Tolerance is not necessarily a bad thing
Some medical cannabis users prefer to have a baseline tolerance to some of the effects of THC, such as dizziness, so that they can dose more comfortably while still functioning in their daily life. Each medical cannabis user will have their unique sweet spot to control symptoms while balancing other daily responsibilities. Please be aware that Health Canada’s guidelines around THC use and driving still apply for safety.
Tolerance should not be confused with addiction since cannabis itself is not addictive. The use and abuse of cannabis is a function of behaviour, with interrelated psychological and environmental factors at play. When you stop using cannabis for a short time to reset your tolerance, you will not experience a dependence-related withdrawal
What can I do to reset my tolerance?
1. Micro dose
Micro dosing, or consuming a minimal amount of cannabis on a regular basis, is a popular method of use for medical purposes. In this way, you can get the benefits of THC without developing a tolerance to its effects. By micro dosing, you can be medicated all day without overwhelming your CB1 receptors with larger doses.
2. Switch to CBD-rich strains
Both psychoactive THC and non-impairing CBD engage the endocannabinoid system. However, these two compounds work in fundamentally different ways. We know that CBD works on many receptors, and not just on our CB receptors. For this reason, it is much harder to become tolerant to the effects of CBD. Opting for a high-CBD strain may be helpful to those looking to decrease their tolerance to THC, but who still require the relaxation and pain relief cannabis offers.
3. Mix things up
Rotate strains or try using new consumption methods such as vaporizing. Change up your routine. For example, skipping consumption in the morning may encourage the onset of stronger effects during evening use.
4. Try a fast partial resensitization
Used to drop the amount of cannabis needed to achieve desired medical effects, this method only requires a few days’ break. Use no cannabis at all for two full days. On the third day, take one puff and then wait for five minutes. If you feel any effect of the cannabis at all, put down your cannabis and do not use anymore that day. If you don’t, however, feel anything in the five minutes of after first puff, then take one more puff and wait another five minutes. Continue this process until even the smallest effect is felt.
Once you hit that point, stop for the day. Continue this process of one puff, waiting, and ceasing as soon as you feel any effect, for the next three days. On the fourth day, resume your regular use and timing. You should find that your body requires much less, even up to only one-half, of the cannabis that you previously needed to achieve the same medical effects.
5. Do a complete tolerance break.
This method has a double effect of both increasing the amount of added receptors and restoring your baseline receptors to normal function. It requires stopping all cannabis use for at least two days and up to four weeks. CB1 downregulation begins to reverse surprisingly rapidly upon termination or decrease of cannabis use. Studies show that tolerance can start to change within two days of abstaining from using cannabis.
Enjoy your tolerance break by staying active as much as possible, and make sure to hydrate often. Engaging in rewarding physical activities will help make resetting your endocannabinoid system more effective. Eating well and focusing on proper nutrition will also give more positive results. Try going for a run, cooking a healthy meal, or taking on a hobby that will offer some positive reward or self-satisfaction.
Cannabis has an interesting and noble effect — it provides comfort, care, and treatment for genuine needs, at the level the user needs. As such, many see it as a spiritual plant and have great respect for its varied effects and how it communicates within our bodies to help bring things back to balance. Take this time to focus on the benefits of cannabis and make an effort to be mindful and thankful for what this plant has to offer.