For patients who struggle to quit smoking, there is a promising new natural solution — CBD. According to a study in Chemical Research in Toxicology, CBD helps block a key enzyme involved in nicotine metabolism.
Researchers from Washington State University examined the impact of CBD and its chief metabolite on human liver tissue and cell samples. They discovered that CBD suppressed several enzymes essential to nicotine metabolism, including the major enzyme for nicotine metabolism, CYP2A6.
And it may not take much CBD, say the scientists. Relatively low dosages of CBD helped inhibit CYP2A6 activity by 50%.
“The whole mission is to decrease harm from smoking, which is not from the nicotine per se, but all the carcinogens and other chemicals that are in tobacco smoke,” said Philip Lazarus, senior author of the study. “If we can minimize that harm, it would be a great thing for human health.”
The present study is the first to comprehensively examine the effects of CBD and its major active metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, on the metabolism of nicotine. Results from this study demonstrate that both CBD and 7-OH- CBD inhibit nicotine metabolism by inhibiting several enzymes important in nicotine metabolism, including the major nicotine metabolizing enzyme, CYP2A6. This inhibition has implications for co-users of tobacco and CBD, with decreases in overall nicotine metabolism potentially influencing tobacco addiction and cessation strategies.