By Maya Novikov.
Tolerance. When you start smoking marijuana and doze off or get paranoid after a couple of hits, your friends recommend you to "build up some tolerance." And you do. In several months (or years, if you do not dive into regular smoking right away) you feel it. You have to smoke more to get high. And you hardly ever get as high as you used to get. Damn you, tolerance.
It is still unclear how cannabis tolerance works in terms of neurobiology. A recently published study suggests that the symptoms we experience may be determined by change in our brain’s ability to release dopamine. The research only describes the reaction of heavy users, people who were treated as ‘dependent on cannabis’ after using marijuana daily for many years. As you probably know, tolerance can be a problem even for someone who recently started smoking regularly, and there is next to no research on this matter.
The good news is that we know how to deal with tolerance. The best way to lower your cannabis tolerance and regain the ability to get incredibly high is having tolerance breaks, also known as t-breaks. It is a well known method, it works for everyone, and it does not require buying expensive detox sets or taking a day off at work. The only thing you need to do is to stop consuming marijuana for a while. For many of us, it is better not to have any cannabis at home, just to make sure we do not accidentally smoke or eat it while being distracted.
The perfect length of a tolerance break is one of the most discussed problems on 420-themed forums. Some people try to calculate it basing on THC half-life chart, which is not a correct way to do it. Others use drug tests to determine if they can pass it - an expensive and unreliable method. Unfortunately, there is no scientifically proved algorithm for determining a right t-break length for you, with your metabolism, your lifestyle, and your psychological dependance on marijuana. If it is ever created, I assure you, there will be dozens of apps that will calculate your t-break and motivate you through it. I will download one myself.
For now we have to rely on our personal experience and on friendly advice we receive. I have taken one day t-breaks, two days t-breaks, four days, one week, two weeks, a month, a year - yes, I really did it. Counting days is not the best idea - you will feel miserable and might even fail the whole t-break. It is not bad at all if you keep yourself busy and do not forget to eat properly and drink enough fluids. Pick a book or a video game, start a creative project or an online course - something that will keep you distracted from not using cannabis and maybe not hanging out with your friends, if they continue smoking.
If you are used to toking before bedtime, you may experience some difficulties with going to sleep, as THC helps our body to release melatonin, a sleep hormone. Insomnia is usually mild enough to be treated with an OTC sleep aid product from your local drugstore. Some people have headaches, some feel restlessness or fatigue, but it usually goes away in a few days.
What will you get after your t-break? The effect of cannabis will be rejuvenated, you will need to use less of it to achieve the desired condition. Ah, and the first time you smoke after a tolerance break you will probably get too high. You’ll need to build up some tolerance.
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