How to Get Through a Cannabis Tolerance Break


While many people in all walks of life can be responsible moderate Cannabis consumers who benefit from the positive (and medicinal) effects of Cannabis, some people may end up abusing Cannabis to the point where the negative (side) effects end up overshadowing the sought-after positive effects that are desired. It is at that exact point in time where one needs to re-evaluate their relationship with Cannabis and decide to cut back and take a break from the plant. If you are a frequent and heavy consumer of Cannabis (meaning that you use Cannabis multiple times daily) and have been doing so for a prolonged period of time (ranging from several months to many years), then you may have noticed that you are now at a point where you are no longer getting the same strong and long-lasting effects from Cannabis that you used to get back when you first started consuming. You may have even noticed some of the negative side-effects of over-consuming Cannabis after a prolonged period of time. This all amounts to the tolerance that your mind and body have built up to Cannabis over your period of frequent and heavy consumption. The good news is that you can easily reset your mind and body's cannabanoid receptors and get yourself back to getting the desired stronger and longer-lasting effects of Cannabis with smaller amounts used. You can even reset your tolerance back to how it used to be during "the good old days" when you first started using Cannabis. With some time, effort, patience, and dedication, you will be able to reset your mind and body's tolerance to Cannabis.

Part 1

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In addition to having a high tolerance, there may be other personal, health, financial, and legal reasons why you may need to cut back and take a break from Cannabis. Some (or all) of the following may apply to you, but you need to ask yourself the following questions and answer them truthfully: How often and frequently are you consuming Cannabis? Is it just every once in a while? Is it mostly on the weekends and holidays? Are you using Cannabis every day? If you consume Cannabis every day, how often are you using it every day? At what times during the day/night do you use it? Do you just use it once a day at the right time and place after getting all of your other important life responsiblities/priorities out of the way or do you "wake n' bake" and smoke weed all day every day? How long have you been using Cannabis the way that you have now? (months to years?), etc. Do you find yourself using more Cannabis than in the past in order to get the same desired effects that you used to get with much smaller amounts of Cannabis? And are those desired effects no longer as strong or long lasting as they used to be? For example, did it used to only take you a couple of hits off of a bowl or a joint to get you blazed for a few good hours, but now you find yourself needing to smoke double (or triple, or even more!) in order to get the same effect? And even then, does your high not seem to feel as strong or last nearly as long? By doing the above, has your consumption of Cannabis cut into your finances? Are you spending more of your money on Cannabis that would otherwise go to your budget, savings, etc.? Are you having any financial trouble due to spending more of your money on Cannabis? For example... Some frequent heavy consumers may be buying a quarter to a pound of Cannabis (between $80 to $200 dollars) every single week and consuming it all in a few short days. Meanwhile other consumers may only be buying a quarter to a pound of Cannabis once a month and making sure their Cannabis supply lasts the entire month (if not longer). The difference between spending $80 to $200 dollars a week versus a month is significant and will affect your finances. If you have not done so already, do the math to see how much money a month to a year you are spending on Cannabis and how it is affecting your budget. Do you need to take a break from Cannabis anyway due to employment and/or legal reasons? For example, are you trying to get a new job that you know will require you to pass a drug test? Are you currently on probation and are getting drug tested frequently? Have there been any negative side-effects from the frequency of your Cannabis consumption? For example have you found yourself "greening out" often, having developed Cannabis related-allergies, and/or experiencing any symptoms of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome? These are all