How to Reset Your Tolerance for THC

tolerance for THC

Did you know that 49% of Americans have tried marijuana? This is a dramatic increase compared to 50 years ago, when only 4% of people reported having tried marijuana.

When you first try cannabis, a little goes a long way, and you don’t need much to feel the effects.

However, if you’re part of the 16% of Americans who regularly smoke cannabis, you’ve probably found that over time you need to consume more to get the same effects.

Have you developed a tolerance for THC?

We have some good news. The body can reset a THC tolerance fairly quickly.

Below we get into how THC tolerance works, how to take a tolerance break, and more. Keep reading to get clued up on THC tolerance and how to reset your body.

The Definition of Tolerance

Tolerance is defined as reduced sensitivity to substance exposure. The term is often used in association with drug use, both recreational and pharmaceutical.

For instance, if you take pain medication over a prolonged period, the body may develop a tolerance. The substance then becomes less effective, and the patient needs higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief.

The same thing can happen with things like THC and caffeine. If you’re a coffee lover, you’ve probably noticed that you can handle a lot more caffeine than someone who rarely drinks coffee.

THC tolerance is common, especially among regular smokers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using cannabis for medical or recreational reasons, a THC tolerance can creep up, requiring you to consume more to achieve the same effects.

How Tolerance for THC Develops in the Body

The reason why we feel any effects at all from cannabis is thanks to the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. This system compromises of multiple cannabinoid receptors.

When you consume cannabis flower or THC products, the naturally occurring cannabinoids (of which THC is one) bind to these receptor sites.

Here’s how THC tolerance fits into the picture. Regular exposure to cannabinoids can cause the body to down-regulate and reduce the density of CB1 receptors.

In other words, the more THC you consume, the less sensitive these receptors become. Receptors may also become internalized, rendering them mostly inactive.

The good news is that you can easily reverse this mechanism with a THC tolerance break. Taking a break from THC will cause the body to reinvigorate these receptors and bring them back to their usual level of sensitivity.

tolerance for THC

Signs That It’s Time to Take a Tolerance Break

Are you not sure whether you need a THC tolerance break or not? Here are a few signs that indicate you might have a tolerance for THC:

  • You need to consume more to achieve the same effects
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Not everyone will see all of these effects. The most common, and most noticeable, is simply that your regular joint, vape, or edible just doesn’t feel quite the same. If you find yourself having to smoke, vape, or ingest consistently higher doses, it might be time for a “T break.”

How Long Should a Tolerance Break Be?

Tolerance breaks are simple. All you have to do is take a break from THC and allow your body to come back into homeostasis.

But the big question is, how long should a THC tolerance break be?

The ideal timeframe varies very much from person to person and depends on:

  • How frequently you use cannabis or consume THC
  • What strength you’re used to
  • Your metabolism and biology

Unfortunately, there isn’t any hard data on the exact time frame that it takes for CB1 receptors to get fully up to speed. Scientific studies say that the down-regulation of CB1 receptors can reverse in anything from 2 to 14 days.

Some people say that you need up to 4 weeks if you’re a frequent consumer.

If your receptors have merely become desensitized, a reduction in tolerance can happen pretty quickly, usually in a matter of days. On the other hand, if your receptors are internalized (which might be the case if you consume THC daily) then a 2-week break is probably the most effective time frame to aim for.

Some sources recommend even longer breaks (around 4 weeks) for resetting THC tolerance from daily consumption,

However, as we said above, there’s no solid data on THC tolerance break timeframes, and everyone’s body is different. Therefore, you might need to do some experimentation to identify the ideal tolerance break timeline for your physiology.

Tips for Resetting a Tolerance for THC

Resetting a tolerance for THC might be simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. If you consume THC as part of your routine, or for things like pain relief or anxiety, abstaining can feel like a daunting prospect.

Here are a few tips for a smooth THC detox.

Don’t Microdose if You Don’t Need to

It might be tempting to microdose, but if you want to feel the full effects of a THC tolerance reset, then it’s best to do a full detox.

Although microdosing might not give you noticeable effects of THC, it can still keep receptors in a somewhat desensitized state.

Find a Calming, Mood-Boosting Substitute Activity

If you use THC to combat things like depression and anxiety, or for its calming effects, it can be helpful to find a substitute activity during your tolerance break.

This could be as simple as making time for a favorite hobby. Or, it could mean identifying something new that gets your dopamine pathways firing.

Here are some examples of dopamine-inducing activities that you can leverage as mood-boosting distractions during your THC tolerance break:

  • Exercise
  • Time in nature
  • Creative activities
  • Meditating
  • Spending time in natural sunlight
  • Listening to music
  • Socializing with family and friends

Not only can mood-boosting activities help you finish your THC detox, but they can also turn into long-term healthy habits.

