Cannabis Tolerance: What It is and How To Reset It

Cannabis Tolerance: What It is and How To Reset It

Cannabis is widely used recreationally and medicinally with various psychoactive and healing effects on the human body. When consumed, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system which regulates mood, pain perception, and other physiological processes. However, over time, some individuals may experience a phenomenon called “cannabis tolerance”, where the body becomes less responsive to the plant's psychoactive effects. Therefore, you need to consume more to get the same effect as before.

Cannabis has several immediate effects including euphoria, relaxation, altered perception, and increased appetite. These effects are primarily attributed to the interaction of cannabinoids, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), with specific receptors in the brain. As the frequency of cannabis use increases, the brain's receptors can become less sensitive to these cannabinoids, leading to reduced psychoactive responses.

There are several factors that contribute to the development of cannabis tolerance. First, individual differences in genetics and metabolism play a role. Additionally, the method of consumption, potency of the product, and frequency of use can also impact tolerance levels. Long-term cannabis use can lead to the need for higher doses to achieve the desired effects, which may increase the risk of adverse reactions and psychological dependency.

Remedies for cannabis tolerance vary and depend on the individual's circumstances. One approach is to take a tolerance break: refraining from cannabis use for a period to allow the body's receptors to reset (two weeks is efficient for most consumers). This can help restore sensitivity to cannabinoids, reducing the need for higher doses.

Another strategy involves alternating between different strains or product types (vapes vs edibles vs flower, etc.) with varying cannabinoid profiles – especially higher CBD. By rotating strains and/or products, individuals may mitigate the development of tolerance to THC.

Combining cannabis with other substances, such as black pepper (containing beta-caryophyllene) or lemon (containing limonene), may also enhance the effects due to their interaction with the endocannabinoid system.

Some high frequency/high tolerance consumers may go through a cannabis withdrawal when reducing THC consumption (similar to the effect frequent caffeine drinkers experience when tailoring their consumption). While not intense, it may feel uncomfortable for a few days. When taking a break, you may experience mood swings, fatigue, diminished appetite/nausea, insomnia and headaches. Hydration, rest and exercise are the first lines of defense to combat any negative effects, and over-the-counter medications can reduce associated headaches or nausea. The good news is all these will subside in about 72 hours.

To prevent or minimize cannabis tolerance in the future, just try to use lower-THC products or increase CBD use – or consume less frequently. THC-CBD ratio edibles are a great way to keep some THC in your system while balancing and resetting your receptors. Several brands offer great alternatives to full-THC such as Camino, CANN, Care By Design and Drops.

All of your cannabis experiences should be good ones.

In conclusion, cannabis tolerance is a natural response of the body to prolonged cannabis use. Understanding the factors that contribute to tolerance can help individuals use cannabis responsibly. Moderation and responsible consumption are key to avoiding the negative consequences of tolerance. Taking breaks, rotating strains and products, and considering complementary substances are some strategies to manage tolerance effectively.

 

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