The role of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction is being increasingly acknowledged.
We conducted a pilot, randomised double blind placebo controlled study set out to assess the impact of the ad-hoc use of cannabidiol (CBD) in smokers who wished to stop smoking.
24 smokers were randomised to receive an inhaler of CBD (n=12) or placebo (n=12) for one week, they were instructed to use the inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke.
Over the treatment week, placebo treated smokers showed no differences in number of cigarettes smoked.
In contrast, those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by ~40% during treatment.
Results also indicated some maintenance of this effect at follow-up.
These preliminary data, combined with the strong preclinical rationale for use of this compound, suggest CBD to be a potential treatment for nicotine addiction that warrants further exploration.