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How to Lower Cannabis Tolerance: T-Break Guide

How to Lower Cannabis Tolerance: T-Break Guide

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Picture this: After adding cannabis into your daily routine, you finally nailed the right amount for you. But over time, that same amount of THC just isn't as effective as it once was

This may be a sign that your body has built up a “tolerance.” Just like with caffeine or alcohol, developing a tolerance to the effects of THC is common, but there are many ways to overcome it.

Typically, the amount of THC you’re used to consuming has to be increased to feel the effects you once did. But if you’d rather not increase the amount, we have a solution for you: take a t-break. 

Read on to discover how this practice may be just what you need to experience the effects of cannabis like new.

What is a T-Break?

When cannabis enthusiasts deliberately take a short break from consumption to lower their THC tolerance, it's called a "t-break," where "t" simply stands for "tolerance."

T-breaks are helpful and often necessary because anyone who frequently consumes cannabis has the possibility of developing a higher tolerance.

For example, a novice who occasionally enjoys cannabis will have a low tolerance compared to someone who enjoys it more regularly. The former can smoke once a month and expect the same effects, for example, whereas the latter will notice the effects diminishing over time.

Why Does Cannabis Tolerance Happen?

According to Carol DerSarkissian, MD, cannabis tolerance is believed to occur because of "cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) downregulation." 

Cannabinoid receptors are a crucial component of the body's endocannabinoid system, a vast network of chemical messengers and receivers that helps regulate vital bodily functions like sleep, appetite, and pain perception. CBR1 is the type of receptor that THC (a "phytocannabinoid") binds to when you consume it. After a while, this receptor can get "downregulated" and not get activated as easily. 

Studies suggest that after someone takes a break from cannabis for a period of time, their tolerance can be significantly reduced.

How to Lower Tolerance With a T-Break

scheduling on an agenda

When you’re ready to take a t-break, here’s what you need to know.

Depending on the amount you consume, the length of your tolerance break will stem from anywhere from 7 to 21 days.

You can go about it two ways: either go cold-turkey and place all your cannabis products to the side for a designated amount of time (that means, don’t touch them!) or you can slowly cut back the amount you consume. Also known as… exercising moderation.

There are advantages to each route, and what you decide will depend on your lifestyle and what makes the most sense for you. Obviously, the longer you break, the more you can expect your body to “reset,” and it will be most effective if you abstain from THC completely during that time. 

However, it should be noted that studies reviewing the efficacy of t-breaks are limited. Current research doesn't take into account your body's unique endocannabinoid system. It’s best to give one of these techniques and try and see how your body responds.

What Should You Expect On a T-Break?

woman having trouble sleeping

There are many different experiences that people have while taking a T-break. Everybody responds in their own way due to various factors, including physiology, frequency of consumption, and the potency of the products they are used to taking.

Because of this, it’s impossible to say for sure how your experience will look. Generally speaking, some of the most common feelings reported by enthusiasts are decreased appetite, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. But don’t worry- these feelings- if they happen to you- are only temporary.

Just do your best to practice self-care during your T-break, and make sure you are staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting adequate rest. 

How Long Does it Take to Reset Cannabis Tolerance?

Our bodies work incredibly quickly to build tolerance for all sorts of different things. As mentioned before, caffeine and alcohol are two common examples. After a while, one cup of coffee isn’t cutting it, or you can handle a few more drinks when you go out.

So when it’s time to press pause, you want to know for how long.

Unfortunately, each person is different from the next, so it’s a challenge to determine the “perfect” length of time. Using your best judgment, create a timeline that you believe will work best for you. 

Researchers from the University of Vermont suggest 3 to 4 weeks, but you may need less time. Start with a few days, and see how you feel.

From there, your “baseline tolerance” will have already begun to reset, and you can decide if you want to continue it or go back to add THC into your routine.

Remember, each person does better with their blueprint. If you think you will do better with gradually lessening the amount you consume, go for it. At the end of the day, do what is ideal for you and your lifestyle.

What Are the Benefits of Taking a T-Break?

When someone decides to take a “tolerance break,” they will experience their own benefits because they have a different reason for cutting back.

Below are some common perks that consumers have experienced after taking a t-break.

Vivid Dreams

night sky

When was the last time you had a vivid or lucid dream? Has it been a while?

If so, it could be because of how often you enjoy cannabis. Cannabis tends to make people fall into a deep, restorative sleep pretty quickly.

Occasionally, this can be great. But long-term, these relaxing effects can disturb your REM sleep.

Fortunately, restoring your normal sleep patterns and REM sleep is possible. While there is no guarantee, it has been reported that in the process of taking a T-break, enthusiasts' started having realistic and lucid dreams.

So if you miss being able to control what happens during your dream, or miss having them, see what happens after your pause with cannabis.

Saving Money

dollar bills and cannabis buds on a table

Unless you subscribe and save or buy discounted bundles, making cannabis purchases sporadically can be... hard on the wallet. But when you take a break, so does your bank account.

And who doesn’t like to save some money?

Minimizing the Amount of THC Needed

Not only can taking a T-break save you money, it can also minimize the amount of THC you consume when you return to consumption (which, in turn, will save you money).

Without having to take as much THC to experience the same desired effects, you won't have to purchase as many gummies.

Plus, you’ll even be able to create your stash of products without breezing through it.

How to Prevent Having to Take a Break

After taking a T-break, you likely won’t want to do it again.

Here are some tips you use to avoid it:

Lower Your Frequency of Consumption

Try consuming cannabis less often. Instead of every day, keep it to every other or take short breaks in between your sessions. 

Use Lower-THC (Microdose) Products

If skipping days doesn’t work for you, try different cannabinoid serving sizes and blends.

You can enjoy cannabis with a higher concentration of THC on one day. And the other day, choose a product with lower THC.

Or you can stick to products with low servings of THC (AKA microdose products) for all future sessions. Our ORCA collection includes 3 regimens of low-milligram THC pills formulated to aid your fitness journey- but their small serving size might also aid your tolerance-reducing efforts.

Try a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC

Products that have an equal CBD-to-THC ratio will have you consuming less THC while still delivering relaxation and euphoria via the synergy between these cannabinoids. For example, our Balance Gummies have a 1:1 ratio of CBD and hemp-derived Delta-9 THC.

Does Taking Vitamin C “Lower Tolerance?”

There is very little research available to support this claim. Since it hasn’t been proven, there is no way for us to accurately answer this question.


When it comes to taking “tolerance breaks,” it can be a swift transition by choosing the best plan for you. While it does take time to do a reset, it will be worth it in the end. So take it one day at a time, so you can get back to experiencing all that cannabis has to offer.

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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