negative side-effects that can result when your body is rejecting excessive amounts of THC being put in your system over a long period of time. Although these side-effects are pretty rare and do not affect everybody, they can occur (or develop eventually) in frequent and daily consumers who have been using Cannabis for a prolonged period of time. (i.e. Someone who has been smoking a ton of weed every single day and all day for several years non-stop.) Are there any other health related reasons as to why you cannot use Cannabis at this time? Are you pregnant or expecting to be soon? Are you currently sick or have some other health issues where you either cannot use Cannabis or know that using Cannabis is not a good idea at the time. Are you on any other medications at the moment or are expecting to be for a while? Although consuming Cannabis is not nearly as harmful or addictive as other substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or hard drugs, have you noticed any other health issues as a result of consuming too much Cannabis over a prolonged period of time? For example, if you've been smoking a lot of weed daily for many years, do you ever feel like your lungs need to take a break from the smoke? Have you been coughing a lot? (i.e. "smoker's cough") Do you cough up/spit out phelm often? Have you ever had bronchitis from smoking too much weed? Does your dental hygiene feel poor from all the smoke? Have you gained a significant amount of weight from eating too much due to Cannabis-induced hunger (i.e. "the munchies")? Does your head feel "hazy" or "foggy" often? Do you find yourself feeling tired, lazy, dull, unmotivated, and/or forgetful more often than you would like? Do you ever find yourself feeling moody, irritable, anxious, depressed, and/or restless especially if you cannot use Cannabis at a certain point in time? In addition to the above, have you at any point felt concerned or even ashamed of your current Cannabis consumption? (i.e. feeling like a "loser" or a "pothead" or even a "drug addict" etc.)? Have you ever felt like you have played into (or even become) the "stereotypical stoner/pothead" that a lot of anti-Cannabis propaganda would still try to have people believe? Even though you know deep down that you're better than some stupid and exaggerated stereotype brought on by decades of failed prohibition and anti-Cannabis propaganda, you still feel a sense of guilt, shame, and embarrassment over your current Cannabis consumption habits and lifestyle. Have you found yourself getting into any arguments with your friends, family, and/or significant other about your Cannabis consumption habbits even when all of these people in your life are generally pro-Cannabis and are okay with you using Cannabis overall? Have you lost any friends, family, and/or significant others over your Cannabis consumption habbits? Is your Cannabis consumption getting in the way of your daily life responsibilities? (i.e. school/work, family, finances, errands/chores, important activities, etc.) Are you putting off important responsibliities so that you can spend more time getting high? Are you coming to school/work late or skipping it entirely? Do you often find yourself having to do something important in the middle of the day such as going to the bank, the post office, and/or grocery shopping but you end up put it off, avoid it, or doing the activity at your own risk (and possibly risking others) because you are too high? Do you find yourself breaking any of your own personal Cannabis consumption rules? For example, are you consuming Cannabis and/or being high in inappropriate places that could get you in trouble such as at school/work or while you are driving a car? As you break your own personal Cannabis consumption rules, do you find yourself making excuses and exceptions? (i.e. "I'll just do it this one time." or "Nobody will know anyway" or "I'm sure I'll be fine and can still function" etc.) Last but not least, just take a moment to be completely open and honest with yourself... Have you at any point recently admitted to yourself (reluctantly) that your current consumption of Cannabis and the effects that it gives you are simply just "no longer fun" and/or it all "just doen't feel the same anymore?" Do you find yourself feeling like Cannabis is now "rather boring/bland" or "meh" compared to how it used to make you feel in the past? Have you even honestly admitted to yourself recently that your mind and body could really take a break from Cannabis? (Even if it's just for a few days?)

