What is a Tolerance Break? Are T-Breaks Helpful?

Tolerance Break

After you've been smoking or vaping for a long enough period of time, you begin to feel that cannabis products no longer have as much of an edge as they used to. You are beginning to feel the effects of the product less and less as you continue to use it. Tolerance like this builds up in individuals who regularly consume marijuana and simply put, means that your body is getting used to the effects.

Cannabis Tolerance

Your tolerance builds up based on several different factors:

  • How frequently you are consuming cannabis
  • How much you are consuming when you do use cannabis products
  • The potency of the products you are consuming
  • One of the key factors when considering tolerance is each person's biology and physiology. Everybody is different, and their bodies all react in different ways to outside stimuli.

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Taking a break from consuming cannabis is known as a tolerance break, and can benefit the regular consumer in several ways:

Reduced Tolerance

The primary reason that many people take a tolerance break, is to reduce one's own tolerance to the psychoactive effects that many are looking for when consuming THC. Using cannabis regularly and in larger quantities ultimately leads to a person becoming more desensitized to the desired effects, meaning more cannabis is required to get the same effects as before. A tolerance break gives the body time to adjust and get back to a state closer to when you first began consuming cannabis.

It is believed that it takes about 21 days for your body to clear out most of the residual THC that lingers in your system after consumption. (For consumers that don't smoke/vape/consume as regularly, less time is needed for your body to cleanse itself of the leftover THC). THC remains in a person's fat cells and can take time for the body to clear. Some users may even want to take a full 4 weeks (28 days) for the most effective results. As mentioned before, every person is different, so it may take longer than the average expected time of 3 weeks (21 days) for your body to acclimate to the change and clear itself of most of its THC (Source).

Enhanced Effectiveness

Lowering your tolerance means that you will be able to get better results with smaller amounts of cannabis. Also, now that you are familiar with the effects of cannabis, you may find the effects more noticeable or substantial after taking a t-break and feeling the full effects. This can be very beneficial to medicinal users who consume regularly for symptom relief and looking to make their supply last longer.


It seems pretty obvious, but the less you need to smoke/vape to get the same desired effect, the less you need to spend on smokable products and vapes. If you are a regular consumer considering a t-break, you understand well just how much you spend on cannabis products and accessories, so you may also understand how much you could save by needing to purchase say, 20-30% less product.

Reduced Health Risk

Consuming cannabis regularly, especially when smoking or consuming in large quantities, can result in negative health effects like lung and throat irritation, and other potential respiratory issues. This is especially true for individuals with pre-existing conditions, like asthma or bronchitis. A tolerance break allows these internal systems to recover somewhat and reduces the risk of long-term damage or potential issues.

Exercising and eating properly can also help mitigate some of the side effects that can come from regular consumption. It is important to always consult your Medical Health Professional before consuming Marijuana in any form, and should be regularly consulted if you are consuming cannabis in larger quantities or higher potencies.

Psychological Adjustment

Many people use cannabis to mitigate stressful emotions and physical conditions that are persistent. A tolerance break allows individuals to readdress their condition, and depending on the situation, seek other methods to cope with their stresses and issues. Sometimes cannabis may still be the best option available, but it can be important to not become too reliant on something that is meant to provide temporary relief if possible.

Restoring Cognitive Capabilities

Using cannabis regularly for an extended period of time can sometimes lead to impaired short-term memory and loss of some cognitive maneuverability. There are some other cognitive impairments, but the most prevalent are related to the previously mentioned factors. A t-break can help to restore some of these functions and improve the mental clarity and focus of individuals who consume in excess.

Legal Compliance

There are a number of programs and employers, even in places where cannabis is legal, that still enforce strict restrictions and prohibitions regarding cannabis use. A tolerance break may be helpful or necessary in remaining compliant with the policies in place to avoid any repercussions from the authorities.

Improved Sleep Quality

Some individuals can have their sleep patterns impacted by continued use, leading to issues falling asleep, staying asleep, experiencing vivid dreams, and achieving REM sleep. Sleep is vital to mood, appetite, and mental regulation, so improving your quality of sleep through a t-break can improve your overall quality of life!

Again, It's important to note that the duration of a tolerance break can vary based on individual needs and goals. Some people may find benefits from taking a break for a few days, while others may require a more extended period of abstinence to achieve their desired results. 

Approaching a t-break with specific goals and a proper mindset can be beneficial in their own right. It can sometimes be important to understand and remember why you are looking to take a t-break in the first place, and even potentially take steps to help ensure that there are as few obstacles in place as possible to keep the break going. Hiding your collection, and looking to friends for support are a couple of easy and effective solutions when the craving for consumption comes knocking.

1 comment

  • Leafhead

    This is a good description of a T-Break. I found it very helpful explaining the different reasons for doing this. I found the withdrawal effects lasted about 5 days. Night sweats, diarrhea and trouble staying asleep. I was able to go from daily to twice a week. Thank you “Stache”.

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