As with any other substance, you can build up a tolerance to THC use over time. As you build up a level of THC in your own body, it can result in a slight depression of the THC receptors, resulting in some loss of their connectivity leading to lessened effects. When it comes to CBD tolerance, there is much less research available. Some research that has been done suggests that a tolerance to CBD is actually therapeutic.
As THC is the psychoactive component to cannabis, a tolerance is much more noticeable as you get less “high” off of the same amount of cannabis previously – and often have to up your dosage. However, methods such as cannabinoid cycling can help you reset your THC tolerance so that you can continue to enjoy the effects of cannabis at a lower dosage.
One of the most common ways to improve your cannabinoid tolerance is by taking a tolerance break or a “t-break” where you cycle off of THC for a period of time. Typically, this means that the individual will stop the use of cannabis for a period of 1 to 4 weeks to reset their body. While this works well for recreational users, it is often not a valid method for medical users who require cannabis to go about their day.
Another option for resetting your cannabis tolerance is to change the method by which you consume THC. As cannabis that is smoked or vaped is absorbed through the bloodstream and edibles are absorbed and processed through the liver, swapping from joints to edibles (or vice versa) for a couple weeks can help to reduce your tolerance when you go back to your original method.
Do be wary if you have never taken edibles before, however, as you may have a very high tolerance for cannabis flower but edibles are far more potent. It is best to start small (10mg) and work your way up to larger amounts to ensure that the effects are not overwhelming.
Lastly, and more recently, another option for resetting your THC tolerance is via cannabinoid cycling. The process of cannabinoid cycling refers to the process of swapping high-THC, low-CBD strains for high-CBD, low-THC strains. You may be wondering how this can work as they are both derivatives of cannabis, but these two cannabinoids operate quite differently in the human body.
THC is considered to be “a partial cannabinoid receptor” that interacts with specific cell receptors in the Endocannabinoid System within the body to produce particular results. THC is able to signal our bodies to produce or limit production of various neurotransmitters and hormones, thereby helping to regulate mood, immune function, metabolism, sleep and even reproduction. Essentially THC replaces natural endocannabinoids that your body may lacking, thereby balancing the Endocannabinoid System to result in many benefits.
CBD, on the other hand, regulates the release of endocannabinoids in the body versus communicating directly with the receptors. As CBD does not communicate directly with the endocannabinoid receptors but rather moderates the Endocannabinoid system, it will decrease the cannabinoids in the body when there is an overload – or increase them when the system is dysfunctional.
Due to the unique natures of THC and CBD and how they communicate with the endocannabinoid system, cycling between high THC and high CBD product can be a very beneficial way of rebalancing the endocannabinoid system and resetting your cannabis tolerance.
While there is not much information regarding the length of time for cannabinoid cycling, it is common amongst cancer patients. The protocol in this case is a 90-day cycle of a particular cannabis treatment, at the end of which patients take a tolerance break or they switch to a different type of cannabis product (ie: CBD). That being said, a period of 1 to 4 weeks may also be sufficient, depending on your tolerance and length of THC usage.
Cannabis is an incredibly potent plant with powerful medical and recreational benefits. However, you know what they say about too much of a good thing! Stopping for a t-break, swapping your consumption method or even converting from high THC to high CBD for a few months will ensure that you reap the benefits for a long time to come!