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Depending on your circumstances and reasons for taking a break, you need to review and plan out the following details: How long are you planning to take your tolerance break for? When are you planning to start your tolerance break and when are you planning to finish it? Is it going to be for just a couple of days to a week or Is it going to be a couple of weeks to a month? Is it possibly going to be even longer than a month? Basically, you need to determine the date and time for when you plan to completely abstain from Cannabis to when you will start using it again. Make sure to look at your calendar and mark the scheduled beginning and end dates for your tolerance break. Generally speaking, it only takes up to 72 hours (or three full days) for most of your cannabanoid receptors in your brain to reset themselves back to baseline. This is true for everybody, even the most heavy frequent Cannabis consumers. After taking a 72 hour tolerance break, you should be able to get a much stronger effect from Cannabis the next time you consume it. However, if you continue to consume more Cannabis afterwards, your tolerance will quickly come back to where it was before your break, which leaves you back right where you started. That is why if you want an even more profound and stronger effect from Cannabis, it is better to take a longer and more thorough tolerance break for up to two weeks or more. If you are really looking to not only completely reset your THC tolerance back to baseline (to how it was before you ever started consuming Cannabis... or basically to be able to "get as high as you used to back in the day") and to completely flush out all of the THC in your system (This is definitely a must if you are trying to pass a drug test and/or currently on probation), then you will need to take a tolerance break for at least a month, if not more. (Just to be safe, if you feel like you absolutely want to make sure that your entire system is free of any last trance of THC for a drug test, then you may need to take a tolerance break for as long as two months.) Why are you planning to choose the selected period of time for your tolerance break? Do you need just a couple of days to a week to clear your head a little bit and reset your endocanabanoid receptors or do you need to completely clean out your system of THC? Are there other factors (see Step #1 questions above) involved? Do you need to pass a drug test for a job? Have you been feeling the undesired negative (side) effects of too much Cannabis consumption over a prolonged period of time lately (i.e. Cannabanoid Hypermesis Syndrome)? Are you having any financial issues due to spending so much money on Cannabis? Have you noticed your Cannabis consumption getting out of hand and you would like to cut back on it significantly while taking some time to clear your head? How are you going to begin your tolerance break? Are you going to stop consuming Cannabis immediately (i.e. "cold turkey") or will you gradually ween yourself off of Cannabis? If you plan to ween yourself off, how are you going to do it?

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While Cannabis is not physically addictive and does not have the same intense withdrawl symptoms that other substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and hard drugs (like heroin, methamphetamine, and crack cocaine) can have, Cannabis can still be mentally (psychologically) addictive for some people, especially for those who have grown accustomed to having consumed Cannabis over a very frequent and daily basis for a prolonged period of time. As a matter of fact, it is more of a person's habits/routine/lifestyle that can influence their psychological addiction to Cannabis more than the actual plant itself. For example, if you have gotten into the habit of consuming Cannabis at a particular time and place every single day (i.e. in the morning right after waking up (wake n' bake), after coming home from work/school and/or before hanging out with your friends), then it is only natural that you would have trouble breaking your old habit/routine and will need to find a way to overcome the desire to go back into your old habit. The next time you find yourself in a situation where you would normally consume Cannabis before or during the situation in question, then you will naturally feel the craving to consume Cannabis since you are so used to doing it all the time and that being without it now feels strange. It is no different than somebody who is used to drinking a cup of coffee every morning for example, but now suddenly the person cannot drink any coffee during the morning which can cause cravings and side-effects such as being tired and irritable. In order to help you overcome these obstacles and fight your habits, you need to do the following: Acknowledge the fact that it will likely not be easy, especially during the first few days (and weeks). Your mind will innevetably go to Cannabis and you will get cravings for it. You will innevetably at some point tell yourself "I wish I could use Cannabis right now" while feeling uncomfortable about it. Depending on your schedule and overall lifestyle, be aware of how and when you would typically consume Cannabis throughout the day, week, and even month so you can better prepare yourself to fight the cravings. Depending on the length of your tolerance break, expect to experience withdrawal symptoms (more on this later). Find some various positive mental coping strategies for getting through your tolerance break. For example, you need to keep reminding yourself that this is only a temporary situation and that you will eventually be able to use Cannabis again soon, and when you do, it will be even more enjoyable than it has been for you in the past... That, depending on the length of your tolerance break, that you will be able to "get high like you used to back in the good old days." Remind yourself that it's all mind over matter! That Cannabis revolves around your life, not your life revolving around Cannabis. Remind yourself that Cannabis is not physically addictive and that you are mentally strong to overcome any mental (psychological) addiction to Cannabis. Find some other personal reasons as to why you may want to take a break from Cannabis. Maybe you want to prove to all of the anti-Cannabis prohibitionists (both in your own personal life and otherwise) that you are not just another "stereotypical dumb pothead" and that Cannabis is not the horrible, dangerous, and addictive drug that they want you and others to believe it is. Maybe you want to do a "Sober month challenge" or something else along those lines.

