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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
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • cognitive impairment
  • diminished appetite
  • stomach problems, including nausea
  • insomnia
  • 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.

Does a Tolerance-Break Restore the Effects of Cannabis?

For some frequent cannabis users, the affects of THC wear off over time. The smoker may even switch strains, but sometimes even this doesn’t work. The last step you can take to increase your tolerance and once again feel the effects of THC whether by smoking, vaping, or with edibles, is to take a tolerance break.

The Cannabis Tolerance Break

Often called a t-break, a cannabis tolerance break is when a user takes a short-term hiatus from consuming cannabis products, particularly those with THC. At this point, you may be wondering whether a tolerance break even works. According to research, we do know for sure that regular cannabis use over time does dissipate a person’s tolerance so it would make sense to take a break to rebuild that tolerance, right? Yes.

According to a study done by the National Institute of Mental Health, you can indeed get back your cannabis tolerance back by taking a break. If you’re not willing to take a break, try switching up your routine. Skip getting high in the morning, for example, and only use cannabis at night or vice versa. You can also consider cutting back even more to only smoking every other day or a couple of times a week until you feel your tolerance build up again.

Should You Take a Tolerance Break?

Having to quit cannabis, even for a short time, is not something some people want to do. However, there are many other reasons people may need to take a tolerance break, such as:

  • Flushing your system out before a drug test
  • Abstaining from cannabis use has been court ordered
  • Going on vacation (don’t take it with you!)
  • Saving money
  • Clearing your head
  • Remembering that cannabis enhances life and if your tolerance is low, you’re not getting the most out of either one.

So, For How Long Should You Take a Cannabis Tolerance Break?

Overall, a t-break time length is an individual choice. Just as THC affects everyone differently, the length of a t-break will also be different for each user. There are variables such as how much you smoke, how often you smoke, what your routine is and more. For some people, just a few days is enough to get back on the tolerance track. For others, you may need to take a week or two off. If you’re not really sure how long you need, just go with the flow and when you feel clear-headed again, resume using THC. If you want to completely flush your body of THC, you should abstain for 30 days.

What to Expect from Your Cannabis Tolerance Break

The first thing you should do during your t-break is hit the gym, the pool, the pavement, the hiking trails, or any other way you like to stay active. Lots of water is also recommended, as is eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains. Some people use this time to start a new hobby or project, like writing a book, painting, or doing some DIY around the house.

When you start using THC again, remember to not consume as much as you were consuming before the tolerance break. The rule of thumb to consider is that the longer the t-break, the lower your tolerance level. You don’t want to get overwhelmed by using too much after a long break, which could lead to negative side effects, like paranoia or anxiety.

Does a Tolerance-Break Restore the Effects of Cannabis? For some frequent cannabis users, the affects of THC wear off over time. The smoker may even switch strains, but sometimes even this