Tolerance to Marijuana happens when the brain adapts to the continual presence of cannabinoids, so that in order to feel the effects of the first dose, higher amounts are needed. The body becomes somewhat resistant to cannabis over time, requiring higher doses to get high. Other substances, like caffeine, work in the same way. The scientific term for tolerance is “downregulation.” Essentially, downregulation happens in a process between cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in the brain and the main psychoactive chemical compound of cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Measurement of this interaction occurs in terms of the availability of CB1 receptors, such that, less receptors are “available” when high levels of THC .

Cannabis tolerance can be reversed by reducing the rate of consumption or abstaining completely for a set duration so that the more noticeable, psychoactive effects of cannabis can return at fuller potency.A cannabis tolerance break can also consist of changing the regular routine, which can influence the effectiveness of cannabis and the way it interacts with the mind and body.


Tolerance onset and intensity are affected by many factors:

  • Serving sizes and potency
  • Frequency of use
  • History of use
  • Your unique physiology

There are a few simple ways to manage your tolerance levels and keep them sustainable for your well-being.

Routinely rotate strains and modes of ingestion. Try switching to edibles if you’re a smoker or try a tincture or topical. Because each strain is unique and its interaction with the body varies, switching strains and ingestion methods makes the body unable to acclimate because each method commutes through the body differently.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. “Sweat it out.” THC is stored in fat cells. By eating well and exercising you help to expel residual cannabinoids in your system.

Drink water. A general goal would be to drink half your body weight in ounces per day.

Take a “T” break (Eliminate cannabis from your routine for a few days up to two weeks or more.) Your receptors recover remarkably quickly from cannabis intake and you’ll find increased effectiveness when you return to THC ingestion.

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