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What this basically means is that unless you are one hundred and one percent absolutely certain that you have the right amount of self-control/self-discipline to still have your stash of Cannabis and all of the other related items (such as all of your smoking and vaping items) anywhere near you while you are taking a tolerance break, then will you seriously need to take all of the necessary steps to reduce your risk of breaking your tolerance break. So for example, if you know that you can still keep your stash of Cannabis and all of your pipes, bongs, joints, and vaporizers around you while you take your tolerance break without giving into the urge of eventually consuming Cannabis, then more power to you! However, if you know deep down that you cannot be anywhere near your stash of Cannabis without giving into the urge of eventually consuming any of it at any point during your tolerance break (and it's completely okay if you feel this way), then you need to take all of the precautions to help make your tolerance break succeed. In this situation, you will need to get rid of your Cannabis stash, whether you decided to use it all up and not get any more until after your tolerance break or if you decide to hide, lock, and/or give your Cannabis stash to somebody you trust to hold on to while you take your break. Doing this will greatly help you resist the urge to consume any Cannabis during your tolerance break because you won't have any available to even consider using. Think of it as a "dry spell" that you need to get through.

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As you plan for and eventually begin your tolerance break, you may need support from your friends, family, and other people that you trust in order to help you get through your tolerance break successfully. Let them know about your plans for a tolerance break and ask them for support if needed. If any of your friends, family, and/or significant other consumes Cannabis, let them know that you are taking a break. If at all possible, ask them to not have or use any Cannabis around you at any point during your break so you do not feel tempted to use any yourself. Maybe try to have some other people take the tolerance break with you too! As noted before, if needed ask them to hide your Cannabis stash away from you while you take your tolerance break. Having a strong support group will also just naturally help you get though challenging experiences much better! Note: If you know deep down that there are certain people in your life who will need to be avoided during your tolerance break (or in general) because they are also heavy and frequent Cannabis consumers (and/or use other substances) who will not be supportive of you during your tolerance break, and may also even try to dissuade you from successfully completing your tolerance break (for example you may have that one friend who still wants to smoke with you even after you told them that you can't numerous times), then you will need to avoid them and make sure you surround yourself with positive people who support your decision to take a tolerance break.

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Now that you have a planned begining and end date for your tolerance break and have taken all of the necessary preparation steps for it, you should be able to begin getting through your tolerance break one day at a time. The most important thing that you can possibly do to help you get through your tolerance break sucessfully is to keep yourself as busy/distracted as you possibly can be so that you do not innevetably get bored and start thinking about (and craving Cannabis). While you are taking your tolerance break, you need find different hobies/activites to keep your mind and body occupied. Don't just sit around and do the same things that you used to enjoy doing while consuming (or being under the influence of) Cannabis such as watching TV or playing videogames because you will very likely feel bored and have a strong urge to use Cannabis again. (Remember what was mentioned above on Step #3 regarding old habits/routines that are hard to break). Instead, try your absolute best to do something that will not only help you get through your tolerance break quicker and easier, but will also be rewarding and productive for you. Here are some examples of productive activities you can do to keep yourself busy: Exercise! Not only is exercising healthy for you and is a great way to keep your mind and body busy, but it has also been known to help flush out the THC in your system while you take your tolerance break. In addition to exercising, make sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and help further flush out the THC in your system. Even dong something as simple as going for a walk and/or riding your bike every day can help you! Get involved in a hobby/project. Whether it's a brand new hobby that you have been interested in trying for a while now or is an old hobby that you have been putting off, your tolerance break should give you a good opportunity to get into that hobby or project that you've been interested in or putting off for a while. It can be anything from reading books and novels, to writing, to making arts and crafts, to discovering and/or playing/composing/recording new music, dancing, cooking (try learning new recipes), etc. Join a group/club to keep you busy and meet new people. Keep a journal (whether it's a physical paper journal, an electronic journal on the computer, and/or a video (vlog) journal). Write down (or talk about) all of your honest thoughts and feelings as you experience them. Doing this can also be a good opportunity for you to express (or document) how you are getting through your tolerance break and what are the various benefits, drawbacks, challenges/obstacles, and accomplishments that you have been experiencing each and every day as you get through your tolerance break.

