Marijuana Tolerance, Withdrawal Symptoms, and 5 Tips to Take a T-Break

August 07, 2018 6 Comments

By Ayad Maher

Remember the first time high you experienced and how amazing it was? This tolerance break guide is straight forward and focus on actions and what you need to do to get over your t-break. 

If it's hard for you to get close to that high without consuming a gram or two, or dabbing, that means it's about time to take your Tolerance Break (T-Break). Without taking a t-break, it can get very expensive and extremely bad for your health and well being. Taking a break can be helpful to analyze our relationship with marijuana, why we smoke it and what's the right daily dose. It will also help you to figure out a healthier way of consuming it. A wise man once said “the key to enjoying without abusing there herb is to enjoy being sober too.”

Related article: Fight your High Tolerance Without Taking a Break


One of the things you will want to look into after you're done with your weed tolerance break is getting a vaporizers. There is a difference between the vaping high and smoking high, and after the t-break, your lungs will be semi clean from the toxins you burdened your lungs with all those years. It's time to enjoy a clean high, with no combustion and toxins.

If you're looking for a weed tolerance break guide, this is it! Keep reading. 

Related article: How to Choose a Vaporizer: Vaporizer high or Smoking high?

How Does Cannabis Tolerance Work in Terms of Neurology?


A recently published study suggests that the symptoms we experience may be determined by the change in our brain’s ability to release dopamine. The research only describes the reaction of heavy or frequent users, people who were treated as "dependent on cannabis" after using marijuana daily for many years. As you probably know, marijuana tolerance can be a problem even for someone who recently started smoking regularly. But, of course, there is next to no research on this matter. Not yet, anyway. With more legalization comes more and better and more reliable researches.

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The good news is that we know how to deal with cannabis tolerance. The best way to lower your weed tolerance and regain the ability to get incredibly high is having marijuana t-breaks. It is a well-known method, it works for everyone, and it does not require buying any detox sets or taking a day off work. The only action that needs to be taken by you to begin your t-break is to stop consuming cannabis altogether. For some of us, like myself, it will be more of a challenge as a long-term and frequent smoker; it can be a habit and it can be your medicine that you don’t want to go without. 

Why Take a Weed Tolerance Break from Cannabis?


Regular smokers won't see value with reducing their cannabis intake. To some cannabis smokers, it is their daily medicine. There is more than one reason why a cannabis consumer might want, or sometimes need, to take a t-break, here are couple:

1. Lowering cannabinoids threshold. For the same reason we talked about earlier, regaining the ability to obtain a high easier and with using less herb thus saving money and getting more out of your smoking sessions.

2. Professional reasons. For those who are looking for new jobs might want to get THC out of their systems as they face a mandatory drug testing. The process of flushing the THC out of your system naturally may take some time especially for frequent smokers and people who participate in vaping THC concentrates.

Related article: How to Pass a Drug Test for Marijuana?

3. Court orders, probation, and other legal issues. These are other reasons to take a t-break, obviously not for marijuana tolerance reasons. If you were traveling in places where cannabis is hard to find, or sometimes extremely prohibited (like in Thailand), you’re gonna have to take this t-break whether you like it or not. Remember, just because you are from somewhere that allows recreational or medical cannabis use does not mean it is permitted everywhere.

4. Saving money. I'm a frugal person by nature (I inherited this from my dad) but I like to smoke weed every day. Although I smoke weed everyday, I manage to smoke around 3 grams a month, and I want to keep it this way. Don't let your cannabis lifestyle take over your finances, if anything it should be treated as a hobby and not a utility.

    Above all, a marijuana t-break offers you and other consumers a new outlook on the healing plant. This shift in perspective will help serve as a reminder that cannabis is an enhancement to life’s adventures, not the adventure itself. With a clear head, consumers can gain, or regain, respect for the power that this plant holds. Especially, once you resume consumption and the familiar effects of euphoria, creativity, and general wellness return with full force.

    What's the Perfect Length of a Tolerance Break? 


    I know exactly what you're looking for, a tolerance break calculator. The exact time that you need to get your tolerance back. The perfect length of a tolerance break is one of the most discussed problems on 420 communities and forums. There are two prominent methods people use to determine whether or not THC is still in their system. Some try to calculate it basing on a THC half-life chart, which is not an accurate way to figure your residual THC levels. Others use drug tests to determine if they can pass it - an expensive and unreliable method. Just because you pass a drug test does not necessarily mean that you have removed all of the THC from your body. It could still be stored in your fat cells but not show up on a test that may have a high threshold of what a positive test would be.

