Source: FRIENDS wiki | fandom
Are you a regular cannabis user? Do you find yourself lighting one up multiple times a day to “maintain” a certain level of high? Do you find that now you have to up your dose and consume more cannabis than before, just to achieve the same euphoric effects?
Timeout, you probably need to consider taking a tolerance break.
If you are a seasoned cannabis smoker, the term tolerance break, or T-break, shouldn’t be foreign to you. It is essentially taking a break from all cannabis smoking activities; pretty much like how some people take weeks off alcohol consumption after a prolonged period of heavy drinking during the festive season.
Why do you need a cannabis T-break?
While smoking cannabis do not carry as many harmful side effects as drinking alcohol, consuming cannabis regularly for a sustained period of time may cause your body to be desensitized to the psychoactive effects of THC, one of the many cannabinoids found in a cannabis plant.
The Endocannabinoid (EC) system is in charge of producing cannabinoid receptors in your body, setting up a communications system between your brain and body that affects how you move, feel & react. When you consume cannabis, THC enters your body and quickly floods the cannabinoid receptors, altering your state of mind and is why you feel “high” after smoking.
Source: Scholastic – Endocannabinoid system
When these cannabinoid receptors get overwhelmed by THC frequently, our body’s amazing EC system can get compromised and thrown off balance. Not only does your body build resistance to THC––meaning you potentially have to consume a higher percentage of THC to get high––long-term adverse effects include impaired memory and in worse cases, negatively affecting your mental health.
Taking a cannabis T-break allows your body to recuperate and “reset” the EC system to its natural state.
How long should T-breaks be?
Typically, THC can remain in your body for as long as 30 days before it gets completely flushed out of your system. The duration may vary according to your body condition, and how frequently you use cannabis etc., but generally taking just a couple of days off the herb wouldn’t have much effects.
Cutting down: Would it work too?
The most enthusiastic cannabis users may opt to just cut down on their daily dosage, perhaps limiting to just one time in the evening instead of multiple times a day; however, this method only curbs the amount of THC entering your body. The cannabinoid receptors still get activated.
While you may notice changes after a few days away from cannabis consumption, to truly achieve a beneficial T-break, 2 weeks off the reefer should be a minimum, a month off would give the receptors in your body a well-deserved rest.
Note: For medical marijuana patients, always consult a physician regarding your condition before making changes to your routine!
What to expect?
People consume cannabis for various therapeutic reasons, mostly to feel good throughout the mind and body. If you have been using cannabis regularly for a prolonged period of time, taking a momentary hiatus might not be the most tempting.
Do you know of friends who are trying to quit cigarettes after years of smoking? The withdrawal symptoms are similar, though usually not quite as severe.
For starters, since you might be used to relying on cannabis to “feel good”, you might feel more irritable once you are off it. If you have been using cannabis as a sleep aid, chances are you would take a longer time to fall into slumber.
Killin’ the T-break game
They say the start is always the most difficult. As tough as it might get, do not be disheartened! There are plenty of ways to counter the possible withdrawal symptoms when you go on a tolerance break:
Plenty of exercises is essential, especially now that you have freed up some time usually catered for smoke sessions. Our body produces serotonin and endorphins during workouts, natural chemicals that are chiefly responsible for inciting joy and comfort.
Alternatively, picking up a new interest or hobby can also take your attention off the urge to smoke. Read a new book, work on a puzzle you have chucked aside for a while now. These activities are more often than not beneficial to your body & soul too in the long run. It is a win-win.
Foods rich in melatonin
Apart from taking part in physical activities, feeding your body with adequate nutrients is vital too. Cannabis plants contain melatonin, which is why you feel sleepy after consumption.
For those who are used to cannabis as a sleep aid, switching to foods rich in melatonin can directly replace the sleepy attribute derived from smoking cannabis. Foods rich in melatonin include: Nuts (almonds & walnuts specifically contain most melatonin), berries, kiwis, bananas and oranges, just to name a few.
Think & reflect
Question and reaffirm yourself why you decided to take a T-break in the first place, stick to it and see it through. At the same time, think about why you started using cannabis; has it brought you more benefits than harm? Do you really need to use cannabis regularly?
Doing a bit of reflection might help you realign some personal goals, or perhaps help readjust priorities previously hindered because you were busy feeling high.
Source: Maximum Yield
At the end of the day, your body will have you to thank for when you have successfully gone through your first proper tolerance break. Besides, when you are fully cleansed of THC in your system, the next time you spark one up you are bound to enjoy the full potency of your beautifully cured cannabis buds!
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This article was written by Ashton Leow, a soccer enthusiast and cannabis advocate.