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While Cannabis itself is not physically addictive and does not have nearly the same intense withdrawl symptoms such as those of alcohol, tobacco, heroin, or methamphetamine, there are still very real withdrawl symptoms present from Cannabis nonetheless and they should never be overlooked or down-played simply because they are considered "a joke compared to hard drugs" by many Cannabis consumers and advocates. The fact of the matter is that there are withdrawl symptoms from Cannabis and they are especially a problem for frequent and heavy Cannabis consumers who have grown accustomed to the effects of the plant over a long period of time. It is only naturally that you will suddenly start finding your mind and body trying to adapting to the sudden lack of THC that it has been supplied with over the course of time. As your body's cannabanoid receptors reset themselves and the THC flushes out of your system, you will experience several side effects varying in intensity depending on your physical and mental health. Cannabis withdrawl symptoms experienced by heavy and frequent consumers can be compared to that of caffeine. The following are well known withdrawl symptoms from Cannabis and some recommended coping strategies for dealing them: Insomnia/restlessness - A lot of heavy and frequent Cannabis consumes report trouble falling asleep (or staying asleep) while withdrawling from Cannabis. Exercise can help! Exercising is not only healthy for you physically and mentally and for it's ability to help keep you busy from consuming Cannabis, but it also helps your mind and body rest and relax afterwards. Taking a hot bath/shower after exercising and then doing some deep breathing and meditation in a dark room free of distractions such as glowing computer/mobile device screens can also help. It is also recomended to use natural health supplements such as Chamomile tea, Lavender tea, St. John's Wort tea, various sleeping aid teas, homemade banana-cinnamon tea (great for relaxing and sleeping!), CBD (Cannabidiol), as well as other sleeping medications such melatonin (over the counter) or something stronger if your doctor prescribes it to you it to you (stronger stuff is only if you legitimately have a legitimate sleep disorder prior to using Cannabis) Iritability/moodiness - Keep calm and be mindful of your thoughts and behaviors, especially around other people. You may find yourself much more irritable and moody than you usually are. You may even find yourself possibly snapping at other people over what seems to be minor issues. Just because you are on a tolerance break, does not mean you have the right to act like a jerk to other people. Just be mindful of your thoughts and actions. Again, activities such as exercising (or something like Yoga) can help keep you busy and engaged! Natural supplements such as Chamomile tea, Lavender tea, St. John's Wort tea,  homemade banana-cinnamon tea, and CBD (Cannabidiol). Mild anxiety/depression (depends on the person) - Some people may experience some mild anxiety and/or depression while withdrawling from Cannabis. This is especially true if you have been using Cannabis to help with anxiety/depression. Depending on your overall mental health (i.e. if you have a history of anxiety/depression prior to Cannabis use), you may need a medical professional to help you deal with the symptoms, either with special medication, therapy, or some other form of help. Otherwise, your symptoms should be very mild and ease over the next couple of days with the help of your friends and family for support and the use of natural health supplements such as Chamomile tea, Lavender tea, St. John's Wort tea, bananna-cinnamon tea, CBD, etc. Pre-existing physical/mental conditions (depends on the person) - If you have been using Cannabis medically to help with any physical or mental conditions such as chronic pain/inflamation, depression, anxiety, etc. Then you may need the help of a medical professional, or use specific prescribed or over-the counter medication (again, talk to your medical professional and support group!). CBD may help too! Vivid/intense dreams - When you consume Cannabis frequently and over a long period of time, your REM sleep is suppressed which is why you may sleep well, but do not have any dreams. When you stop using Cannabis, your REM sleep returns (called REM Rebound) and causes vivid and intense dreams. There isn't really anything to do about this other than to embrace it and try to make the most of it in a positive way. Think of your dreams as a new way of "getting high" or "escaping reality" while you are asleep. Let your wild and crazy dreams take you wherever they go and try to enjoy and embrace them. Perhaps try to stimulate your mind with positive thoughts, images, and sensations that may help your vivid dreams be more enjoyable. So for example, don't watch a scary movie before going to sleep while on your tolerance break because you may end up having scary nightmares about the movie you just watched, instead try to watch a more fun and light-hearted movie. If you have legitimate medical issues such as PTSD, you may need to talk to a medical professional who can help you deal with your vivid dreaming in a positive way. Boredom/Cravings - You may find yourself feeling bored or "empty" while you are withdrawing from Cannabis, especially if you are in a situation where you would normally be doing something while high/stoned such as while going on a hike. Try to deal with this by keeping yourself busy/distracted with other activities/interests. Do whatever you can to take you mind off of Cannabis.

