Do you remember what it felt like to get high for the very first time? If you haven’t taken a cannabis tolerance break in a while, it might seem like ages ago since you experienced that “first-time” feeling. It was probably a full-body melt, fuzzy head kind of high, like being wrapped in one of those heated, weighted blankets. Better yet, the famous giggles that come with this state of stoned, leaving you in a state of perpetual hilarity until the comedown that leads you into a ferocious case of the munchies.
Okay, so that’s a reasonably stereotypical description of getting high. However, taking a cannabis tolerance break can indeed heighten your experience when you bring THC back into your life. Long-term cannabis use can bring forth the law of diminishing returns, meaning that the benefits of smoking weed will eventually plateau and then potentially decrease with chronic or excessive consumption.
The good news is that you can wipe the slate clean and refresh your system before introducing cannabis back into your life. Here’s how.
What Is a Tolerance Break?
The more you consume a substance, the more you need to experience the same results. This is true of most things, but mostly concerning drugs, alcohol, and medicine. For example, if you’ve been smoking for a long time, you might be able to smoke an entire bowl to yourself, or perhaps a whole joint. When you first started experimenting with weed, that would have likely landed you on a couch, or even caused a spiral of anxiety and paranoia.
The reason you can smoke as much as you do now is that your body has built a tolerance to weed. It has become used to the daily consumption and volume, and while you are still experiencing some effects, they are not as strong as they used to be. Taking a cannabis tolerance break simply means taking a break from weed to reset your system.
Why Take a Cannabis Tolerance Break?
The biggest reason for taking a cannabis tolerance break—or “t-break”—is to detox the body from THC and then experience the benefits from a clean slate. Effects are heightened with lesser amounts of weed than before, which is not only good for your overall experience but also a good way to save a little bit of money on your monthly bud budget. If you’re wondering how to pass a drug test, taking a t-break is the first thing you should do.
Can You Break Your Tolerance to Cannabis?
Cannabinoids like THC affect different parts of your brain, triggering our reward center as well as causing impairment in motor function or coordination. Studies show that long-term cannabis users experience less impairment as well as a smaller spike in the brain’s pleasure and reward system when compared to first-time or occasional users.
This same study suggests that while long-term users had reduced responsiveness in their reward centers due to tolerance, the participants that received a placebo did experience more heightened effects as their tolerance decreased over time. These results prove that a cannabis tolerance break can reset your body’s relationship to cannabis.
Tolerance Break Timeline
How long you plan to take a t-break depends on your specific goals. If you wish to rid your system of THC entirely, prepare for at least three weeks and up to a whole month. Since THC lingers in your body for up to 30 days, it can take this long to detox for a chronic user. However, detox times are also dependent on a variety of factors. Age, weight, hydration, fitness level, and overall health indicate how quickly your body can naturally detox.
Most importantly, don’t set yourself up for failure. If 30 days is just not possible, pick a timeline you know you can achieve. Even one week can reset tolerance for many people, and sometimes just a few days can help balance out the body’s ability to uptake THC. You know yourself best, and considering how much weed you consume and whether or not you want to detox from THC fully will help you decide how long your break should be.
Tolerance Break Tips
Whatever your reason for taking a t-break, there are additional steps you can take to help your body detox from THC and achieve your desired results.
Taking a cannabis tolerance break always requires this first step: stop consuming all cannabis products immediately. Your break begins as soon as you quit consuming weed. That means smoking, vaping, ingesting, or even using topical THC products. Avoiding CBD is also recommended, as many full-spectrum products still contain trace amounts of THC. If you can, stash all of your weed and stoner tools in a box and tuck it away until your t-break is over.
Have a Plan
It can be tough to ditch weed, especially in the first few days. Planning ahead can help you fill the time you’d normally spend getting high with other activities. For example, instead of taking a walk while puffing a joint, try jogging or pick a steeper route that you wouldn’t usually take while smoking. If you prefer to smoke at home, try filling that time with a bit of extra house cleaning or new meditation practice. A 20-minute catnap is an excellent substitute for ripping a bong!
Detoxing from THC relies on various factors that are unique to the individual. Increasing exercise will help your body burn fat, where THC metabolites are stored until they are excreted via urine. Staying hydrated will help those metabolites leave the body quicker. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and brush up on foods to avoid during a detox.
Use a Detox Kit
Sometimes a detox program is helpful to kickstart your system and encourage a quicker detox from THC and other harmful chemicals lingering in your body. A detox program is best used alongside the above suggestions to further support your goals of taking a cannabis tolerance break. If your intention for a t-break is because of a drug test, you might consider a same day detox drink if you find yourself on short notice.
Can I Lower Weed Tolerance Without Break?
If you’re not ready to quit weed altogether but want to lower your cannabis tolerance, consider cutting back on your regular dose. If you take dabs regularly, switch to vaping flower for a less potent dose. If you eat edibles, cut back your daily dosage. For flower smokers, aim for two-thirds of your normal daily amount. Switching to CBD products might be a great option as well.
Microdosing is a great way to reduce tolerance and still maintain some of the benefits of cannabis. You might find that reducing your intake is easier than expected, and after a week or two of reduced use, you will be ready for a complete cannabis tolerance break.
Less is More
If you have a daily, long-term cannabis user, the thought of taking a tolerance break can be intimidating. Just know that you will reap the rewards after just a few weeks, and resetting your baseline will allow you to achieve that first-time feeling all over again.