Put Temptation Out of Reach

If you’re set on reducing THC tolerance, but find it hard to make changes to your habits, here’s a handy tip to set yourself up for success. If you have a collection of THC products on hand, take them to a friend or family member’s house for safekeeping.

If they’re lying around in easy reach, this will just create an unnecessary temptation.

tolerance for THC

Time Your THC Tolerance Break

Another top tip for an easy THC tolerance break is to time it right. Do you have a high-stress period coming up? If so, this is probably not the ideal time to tackle a tolerance for THC.

Withdrawals from THC aren’t usually all that harsh, but stopping THC at a time when you know you’re under a lot of mental or emotional pressure could be a recipe for failure.

Would you quit coffee right before an intense period at work? Probably not.

Taking a break from something like coffee or THC can add stress to an already challenging time. It can also make it that much harder to stick to your resolve when you’re being stretched thin.

Instead, try to pick a time for your THC tolerance break when you will have the mental space to dedicate to your detox.

Give CBD a Try

If you’re feeling like you will miss the calming, relaxing effects of THC, you can also turn to non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD during your THC reset.

CBD doesn’t have as noticeable effects as Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, but it can help to calm the senses, reduce tension, and induce feelings of relaxation.

What’s more, CBD doesn’t bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the same way that THC does. CBD is deemed non-addictive, and a scientific review done in 2017 backs this up, stating that CBD usage doesn’t trigger tolerance development.

CBD has also been described as an endocannabinoid modulator, demanding equilibrium and binding to receptors that regulate mood and pain to bring these systems into balance.

Thanks to this, CBD can even help offset withdrawals from THC.

CBD is often used to ease symptoms of anxiety. As well as pain, inflammation, and depression.

This makes it ideal if you’re looking for a backup while resetting a tolerance for THC.

What to Expect During a THC Tolerance Break

If you’re wanting to reset your THC tolerance, THC is probably something you enjoy, and cutting it out of your routine can be daunting.

Besides the psychological challenge, you might also have to deal with physical withdrawals from THC. Here are some of the side effects you might experience during a THC break:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Vivid dreams

To counteract any unwanted effects, try to get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated. Eating a varied diet and staying away from junk food and sugar can also help.

Exercising can also help your body get into balance and trigger dopamine release to combat any mood slumps.

What to Do if You Can’t Take a THC Tolerance Break

If you’re using THC for medical reasons, taking a tolerance break might not be a viable option. Fortunately, there are still ways you can reduce your tolerance for THC.

As we mentioned earlier, CBD doesn’t desensitize CB1 receptors. It also doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, but, like THC, it can help reduce pain and inflammation and ease symptoms of anxiety.

Unless you’re suffering from a specific medical condition that can only be addressed with THC, swapping your daily dose of THC with CBD could be a good option.

Another way you can reduce your tolerance for THC without quitting completely is by controlling and lowering your doses. If you systematically taper down your dose, the body will slowly adjust.

You can also try microdosing. This probably won’t have as marked an effect as stopping cold turkey, but it can be a more comfortable way to reset your tolerance.

Finally, if you aren’t up for an extended break from THC, but feel like a short break is possible, try a 48-hour THC fast. After the 48 hours are up, you can ease back via microdosing.

Finally, if you primarily use Delta-8 products, you can also try taking Delta-8 THC with CBD. The CBD can help regulate your cannabinoid receptors and prevent them from becoming desensitized.

How to Maintain Your New THC Tolerance Level

Once you’ve reset your tolerance, the next step is to maintain it.

If you want to keep your THC receptors sensitive, the general rule of thumb is to consume THC less frequently and at lower doses.

However, you can also try varying your methods of consumption. For instance, if you typically smoke vapes, mix things up with some Delta-9 gummies.

Another trick you can try is to rotate strains, also known as cannabinoid cycling. For instance, let’s say you almost exclusively smoke Gorilla Glue. Switching to a very different bud, such as a gelato strain, could help keep those CB1 receptors on their toes.

Strain rotation can prevent THC tolerance from developing because the body doesn’t have a chance to adapt to one specific blend of cannabinoids.

There isn’t any scientific info on cannabinoid cycling, but there are a large number of anecdotal reports.

If you’re more into cannabis extracts, you can also try cycling between delta-9 and Delta-8 THC products. Again, there isn’t any scientific evidence yet, but users have reported that switching to Delta-8 can trigger more intense highs, even with a high THC tolerance.

Looking For Delta-9 and Delta-8 Products?

Resetting a tolerance for THC might sound like a daunting task, but it can be well worthwhile. What’s more, there are lots of ways to go about it.

If you want to reset your receptors completely, you can do a 2-4 week THC fast. If that doesn’t sound like your jam, you can try a 48-hour break, or switch things up by cycling strains or switching between Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC.

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