Many of us have been there – our usual dose just doesn’t do it anymore, so we smoke a little bit more than usual. Maybe try a few high-dose edibles. Turn to dabbing a few times a day. And then before you know it, you’re spending hundreds a month on cannabis and experiencing less and less of its benefits.
This is where tolerance breaks, also known as T-breaks, come into play. T-breaks can help bring a person’s tolerance down, allowing them to enjoy cannabis once again without the costly high dosing.
Like most things cannabis, there is a science to successful T-breaks. Let’s break it down.
Understanding the endocannabinoid system
To fully understand how T-breaks work, you have to understand the endocannabinoid system. Present in humans and many other mammals, the endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body that interact with cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, as well as the naturally-occuring endocannabinoids our bodies produce.
When we consume cannabis, cannabinoids like THC will bind to these receptors, producing that euphoric feeling. The two main receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 is located in and helps moderate major sections of the human brain, while CB2 is located in the immune system and helps regulate inflammation and the body’s immune response.
The effects of daily use
Daily use of cannabis has been linked to a decrease in these receptors. When the receptors are regularly full from binding to cannabinoids, the body tries to balance this by closing down some of the receptors.
With less CB1 and CB2 receptors to bind to, the body has effectively closed itself off to the effects of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. For medical patients especially this can be an issue, as they depend on those cannabinoids for their many health benefits, like anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
How T-breaks can help
A study done by neuropharmacology and cannabis experts found that these receptors begin to bounce back after just two days of abstinence. In most cases, receptors return to nearly normal levels of operation after about four weeks.
There are a few different ways one can do a tolerance break. The most effective is complete abstinence for a month. For long-term daily users, this may be the only effective way to take a T-break.
But for most, simply cutting back the amount of cannabis you consume at a time, or microdosing, may do the trick as well. Microdosing is popular among medical patients, as it allows them to receive the positive effects of the plant without developing a tolerance to it.
Or, if you’re specifically targeting a tolerance to THC, you could switch to CBD flower. While CBD has no psychoactive properties, it can provide calming and pain relieving effects which can really help alleviate the edge associated with T-breaks.
While T-breaks are mostly commonly utilized by daily users, they are a great way for even the occasional consumer to reset their endocannabinoid system and ensure they’re receiving all the potential benefits of the plant or getting the full effects they desire.