New Study Investigates the Effects of CBD on Nicotine Metabolism
A research study published in ACS Publications found that CBD could inhibit enzymes related to nicotine addiction. At this investigation stage, a research team led by Dr. Philip Lazarus, WSU professor of pharmaceutical sciences, tested CBD and its major metabolite, 7-hyroxycannabidiol, on microsomes extracted from human liver tissue and from cell lines that enable a focus on individual enzymes related to nicotine metabolism. The next stage will be a controlled research project with participants who smoke.
One in five people in the United States still suffers from smoking-related health conditions. Up to 90% of nicotine is metabolized in the body, mainly in the liver. This process is called nicotine metabolism, which was the study’s target. The hypothesis was that slowing the metabolic drug process would mean smokers would not experience the need to inhale nicotine as often and would eventually quit smoking.
When people use products with nicotine, they are also consuming a variety of carcinogenic chemicals. Reducing the need for frequent nicotine consumption might make it easier to quit using products containing nicotine and toxic chemicals, including cigarettes, vapes, chews and snuffs.
“The whole mission is to decrease harm from smoking, which is not from the nicotine per se, but all the carcinogens and other chemicals that are in tobacco smoke. If we can minimise that harm, it would be a great thing for human health,” said Dr. Philip Lazarus, WSU professor of pharmaceutical sciences.
The study found that CBD and its active metabolite 7-OH-CBD strongly inhibited the major enzyme associated with nicotine metabolism, CYP2A6. A low concentration of CBD inhibited enzyme activity by 50 percent. Though more research is needed, the results of this project indicate the need for a more extensive placebo-controlled study with human participants.
Despite numerous government campaigns and laws intended to reduce the number of people using products with nicotine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 31 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes. The American Lung Association says 2,500 teenagers under 18 try their first cigarette each day, and 400 will become daily smokers as adults.
This critical project could lead to additional research that will save millions of lives. It is the first comprehensive study of the inhibitory effects of CBD on nicotine metabolism.