Study Finds Oral CBD May Lessen Impulse for Cigarettes


LONDON–Results published on May 1st in the journal Addiction said that an 800mg dose of oral CBD (cannabidiol) lessened attentional bias to cigarette cues, when compared to a placebo, in a study conducted by researchers at University College London.

“Cannabidiol (CBD), a non‐intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis, may be a promising novel smoking cessation treatment due to its anxiolytic properties, minimal side effects, and research showing that it may modify drug cue salience,” study authors noted.


The double blind study involved 30 dependent cigarette smokers that were not seeking to quit smoking.

Attentional bias to cigarette cues was tested after subjects had abstained from smoking overnight, and had received either an oral dose of CBD or a placebo.

Subjects were required to perform tasks, while being shown visual tobacco cues as well as neutral images, and were rated throughout on levels of “withdrawal, craving, side effects, heart rate, and blood pressure.”

Researchers found those who received a placebo had more bias toward the tobacco image cues compared to neutral images, while subjects that received 800mg of CBD showed neutral response to the tobacco cues.

In conclusion, researchers said, “A single 800‐mg oral dose of cannabidiol reduced the salience and pleasantness of cigarette cues, compared with placebo, after overnight cigarette abstinence in dependent smokers. Cannabidiol did not influence tobacco craving or withdrawal or any subjectively rated side effects.”

While results did not indicate that CBD decreased cravings or withdrawal, researchers found subjects that received responded with “reduced explicit pleasantness of cigarette images,” as well as having decreased systolic blood pressure during abstinence.

The study was authored by Chandni Hindocha Tom P. Freeman Meryem Grabski Jack B. Stroud Holly Crudgington Alan C. Davies Ravi K. Das William Lawn Celia J. A. Morgan H. Valerie Curran.

(Photo courtesy Lindsay Fox/