A tolerance break is a short-term break from cannabis, or a sort of restart, to clear one’s head and body of cannabinoids, notably THC. Over time, and with considerable cannabis use, you build up a tolerance. While research points to cannabis having no addictive properties, it also shows that people have to smoke more to feel desired affects after prolonged periods of time.
If you started with two puffs and have since graduated to a 2-joint minimum to feel a buzz, you may be in need of a tolerance break.
A study by Dr. Miles Herkenham of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) on the cannabinoid receptor system and its tolerance to cannabis came to the following conclusion:
“The effect … is time- and dose-dependent, and is reversible, and thus appears to be cannabinoid-receptor mediated … The result [of the study] has implications for the consequences of chronic high levels of drug use in humans, suggesting diminishing effects with greater levels of consumption.”
To reverse this, people choose to reduce their rate of consumption. Surprisingly, it only takes 4 days to reestablish a lower tolerance to marijuana. Choosing to abstain completely during this 4-day period makes it so more noticeable, psychoactive effects of cannabis can return at fuller potency which can influence the effectiveness of cannabis, and the way it interacts with the mind and body.
To that end, it’s not unlikely that after many years of use you decide cannabis has served its purpose—helped you heal your physical body, contributed to your spiritual growth and navigate emotional trauma—and you decide to extend your tolerance break for weeks or even years. Cannabis is meant to bring you back to homeostasis, balance within yourself. There may come a point where you’ve fully developed into yourself and you no longer need cannabis to be a teacher. And that’s OK! Cannabis is amazing for encouraging a deeper level of innerstanding, understanding and overstanding, self-awareness and a greater sense of wellbeing. Mother Earth has many ways to teach and heal us.
If you decide to break from cannabis, or quit completely, try other healing herbs like Lion’s Mane or Reishi functional mushrooms for an elevated mood and brain boost. If mushrooms aren’t for you, try incorporating more turmeric and ginger to your diet. Both reduce inflammation in the body and are great antioxidants.
It’s important to remember cannabis is a part of a much larger plant ecosystem. You’ll be surprised to learn there’s various holistic approaches to remedying the mind, body and spirit.