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What is THC "Tolerance"?

What is THC "Tolerance"?

A THC tolerance is a reduction in the sensitivity of the effects of THC developed by frequent use. With a tolerance, using the same amount of THC you used previously will affect you noticeably less than it did at that time. You may remember when just one cup of coffee would perk you right up. Well now your brain may have adjusted to need more caffeine in order to feel the same effects. That's tolerance! 




Tolerance develops differently for everyone. Factors such as your DNA make up, weight, frequency of use, etc, can all play a role in this. Studies suggest that daily THC consumption over a period of 2-4 weeks can noticeably increase your tolerance. In our experience this is a fair estimate.


The science behind THC tolerance 


THC activates CB1 receptors in your brain, which is what makes you feel high. Once the THC is gone (about 36-48 hours after use), this brain activity goes back to normal. However, if you continue to use THC without giving your brain time to re-adjust, it begins to fight back over time. It does this by minimizing the increase in CB1 receptor activity, which leads to a reduced sensitivity to THC’s effects. This is known as "down-regulation". Essentially, chronic THC use reduces the total amount and efficiency of your CB1 receptors. 




1. Be mindful of dosing and your frequency of use

Make sure you’re consuming how much you need instead of over-indulging. Cutting back your THC use just a little can reduce your tolerance.

2. Take a tolerance break! 

Taking a break from THC altogether is the quickest way to help reset your tolerance. We’ve found that even just a day off can have a big effect, but 3-5 days generally does the trick for most people. For heavier users, it can take up to 3-4 weeks to get their tolerance back to a normal level. 

 3. Switch it up with CBD flower, or pre-rolls

Research shows that CBD can actually up-regulate your CB1 receptors, the opposite of what THC does. If you are a heavy THC user, try replacing your intake with CBD pre-rolls, or flower instead. You may notice your tolerance reducing faster than it would without CBD supplementation




How long does it take to get rid of a tolerance? 

It takes about a month for THC to completely leave your body, so a full length tolerance break should be around 3 weeks at least. 


3 reasons you should consider a tolerance break 


1. Reflect with clarity 

Weed affects short term memory (part of what makes it fun!) T-Breaks give us a period of uninterrupted thought that can provide perspective and fruitful insights.

2. More high, less weed

Weed is expensive! Resetting your tolerance saves you money and brings you back to those back in the day highs.

3. Vivify your dreams

Lack of dreams is a sign of a marijuana tolerance. Dreams tell us a lot about ourselves and t-breaks can help amplify them.


Relaxing smoke sesh


3 tips for a successful tolerance break

1. Drink Smoothies 

Acute marijuana withdrawal can decrease your appetite. Smoothies can help you get the nutrients you need even when you’re not hungry.

2. Exercise & Melatonin 

If weed helps you sleep, getting to bed can be difficult without it. Wearing yourself out with a workout and sleeping supplements can be a big help.

3.  CBD flower ritual 

Not only does CBD show promise of helping to replenish tolerance faster, CBD flower specifically is a great way to engage with the ritual act of smoking without messing up your T-Break! 



Angelo A. Izzo, Francesca Borrelli, Raffaele Capasso, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Raphael Mechoulam,

Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb,

Trends in Pharmacological Sciences,Volume 30, Issue 10, 2009, Pages 515-527, ISSN 0165-6147,

Hayakawa K, Mishima K, Hazekawa M, Sano K, Irie K, Orito K, Egawa T, Kitamura Y, Uchida N, Nishimura R, Egashira N, Iwasaki K, Fujiwara M. Cannabidiol potentiates pharmacological effects of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol via CB(1) receptor-dependent mechanism. Brain Res. 2008 Jan 10;1188:157-64. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.09.090. Epub 2007 Oct 12. PMID: 18021759.


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