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Does CBD Interact With Nicotine?

Information on risks & possible interactions between CBD & nicotine.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on October 20, 2021

Are you considering mixing CBD with your nicotine vape juice and wonder if this combination is safe? A lot of people mix them for the duo’s alleged synergy.

Many believe CBD can help mitigate some of the negative side effects of nicotine without interfering with its positives.

Read this article before you get started — we’ll cover all the potential risks of mixing these two common substances together.

Illustration of a tobacco cigarette.

Does CBD Interact With Nicotine?

Yes, CBD and nicotine will interact with each other, but the chances of causing harmful side effects are slim.

Many people choose to take CBD with cigarettes or nicotine-containing vapes because of a synergistic interaction between these two substances.

CBD may interfere with the metabolism of nicotine, causing it to remain active in the body for longer. It may also reduce some of the stimulating side effects — like anxiety, nausea, or insomnia.

There’s a potential for CBD to worsen some of nicotine’s effects, such as rapid heart rate, but this is rare.

1. Slowed Elimination (Metabolic Inhibition)

The liver metabolizes most medications and supplements we consume before it excretes them from the body — this includes both CBD and nicotine.

This process gets backed up when two or more compounds compete for the same metabolic pathway. The effects of both compounds may become more intense and last longer.

CBD is not a known inhibitor of the liver enzymes that metabolize nicotine (CYP1A2). However, smoking marijuana or hemp has been shown to increase the activity of this enzyme [5]. This could speed up the elimination of nicotine and reduce its effects.

2. Decreased Effect (Antagonistic Interaction)

An antagonistic interaction happens between two drugs with opposite effects.

When these medicines are used concomitantly, one negates the other’s effects by pushing in the opposite direction.

CBD may have an inhibiting impact on some of the effects of nicotine.

CBD is a relaxant, resulting in decreased neurological activity. This action is in stark contrast to stimulants such as nicotine, which increase neurological activity.

Because of this, some use CBD to help eliminate the side effects of nicotine, such as anxiety, jitteriness, and muscle tension.

Is It Safe To Take CBD & Nicotine Together?

The reason people smoke varies from person to person. Some cite the comforting and lightly stimulating properties of nicotine, while for others, it’s the art of cigarette rolling or smoking to escape life’s daily hurdles. Other means also deliver nicotine, such as transdermal patches, gums, and so on.

Besides these temporary benefits, smoking comes with a long list of adverse health issues. Nicotine can not only be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, but it also damages the cardiovascular system, lung tissue, oral health and increases the risk of many lethal chronic diseases.

As nicotine is a powerfully addictive substance, smokers find it extremely difficult to give up smoking despite the health hazards. These days many smokers are increasingly turning to CBD as a daily supplement to help in other areas of their life. After all, extensive research of cannabinoids confirms the usefulness and safety of CBD in a whole host of scenarios.

However, some individuals who consume nicotine are hesitant to try CBD, in part due to negative press claiming the potential psychotropic actions of cannabinoids.

In contrast, the physiological effects of CBD could, hypothetically, offer some protection against the damaging effects of smoking. However, no evidence exists to prove this either. Realistically, the detrimental effects of smoking should far outweigh any concerns over taking nicotine and CBD simultaneously.

 However, there’s little evidence confirming CBD and nicotine interactions to this date.

It’s best to leave it to a competent physician that can decide whether an individual can take these drugs together or not. Consulting the doctor and explaining your motive for the shift is the most important step while making this change.

Is CBD a Viable Alternative To Nicotine?

No detailed data recommends CBD as a replacement for nicotine. However, CBD possesses some characteristics of nicotine as a stimulant. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of calm and relaxation, so people smoke, seeking reduced anxiety and stress. This feeling of peace is temporary and soon gives way to heightened cravings and withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly.

Some of the common physical signs and symptoms of withdrawal following abrupt cessation of smoking are:

  • Abnormally increased appetite
  • Cravings
  • Cough
  • Headaches and Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation

Stopping nicotine suddenly gives rise to a host of psychological withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Reduced concentration

If one seeks to eradicate nicotine from their life for good, they should do it under the strict monitoring of a trained physician to avoid such problems.

Meanwhile, CBD is a promising health tool for managing stress and emotions. There are indications that CBD can help manage anxiety and might even help overcome nicotine addiction. CBD may be a stimulant that is non-addictive, unlike nicotine.

Related: The Best Hemp Cigarettes (2021)

What Is Nicotine?

