

In other recent studies, CBD has also been found to reduce the overall consumption of cigarettes for those addicted to nicotine.

I don’t smoke cigarettes, but for weed,  “I was surprised that CBD actually seemed to work.

I went in to the 30 day experiment feeling skeptical, but after 2-3 weeks, I noticed that I has just ‘forgot to smoke’ with-out even thinking about it.

That’s exactly what the study found – CBD helps by lessening addictive cues.

But for those who are using marijuana as an ‘escape mechanism’, or to fill an emotional void, marijuana addiction and withdrawal symptoms may be a little more severe than mine.

What Does A Serve Case of Marijuana Addiction Look Like ?

According to The Canyon, a treatment center in Malibu, California.

use CBD to quit weed THC Using CBD To Quit Weed: The Science (and my experience)

The signals for marijuana addiction include a growing tolerance for the drug’s effects, as well as using more marijuana than initially intended to use.

Also, using marijuana at un-appropriate times. 

11 Indications You May Be Addicted to Marijuana

  1. Cannabis is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control cannabis use.
  3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain cannabis, use cannabis, or recover from its effects.
  4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use cannabis.
  5. Recurrent cannabis use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued cannabis use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of cannabis.
  7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of cannabis use.
  8. Recurrent cannabis use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
  9. Cannabis use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by cannabis.
  10. Tolerance, as defined by either a (1) need for markedly increased cannabis to achieve intoxication or desired effect or (2) markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either (1) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for cannabis or (2) cannabis is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.


After taking CBD for 30 days, my personal experience completely agrees with the science. It’s not a “magic bullet”, but CBD definitely makes changing up your habits a lot easier.  

using cbd to quit weed cravings Using CBD To Quit Weed: The Science (and my experience)

Easier to sleep, easier to relax, easier to quit smoking weed altogether.

Maybe CBD’s biggest benefit is the lack of side effects. If you’re looking to cut back on smoking weed, it seems like a no-brainer to give CBD a try.

There are multiple studies that show CBD’s ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms for all types of drugs and marijuana is no exception.

Because of CBD’s ability to interact with the endo-cannabinoid system and with the brain, CBD can help addictions and withdrawal symptoms in multiple substances.

If you want to learn more about CBD’s interaction with the endo-cannabinoid system, check out our detailed breakdown here.

Let us know what your experience is with CBD or if we missed anything in this article that you feel should be included we’d love the feedback!

Check Out Out Our Other Interesting Articles About CBD…

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And hey, don’t miss out on our curated list of must-reads in the recommended books section.

Big thanks for diving in with us today!

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