CBD Vs Nicotine
Posted on October 12th, 2020
CBD and nicotine often go hand-in-hand when it comes to stimulating or calming the body depending on the source. These are naturally occurring compounds that come from plants.
Nicotine is a stimulant coming from the nightshade family of plants (i.e. tobacco plant). While CBD comes from the cannabis plant and is one of many cannabinoids present in this plant. It’s also a common compound present in industrial hemp.
However, this is where the similarities stop.
This guide is going to take a deeper look at comparing CBD vs nicotine to better understand how they work.
What is CBD?
Beginning with CBD, it’s one of two main most prevalent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. There are over 140+ cannabinoids discovered today, but we are focused on just two cannabinoids that are THC and CBD. With THC, the effect is euphoric, psychotropic, and leads to what is commonly known as a “high.” On the other hand, CBD doesn’t do this to the brain and has a more calming effect as described by “users” of CBD products. Many now think of it as the safer and non-additive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant-based on various studies.
Due to its underlying properties and effects on the human body, CBD has quickly become a key ingredient in vapes/oils, and many other products worldwide.
Effects of CBD And CBD’s Properties
What does CBD do to the human body? How does it work and why is it appealing to the average person? We can assume that there are several effects that play a role in why CBD is now appreciated as an organic natural supplement.
Some users say, “it starts with a feeling of calmness” and as CBD enters the bloodstream, or “descends on the body” as the confirmation that CBD has entered the body. It can be significant for those using it the first time while having a more reduced noticeable effect as time goes on. This sense of relaxation is empowering and that matters when it comes to feeling good throughout the day.
It’s important to note, these effects can vary depending on a person’s weight, age, and how much CBD they take at a time. The time of day, the food eaten before, also have effects that increase variables. This is an example of what effects of CBD are being studied by scientists and researchers around the world.
Cannabis plants are split into two distinctive groups – marijuana and hemp. This means the source is slightly different and this can lead to a different type of CBD when it comes to how it affects the body.
With industrial hemp plants, the emphasis is on growing them using seeds and fiber, which means they grow differently from hemp plants grown for other cannabinoids, and appear thinner and are rarer in that they are not grown as much right now. These plants are commonly sold in the US, but there are restrictions as to how much THC the plant can have (under 0.3% in America).
Due to this, any hemp-derived CBD is going to have limited THC in it. This means it doesn’t have a “high” that may alter a person’s senses on top of feeling relaxed.
In comparison, marijuana-derived CBD comes only from marijuana plants, which are grown as flowers and tend to have quite a bit of THC in them. This type of plant extract has a greater amount of THC because of how it’s harvested and turned into CBD products. As a result, the effects can vary with THC in excess of legal thresholds including have a high that is noticeable depending on a person’s age and weight.
What is Nicotine?
In this comparison of CBD vs nicotine, it’s important to know nicotine in-depth.
Nicotine is a well-known stimulant that comes from the tobacco plant and is a part of a group of alkaloids. To the average person, it is an integral being part of the conventional cigarette, which tends to have approximately 2-3mg of nicotine each.
Since it is a part of the conventional cigarettes, it’s consumption is culturally common, leading to addiction in people. It’s important to note, studies have shown this is a powerful stimulant. Thus, nicotine can easily become addictive due to the underlying behavioral and physical effects.
In comparison to CBD, nicotine is toxic and will lead to major side effects. Among those, tachycardia, abdominal pain, nausea, tachypnea, high blood pressure, dizziness, headaches, etc.
It is also noted for affecting how someone sleeps during the night as it interrupts your sleep cycle. This can start to add up and lead to an ongoing sense of fatigue that is hard to shake off. As a result, many people with a nicotine addiction report sleep disturbances, lack of focus, and general irritability.
Along with being a part of the conventional cigarettes, nicotine is also known for its use as a pesticide. This has changed in recent years because it can have a damaging impact on the environment, while also doing damage to food products.
CBD vapes are commonly sold on the open market as a way to relax, but so are electronic cigarettes that use nicotine e-liquids. These nicotine vapes are highly toxic in comparison to using CBD vapes, although any form of vape can be damaging to the body over the short and long-term depending on the usage of the user.
When comparing CBD vs nicotine, it’s recommended to keep these side effects in mind because they can have a life-altering impact.
Effects of Nicotine
Nicotine has several relevant side effects including some that are appealing. Thus, leading to an underlying addiction to cigarettes. Classified as being both a stimulant and sedative.
This means when a nicotine user takes nicotine, it tends to offer a certain kick to the person’s adrenal glands. When the adrenal glands activate, there’s a sudden rush that pushes through the body like when a person is doing a thrill-seeking activity.
This effect is tremendous and can make someone feel invincible and stronger for a moment. Everything becomes heightened. For instance, a person’s blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and energy levels.
