By Amanda Cubine
Weed can be a plethora of things to those who indulge: A good time with friends, a much-needed escape from the mundane, or a reliable way to ease pain and discomfort. Whatever your reason for smoking, cannabis has been there with you through it all. So what happens when you get to a point that it doesn’t bring the same relief and enjoyment that you’ve come to rely on? Unfortunately, for many a seasoned smoker the possibility of getting totally baked gets further out of reach with each hourly dab break. If you find that ripping on the dag rig or chiefing a joint only leaves you with a mild buzz, it's probably time to put down the pipe and consider a tolerance break.
Also known as a t-break, this temporary intermission in your smoking routine could be just what you need to completely rejuvenate your highs. With tolerance breaks, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what your goal is, and what you need to do to be successful. Here’s everything you need to know before beginning your quest to cut out cannabis.
WHAT IS A TOLERANCE BREAK?
According to the Merriam-Webster, tolerance is defined as “the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance … especially with repeated use.” A tolerance break is a temporary hiatus from smoking for a predetermined amount of time to renew and improve the body’s response to cannabis. When you smoke regularly, your body becomes desensitized to the effects it has, causing you to need more and more to get high. When done correctly, a tolerance break reverses these effects. The lower your tolerance is, the less you need to smoke to get high: Saving you money while also returning you to more potent highs. For regular cannabis users, tolerance breaks can be a great way to keep your system refreshed so you can enjoy your weed with renewed strength on a regular basis. After one successful t-break, making it a habit to take one periodically can help you maintain a healthy relationship with THC.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD TAKE A TOLERANCE BREAK?
If you’ve been smoking for a while and you don’t get buzzed like you used to, or if you’re spending an income on cannabis trying to get as high to no avail, taking a tolerance break is a good option for you. Looking for a new job? Even better. You can save yourself the hassle of drinking mystery substances to pass drug tests while enjoying an enhanced smoking experience at the end of it. There are countless reasons to put weed on the back-burner for a while, and few reasons to be wary. However, if you have a THC dependency and rely on smoking for your mental or physical health, consult a professional and have a strong support system in place before trying this. While a tolerance break can be a game changer for seasoned smokers, your health and happiness should be the top priority.
HOW LONG SHOULD A TOLERANCE BREAK LAST?
Short answer: It depends. If you just want to add a little more zest to your smoke sesh, 3-5 days should be enough to have a mild effect. However, this is a very temporary solution and your tolerance will quickly rise back to where it was if you continue smoking. In order to get the full effect and clear all of the THC from your system, you need to abstain from ingesting or smoking THC for at least 30 days. Depending on your body type and frequency of use, it may take up to 90 days for your system to completely clear out. Although it may seem like a daunting task to abstain from smoking for so long, the rewards will make it worth your while. The best way to execute a t-break is to plan out an entire month with new activities to replace cannabis and distract yourself from its absence.
ARE THERE NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS?
For some people, abstaining from THC can cause issues such as trouble sleeping, irritability, decreased appetite and other minor issues. These are symptoms of Cannabis Withdrawal. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, typically beginning around the one week mark, and peak within 10 days. Once you get past that, it only gets easier. The severity of the symptoms varies vastly from person-to-person and depend on a variety of factors, such as length and frequency of use. If you need tips on getting through cannabis withdrawal, check out Leafly’s article on how to ease the symptoms. It’s important to note that while not everyone suffers from cannabis withdrawal when abstaining, it’s best to be prepared for the possibility so you can be ready to manage the symptoms and push forward through your t-break.
CAN I STILL USE CBD?
If you’re taking a t-break in order to ensure you can pass a drug test, your safest bet is to abstain from CBD altogether. Although drug tests do not screen for CBD, its presence in your system can cause a false positive and require a retest. However, if you are taking a tolerance break for other reasons and want to use CBD, you’ve got the green light. According to a journal published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, CBD use can help alleviate symptoms and keep you on track with your tolerance break. In short, as long as you don’t have a drug test to worry about, there’s no need to discontinue or abstain from CBD use during your THC hiatus.
Although the thought of taking a break from smoking can be frightening, as long as you are prepared for the journey, you have nothing to fear. With a strong support system in place, taking a tolerance break is not only doable, but can vastly improve your smoking experience and rid your body of its resistance to the effects THC. Chances are, a tolerance break is just the thing you’ve been needing to revamp your daily sesh.
Still have questions? Leave a comment for further information or to share your experience with tolerance breaks!