Unlike other recreational drugs, cannabis doesn’t act like that. It is less harmful than methamphetamine and cocaine. Compared to alcohol, cannabis does not cause very harmful effects on your body. Instead, you will only feel the euphoric effects of cannabis lesser gradually because of tolerance.
Tolerance is the main reason for many cannabis consumers why they are consuming more cannabis than normal. The reason behind a cannabis user’s CBD tolerance is because that the cannabinoid type I or the CB1 receptors in the brain slowly decrease as the user continues to use cannabis. That is why a lot of people upped their doses or consumes more cannabis that has high THC levels to get that high they want.
Eventually, over time with the continuous use of cannabis, it will be impossible for people to get high at all because of THC tolerance.
However, if you stop for a brief period of time, your body, especially your brain, can recover. And this can work remarkably within a few weeks of being sober.
What is Tolerance in Cannabis?
Before you dig into that information, you should first know what tolerance is.
To put it simply, THC activates our brain’s CB1 receptors, which is why you have a stoned feeling whenever you hit a blunt. Usually, the high is the one responsible for the rapid increase of your CBA receptors’ activity in your brain. Once the THC’s high subsides, this activity goes back to its normal state.
However, if you consume cannabis repeatedly or regularly, you are exposing your brain to a lot of THC, which triggers it to act on the increasing activity of your CB1 receptor. This way, your brain is retaliating to bring back the normal CB1 activity patterns to preserve its normal state and function.
Your brain reduces the CB1 receptors, which weaken the effects and the high that is brought by cannabis’s THC. Also, your brain changes the CB1 receptors’ genetic expression, which makes it immune to the effects of THC in cannabis. This kind of mechanism that your brain does dampen the high and effects of THC, which is why people tend to increase their cannabis dose while some rest for a couple of weeks to remove their tolerance to its effects.
How Does Cannabis Tolerance Develop?
THC can cause tolerance, so does other narcotics as well as alcohol if it is repeatedly consumed since it repeatedly activates your brain’s CB1 receptors. When the CB1 receptors are activated repeatedly, it initiates activities in your brain that results in desensitization that lessens the effects of THC.
After your brain cells lead to desensitizing the effects of THC, it is then removed from the CB1 receptors from the cell’s entire surface.
Because of this, you can feel the processes that are happening inside because of your need to up your dosage of THC to get that high you want to experience it.
If you continue to use THC, this will have lesser effects on your brain since there are only fewer receptors left for it to activate its effects.
There is a difference between the two effects because desensitized receptors can still be used in binding THC; however, if it binds, it creates an effect that is lower than you expect. Internalized receptors, meanwhile, won’t be long used to bind THC because it was brought in your brain cells’ surface where it is removed or shattered into very small parts that will make it not useful anymore.
When your brain’s CB1 receptors are activated due to THC, it will frequently get activated, which results in lesser association with the components that are carried out by the effects of the receptors. CB1 receptors can be likened to a pitcher in baseball that is tasked to throw as many pitches as possible, but this will eventually can’t take it anymore, which then subbed by the coach due to fatigue.
How Does Tolerance in Cannabis Work in Your Brain?
Experts say that tolerance in cannabis is unique in a way that it functions differently compared to other drugs that affect your mental capacity. While tolerance can affect some of your brain’s genetic predisposition, there is no clear relevance between say, that your body’s actual weight and your tolerance in cannabis can be likened to the tolerance in alcohol.
This is why experts always recommend consuming low and always go slow, especially those that are not familiar with the effects of cannabis, regardless if you are physically fit or obese.
Your body can also easily adapt to THC’s effects as well. This is because its effects are already mediated by our endocannabinoid system that works to main our homeostasis as well as balance inside our body. Just so you know, our body can work differently to nudge you back to its main perception of the center.
Our body regulates itself and can actively impose different measures that limit the effects of THC if it is constantly exposed to its effects, especially in long periods of time. Thus your body desensitizes and internalizes your CB1 receptors that create a lesser high when you smoke cannabis.
How Long Do You Have to be Sober to Reset Your Tolerance?
According to experts, they are still in the middle of finding out more ways to reset a cannabis user’s tolerance. It is doable to reset your tolerance since there are already studies about it and describes its upregulation or the increasing number of your receptors by replacing those that were desensitized and internalized. This usually concludes with a significant CB1 receptor upregulation that usually starts a few days after you take a break and can continue for over a month.
However, it is still unknown to whether or not your CB1 receptors upregulation can still work beyond after a month, but there is another study for regular cannabis users that conclude that your CB1 receptors can return to its normal level in the majority of your brain’s regions after you sobered up for a month.
There are various ways to lower your tolerance for cannabis, and the number one way is to take a break. The most popular way is to take a T-break.
What is T-Break?
T-break or tolerance break is temporary abstinence of using cannabis which its main purpose is to reset the tolerance of your body to THC. This can be applied to people that use cannabis for recreation and therapeutic purposes.
The main benefit of practicing T-break is that it won’t cost you money at all. This is because all you need to do is just temporarily halting your cannabis consumption for a while.
This means that you have to deny your brain from getting that rewarding feeling of high from cannabis since this is the reason why you are abusing it and consuming it even more. Even though you consume minimally every day, you are still triggering your brain to increase its tolerance level. You won’t notice it, but you are already developing cannabis use disorder (CUD) as well as hyperemesis syndrome (CH) that is relevant to substance abuse.
To prevent this from developing furthermore, you have to take a T-break so that you can mitigate the risks and your body’s dependence on cannabis. On the brighter side, you also decrease your body’s tolerance level.
Taking a T-break will surely improve the effectiveness of weed once you return to consuming it. This means that you will experience the high you wanted that slowly diminished before you had that break. Also, you purchase lesser weed because you are already getting high just by using a minimal amount of it.
Are There Side Effects of T-break?
The most common side effects that regular cannabis consumers experience are withdrawal symptoms that are likened to nicotine withdrawal. You may experience a lack of appetite, irritability, sleeplessness, depression, and anxiety; however, all of these are just experienced minimally.
For those chronic cannabis users that are already consuming a larger dose, they will experience the worse of withdrawal symptoms since their body is already dependent on cannabis.
For medical cannabis users, usually, the withdrawal symptoms can be very light. They can have other options to switch to another type of medication as an alternative while they are on T-break. Medical cannabis users consume medical cannabis to alleviate the symptoms of their illnesses, and they also need to take a T-break so that their body can sustain the therapeutic effects of cannabis and manage their tolerance to a low level to feel the benefits of it.
How to Start Your T-break?
Anyone can start their T-break. All they need to do is stop consuming weed for at least three days to a week since CB1 receptors can diminish easily once the user stops consuming cannabis. Your body can start bringing back your CB1 receptors to its normal state within 48 hours of cannabis abstinence.
You can safely consume cannabis after two days of abstinence; however, experts suggest to extend it to a month so that your tolerance level is low in an extended period.
Your body’s tolerance level goes up because it is a telltale sign that you are starting to abuse a substance that benefits you. Always remember that too much of something, especially cannabis can harm you in the long run. Just think of your body’s tolerance as a warning sign to take things slowly.