How to Lower a High Weed Tolerance
Like turning 21 or learning how to drive, discovering your weed tolerance is much higher than it used to be is a rite of passage. This may be a badge of honor to some, but if you came to this article in search of advice on “how to lower your cannabis tolerance,” chances are your feelings are… mixed.
Don’t worry. It is in fact possible to get back the effects that a high tolerance for THC may have blunted (pun intended). Moreover, it is entirely possible to avoid!
WHAT CAUSES A HIGH WEED TOLERANCE?
The most obvious culprit behind your heightened cannabis tolerance is (surprise!) none other than increased cannabis use. Because high-dose weed use can result in a high weed tolerance, which in turn weakens its potency, you may need even more THC to sustain that feeling. While most people know this cycle to be anecdotally true, there is also a considerable body of scientific research to back it up.
You see, toking up activates cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors on a cellular level in your brain to make you feel stoned. But if you repeatedly expose the brain to THC over a couple days or weeks, the increase in CB1 receptor activity can throw off normal CB1 activation patterns. In order to preserve these patterns, the brain temporarily reduces the number of CB1 receptors that are active.
In the long term, continued activation of CB1 can lead to the removal of CB1 receptors from the brain cell’s surface—potentially altering their genetic expression. Consuming high amounts of THC will have no stronger effect on the brain’s functioning since by that point, there are even fewer receptors for it to act on.
Your method of delivery and preferred strain may not change, but your body’s response to them inevitably does.
INTRODUCING: THE T-BREAK
So in order to sustain cannabis’ effects, you need to lower your cannabis tolerance—and the surest path to doing so is to take what people on the internet refer to as a “T-Break,” otherwise known as a tolerance break. Tolerance measures the capacity at which your body is able to feel the effects of cannabis. As a consequence, cannabis tolerance depends as much on the individual’s age and weight as it does on the method of delivery and THC dosage.
While capacity may be relative, here is a universal guide to lowering weed tolerance that applies to just about any case of excessively high weed tolerance.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
A T-Break should last for at least 21 days. (If your T- Break is only for 2 weeks, it will likely not be enough time.) This may feel like an eternity, but compared to other recreational drugs, the speed at which the brain “recovers” from prolonged cannabis use following a period of abstinence is actually rather short.
Since THC bonds to fat and fat is stored in the body longer, it takes approximately 3 weeks for cannabinoids to leave your system. Studies have shown that cannabinoid receptors return to normal within 4 weeks for most people.
TO BE FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED
If you are a regular cannabis user and are taking a T-Break, expect withdrawal symptoms. Some people make the transition to weed abstinence with great aplomb—but, let’s be honest. It’s more likely you will experience restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings that will make you cringe weeks later.
If you manage to stave off the 2 am Del Taco craving by opting for healthier alternatives and staying hydrated, you can mitigate some of the annoying side effects of taking a T-Break. (Depending on your circumstances, your loved ones may appreciate the heads up!)
DON’T RUN BEFORE YOU CAN WALK
If you made it through four weeks of weed abstinence, reward yourself. Go ahead and rekindle the flame you once had with weed, but take it slow to make those past 3 weeks worth it. As much as we value our high-powered THC, there's also a dazzling array of intentionally lower-dosed THC products with a passionate fanbase.
You'll likely notice that with your newly lowered tolerance, a whole new world of cannabis has opened up -- one where you'll be able to consistently feel the effects and steer the experience as you want.
THE LOW-DOSE LIFE
Here are some of our favorite lower-dosed products that just might hit different this time:
With each Turkish delight-styled cube clocking in at 5mg THC, there's nothing stopping you from savoring each of these exquisite chef-crafted, single-strain live rosin edibles. Rose is about quality, not quantity, and the difference in vibe is palpable. After one delight, we guarantee you won't look back.
Sicilian lemons, real lavender, agave nectar, and a 2mg THC / 4mg CBD balance to impress any guest. Cann is redefining what the fizzy beverage world can offer, one low-dose pick-me-up at a time.
Karlina Guerra is a writer who lives in Los Angeles with her temperamental chihuahua. You can reach her by e-mail at [email protected]