    Unfortunately, and I truly hate to break this up to you, there is no scientifically proven algorithm for determining a right tolerance break length for you. With your metabolism, your lifestyle, your body disposition, and your psychological dependence on marijuana, your THC levels are as unique and diverse as your fingerprint. If there is ever a scientific algorithm created, I assure you, there will be dozens of apps that will calculate your t-break and motivate you through it, and I will be the first to download. So, for now, we only have to rely on our personal experiences and the friendly advice we may receive. You may take a one-day t-break, two days t-break, four days, one week, a month, maybe even a year; counting days is not the best idea - you will feel miserable and have a higher possibility of failing the entire t-break.

    With that being said, based on my personally observation and my fellow stoners' anecdotes, I create this chart. Your feedback is highly appreciated.


    After you're done with your t-break, if you can help us with making this charge more accurate, please provide your insight in the comment section below by answering the fallowing two questions:

    • What's your average daily consumption BEFORE the t-break? 
    • How long was your t-break? 
    • What's your average daily consumption AFTER the t-break?

    Cannabis Withdrawal Symptoms


    Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, based on that individual's level of dependency and their personality. A smoker with mild dependency may experience mild physical and psychological discomfort, such as headaches or restlessness.

    However, smokers with severe dependency on cannabis may experience intense withdrawal symptoms: including sweating, fever, chills, and hallucinations. Although cannabis is a plant, it can take a toll on your mind and body if abused over time. Just like with any other substance. Making your body dependent on a substance avidly and then taking away the substance is always going to throw your body out of whack.

    Here are the most common cannabis withdrawal symptoms, that you may or may not experience:

    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Mood changes
    • Irritability and boredom
    • Headaches
    • Stomach pains
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea
    • Vivid dreams, not necessarily nightmares, which can be fun at times.
    • Insomnia

    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. I’ve found that a 2 mg over-the-counter melatonin vitamin sometimes helps. Also guided meditation can be very useful.

    I know, at this point, you find yourself shaking your head. Thinking, that's gonna suck! The upside? Many of us have accomplished this milestone, and so can you. Take a break completely, or just slow down on your intake significantly! Drink a lot of water, workout, eat healthy, and stay busy. Your receptors are going to scream at you couple of times a day, but you will come out on the other side stronger and ready to get back to your "old" favorite habit.

    Related article: 9 Tips to Fight your High Marijuana Tolerance Without Taking a T-Break

    5 Quick Helpful t-break Tips for Taking a Marijuana Tolerance Break


    The t-break tips below will help you to survive your t-break. Whether you will get close to that first high you experience or not, that's debatable; it basically depends how long your t-break will be. The proper length varies from a person to another; marijuana is a natural and native plant to our soil, unlike pharmaceuticals, therefore it's not going to have the same effects on you every time. Also, the effects will differ from person to person, as well as tolerance and tolerance breaks.

    1. Track and gradually wean yourself off. Track your consumption behavior and don’t go cold turkey! First off, keep track on your marijuana consumption. So when it’s the time to take a break you know how to wean yourself off, gradually. There is no reason to cold-turkey it, it may not be as effective if done so. Cut your consumption in half for a couple of weeks before you start your cannabis break.

    2. Put your glass away: This one is pretty obvious and self-explanatory – give your glass or vaporizer to any of your friends to hold on to during the duration of your break, just keep your smoking devices away. Make it a challenge for you to smoke, having them around will be tempting. We want to believe we are strong, but at the beginning, it will be hard to resist temptation. Especially, against the herb and your pipes, a lost battle if those are easily accessible.

    3. Stay busy and get off your couch. Experience the sober life again, it’s not as bad as you may think. Here are some suggestions for you: 

    • Go to the gym.
    • Hangout with interesting individuals, family or friends. I can't emphasize on "interesting individual", otherwise they will bore you to death; and then you will find yourself looking desperately for weed - remember, one of the main withdrawals symptoms is boredom and irritability.
    • Go on a refreshing hike and meditate in nature, often.
    • Invest more time into work related projects and promotions, to better your career (this is how I do it).
    • If you wanna stay at home and keep yourself busy, that’s fine. Read a thrilling book or watch an interesting documentary. Even better, one of those mind bending psychological movies that you have to watch it twice to understand the plot. Discover a complicated and deep movie or TV show that you wouldn't be able to follow when you’re high.
    • And finally, very important tolerance break tip, go to bed early and wake up early. Don't submit to those free couple of hours you have in the evening when you used to smoke weed to enjoy them. 
    • Pick an inviting book or a challenging video game, start a personal creative project or an educational online course - something that will keep you distracted from not using cannabis.

    Beware… Be smart about what you will substitute your regular everyday high session activities with. When you start taking your tolerance break, for many people it can be easy to substitute one vice with another. STAY AWAY from alcohol or running to your fridge every few minutes out of boredom.

