It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes presents many health issues. From a greater risk of lung cancer to drying out your skin to cardiovascular complications, it’s common knowledge that smoking can be a huge detriment. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking causes more that 480,000 deaths each year in the United States (cdc.org). That’s nearly one in five deaths!
Several studies cite that smoking and cancer are linked due to cytochrome P450, family 1, member A1 (CYP1A1), a protein that is found in all humans. While it’s generally harmless in modest concentrations, a study in 1993 was conducted studied if highly concentrated levels of CYP1A1 were linked to cancer. The study entitled “CYP1A1: friend or foe” found that the protein created the “ultimate carcinogen” BP-7 8-dihyrdodial-9, 10-epoxide.
Therefore, the more CYP1A1 found in the body, the more likely this cancer-causing carcinogen will be produced.
Over the course of the last few years, several studies have been conducted that examined whether or not cannabidiol (CBD) would inhibit the CYP1A1 protein. In 2010, a study investigated Delta(9)-THC, CBD, and CBN, three cannabinoids in marijuana and found that CBD potently inhibited the CYP1A1 activity. In 2013, a Japanese study found researchers further exploring the structure of CBD and how it affected the CYP1A1 levels from getting outrageously high. It wanted to go further in depth to see what specific structures in CBD had more of an effect than others.
Olivetol, an organic compound related to cannabigerolic acid, was the first to be explored. Although it was found to inhibit CYP1A1, it was not as effective as CBD. The next focus was the derivatives of CBD. When CBD degrades, a number of additional cannabinoid subsidiaries are formed. Although derivatives such as CBD-2, 6-dimethyl ether, and CBDM also inhibited CYP1A1 levels, the effect was not as efficient as the parent CBD. This study concluded that results are best when CBD is used as a whole. This shows that cannabinoids give the best results when they are working together as the sum of its parts opposed to individual elements.
Although this is a new topic in the medical field and there are many more studies to be conducted, based on current studies, CBD might be beneficial when it comes to reducing the effects of cancer-causing carcinogens. If you’re still smoking cigarettes or are in the process of quitting smoking, it may not be a bad idea to consider picking up some CBD oil as a daily supplement.