Smoking tobacco is known to cause significant damage throughout a person’s entire body and leads to early disease and death. For example, smoking can cause gum disease, cancer, COPD, heart disease, infertility, blood clots, and a weakened immune system.
Although the health consequences are fully preventable by quitting, most people have a hard time giving up smoking. Still, many people are quitting tobacco.
Tobacco smoking is declining
Even though quitting smoking is difficult, there are fewer smokers in the United States than ever. For instance, the number of smokers in the U.S. declined from 20.9% in 2005 to 13.7% in 2018. More people are quitting, too.
In the quest for tobacco alternatives, most people have turned to vaping, but a small number of people have started smoking hemp cigarettes.
What are hemp cigarettes?
Hemp cigarettes look and feel just like tobacco cigarettes, but they contain no tobacco – only hemp flower. People want hemp cigarettes because the hemp contains high levels of CBD.
When smoked, CBD provides powerful benefits, including pain relief and reduced anxiety and stress. Contrary to what you might think, hemp cigarettes won’t get you high.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the hemp form of the cannabis plant (not the marijuana plant). To be legal, CBD products are required to contain less than 0.3% THC, which isn’t anywhere near enough to produce psychoactive effects.
Although hemp cigarettes don’t contain much THC or any tobacco, you might be wondering if they’re safe to smoke. Do hemp cigarettes make a good replacement for tobacco, or are they just okay once in a while?
The answer depends on several factors that will be discussed below.
Are hemp cigarettes safer than tobacco?
When you smoke anything, you’re inhaling chemical compounds into your lungs, and there is always a risk for developing respiratory issues. However, the same is true for people who smoke marijuana. Smoking anything wrapped in paper comes with risks, but sometimes the benefits outweigh those risks.
For instance, smoking is the fastest delivery method if you need to get CBD into your system quickly. When you’re in pain or stressed out, you don’t always have a few hours to wait for an oil or edible to take effect. Also, some people smoke cannabis as a bronchodilator. Some say smoking CBD has the same effect.
While it’s hard to find scientific studies to determine an exact answer, it’s safe to say that hemp cigarettes have the potential to provide fast relief. However, like any other smokable product, it’s not a good idea to smoke them frequently. Smoking anything long-term will harm your lungs and body. The best way to approach hemp cigarettes is to use them therapeutically – not as a replacement for tobacco.
Don’t use hemp cigarettes to quit smoking tobacco
If your goal is to quit smoking tobacco, don’t jump to hemp cigarettes. While CBD isn’t necessarily addictive, many people find the act of smoking to be their biggest obstacle to quitting.
If you switch from tobacco cigarettes to hemp cigarettes, you’ll just be trading one habit for another. Nicotine is addicting, but so is smoking anything wrapped in paper. If you use cigarettes as a way to escape from stress at work or just to get a break, you won’t achieve your goal of quitting by switching the kind of cigarettes you smoke.
Even people who switch to vaping end up becoming addicted to vaping just as much as they were addicted to smoking cigarettes.
Use hemp cigarettes as a form of self-care or relaxation
Treat all CBD products as a therapeutic substance and don’t go overboard. While scientific studies have shown that people can take up to 1500mg of CBD per day without adverse side effects, it’s still a good idea to conserve your CBD.
If you’re already addicted to smoking tobacco, you should probably not use hemp cigarettes. Instead, get your CBD from another type of product, like an edible or smoke pure CBD.
However, if you’re not already a smoker, you probably don’t need to worry as much about smoking hemp cigarettes on occasion.