If you have the sneaking suspicion that cannabis isn’t working the way it used to, you’re probably right. The human body is an amazing machine, and it develops tolerances to any number of external influences — cannabis included. Here’s what to know about how and why we can develop a cannabis tolerance.
Building Cannabis Tolerance
Basically, when the same product, same potency, and same amount of cannabis aren’t doing the trick anymore, your body has just gotten used to it. And this process takes some time. If you’re consuming cannabis regularly, the psychoactive compound THC starts to affect the brain’s CB1 receptors. The upshot is a noticeable decrease in effects.
There’s no definitive timeframe for building a cannabis tolerance. Things like frequency of use, potency, and your own personal biology will all play a role. But just because you’ve developed a tolerance doesn’t mean you’re doomed to experience a pale imitation of your favorite cannabis effects forever. All you need to do is practice a little abstinence — anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks.
Science Says So
Research is limited in the world of cannabis, but there is some clinical evidence that CB1 receptors can be replenished to their normal levels. That’s all well and good if you’re using cannabis recreationally, but what about those with a medical motivation?
In that case, you still have a few options. First, try incorporating a high CBD product into your cannabis rotation. You won’t have the intoxicating effects of THC, but CBD works wonders on reducing pain and inflammation. Second, be strict about dosage. Follow the rule of microdosing — only use what you need. And finally, try to minimize your cannabis use as much as possible to help reset your tolerance.
Be Prepared for Withdrawal Symptoms
If your cannabis use is frequent, potent and you’re generous with dosing, going cold turkey can have a few side effects. It’s nothing too terrible, but it’s not a bad idea to be prepared for things like mood swings, headaches, fatigue, a drop in appetite, digestive issues, insomnia, or intense dreams.
You can manage these symptoms with some good ol’ rest and relaxation, so do your best to sleep and remember to stay hydrated. Exercise can also work wonders. Hang in there, and when you do decide you’ve taken a long enough break, step back into cannabis slowly. You’ll essentially be starting from square one, so a little will go a long way. Enjoy it!