How to Reset Your Cannabis Tolerance
Feel like cannabis isn’t working for you the way it used to? You might be dealing with a high tolerance.
Tolerance refers to your body’s process of getting used to cannabis, which can result in weaker effects.
In other words, you need to ingest more to get the same effects you once did. This can be particularly problematic if you’re using cannabis for medical reasons.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to reset your tolerance.
Cannabis tolerance develops when you use it regularly.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. It works by affecting the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain.
If you ingest THC often, your CB1 receptors are reduced over time. This means the same amount of THC won’t affect the CB1 receptors in the same way, resulting in reduced effects.
There’s no strict timeline for how tolerance develops. It depends on a range of factors, including:
- how often you use cannabis
- how strong the cannabis is
- your personal biology
One of the most common ways to lower your cannabis tolerance is to take a break from using cannabis. These are often called “T breaks.”
Research shows that, while THC can deplete your CB1 receptors, they can recover over time and return to their previous levels.
The length of your T break is up to you. There’s no solid data on exactly how long it takes for CB1 receptors to recover, so you’ll have to experiment a bit.
Some people find that a few days does the trick. Most online forums advise that 2 weeks is the ideal time frame.
If you’re using cannabis for medical reasons, taking a T break might not be feasible. There are a few other strategies you can try.
Use cannabis products with a higher CBD-to-THC ratio
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another chemical found in cannabis. It doesn’t seem to lead to depletion of CB1 receptors, meaning it doesn’t cause you to develop tolerance the way THC does.
CBD won’t give you a “high,” but it does seem to have several potential health benefits, such as reducing pain and inflammation.
At many dispensaries, you can find products ranging from a 1-to-1 ratio to as high as 16-to-1.
Tightly control your doses
The less cannabis you use, the less likely you are to develop a tolerance. Use the minimum you need to feel comfortable, and try not to overindulge.
Use cannabis less often
If possible, use cannabis less frequently. This can help to both reset your tolerance and prevent it from coming back again in the future.
Many people who have developed a high tolerance do go through cannabis withdrawal when taking a T break or using less cannabis than usual.
Cannabis withdrawal isn’t necessarily as intense as withdrawal from alcohol or other substances, but it can still be quite uncomfortable.
You might experience:
- mood swings
- cognitive impairment
- diminished appetite
- stomach problems, including nausea
- intense, vivid dreams
To help with these symptoms, make sure to get plenty of hydration and rest. You can also try using over-the-counter medications to deal with headaches and nausea.
Exercise and fresh air can help you feel alert and reduce any slumps in your mood.
The withdrawal symptoms might make it tempting to continue using cannabis. To keep yourself accountable, tell your loved ones that you’re taking a break.
While the symptoms are uncomfortable, the good news is that cannabis withdrawal symptoms usually only last for 72 hours.
Once you’ve reset your tolerance, keep the following in mind to keep your tolerance in check moving forward:
- Use lower-THC products. Since it’s THC that leads to the depletion of your CB1 receptors, it’s wise to opt for products that are a bit lower in THC.
- Don’t use cannabis too often. The more you use it, the higher your tolerance will be, so try to only use it occasionally or as needed.
- Use a lower dosage. Try consuming less cannabis at a time, and try to wait a bit longer before re-dosing.
- Use CBD instead. You may want to consider giving CBD-only products a try if you’re looking to reap the potential health benefits of cannabis. However, THC does have some benefits that CBD doesn’t seem to have, so this switch isn’t viable for everyone.
Keep in mind that tolerance might be unavoidable for some folks. If you find that you’re prone to developing a high tolerance, consider coming up with a plan to take regular T breaks as needed.
It’s pretty normal to develop a tolerance to cannabis if you use it often. In most cases, taking a T break for a week or two will reset your tolerance.
If that’s not an option, consider switching to products that are lower in THC or reducing your cannabis consumption.
Keep in mind that cannabis tolerance can sometimes be a sign of cannabis use disorder. If you’re concerned about your cannabis use, you have options:
- Have an open and honest conversation with your healthcare provider.
- Call SAMHSA’s national helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357), or use their online treatment locater.
- Find a support group through the Support Group Project.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her writing covers issues relating to social justice, cannabis, and health. You can reach out to her on Twitter.If you've been consuming weed for a while, you've probably developed a high tolerance along the way. Here's how to reset it and keep it from happening again.
Signs that you are smoking too much cannabis. How a tolerance break can totally change your enjoyment of cannabis
From time to time many cannabis smokers find that their cannabis is simply not having the same effect that it used to. Perhaps your tolerance to cannabis has increased to the point where you need to take a cannabis tolerance break. Don’t worry, it happens to many cannabis lovers who have enjoyed their cannabis over the years. As your body gets used to the wonderful effects of cannabis you may find that cannabis gradually seems slightly less effective than before, especially if you have been over-indulging yourself.
The simple way to re-set and re-calibrate your cannabis tolerance is to take a break, or significantly reduce your consumption. It’s easier than it sounds, and when you return to cannabis you will find yourself gasping at the effects of your weed, just like when you first started enjoying cannabis. Prepare once again to sit their on the sofa gripping the sides so you don’t roll off, crying with laughter at the comedy shows on TV.
Signs that you may be using too much cannabis, and would benefit from a cannabis tolerance break are:
- Smoking too early in the day, especially before lunch time. If you vape/smoke weed too early in the day it will reduce the effect of it later in the day, causing you to smoke more and compound the problem. If you feel that your weed consumption is excessive then delay your first smoke of the day until much later and stick to it. Those that smoke first thing in the morning will know exactly what we mean.
- If you only get stoned from concentrates or dabbing its time to think of a tolerance break. Some people develop a tolerance to cannabis buds, and switch to concentrates. This is just a temporary way to address the tolerance issue. If you find dabbing is the only way to get stoned, a tolerance break could be the way to restore your love of green buds.
- If you feel routinely disappointed and under-whelmed by the quality of your cannabis it could be a sign that you have built up a significant tolerance. Remember cannabis varieties are not getting any weaker, the best varieties are based on solid genetics with routine 15-20%+ THC levels.
- If you feel that modern cannabis varieties are simply not as good as they were ‘in the good old days’ then it could be time to consider a cannabis tolerance break. Probably your generalisation about cannabis potency is wrong, and the problems maybe related to your own over-use of cannabis.
How do I build up the courage to take a cannabis tolerance break?
If taking a cannabis tolerance break was easy then we would be taking them more often. For medical users it can be extremely difficult to take a cannabis tolerance break. For recreational users, cannabis can be one of their few pleasures in life. So why stop vaping/smoking? Those users that regularly take cannabis tolerance breaks find the the best motivation is the knowledge that when you resume cannabis its just like the first time. A full cannabis tolerance break of 1-2 weeks is a great way to reset your physical and psychoactive response to cannabis. After a tolerance break even experienced lifelong cannabis lovers have found themselves simply unable to function if they use too much weed too soon. A cannabis tolerance break really does work.
Some people think that up to a month is required for a complete resetting of your cannabis tolerance, but that is probably too much for most cannabis lovers. 1-2 weeks is a more realistic target, the first day or two will seem the hardest, after that it gets easier. After a tolerance break you should try to avoid smoking too much, take advantage of the new lower-dosing regime and keep it for as long as possible.If you have ever wondered what is the easiest and most effective way to take a cannabis tolerance break then read on ]]>