What do people smoke to quit cannabis and tobacco?

28th October 2021

It is well-known that tobacco use is directly related to millions of deaths worldwide, leading to more smokers searching for an effective substitute that would help them to quit their bad habits.

According to Indy100, tobacco kills more than half a million adults yearly in the United States alone, while the number of states legalising or decriminalising cannabis use is growing exponentially.

Some evidence suggests that many people looking to quit smoking tobacco may turn to cannabis as a replacement. However, it is also recorded that excessive cannabis use can lead to cannabis use disorder (CUD), implying that this isn’t a healthy solution to the problem.

At the same time, those who want to give up on cannabis usually don’t know what substitutes are out there. Now, Indy100 reports, some health professionals recommend something different: lavender.

Dr Jenelle Kim, the founder of JBK Wellness Labs, told the paper: “Lavender has a wide range of benefits. When inhaled as an essential oil, it has been found to reduce stress and anxiety in clinical studies.

“Further research shows lavender’s ability to lower anxiety in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery and in people visiting the dentist. It’s also known to improve sleep, reduce pain, lessen tension, and induce a general sense of relaxation.

“When applied topically, lavender is known to reduce inflammation and scarring and improve acne due to its antibacterial qualities.”

Why lavender?

Terpenes; everything starts and ends with terpenes. Lavender consists of an “aromatic terpene”, called linalool. This is something that can also be found in some strains of cannabis.

However, experts recommend against smoking lavender as the health risks associated with its combustion are still unknown. In many jurisdictions, the smoking of any plant product is not recommended as the combustion of plant material often creates toxic substances.

Lavender oils, at the same time, could very well be the solution in this case.

Ashley Wynn-Grimes MS, RN-BC, CEO of Cannabis Nursing Solutions, author of Asa’s Medicine and executive director of Cannabis Patient Advocacy Association told Indy100: “Linalool is a terpene also found in cannabis that has anti-anxiety, stress relief, anticonvulsant, and antidepressant effect.

“Terpenes are the fragrant part of various herbs, spices and plants.”

Indy100 spoke with someone who used lavender to quit smoking after 10 years.

Leo Ramirez told the paper when wanted to quit tobacco, he tried cannabis but it didn’t help – that’s when he found lavender and he’s ‘smoke’-free ever since.

Ramirez said: “I have been a tobacco smoker for nearly 10 years now, and lavender was a godsend for me and the only thing that was able to get me off that nasty nicotine habit. I also smoke marijuana from time to time, but it was not something that has been able to stop me from smoking cigarettes.

“Whenever I would try to quit smoking with other methods the mental and psychological withdrawal symptoms were the worst.

“When I would feel a craving for a cigarette after quitting though (for the first few days) I smoked lavender instead.”

He added lavender gave him the calm that cigarettes normally would.

Would it work for everybody? One personal account wouldn’t convince many but if there were more studies on the topic, maybe more could be helped while trying to quit one of the most dangerous habits of all.

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