Most people who smoke cigarettes, secretly or not, wish they could quit. Tobacco is an anxiety reliever, and despite speeding up heart rate and increasing body temperature, it helps one relax. But hemp cigarettes could be just as effective, and they have considerably less harmful consequences for our bodies.
Leafly interviewed Dillon Gross, a small business owner, and CEO of Pure CBD Exchange. Much like most nicotine addicts, he wanted to kick his tobacco smoking habit goodbye, but he didn’t really know how. “I was offered some hemp flower by a colleague in the business, and even as someone who sells CBD, I thought it was a little unusual,” Gross told Leafly. “Most of the hemp grown in Colorado, where we’re based, is grown specifically for extraction. You don’t get the sort of manicured buds people associate with a good smoking experience.”
But as he dipped his toe into some carefully trimmed and properly treated hemp flower—high in CBD but containing almost no THC—Gross found his cravings for tobacco smoke subsiding over the course of weeks. Smoking hemp flower, he found, not only left him relaxed without being high. It also served to replace the rituals he associated with smoking cigarettes.
Prior to this experience, Gross had wondered whether smoking hemp flower might serve as a replacement for some tobacco users. Now, he saw the results for himself, and he wasn’t the only one. Many consumers are turning to CBD in various forms to replace tobacco, and early research indicates the cannabinoid may well have some potential in that arena.
Now, the question for the Pure CBD Exchange team became how they could best share hemp flower with tobacco smokers seeking an alternative. While smoking flower from glass or in a joint might provide the same experience, chemically speaking, those formats were far-removed from the one most smokers were looking to replace.
“For a lot of people, myself included, it’s more than just a chemical addiction to nicotine that keeps them using cigarettes,” Gross says. “It’s the chance to step outside and have a quiet couple minutes to themselves, or a conversation with a friend.”
To beat a cigarette, Gross’ team reasoned, they needed something that replicated the feel and experience of a cigarette. A replacement that had the same feel in the hand and mouth that cigarette smokers were accustomed to. It’s no easy task. It would have to smoke like a cigarette and come in similar packaging. It needed to recreate what smokers were used to in every way they could manage, with the exception of replacing tobacco with CBD-rich hemp.
They basically set out to fight cigarette addiction with cigarettes. And cigarette companies always give customers the same product every single time. So it became clear that they needed a partner—a company that had the equipment and experience in tobacco. That began a search for a tobacco company that could help Pure CBD Exchange improve their process and practices, while still being someone the team could feel ok working with.
“The partner we’ve chosen is a small, Native American owned company that has high-speed equipment and experience doing contract manufacturing,” Gross reports. “And more than that, the values of our two companies are aligned, so it’s a partner that we felt morally okay working with to bring this product to market as a consistent, finished product.”
In conclusion, cigarette smokers, keep an eye out for these hemp cigarettes: they might be the key to get rid of the addiction we all wish we could quit.