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What is a Tolerance Break and Can CBD Help?

Many cannabis lovers are reluctant to admit that sometimes, they get burned out from usage. Let’s be honest, constant and copious use of cannabis can sometimes lead to feelings of fatigue and bottoming out, or losing the potency of the psychoactive effects associated with THC. That’s why a tolerance break, or a “t break,” as many refer to it, is becoming more and more popular with cannabis users. However, instead of quitting cold-turkey, many people are finding help substituting CBD for THC. But, how can CBD help with a tolerance break? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.


What Is a Tolerance Break?

A tolerance break is essentially fasting from THC. It provides users with a short term break to clear the body of this cannabinoid that causes psychoactive effects. 

Taking a break from Tetrahydracannabidiol, more commonly known as THC, is a regular practice for many heavy smokers. Anybody who smokes knows that after continuous use, the effects are not the same. That’s because we build up a tolerance to THC after repeated use. 

Why Does THC Tolerance Increase?

THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which stimulates CB1 receptors. These receptors help regulate brain and body functions such as mood, sleep, appetite, and soreness. By overstimulating these receptors with continued THC use, it could result in reduced effects.

An article published by High Times focused on a study of cannabis on the brain. The piece, titled “Marijuana and the Brain, Part II: The Tolerance Factor,” shined a light on a study where they gave rats either CBD, THC, a synthetic cannabinoid, or a placebo. 

The conclusion of the study was that “implications for the consequences of chronic high levels of use in humans” suggest “diminishing effects with greater levels of consumption.” Simply put, the more you use cannabis, the less you feel the effects. 

 T-breaks help those who have become highly tolerant of cannabis reset. Many users do this so that the psychoactive effects of THC can return to a higher potency. However, there are many other benefits of taking a tolerance break. 

two friends catching up over cbd

What Are the Benefits of Taking a T Break?

We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that helps regulate several of the body’s functions. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that binds with the CB1 receptors to give users a range of feelings. Overstimulation of these CB1 receptors can lead to the body shutting some of them down temporarily. With fewer receptors and prolonged THC consumption, users begin to feel “burned out.” Takin a tolerance break and resetting your tolerance may help with:

Improving Mood & Motivation

Smoking copious amounts of cannabis can make you feel lazy or tired at times or “burned out.” A 2017 study found that heavy users of cannabis produced lower levels of dopamine than light users or those that were sober. Dopamine is a chemical created by the brain that is integral to the reward system. 

Producing less dopamine is connected to fatigue, decreased motivation, mood swings, uneven sleeping patterns, and more. Taking a tolerance break can help cannabis users regain a proper balance of dopamine, leading to a more productive routine. 

Reducing Brain Fog

Many cannabis users can agree that heavy usage can wear on your train of thought. Some people claim THC use makes them feel forgetful or cloudy headed. One study of 3,400 Americans who use cannabis suggests that the longtime chronic use can “worsen your memory”. However, these effects are not permanent, and taking a break from THC consumption will allow memory to normalize. Instead of “hey dude, where’s my car,” you will remember where you parked and where you left the keys.

Related article: Taking CBD for Brain Fog [Better Mental Clarity?]

If you have tried THC, you probably have experienced the “munchies.” Your food cravings may become similar to a pregnant woman’s, and you also feel like you’re eating for two or three.

For some people, who have difficulty eating, the munchies can feel like a godsend. Still, for others, this leads to overindulgence and being overweight. Taking a tolerance break can help reset the appetite, which will help avoid those munchy attacks.

Are you worried about losing your appetite during a tolerance break? See how CBD may help regulate the appetite, even during your T Break.

Passing a Drug Test

Of course, if you take a break from THC long enough, the cannabinoid will naturally vacate from your system. If you need to take a drug test for THC, taking a tolerance break will get you on your way. Although you may need to avoid THC for a month to be 100% clean if you are a heavy user. 

Some people take CBD during this time because it doesn’t show up on a drug test, but there is one thing to consider if you want to take CBD to help you through a tolerance break. The CBD will not show up on a drug test as long as the product you are taking has no THC. Full-spectrum CBD products can legally contain no more than 0.3% THC. 

This by no means is enough to produce intoxication, but instead, it is intent is to help promote the “synergistic effects” of CBD and other cannabinoids. Although full-spectrum products work best, even if you don’t smoke marijuana, there is a slight possibility of testing dirty from them. 

Luckily, there are broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate products that should contain zero THC. Choosing one of these options will avoid any more THC buildup in your system.

Saving Money

Heavy cannabis users know that keeping up with their habit gets expensive. Spending a couple of hundred dollars a month is not common.

Obviously, if you take a tolerance break from cannabis, you will also be taking a break from purchasing it. Plus, when you choose to start back up with THC, you won’t need to purchase as much because you will only need a little bit to affect you. This reduction of use means your stash will last longer, and you will buy less often after a tolerance break.

Is Taking a T Break Safe?

Yes, taking a tolerance break can be safe. Your body survived many years without cannabis use and will continue to do the same if you remove it. However, depending on how much you use, there can be some concerns.

With that in mind, some heavy users develop a dependency on cannabis. If you smoke daily, your body can become accustomed to the constant source of THC.

