Hemp cigarettes, CBD pre-rolls spreading like wildflower

Something interesting is happening: a new smokeable is being born.

Hemp-filled joints and cigarettes are finding their fans. Casual pot smokers are enjoying THC-free joints that offer the familiar ritual at times when the inebriating effects aren’t welcome.

Some cigarette smokers are looking to the same product as a nicotine-free tobacco cessation alternative, leaving behind nicotine patches and vape pens. In a bit of cosmic timing, the recent vape scare and subsequent bans of vape and flavored tobacco products have opened up retail shelf space for smokable hemp in convenience stores, gas stations and smoke shops throughout the country.

Also known as CBD pre-rolls, these cigarettes are made using hemp flowers rich with cannabidiol (CBD), which is now legal to produce as long as the amount of THC is limited to a trace amount of 0.3 percent or less.

Experts believe that hemp cigs act as more than just a tobacco alternative, as CBD may help smokers in providing biological support to quit.

Researchers at University College London conducted a small study in 2013 of 24 smokers and gave them an inhaler with CBD or placebo for one week. They were told to use the inhaler when they felt the urge to smoke. Those given the placebo showed no differences in the number of cigarettes smoked, while those using CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by 40%.

Additional survey data from market research firm Brightfield Group of more than 5,000 CBD users, found that 24 percent have used pre-rolls to quit smoking. The same report also found that 41 percent of successful quitters have used hemp CBD to quit tobacco entirely.

“Because CBD works with the endocannabinoid system, it’s a regulation tool that will bring the body back to homeostasis,” Tia Tagliaferro, chief operating officer at the Manhattan-based CBD retailer Hemp Garden, said in an interview with Merry Jane. “It will help with sleeping, anxiety, and bring you back to a calm state — which is why people turn to cigarettes in the first place, they’re looking for an outlet for their stress.”

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