Nicotine is an alkaloid, a nitrogen-containing compound that can be sourced naturally from tobacco plants. It’s used worldwide as a stimulant and anxiolytic. As a pharmaceutical drug, it can help in smoking cessation by relieving the withdrawal symptoms. It acts as an agonist at most of the nicotinic/muscarinic receptors in the human body. It’s highly addictive and has immense pharmacological and psychodynamic effects.

Nicotine Specs:

Drug Name Nicotine
Trade Name Nicotrol
Classification Stimulants, Anxiolytics
CYP Metabolism Liver via CYP2A6, CYP2B6, FMO3
Interaction with CBD Antagonistic (Reduced effects)
Risk of Interaction Mild to Moderate

What Does Nicotine Do?

Nicotine helps manage withdrawal symptoms during smoking cessation via nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). It’s a stimulant drug that accelerates the messages traveling between the brain and body. It binds selectively to nicotinic-cholinergic receptors in multiple locations. The brain, neuromuscular junctions, adrenal medulla, and the ganglia all have these receptors. When a person inhales nicotine when smoking cigarettes, it diffuses through the lungs into the circulatory system, eventually going to the brain. It affects the reward center in the limbic system in the brain and has a stimulating effect.

Dopamine is released in various parts of the brain, such as the frontal cortex, mesolimbic area, and corpus striatum. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps in delivering a pleasurable experience.

NRTs try to mimic this nicotine response. Higher doses of NRTs have more of a rewarding feeling, whereas lower amounts of nicotine have a more stimulating effect.

What Are the Side Effects of Nicotine?

Nicotine is almost as addictive as heroin. Consuming nicotine through smoking or other means has a long list of side effects.

Some of the common adverse effects of nicotine include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Back pain
  • Bronchospasm
  • Cold sweats
  • Coronary artery constriction
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drooling
  • Dry mouth
  • Dyspepsia
  • Enlargement of the aorta
  • Excess salivation
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Hiccups
  • High insulin
  • Hypertension
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased clotting tendency
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Insulin resistance
  • Irritability
  • Lightheadedness
  • Metastasis
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Nose and mouth ulcers/ irritation
  • Pain
  • Peptic ulcer
  • rash or irritation.
  • Risk of blood restriction
  • Shakiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, and tongue
  • Tachycardia
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting

Precautions While Taking Nicotine

The following issues need to be discussed with the treating physician if anyone is taking nicotine via various routes:


People with a known allergy to nicotine and its constituents should avoid smoking or any other means of nicotine administration at all costs. Likewise, those with a soy allergy should not use the nicotine lozenge.

Drug-drug interaction

Nicotine also has drug interactions with adenosine, cimetidine, and varenicline. Adenosine may increase the tachycardia effect of nicotine. Cimetidine may cause an increase in the serum concentration of nicotine. Varenicline can induce some of the nicotine side effects.


Women who are planning to conceive or are pregnant should quit smoking at the earliest. Nicotine reduces fertility and also crosses the placenta.


Nicotine can appear in breast milk.  Nicotine intake is prohibited during breastfeeding as the side effects could harm the infant.

Key Takeaways: Is It Safe To Take Nicotine With CBD?

Giving up tobacco is a crucial step people can take to bettering their health, but it’s also one of the most challenging. Luckily, tobacco addiction is treatable with appropriate counseling and medication.

Meanwhile, CBD possesses several health benefits besides being non-addictive with anti-anxiety and antipsychotic characteristics. However, it is not advisable to combine CBD with stimulants, like nicotine, due to the potential adverse side effects that their interaction may cause.

Although newer research in this field has indicated that CBD could also be a potentially helpful treatment for nicotine dependence, there has been no study that advocates the use of CBD as a nicotine replacement.

A consultation with a doctor experienced in cannabis use is the best course of action before replacing nicotine with CBD or combatting nicotine dependence with CBD.


  1. Sandhu, A., Hosseini, S. A., & Saadabadi, A. (2021). Nicotine. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
  2. Morgan, Celia & Das, Ravi & Joye, Alyssa & Curran, Helen & Kamboj, Sunjeev. (2013). Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: Preliminary findings. Addictive behaviors. 38. 2433-2436.
  3. Crippa et al. Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Jan;25(1):121-30. doi: 10.1177/0269881110379283. Epub 2010 Sep 9.
  4. Pellati F, Borgonetti V, Brighenti V, Biagi M, Benvenuti S, Corsi L. Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer. Biomed Res Int. 2018;2018:1691428. Published 2018 Dec 4.
  5. Qian, Y., Gurley, B. J., & Markowitz, J. S. (2019). The potential for pharmacokinetic interactions between cannabis products and conventional medications. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology, 39(5), 462-471.

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