Could a drug that blocks the brain’s cannabinoid (CB1) receptors help people stop smoking without gaining weight? According to a Cochrane Systematic Review, just 20 mg of CB1 antagonist rimonabant each day helps quitters and also helps them avoid the munchies.
Smoking tobacco sends nicotine into the blood stream, and this chemical disrupts the endocannabinoid system, part of the hormonal control mechanism in the brain that controls energy balance and food intake. Over time the body alters the nature of its energy mechanism to compensate for this effect. When you quit smoking, the nicotine withdrawal disturbs this mechanism, causing withdrawal symptoms and leaving a person prone to put on weight.
Unfortunately for smokers who want to quite and stay slim, rimonabant is yet to be approved for this use in the USA or Europe.