4 Steps to Getting Your Old-School High Back
When a gram no longer goes a long way, it might be time for a tolerance break, a hard reset on your metabolism.
Published on April 1, 2016

With 4/20 right around the corner, perhaps you'd like to detox before the big festivities.

Or maybe you are a long-time marijuana user who is noticing a decrease in the effectiveness of your stash?

If you've been on the hunt for more and more potent meds to reach the same level of elevation or you just want to detox, it might be time to take a quick tolerance break.

Typically, when you start to experience such issues, it’s because an overabundance of cannabinoids have built up within the body.

THC, like all cannabinoids, is fat soluble and tends to “get stuck” in the fat cells of the body, leading to a decreased response to THC over time. A 1993 study on rats showed that resistance to THC’s motor effects built up significantly with daily administration, but that this tolerance could be reversed.

Don’t get it twisted - chronic cannabis use has its benefits. However, those who take a higher daily dosage for pain or illness are bound to build up quite a tolerance over the course of a few years.

This can get expensive and frustrating, as patients and consumers eventually need more flower or a stronger edible, or concentrated cannabis products in order to feel good psychologically.  

It seems like an easy fix to simply take a “tolerance break” from cannabis for a few weeks, but there are several other small things you can do to make your body a more efficient machine, improving fat metabolization and thereby keeping your cannabinoid levels from getting too built up.

In short, a hiatus will definitely decrease your tolerance, as long as you try not to ruin your precious detox period by washing a bacon burger down with five beers.

Here’s your guide to 4 meaningful ways to have an effective tolerance break:

  • Plan to avoid consuming cannabis for anywhere from three days to a full month.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and other drugs during this time as well (as much as you can).
  • Drink LOTS of H2O - at the very least, half your body weight (pounds) in fluid ounces per day (160lbs=80oz).
  • Exercise and eat as clean as you possibly can during your tolerance break.

I know what some of you are probably wondering - “What about the withdrawal symptoms?”

Luckily, cannabis is not addictive in the same way that cocaine or heroin is. With those drugs, your body develops a dependency on them to activate key receptors and produce neurological chemicals like dopamine. Your brain chemistry literally changes in response to the addiction cycle. When you quit smoking weed for a few days, you will simply experience a mood change, along with a risk of possible temporary resurgence of symptoms that you were treating with medical cannabis.

Since it’s fairly reasonable to assume that some of your former symptoms might return during this time, you should definitely talk to your doctor prior to taking any tolerance breaks if you use medical cannabis to hold off epileptic seizures, muscle spasms, vomiting or similar symptoms that can interrupt your daily life.

With these tips, even the most chronic stoner can safely take a tolerance break that will change their high for the better.

Roni Stetter
Roni is a long-time cannabis advocate who has been involved in the community since her days with California's 2010 legalization campaign. A former high school athlete who successfully treated her sports injuries with medical marijuana, she now promotes the health movement on her own blog. When not writing or researching on the web, you can find her at a drum and bass show, hanging out with her dog and cat, or otherwise living the simple San Diego beach life. See what else Roni is up to on her website
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