Unexpected Benefits of Nicotine for the Brain

young woman smoking electronic cigaretteSmoking cigarettes and other tobacco products have long been associated with adverse health effects. Tobacco, one of a cigarette’s main ingredients, is linked to a higher risk of serious health conditions, such as stroke and lung cancer.

However, recent studies show that certain ingredients in cigarettes may have positive health benefits. Nicotine has notably shown promise in treating mental health conditions.

All About Nicotine

Nicotine is a potentially addictive chemical. While it is one of the compounds in tobacco that makes smoking addictive, it is also used by smokers who want to quit. E-cigarettes are a common way they do this.

Green Smart Living, a retailer of quality e-cigarette starter kits, says that e-cigarettes give smokers who want to quit the nicotine they crave while keeping them away from the harmful toxins in tobacco cigarettes and their adverse effects. Other products like gums, patches, and lozenges are also used in Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

Nicotine is a stimulant, as well. It delivers a buzz similar to caffeine, especially when taken on its own instead of through cigarettes. It raises the heart rate, eases tension, and sharpens the mind.

Relieving Anxiety and Depression

Nicotine has been observed to combat feelings of anxiety and depression. Although it acts as a stimulant, nicotine in low doses helps block brain receptors responsible for anxiety triggering a temporary calming effect. Nicotine also shows promise in inhibiting other negative emotions like anger.

When nicotine gets in the brain, it signals receptors to release dopamine and serotonin, which improve mood and motivation. Some scientists are optimistic that nicotine may help with treating depression. A small study shows that it helped reduce symptoms of depression, with nonsmokers particularly susceptible to nicotine’s calming effects.

Enhancing Brain Function

Research on nicotine’s effects on overall mental performance has been around for more than a decade. Some experts consider nicotine a nootropic for enhancing cognitive performance, in fact.

Nicotine has been linked to potential treatment options for neurological disorders, such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. It has shown signs of increasing short-term memory, attention capacity, and alertness, as well.

Taking nicotine purely, whether through vaping products or patches, offers more health benefits. It allows people to get the same buzz they get from smoking cigarettes but without the harmful tar and carbon monoxide.