Weed Tolerance: Why T Breaks Work

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Photo by Kimzy Nanney via Unslpash.com

Weed tolerance too high? Not feeling the effects anymore? There’s a lot to know when it comes to having a healthy relationship with cannabis. And since cannabis is becoming more widely legalized across the United States, it’s more important than ever that we begin talking about how to cultivate healthy habits surrounding weed.

One of the most important things to know is how (and why) to take a tolerance break––or more commonly known as a t-break.

Weed tolerance is a real thing, and it’s vital to know when to recognize you weed tolerance is too high. We’re going to deep dive into the causes, effects, ways to reset your weed tolerance, and why it may be a great thing for you to do.

What is Weed Tolerance?

Weed tolerance develops when a person who regularly uses cannabis needs to consume more and more THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) to get their desired effect. It’s similar to an alcohol tolerance––those who drink alcohol on a regular basis (say, weekly) have a much higher tolerance for alcohol than those who don’t drink often (maybe a couple of times a year) or who don’t drink at all.

The same works for weed. It’s going to take a lot more weed to get an everyday smoker high than it would for someone who doesn’t smoke on a frequent basis. Additionally, if you’re using marijuana for medical reasons, it will also require more cannabis products to achieve the same potential medicinal benefits you may be used to.

How Does Weed Tolerance Work?

Tolerance to cannabis––or anything, really––comes from sustained, regular use. This is true for weed, alcohol, caffeine, prescription pills, aspirin, and pretty much anything that has some kind of external effect on the human body. (It can even happen with innocuous things like spicy food!)

Basically, when the body is continually exposed to certain chemicals or substances, it naturally builds up a tolerance to those chemicals or substances over time. In terms of cannabis, the more regularly you consume cannabinoids, the less they react with the CB1 receptors (or cannabinoid receptors) in your brain.

There are many different factors that come into play when it comes to how quickly or easily you may develop a tolerance. This includes your overall health, metabolism, body mass, genetics, and unique physiology. Frequency of use is also a factor, as people who are more dependent on marijuana than others will lead to them developing a much stronger tolerance than those who are not as dependent.

What is a T-Break?

T-break is short for tolerance break, which is an intentional sustained abstinence from a substance to maintain a lower tolerance to said substance. Weed tolerance breaks give your body and brain the time and space to adjust its tolerance to cannabis (whether it’s THC, delta-8, or CBD) back to a reasonable level. 

Many cannabis users take t-breaks in an effort to maximize the results of their weed. This can mean a complete abstention of cannabis altogether, or for some, it can mean replacing THC with CBD for a while.

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Photo by Kimzy Nanney via Unslpash.com

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Take a T-Break?

There are a couple of ways to tell when it’s time to take a t-break. The first sign of an increased tolerance is needing more and more cannabis to reach your desired effects. It also may be time to consider taking a t-break if:

  • You no longer feel the effects of cannabis no matter how much you consume.

  • You feel like the money you’re spending on weed has become a financial burden.

  • You feel like the amount of weed you are consuming has become a social burden or gets in the way of your priorities (work, relationships, responsibilities, etc.)

  • You are a regular smoker and begin to feel lung irritation.

  • You use cannabis medicinally and no longer feel symptom relief.

It’s important to pay attention to your body and how it’s responding to cannabis. If your cannabis routine starts to not to feel right, you should trust your body and take a tolerance break.

You can also visit specialty sites that will show you a THC tolerance curve that correlates to a weed tolerance break chart. Weed tolerance charts can be very handy to give you a picture of how much time you need to take off from marijuana.

What Are the Benefits of Taking a T-Break?

Being able to handle a lot of weed may initially sound like a good thing, but surprisingly, it can actually be a detriment to you. This makes t-breaks important for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, lowering your tolerance will allow you to reap the benefits of cannabis while using a much smaller amount of it. This will end up saving you money in the long run. When your already high weed tolerance gets even higher, it’s easy to go through a lot of your weed really quickly. This gets pretty expensive super fast.

Additionally, if you’re regularly smoking or vaping, it can be unhealthy for your lungs. Even as a cannabis smoker, it’s good to give your lungs a rest. It’s important to remember that although there are many potential benefits to using cannabis, regular inhalation of smoke of any kind can be harmful to your lungs.

Having too high of a weed tolerance can also lead to feeling like no matter how much you smoke, vape, or eat, you don’t get high anymore. If you’re using cannabis for medical reasons, this will also mean that no matter how much you take, the effects (be it anxiety relief, pain relief, or the myriad of other benefits that come from cannabis) may no longer work the way they used to. Taking a t-break can help you use a lot less weed to get the results that you want.

How Do You Reset Your Tolerance?

The concept of a t-break is pretty straightforward: stop smoking weed for a while, and you’ll be able to get high again. But, it’s not an exact science. There is no secret algorithm that everyone should follow that will reset their tolerance.

There are a lot of different factors that come into play when it’s time to think about resetting your tolerance. This includes how much you consume and how frequently, your age, your height/weight, and your overall health. For some people, it may not take as long as others to reset their tolerance. Like most things that come with cannabis, it’s all about trial and error.

Some regular cannabis users like to incorporate tolerance breaks into their calendars. This could mean taking three weeks on and one or two weeks off, or even incorporating a t-break day once a week.

If you’re a regular THC user and don’t want to stop smoking/vaping/taking cannabis however you take it, some people have said that replacing THC with CBD for the duration of their tolerance break has also been effective.

The important thing is finding out which routine works best for you. Cannabis, as a whole, affects every individual person in a unique way. Every person’s physiology is different, which will be a huge factor when it comes to tolerance and what kind of breaks work best for them.


T-breaks are an important aspect of healthy and responsible cannabis use. As cannabis continues to be legalized in more states across the country, we need to make sure we’re being responsible about how we use it and educate potential new users on the right way to have a relationship with weed.

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