Along with having this type of effect on the human body, it can also do a number on a person’s insulin levels. Nicotine tends to put pressure on the pancreas, which means it produces less insulin while also elevating a person’s blood sugar.
Another effect seen with nicotine use has to do with a burst of dopamine that courses through the body. This is why its thought of as being an addictive compound in the first place. People become addicted to this dopamine rush because it’s something that makes the body feel good.
Dopamine is a chemical that dictates how a person feels when it comes to pain and pleasure. If there is a dopamine rush, it is going to make you feel happier and more satisfied with what’s happening to you at that moment.
The effect can vary based on how much nicotine the user took in during one smoking session.
Further Side Effects of Nicotine
There are also more effects when it comes to nicotine including seeing a rise in heart attack and stroke volume and muscle oxygen consumption rate. This includes suddenly feeling euphoric, starting to calm rapidly, and/or feeling alert about the situation around you. It can do a number on a person that not accustomed to the sensation, which starts to get addicting after a while.
Many users will report seeing a sudden improvement in concentration due to the nicotine, which can also lead to feeling aroused all the time.
It’s important to keep in mind that nicotine provides short-term boosts such as these. But eventually, the body crashes leading to a worsened state in the long-term. This is, it is better to steer clear of something like nicotine. Most importantly, form conventional cigarettes that are full of unhealthy chemicals.
Multiple side effects can start to appeal through the constant use of this stimulant.
- Mood Fluctuations.
- Lack of Focus.
Nicotine is something that the user must regulate when it comes to their intake. Otherwise, it can start to add up after a while and make it harder to quit.
There is a snowball effect when it comes to nicotine and that is what makes it different from CBD.
Multiple blood-related side effects are not alongside the primary ones. It is these side effects that start to play out when a person has become addicted to nicotine.
- An Increase in Blood Clots
- Enlargement of the Aorta
- Development of Plaque in the Arteries (Atherosclerosis)
CBD Vs Nicotine – Final Thoughts
The comparison is a unique one and it’s something that does come up from time to time. Most people are going to be on the fence about what they should use to stay calm and/or whether it’s better to quit using nicotine for CBD instead. Quitting smoking is a good thing, and if using CBD instead of smoking is your choice, well, you at least won’t be smoking tobacco.
Yes, CBD is a naturally occurring compound that may be healthier for the body than tobacco is, as long as it comes from the right source.
If it is a CBD product originating from hemp, the plus points are going to add up. Even government regulators approve of the use of the compound. This is essential for anyone that is serious about making changes to their lifestyle and wants to steer clear of long-term addiction.
More and more people are starting to venture towards CBD products including those who vape nicotine. It is simply a choice with fewer side effects when choosing CBD over nicotine. They are completely different molecules or substances anyway.
When making a choice, you should search to find the right supplier and ensure it doesn’t include THC limits over the legal threshold. You certainly don’t want to be surprised with being “high” when you shouldn’t be. This will lead to a cleaner, more effective compound that is easier on the body than nicotine. In the end, CBD proves to be a much safer option for people when compared to nicotine.
Nicotine has been culturally dominant for decades now. However, a promising all-natural compound known as CBD is rapidly becoming popular. Here's why.
CBD vs Nicotine Vape
By Quinton Charles, Op-ed blogger
What is there to know?
The World No Tobacco Day is coming up (May 31!) and many people are unfamiliar with vape pens, both those that contain CBD and those that do not. So what is there to know? Let’s dive into the information so that we can both make the best decisions for ourselves, and so that we can inform other people around us who may not know about the nuances of nicotine, tobacco, and vapes.
This is likely the most well-known product containing nicotine. Whether chewed or smoked (we are going to be focusing on the smoking aspect here), tobacco contains nicotine. But what is nicotine?
What Is Nicotine & What Does It Do In The Human Body?
Nicotine is a chemical and stimulant that is naturally produced by plants in the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. You probably know more plants from this family than you think: tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, bell peppers (and yes, tobacco)  . So why is this important? All the plants in this family contain nicotine. That homemade spaghetti sauce that everyone raved about had nicotine in it. But how much? A near negligible amount. This is where the key difference between tobacco and other plants in the nightshade family lies. While the amount of nicotine in a tomato is around 20 – 70 millionths of a percent of weight, tobacco contains 0.3 – 6 percent nicotine. To write that out would look like this: 0.3-6% vs. 0.0000002 – 0.0000007%. See the difference?
That was a lot of info (and a lot of zeroes), but I didn’t even cover why nicotine is bad, did I?
Its role in plants is as an antiherbivore. This means that the plants produce it to ward off animals and bugs that would otherwise eat up their leaves and seeds. For a while, nicotine was used as an insecticide  .
