CBD vs. Tobacco: Pros/Cons & What Does the Research Say?
Smoking is an ancient practice that’s deeply ingrained into modern culture. As the centuries have passed, we’ve developed increasingly safe and effective smoking methods, and in the last few years, it’s become apparent that a paradigmatic shift in smoking is on the horizon.
Smokers around the country are ditching their tobacco cigarettes in preference of CBD flower, pre-rolls, and vape cartridges. Considerably safer and more beneficial than nicotine, CBD is the clear alternative in an age of anti-smoking sentiment and ever-increasing evidence that tobacco is profoundly harmful to your health.
Why compare CBD and tobacco?
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It claims the lives of nearly 500,000 Americans per year, and smoking negatively impacts the quality of life of countless additional tobacco users.
For those who like smoking but fear the dangers of tobacco, CBD flower is a clear alternative. Most smokers wouldn’t be interested in switching to THC-rich marijuana since this substance is intoxicating. CBD, however, is non-intoxicating, and it isn’t habit-forming.
Now that high-quality CBD flower is widely available on the internet, getting your hands on CBD pre-rolls is even easier than walking to your local corner store to buy a pack of smokes. Given the impressive benefits of switching to CBD flower, it’s certainly worthwhile to carefully explore the differences between tobacco and CBD.
Similarities between CBD and tobacco
While CBD and tobacco are inherently different in many ways, that’s not to say that these two substances don’t overlap at all. Here are some of the key similarities between CBD flower and tobacco cigarettes that will make veteran smokers feel right at home:
1. Can be smoked in cigarettes or joints
CBD joints or “pre-rolls” are practically indistinguishable from tobacco cigarettes. A CBD pre-roll will feel fully familiar between your fingers, and you’ll find that CBD cigarettes burn and produce smoke in the exact same way as tobacco cigarettes.
2. Available in natural, organic options
Recognizing the dangers posed by the additives present in most tobacco cigarettes, some manufacturers have started making organic or additive-free cigarettes. Similarly, many of the hemp flower options you’ll find on the internet are produced organically without any additives.
However, the active ingredient in tobacco, nicotine, is inherently harmful. CBD, on the other hand, is practically free of side effects whether it’s offered in organic, natural product types or not.
3. Vaping options also available
Both CBD and tobacco are offered in smoke-free vape products. In the case of tobacco, nicotine is extracted from tobacco leaf in the form of a crystalline “salt,” and it’s then dissolved into carrier oils like propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG).
It’s possible to produce vapable CBD simply by applying a few simple refinement techniques to raw hemp extract. While some producers remove CBD from hemp extract in the form of a chemical isolate and combine it with carriers like PG or VG, this approach is unnecessary, and it yields inferior results.
Differences between CBD and tobacco
CBD and tobacco are more different than they are similar. While every major health authority strongly cautions against tobacco use, CBD is being intensively researched as a potentially beneficial substance. Here are a few of the most impressive differences between tobacco and CBD:
1. Dramatically different effects
Some people genuinely enjoy the effects of nicotine. As a stimulant, nicotine increases your heart rate, and it can produce a temporary sense of euphoria or a “rush.”
CBD, on the other hand, has a mild effect that most users find to be profoundly relaxing. CBD won’t give you the jitters, and it won’t cause a crash a few minutes after smoking. Perhaps most importantly, smoking CBD flower won’t leave you craving more within an hour or so.
2. Remarkably different safety profiles
The safety of CBD vs. tobacco couldn’t be more different. Over the last few decades, tobacco has become the scourge of the modern medical community as researchers have increasingly tied cigarette smoking to emphysema, heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other serious conditions. CBD, on the other hand, is being looked at seriously as a legitimate treatment for common medical conditions, and this cannabinoid does not appear to have any significant side effects.
3. Differences in flavor and aroma
We won’t beat around the bush: Tobacco smoke smells terrible. Even after the clouds have dissipated, tobacco smoke clings to your skin and clothes, leaving a stale, repulsive odor behind.
Tobacco also has a sharp, acrid taste that most smokers learn to tolerate rather than genuinely enjoy. CBD-rich hemp, on the other hand, can taste downright delicious depending on the terpenes it contains, and hemp smoke smells pleasant without leaving any clinging, noxious odors in its wake.
4. Variety between products
While connoisseurs might be able to note minor differences between brands, all tobacco cigarettes are essentially alike. They provide similar effects, and they each taste equally awful.
There’s a huge amount of variety, however, between the CBD flower products on the market. While some strains have soothing indica characteristics, others offer upbeat sativa effects, and CBD flower varies widely in terms of potency. With all the options at your disposal, you’ll never get bored of CBD flower.
Research into the dangers of tobacco
The international medical community views tobacco use as a serious ongoing danger to public health. Research continues to investigate new methods of reducing the harm done by tobacco use, and scientists continue to develop new smoking cessation tools that might help tobacco users kick their habits.
There seems to be no end to the evidence against tobacco use, and a reversal in global tobacco policy is practically unthinkable at this point. The only question is how soon tobacco use and its associated dangers will be entirely eradicated worldwide.
Research into the dangers of CBD
Not for lack of trying, researchers continue to come up empty-handed as they search for serious side effects associated with CBD. That’s not to say that CBD has never made anyone sick. The latest research, however, confirms that CBD-related side effects are most commonly due to the presence of contaminants or associated with non-compliant products. The CBD molecule itself is remarkably well-tolerated in human subjects, and it appears to be safe to consume CBD in concentrations exceeding 1500mg.
A few years ago, a study claiming that CBD causes liver damage went viral. Upon further examination, however, it became clear that the animal subjects used in this study were force-fed CBD in concentrations far higher than any human would conceivably consume. Plus, the results of this study have never been corroborated with follow-up research, indicating that CBD is, in fact, just as harmless as countless other studies have suggested.
Should you choose tobacco or CBD?
Imagine that you’re a first-year college student who has never smoked CBD flower or tobacco before. Out with your friends, you’re presented with a choice between a tobacco cigarette and a CBD-rich hemp pre-roll.
Consider the two options in front of you. One smells terrible, and everyone using it is coughing and looks miserable. The other has an inviting, floral aroma, and it’s making everyone who uses it feel relaxed and peaceful.
Given the chance to start over, which would you choose? The unfortunate truth is that most cigarette smokers who continue smoking only keep lighting up due to psychological and biochemical addiction.
CBD flower is clearly, objectively the better choice, and anyone who is currently addicted to tobacco would gladly embrace the freedom that smoking hemp can provide. If you have to smoke something, don’t let nicotine-laced tobacco anywhere near your precious lungs. Protect your health by choosing CBD instead.