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(Again, writing a journal can really help with this!) While it may be difficult, especially during the first few days of your break, you may begin to notice some of the more positive effects of your tolerance break begining to take form. For example, you may begin to notice the following: Feeling more clear-minded and less foggy or "hazy" than you used to. Feeling more sharp, focused, and "on top of things" than you may have been Your lungs (if you smoke/vape often) may feel more clean and you are no longer coughing/spitting up as much phlem as you used to. You may feel more connected to/engaged in whatever you're doing in your day to day life at work/school, friends, family, hobies, etc. You may find yourself thinking (and feeling) a little differently while you are more sober-minded. You may find yourself having more energy and motivation. For some people, being sober can even be like "feeling high" in a different way since they have been so used to constantly being high/stoned all of the time. Your self-confience and happiness may increase since you feel like you are making progress and are able to sucessfully take a break from Cannabis.

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Embrace the positive effects that you have experienced/gained as a result of taking a break (see #9 above) and take note of them and your overall sober state of mind (again, writing a journal helps!) Reflect upon the different challenges/obstacles that you have faced and overcame. Are there any lessons-learned that you have taken from your tolerance break? Is there anything you would do different (or better) next time if given the change? How do you feel now compared to how you felt before you started your tolerance break? Take some time to re-evaluate your past relationship with Cannabis in a sober mindset and decide how you will plan to use it going forward. Will you continue to consume Cannabis like you have done before your break? Will you use it more moderately now (i.e. Only on weekends and holidays? Just once a day after taking care of other responsibilities? etc.) You need to ask yourself, how often and frequently are you going to use Cannabis again? Do you want to go back to the way things were before you took your tolerance break or do you want to make some changes? In addition to the above, talk to your friends and family about this and have them support you! Before the day you start using Cannabis again, make sure you are prepared. If you were strong and disciplined enough to keep your Cannabis stash and related utilities (like bowls, bongs, joints, and vaporizers) then just make sure everything looks good and is use, otherwise clean all of your glass products. If you hid your Cannabis stash somewhere or with someone else, get it back now that your tolerance break is over. If you got rid of all of your Cannabis prior (i.e. you smoked it all before your break), then get a new fresh supply of Cannabis from your local source (Of course this all depends on where you live and what the current Cannabis laws are currently).

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Sit back and enjoy consuming your Cannabis again! NOTE: Now that your tolerance has been lowered significantly so be very careful about dosage. If you are smoking or vaping, just take a hit or two from one bowl/joint or only eat a very small edible for example. You will be amazed at how strong, profound, and long lasting the effects are now. You may very well feel like it's your very first time using Cannabis again! (The good old days are back!) Do not try to consume Cannabis like you used to prior to your break because you may get uncomfortably high. Just take it low and slow and only up the dosage if you feel comfortable doing so.