But what does it do in humans (and why should you steer clear of it, if possible?) While this is likely old news for many of us, nicotine has many negative health effects such as: physical and psychological dependency  (both your brain and body become addicted), raised heart-rate, potential teratogenic effects (this means that it can cause congenital, or birth, defects), and mood and sleep can be impacted  .
Is Conventional Vaping Healthy?
You get it. Smoking cigarettes is bad for your health (and nicotine doesn’t sound too nice, either!). What about conventional vapes? I’m not talking about CBD vape pens yet, but rather about Juul, Blu, and a myriad of other E-cigarettes that currently are available on the market. While these alternatives to cigarettes claim to offer a smoking experience without many harmful chemicals (which is correct), they are still based on nicotine. You know, the nicotine that we just talked about (the one with all the negative side-effects). Is it better than smoking tobacco? Perhaps. But it is better in the same way that getting into a car accident while going 30 mph is better than getting into a car accident while going 70 mph. Neither is a great option.
And it’s not just harmful; it’s addictive. As addictive as tobacco smoking? Yep. In some ways, it could be considered more addictive than smoking tobacco. Why is that? Flavor. Whereas before, getting into chain-smoking had a taste barrier (a lot of people find the taste of smoke off-putting), now, that barrier has been removed by vapes and E-cigarettes. Nicotine no longer has to taste like smoke, but instead can taste like bubblegum, grape, even dill pickles (I’m not kidding). Nicotine has never been more seductive. That’s why it’s been a recent legislative target – many of these flavors have been banned, manufacturers are under siege, and the legal age to buy them is now 21 across the U.S.
Are Nicotine-Free Vapes Better For You?
While most E-cigarettes contain nicotine, there are some brands that tout their nicotine-free qualities. Are these better for you? Yes and no. While these options do not contain nicotine (and thus avoid the negative side effects and addictive qualities), there are risks due to their reliance on artificial chemicals for flavoring.
But why are flavoring chemicals a problem? Your body can deal with inhaling some particles, but it is not designed to handle the inhalation of large quantities of inorganic compounds. It isn’t the water vapor in a vape that causes problems, but rather the heated chemicals that are used to flavor them.
These nicotine-free options can also cause irritation in the mouth and throat for some people  . Studies have found that consistent, habitual use can lead to soreness and irritation in the throat and mouth (due to chemical residues from flavoring).
What about CBD Vapes?
I’ve ragged on tobacco smoking and nicotine-based vapes now (something that isn’t hard to do). What about CBD vapes? Are they right for everyone? Nope. Do they have a place in the CBD market? We believe they do.
CBD vapes don’t contain nicotine, which is one of the best things about them. Some of them may contain flavoring agents, which means that they have the potential to irritate the mouth or throat if used excessively. However, as they contain CBD oil (which is heated and inhaled as a vapor), the inflammation associated with irritants may be counteracted by CBD’s properties.
CBD vapes shouldn’t be treated as candy, or as something to take habitually. For former smokers, CBD vapes could be an alternative to nicotine-based vapes (due to their lack of nicotine), and could also serve as a slightly better alternative to nicotine-free E-cigarettes (that still contain significant numbers of chemicals). For a majority of people, however, they should be treated as what they are: a boost of CBD that you may need upon occasion.
Why vape CBD in the first place?
There are lots of reasons that people turn to smoking and vaping and there are lots of reasons that people turn to CBD. When people incorporate cannabinoids into their life, it is often for the big 3- pain, nausea, and anxiety/mood stabilization. There are lots of different mechanisms to deliver this compound, vaping being one of them. Again, we believe everything in moderation. We wouldn’t encourage vape to be someone’s sole source of CBD. The advantage of vaping CBD compared to ingesting it with the traditional tincture or capsule is the activation time. The respiratory system is much faster to respond as there is no wait time for digestion. Individuals may find benefit within 15 minutes as compared to the 1-3 hours that our bodies can take to break down and put those cannabinoids to use. Vaping CBD can be a great way to receive relief when having situational anxiety or help manage a shooting pain in the moment.
World No Tobacco Day
Don’t just think about this on May 31st. Talk to your friends and family members anytime about how nicotine is addictive, can lead to negative side effects, and how (if they are addicted to tobacco or nicotine-based products) there are alternatives.
As always, we are more than willing to help in any way that we can, and we would love to talk to you on this World No Tobacco Day! Feel free to reach out to us on social media, call us, or email us!
About Hannah Laing
Hannah has been working in the hemp industry and at Green Wellness Life for 2 years. She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2017 and received a second Fibromyalgia diagnosis in 2018. The Grand Valley State University student is currently studying health communications and is dedicated to educating and promoting health and wellness.
There are lots of reasons that people turn to smoking and vaping and there are lots of reasons that people turn to CBD. Let’s dive into the information.