In this situation, users may face mild withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, irritation, loss of appetite, and dizziness. It is recommended that heavy cannabis users work up to their t-break instead of diving right in.

T breaks can be helpful for heavy cannabis users or light users. If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, a tolerance break is not a method designed to assist with this ailment. Instead, please contact a doctor or a professional immediately.

Are you addicted to THC? See how CBD may be able to help stop addiction.

How to Take a Tolerance Break

Try using a gradual decrease leading up to the t-break instead of going cold-turkey. Heavy cannabis users that smoke when they wake up should wait until midday or night time for their first intake.

If you find yourself more of a night user, try to cut down your intake amount leading up to your t break. This gradual transition can help with withdrawal symptoms by slowly weaning your body off the dependency.

The longevity of the t break depends on the person. For heavy users, 2-4 weeks is the recommended time for your body to reset and cleanse. For moderate to light users, 1-2 weeks should do the trick.

Keep in mind that these suggestions are for those who are users, not addicts. If you or someone you know believes they are addicted, please reach out to a doctor or a professional.

Do You Get Withdrawals During a Tolerance Break?

You may experience withdrawals during a tolerance break, which is why a cold-turkey method is not recommended for heavy users.

The body can become accustomed to regular cannabis consumption. In the same way, it can adjust to regular coffee, candy, or soda consumption. Outside of the physical aspect, psychological withdrawal is also possible. The body and mind take roughly 30 days to form a habit.

Whether that be waking up at 7:00 AM or working out at 3:00 PM, the body adjusts to patterns. So, for heavy users who intake daily, their bodies have become accustomed to the act.

Psychological withdrawal symptoms include stress and irritation, while physical withdrawal symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, erratic sleeping patterns, and fatigue. Withdrawal symptoms should recede within the first week of your t break.

plant pants with pre-rolls

Can Taking CBD be Helpful During a T Break?

Many people are substituting CBD for THC; they claim CBD provides similar effects to THC minus the psychoactive feeling. While studies are ongoing, some researchers believe that CBD can help during a tolerance break. THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) differently. While THC binds directly to the CB1 receptors, CBD is believed to influence the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors without binding to them.  

Simply put, by regulating the ECS, CBD may restore overall balance to the body and brain. This may help quell withdrawal symptoms and improve the management of the ECS system while it experiences a dramatic decrease of stimulation from THC. Additionally, some CBD products may be more helpful than others because they mimic using THC.

What CBD Products are Best for Taking a T Break?

The best ways to take CBD during a tolerance break are inhalation and ingestion. Topical use will not have much effect on this situation. The CBD needs to enter the bloodstream for t-breakers to feel maximum effects. Inhalation of CBD, whether smoking CBD flower or utilizing vapes, will mimic the act of smoking THC products. 

For those who are addicted to the physical act of smoking, inhaling CBD may help fulfill that feeling of inhaling smoke. When you inhale CBD, the effects kick in rather quickly, just like with THC. However, if you are looking for long-lasting results, an edible will last longer than smoking. 

Edibles such as CBD capsules and gummies take longer to provide relief but can be more potent. The rule of thumb here is, the quicker the relief, the shorter the duration of the effect. Smoking may result in fast relief, but the duration may only last a couple of hours. In comparison, edibles can take up to 2 hours to kick in, but they can provide several hours of relief. Consumers should also be concerned with potency. Higher potency CBD will provide a longer-lasting effect.  

What Else Can Help With a T Break?

Several things can help you with a tolerance break. The most important thing to remember here is “out of sight, out of mind.” Removing all cannabis paraphernalia from your home or sight is essential. It will be hard to quit if you see your pipe or bong sitting on the table every time you wake up or come home.

All flower, wax, oil, rolling papers, bongs, pipes, one-hitters, dab rigs, and other paraphernalia should be hidden in the garage or another room. If the temptation is too strong, ask a buddy to keep the items until your t-break is over.

Exercise and exploration are also helpful while on a tolerance break. Staying active can help your body process THC in your system faster, leading to a quicker cleanse. Hiking, biking, jogging, lifting, and playing sports are all highly encouraged. Exploring, such as visiting a new museum or checking out a new park, can help the mind focus on other things.

The longer you spend not thinking about the t-break, the more comfortable it will become in your everyday schedule. A cleanse is more than physical; it’s mental too. Help yourself break mental habits by allowing yourself to explore.

Final Thoughts

Taking CBD can help with those taking a t-break by promoting overall homeostasis in the endocannabinoid system. At the same time, one will experience a decrease in THC stimulation. CBD can be a wondrous addition to your daily routine, but consumers must be careful. Because the CBD industry is not heavily regulated, there are many companies following shady practices.  

Cheef Botanicals was founded by a group of health-conscious cannabis enthusiasts with over 25 years of combined experience in the organic food industry. Our products contain only the best organic vegan ingredients and are cruelty-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free with no artificial flavors or colors.  

Cheef Botanicals offers some of the most popular strains of CBD hemp flower and vape cartridges. They also provide vegan CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and CBD oil for those in need of reputable, safe, and effective results.