Whether you’re using cannabis recreationally to unwind, help improve sleep, or dive into meditation, you’re going to develop tolerance at some point. And when that happens, it might be time to consider a tolerance break. But if you’ve never taken one before, you may not know how long your break should be, or even how to take a tolerance break.
Never fear. We’re here to help you figure out the best way to reset your cannabis tolerance with our guide to so-dubbed “t-breaks.”
What is a Tolerance Break?
Functionally, a tolerance break is just what it sounds like. You stop using cannabis for a while to reset your body’s resistance to cannabinoids and terpenes. By the end of the break, you’ve cleared out your system and you can start to feel the full effects of cannabis again.
Researchers believe that frequent cannabis users develop the highest tolerance levels. They discovered that frequent cannabis use appears to lower the sensitivity of CB1 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, resulting in fewer cognitive effects when a cannabis user takes a toke.
This decreased CB1 sensitivity appears to be the main culprit behind cannabis tolerance. Although THC can stay in your body for thirty days or more, the presence of THC in one’s system doesn’t really appear to have an effect on how a user perceives cannabis so that may not be the best measure of time for a t-break. CB1 receptor sensitivity is though to be a better guideline, and resetting that sensitivity is likely the key to a good cannabis tolerance reset.
How to Take a Break
In theory, taking a tolerance break is simple. All you need to do is stop consuming cannabis (in any form) until you reset your body’s tolerance to cannabinoids and terpenes.
Tolerance Break Length
So how long should a tolerance break be, exactly? Unfortunately, there’s no cut-and-dry answer to this question. Tolerance break length will depend on several factors. Some of the most important factors include:
- How much you smoke
- How long you’ve been smoking for
- Your height and weight
Tolerance Break Suggestions
Fortunately, the University of Vermont has developed a tolerance break schedule for its students. While this isn’t a panacea for all cannabis tolerance, you can use it as a guide for resetting your own cannabis tolerance.
According to UVM, your break should be at least twenty-one days long. For the first week or so, you may experience some increased sleepiness—all the better to catch up on those zzz’s that are good for our health, anyway. UVM recommends you stay busy during the waking hours of that first week to help keep your mind off cannabis.
During the second week, you may experience some irritability or anxiety. Meditation app, anyone? Once you make it past this week, you’re in the home stretch. Although everyone may not completely reset their tolerance in three weeks, this is a great sweet spot to aim for when taking a tolerance break.
One last note: UVM reminds students taking a t-break from recreational cannabis that they don’t need cannabis (unless they’re using it for a medical reason). Some cannabis users attribute their mood, social life, creativity, and more to marijuana.
While cannabis can enhance these things, remember that these traits come from within yourself, and while cannabis may make accessing them easier, maintaining the mindset that cannabis compliments your innate traits is a good way to approach things. Try to cultivate these traits during the course of your tolerance break and you may find that the benefits heighten the experience when you do pick up cannabis again.
Finally, once you finish your break it’ll make that first toke or gummy all the sweeter. When you’re back from your break, check out our stock of flower, concentrates, edibles, tincture, and more to celebrate your lowered tolerance. Just remember that you’ll want to start low and slow, just like when you were first getting adjusted to cannabis.