If you’re looking into tolerance breaks, you’re probably already familiar with THC or some variant derived from hemp. Either way, you know enough that people who smoke regularly are the ones that may practice a tolerance break. What you may not know, however, is why they take a tolerance break or when you yourself should. What is a tolerance break — and why should you take one?

What is a Tolerance Break?

First, let’s break down the “tolerance break” or “t-break.” What does it mean to take one? In short, tolerance pauses in the cannabis world are when you give your body a break from bud. You give your body a break to reset your cannabinoid receptors. 

Simple enough? Essentially, a tolerance break is when you take a temporary break from smoking, vaping, edibles, and any other consumables

The t-break may be extended, or it may last just a short period of time. We’ll get into how long you should take your tolerance break later in this guide.

How Does THC work?How does THC work

Before someone can understand why a tolerance break is beneficial, it’s important to understand what the break is affecting. To get into that, we need to understand what THC is doing that could benefit from a break. 

THC is a cannabinoid compound with psychoactive effects. It works by bounding to receptors in our brain’s endocannabinoid system. When THC binds to the receptors, it overwhelms the endocannabinoid system and interferes with its ability to function correctly. 

This is where the feelings of being high come from when using cannabis. The psychoactive effects are most potent when the receptors in the brain are fresh and new. As your body gets used to interacting with THC CB1 and CB2 receptors are less available.

How Do People Develop a Tolerance?

A tolerance break is usually used to make the body and brain become less tolerant of a given substance. 

You may be wondering why becoming less tolerant of THC is a good idea. The primary explanation is that the more tolerant you are of a chemical, the more of it you have to use to experience the same effect. 

So the higher your tolerance, the more cannabis you need to maintain the same level of high you already experienced. This can become not only inconvenient but expensive. 

As your body becomes more familiar with a given chemical, it has less of an impact since many systems inside the body work hard to achieve homeostasis. Of course, this goes for other things as well, such as prescription medications. 

5 Potential Benefits of a Tolerance Break

1. Save Money

This may not be the intentional benefit of a tolerance break and is often overlooked as a factor. But you can’t spend money on something you aren’t using up.

So while your tolerance break is going, you are steadily building up the income you would otherwise be spending on cannabis. 

Have more vivid dreams2. Have More Vivid Dreams

Something that a lot of people taking a break notice is that they have less difficulty recalling their dreams and that the dreams are much more vivid.

That’s due to the sudden change in what your body is processing and how it is getting sleep. 

Studies have been conducted around this, and changing from regular use of THC to zero use causes slightly less deep sleep and makes you wake up while still coming out of the end phase of a dream cycle. 

The change in sleep time makes it easier to recall what you were dreaming right after. 

3. Minimize Your Dependence

This is beneficial for those who feel like they need THC to function normally. Cannabis is not a physically addictive substance, but some people can develop psychological dependence. 

Even though the tolerance break may not feel the best mentally at first, the lack of THC gives you an opportunity to get better control over how it impacts your functionality throughout the day. 

4. Experience a Better High When You Come Back

This is the number one reason most people pursue a tolerance break. With the slow acclimation of THC tolerance, you don’t really realize how dampened the effects become. 

The very gradual tolerance masks the resistance of the brain to the cannabinoids. 

With a successful tolerance break, the endocannabinoid system is refreshed and ready to experience the intense effect of THC at its full capacity again. This means better highs with less cannabis. 

People who complete a tolerance break often report feeling highs similar to when they first started using THC, even if its not quite exactly the same. 

5. Reevaluate Your Current Use

Since you are already taking a break, you can sit back and look at your usage and see how often you enjoy your THC. Were you spacing it out well enough in your day-to-day?

Do you want to change the frequency moving forward? 

During a break is the best time to think about your usage habits and if you plan to alter or improve your use schedule. You may find that you are functioning more smoothly than if you were still using the same amount of THC. 

If that is the case, now would be the best time to set up a new schedule that better suits your lifestyle and offers you the best combination of sober functionality and recreational relaxation time. 

How Often Should I Take a Tolerance Break?

When it comes to tolerance breaks, knowing when and how long to take one is as important as understanding how they work. 

For very light users, a THC break may not even be completely necessary. If your use is less than a few times a week, you may already be performing tolerance breaks by accident. 

The amount of desensitization a person develops relies on a few factors, one being the quantity of THC consumed and the other being the frequency. As these two factors increase, the amount of THC needed to sustain the same level of intoxication also increases. 

If you are wanting to take a tolerance break, it absolutely boils down to how long you want it to be. If you are a heavy user and want to maximize the impact of the tolerance break, 

The recommendation for a tolerance break can vary from 48 hours to 3 weeks depending on how refreshed you want your endocannabinoid system to be. In the end, it is completely up to you and what you are comfortable with. 

What to Do on a T-Break

If you’re a heavy cannabis user, you may still have the urge to consume during your gap in use. In cases like these, give CBD a try. You may find some of your symptoms sated, especially if you undergo side effects during your pause. Since CBD is non-intoxicating, you’ll still get to experience the intense high from THC when you come back from your break.

Please look through our variety of CBD products to see which calls out to you. There are softgels; some with curcumin during the day and some with melatonin for in the evening.

Alternatively, maybe quitting smoking is the hard part. You can still smoke bud! Our CBD flower helps you get that oral fixation without the effects of THC. 

We also have a variety of strains for you to try. You’ll notice a big difference between CBD moon rocks and Sour Suver Haze, or how our Sour Special Sauce varies from our aquaponic-grown Cakeberry Brulee. With each having unique features and attributes to love, we can’t pick a favorite.

Potential side effects of a tolerance breakPotential Side Effects of a Tolerance Break

Tolerance breaks are good for resetting your body’s resistance to THC, but it’s not only positives with zero drawbacks. Some people may experience a few unpleasant side effects.  

While none of the issues that can crop up are dangerous or devastating, it’s still good to know what to expect before you go into your break. 

Some of the possible negative side effects include

  • A depressed mood or mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia or general trouble sleeping
  • Decrease in or lack of appetite – or, conversely, cravings
  • Restlessness

It’s important to note none of these potential issues are long-term. As your body refreshes its endocannabinoid system, these things taper off. The longer your tolerance break is, the fewer of these you may have to deal with. 

Again, the side effects are mild, and compared to the net positives you gain are well worth the mild inconvenience. 


Now that we know what a tolerance break is and why you might take one, the power is in your hands. While there can be side effects, especially for heavy cannabis users, the benefits may outweigh them for you.