    4. Exercise! Of course, exercise is the best possible substitute past time. It’s a great routine to have in general, not only when you’re trying to wean yourself off of weed. It has been shown that intense cardio workouts will flush excess THC out of your system by boosting your body's metabolic rate. Jogging, hiking, biking and physical sports are a great way to keep you in shape while you cleanse your system. Unless, exercise was one of your activities that you enjoy while you were high, which is my problem and I haven’t figured it out yet. Please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions. The same friend from earlier is heavy into weight lifting and muscle building. He’s found that the heavier he lifts in a session, the “cleaner” he feels after. Where there evidence to support the cardio exercise, the only evidence to support the weight lifting is that he swears by it. It’s what works for him. Find what works for you and get in the gym and sweat. The more fat you lose, the more THC that goes with it

    5. Enjoy other herbs… Kratom, for instance. Advocates say the natural growing herb, kratom, offers relief from paindepression, and anxiety. Scientists say it may hold the key to treating chronic pain and may even be a tool to combat addiction to opioid medications. It is legal in the United States, coming in forms of tea, powder, and capsules.

    Also, look into smoking/consuming CBD oil. CBD oil is non psychoactive and non addictive substance, that can help you to relax. 

    Related article: Epilepsy and CBD: How the Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoid Helps Patients

    Here is a bonus t-break tip, it is crucial to keep your nutrient levels up as well as your water levels, by eating nourishing food and drinking plenty of water. Also if your friends are still active smokers, ask them for their help, otherwise try not to hang out with them at their house where they might feel more inclined to smoke in front of you.

    How to get over the sleepless night


    The way a dream hits so vividly is my absolute favorite part of being on a tolerance break. Sometimes I write them down, I even embrace the nightmares. On the other hand, when it comes to sleeping, one of the main symptoms a stoner suffer from when she or he start a t-break, is the sleepless nights.

    Many stoners think Melatonin tablets can help, and I do suggest trying them out, but scientifically speaking, they won't help. All it does is trick your body to feel it's bed time, but in our case, you don't need to trick your body, you already know it's bed time. So you have to find a different solution.

    • Divert your mind from thinking about anything, it's really your choice to have full and complete control on your mind. Guided meditation session can be very useful to do so. I found meditate before bed very helpful to put me in a relaxing sleepy mode. I know it's hard, but it's very helpful and take your mind away from your craving. Best to use a guided meditation that is specifically for sleeping purposes. And if you woke up in the middle of the night, go through he same process, divert your thoughts by listening to a guided meditation session. 


    • Avoid screens such as TV or your phone as those activate your mind.
    • Exercising can help, going for a short run or a hike before bedtime. Endorphins kick the craving and the physical exhaustion will help with insomnia. 
    • Find your sleeping pattern and stick with it. Go to be exactly the same time every evening, and stick with the same number of sleeping hours.  



      Tolerance breaks or t-breaks are beneficial to the mind, body, and soul when performed properly. Naturally cleansing your body is going to take time, and your job is to nourish your temple while it is going through this change. Be patient with the process; that’s how you will receive the most optimal results.

      Make yourself knowledgeable about your body and knowing when it is time to take a t-break. Stay smart while shifting your lifestyle and don't burn yourself out too quickly. Remember, this is supposed to be a refreshing and energizing break from THC, so make it just that.

      Switch up your strains. Drink water. Take breaks. That's the gist of it. 

      What will you get after your t-break? The effect of cannabis will be rejuvenated, it will take less plant matter to achieve the desired euphoria. Ah, and the first time you consume after a marijuana tolerance break, you will probably get too high. Now you'll need to build up your tolerance!



      Ayad Maher is a Cannabis Industry Entrepreneur, Blogger & Activist. eCommerce Specialist and Owner of a 420 Life Style Company; Monroe Blvd and 421Store.

      Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been revamped and updated as needed for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

      6 Responses

      Yaseen Ismail
      Yaseen Ismail

      September 28, 2018

      Hi All,

      I’m a daily user. I smoke about 2-3 times a day but mostly after work. To those that have read the research about how THC binds to CB2 and not dopamine addiction, therefore, THC is not addictive, this is a slight lie. Although THC does indeed activate only the CB receptors, the dopamine pathways also light up. This is because the activation of CB2 via THC increases the amount of dopamine released when you encounter events that would ordinarily release dopamine. That’s why pleasurable events are even more so while you’re high. Over time, your dopamine receptors will downregulate therefore in order to for the receptor to be activated, it will need the amount of dopamine that you get when you’re high. I also noticed that weed depletes acetylcholine. So for long-term smokers, I seriously suggest taking ALCAR during your weed break. This will prevent most of the brian fog you’ll have during your break. It will also allow you to wake up in the morning much faster


      May 09, 2018

      Chris, I’m a medical user too. And unfortunately, once it gets to the point where the MJ is no longer effective at controlling the symptoms, I have no choice but to take a t-break. (In fact, I’m on Day 3 right now.)

