There comes a time in every dedicated cannabis consumer’s life when they realize things aren’t working like they used to. If you’re facing the dreaded tolerance break, this blog is for you. 

When it comes to cannabis consumption, it can be tempting to overindulge. A market flooded with highly potent cannabis products means that the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) will quickly grow used to high levels of THC exposure for many people.

While this can be fun in the short term, overindulging in cannabis can lead to your system developing a tolerance–resulting in weaker, less satisfying experiences. So let’s take a closer look at cannabis tolerance; what to look out for, and how to reset if your favorite heavy-hitters just aren’t hitting the same.

What is Cannabis Tolerance?

From caffeine to cannabis, the human body is good at adjusting to altered chemical states. This normalization is excellent for us on an evolutionary level. Still, on the day-to-day, it means it’s easy for our bodies to stop responding to the substances that used to help elevate us beyond our normal resting state–just ask anyone who needs a cup of coffee in the morning to feel normal!

Cannabis tolerance develops when THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, repeatedly binds to CB1 receptors in the brain’s endocannabinoid system. Repeated exposure causes these receptors to have reduced responsiveness to the presence of THC, meaning you won’t experience the same high from using the same product over and over again. When and how your body develops cannabis tolerance depends on a few key factors, including how often you consume cannabis, how potent that cannabis is, and your biological response to the presence of THC.

Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?

The short answer: yes, theoretically. Your body processes CBD like any other chemical and can build up a tolerance to it, especially if you take the same dose every day. 

However, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind directly to the receptors of the endocannabinoid systems. This means that if you experience a CBD tolerance, it’s likely due to other metabolic processes. Your brain won’t stop responding to CBD the way it does to THC, and in fact, some studies show that CBD responses grow stronger over time. So when we’re talking about cannabis tolerance, it’s mostly THC rather than CBD that’s of concern.

How to Tell if You’ve Built up a Cannabis Tolerance?

There are a couple of warning signs to look out for if you suspect you’ve developed a cannabis tolerance. First, like any other compound, the definition of tolerance varies by individual. Some people can use the same products and experience no diminishing effects, while others need to increase their dosages to obtain the same experience. 

The main thing, of course, is your own individual responses to ingesting familiar cannabis products. If a favorite pre-roll or tincture isn’t hitting the way it used to, it might be a sign that you’ve developed a heightened cannabis tolerance.

How Do You Reduce Cannabis Tolerance?

Ok, you’ve developed a tolerance, so what’s a pot-loving person to do? Here are our budtenders’ top ten tricks for reducing cannabis tolerance ASAP.

  • Take a T break

Taking some time away from cannabis is the fastest way to let your endocannabinoid systems reset, so let’s start with the obvious; taking some time away from cannabis is a great way to return, refreshed, with a newly lowered tolerance. 

  • Opt for lower dosages

If a T break isn’t an option, you can reduce the wear and tear on the ol’ receptors by opting for products with lower doses of THC. Using products with the lowest possible amount of THC needed for you to feel an effect has the added benefit of letting your body go for longer without building a tolerance. 

  • Try altering up your ratios.

Ease out of THC tolerance by experimenting with higher ratios of THC and CBD. Starting your way with a THC-heavy product and easing into a higher CBD, lower THC alternative can help your system reset. 

  • Plan a cannabis-friendly snack session

Nothing goes together better than cannabis and a snack sesh, and studies suggest that indulging in foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help boost THC absorption within the bloodstream. 

  • Stretch it out

Cannabis isn’t the only thing that activates the endocannabinoid system! Both Yoga and tai chi have been shown to interact with CB1 receptors potentially. Pairing your cannabis with a stretch sesh could help encourage your receptors to activate.

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How Long Does it Take for Cannabis Receptors to Return to Normal?

If you’ve decided on a T break, you’re probably wondering how long it will take before you can get back to business as usual. 

There’s no exact data on how long it typically takes for CB1 receptors to reset because so much depends on your biology. Some people report that their sensitivity has returned after just a few days, while others need as long as a month or two.

The best thing to do for your first T break is to take it day by day and see what works for you. Try taking a few days off and then indulge in just a little bit of cannabis, waiting before redosing to see how you feel. If that doesn’t work, give yourself a little more time. Your cannabis tolerance will be back to normal before you know it!

Do you want answers to your cannabis questions? Our friends a Leaf411, are here to help. Check them out at