Heavy or long-term cannabis users can experience something interesting — the same stuff just doesn’t work the way it once did. Experiencing the same cerebral and body effects requires greater quantities or higher-potency strains, and even then, it’s not as intense as it once was. This scenario describes a cannabis tolerance, and more specifically, a THC tolerance. Now, let’s talk about what to do.
Understanding the Terminology
You’ll know you’re dealing with a THC tolerance by answering a simple question — do you need more of your preferred cannabis product to experience the same effects you had when you first tried it? If the answer is yes, congratulations, you’ve developed a tolerance to THC. In a nutshell, that means your body’s CB1 receptors, which are the ones that bind with THC, have been so consistently exposed to high levels of THC that they’re essentially dysfunctional. To feel the same effects, you need steadily higher concentrations of THC. And that gets expensive.
Just like every cannabis experience is unique and dependent on personal factors and habits, so too is the development of a THC tolerance. For some, it can happen over a few months. For others, many a few years. But a few things are pretty consistent — developing a tolerance to THC often means some level of daily consumption, and potency play a role too. The greater your consumption of high-THC products, the quicker you’re likely to develop a tolerance.
So… what then?
Then, you’re going to need what amounts to a cannabis time-out.
If the idea of experiencing cannabis the way you used to is alluring enough, you can lower your tolerance by taking a break. This will give your CB1 receptors a chance to reset proper function. Timelines vary, but you should plan to abstain completely anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. And when you decide to indulge again, start low and go slow. Just like novice cannabis users, you’re starting from square one. You might consider experimenting with microdosing or strains that are lower in THC to see how you feel. Just don’t dive straight back in — after a break, you could find yourself dealing with being way too high, and that’s never a good time.
Resetting your THC tolerance can be a great way to experience cannabis all over again, so if the same products or potencies aren’t doing the trick anymore, it’s worth considering.