      Before I started this t-break, I had gone from vaping a 10% THC e-juice four or five times a day, to vaping a 20% e-juice so often I lost count, to vaping budder five or six times per day. And then it got to the point where I was still in considerable distress in spite of the budder. When the medicine stops working, there’s not much point in continuing to take it. Hence, it’s “T time”.

      There’s a lot more preparation involved if you need the MJ for a medical purpose. In my experience at least, it’s not as simple as saying, “I’m going to take a t-break” and hiding all your weed-related paraphernalia for a few weeks. In addition to whatever withdrawal symptoms you might experience, you’re also going to get hit with the symptoms of whichever medical condition you were using the weed to control.

      So you’ll need a way to manage those symptoms without your weed. And that means a talk with your healthcare provider. If you use MJ for pain (to take one example) maybe your doctor would be willing to give you a two-week-worth prescription for an alternative painkiller. For any symptom you can name, there’s going to be at least one alternative way to treat that symptom; your doctor should be able to help you find a different way to manage it temporarily. Even if that alternative treatment is less effective than weed (and in my experience most of them are), it will still be better than nothing.

      Here’s what I’m doing about it:

      1) My doc had also prescribed codeine in addition to the weed. I stopped taking the codeine for a month before my t-break, in order to give my body time to lose THAT tolerance. Now that I’m on the t-break, the codeine is my primary painkiller again, like it was before I started using weed; and since I have an entire month’s supply saved up, I’m taking it on the ‘short-term prescription’ level of 60 mg every 4-6 hr, instead of the ‘long-term use level’ of 120 mg/day that I was initially prescribed. (Yes, my doctor is on board with this plan. And of course I’m going back on the 120 mg/day once my t-break is over.)

      2) I scheduled the t-break to coincide with my annual vacation from work, so I don’t have to worry about whether I’m actually able to function normally. Essentially, it means I’ve got “permission” to just be sick, without having to deal with any crap like my job or any other responsibilities.

      3) I’ve accepted the fact that the t-break might be interrupted. If the symptoms become too severe to manage, I might need to take one or two doses before the scheduled finish time. And I’ve decided that, for me, that’s okay. The dramatically reduced usage over these two weeks will still have an effect on my tolerance level even if I do take a dose or two before my time is up.

      4) Many of the suggestions for making it through a t-break don’t really apply to us. The one about hitting the gym, for example, is an excellent suggestion for recreational users but might not be realistic for medical users. Eating well (or as well as realistically possible: some of us need the weed to eat and/or keep from puking everything up within fifteen minutes of eating) and getting lots of rest are the orders of the day for a medical user on a t-break.

      If I were to offer my own set of suggestions for medical users on a t-break, it would be this:

      - work closely with your healthcare provider both before and during the t-break;
      - plan ahead for alternative ways to manage your medical care during the t-break;
      - get lots of rest and make sure your nutrition and hydration are up to snuff
      - if you can temporarily get rid of any of your responsibilities, plan to do so for the duration of the t-break
      - non-drug therapies like meditation, hypnosis, acupuncture, etc can sometimes help — and if they don’t help, at least they won’t hurt!
      - think small. A month-long hiatus is unnecessary; you can get some benefit from a t-break as short as 72 hours. (If you can hold out for longer, great! But if you can’t, then at least 72 hours is better than nothing).

      Hope this is useful.

      Louis Guertin
      Louis Guertin

      November 26, 2017

      Interesting read..and quite effective, I have one objection: recent conclusive research has shown that dopamine receptors- and dopamine- aren’t involved. THC as other cannabinoids bind to specific endocannabinoid receptors. THC binds to THC-specific receptors. As dopamine and its receptors aren’t involved, there is no true addiction possible, only a psychological dependency…Tolerance on the other hand does happen.

      Ayad Maher
      Ayad Maher

      June 22, 2017

      Chris, I’m sorry to hear about your struggle. check this article too. It might be helpful for cannabis users for medical use.

      I will keep looking up more resources and let you know if I found anything.

      Steven Brodsky
      Steven Brodsky

      July 18, 2016

      I would also, want to know the same as the fellow Who just asked that question about what about medical users Because I am a medical user and stopping for a few days it’s very difficult I find myself constantly looking to get more marijuana either out of my grow room, (cutting and speed drying bud thats not ready) or The Neighborhood


      July 03, 2016

      So if you use medically and your tolerance can’t be dropped like this because of medical symptoms is there another way? Curious because I’ve been able to take breaks up to 5 years and yes absolutely works but for medical use this is not an option that is a pleasant one by any means. Is there others ways to decrease tolerance without suffering?

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