Developing a tolerance to cannabinoids is an inevitable part of frequent use. Unfortunately, it can also seriously hamper the experience. A tolerance buildup can lead to significantly lessened effects, and a growing need to take increasingly-higher doses in order to achieve the desired benefits. It can become both expensive and frustrating.
This phenomenon has led to more and more users taking advantage of tolerance breaks — gaps in use that help your body reset and lose some of its resistances. The effectiveness of these breaks is dependent on the length of the fast and the particular cannabinoid you’re using. This article is going to focus on delta 8 — a legal version of THC that is closely related to the active ingredient in cannabis and marijuana. I am going to break down how long a tolerance break is needed, and how it can be used to help you with your smoking habits.
Why Does The Body Require Tolerance Breaks?
Humans build up a similar tolerance to nearly every substance we consume. Sugar and caffeine are likewise beholden to this process. It occurs when the sensors in your body become “numb” to the binding after repeated interactions, requiring a higher concentration to elicit the same response. Your bodies’ reward system is similarly altered when tolerance grows. The rush of pleasurable sensations caused by the release of endorphins and serotonin is diminished, making it feel less enjoyable to use. This pairing is what we consider building a tolerance.
In terms of cannabinoids, it is the receptors located in the endocannabinoid system that are being negatively affected. Delta 8 THC binds with two sets of receptors within this system: the CB1 and CB2 receptors. This dual interaction is actually good for delta 8 as it relates to tolerance breaks.
How Long Should A Break Last?
Cannabis and delta 8 have very different tolerance windows. The active ingredient in cannabis is delta 9 THC, and it is about twice as potent in its active effects. This translates to a more intoxicating experience, and a much more durable tolerance buildup. This delta 9 molecule only binds to one set of receptors in your endocannabinoid system, the CB1 receptors. This means those receptors bear the entirety of the THC bonds, and that can lead to a kind of deeper saturation, where the buildup lingers long after the user has stopped consuming cannabis.
Given this, a typical recommended tolerance break for cannabis is in the neighborhood of 4-5 weeks. That gives enough time for this buildup to dissipate, and for the CB1 receptors to become sensitive again to the delta 9 bonds.
This is an area where delta 8 holds a major advantage. Because it is creating bonds with two sets of receptors, and because of the way the molecule inherently forges these connections, a delta 8 tolerance break can be as little as 7-8 days. The buildup dissipates more quickly, and these more gentle bonds promote a speedy recovery.
Preventing Tolerance Buildup
Interestingly, the inverse also appears to be the case. Delta 8 reportedly builds up a tolerance more quickly than cannabis and other cannabinoids, meaning you’ll reach the point where the effects are lessened slightly sooner than you would otherwise. While this immediately appears to be negative, and aspects certainly are, this feature can also be helpful in preventing abuse or heavy frequent use. Delta 8 in this sense has a kind of built-in protection against rampant consumption. Some people who otherwise struggle with moderation may see this as a way to help them self-regulate their use.
The delta 8 tolerance graph then might look like the top of a triangle. The tolerance onset begins rapidly, but begins to disperse almost immediately after usage stops. By contrast, cannabis would have a more shallow growth and decline, and a flattened top where the tolerance buildup remains present for several weeks even after the user has stopped.
When is a Tolerance Break Necessary?
The most common tolerance breaks are self-imposed, but one can also start when access to your favorite cannabinoid products becomes difficult. Signs that you may need to impose a break might include any of the following:
- The effects don’t hit the same way.
- If large doses just aren’t doing it anymore, it may be time to pause and let your body recover. The absence or lessening of effects is a major indicator of a tolerance buildup.
- The effects are fading fast.
- If you notice the effects wearing off far more quickly than usual, that may be another sign that your tolerance has grown too high. Users might find the duration to be half or even less of what they’re accustomed to.
- You’re using far higher amounts to get the same results.
- If it is taking two, three, or even four hits to reach the level a single hit used to achieve, it may be time to take that break.
How to Successfully Take a Break
Once deciding to commit to a tolerance break, the hardest step is keeping yourself disciplined. This is much more difficult for cannabis users who need multiple weeks to see real results. But for regular delta 8 users, seven days can feel like a marathon.
The most important thing to remember is resisting the urge to take mini-doses. People justify smaller hits, thinking they won’t hurt the break all that much. This is deeply flawed logic. Introducing even small amounts of THC can prevent that receptor from becoming sensitive again — undoing much of the progress the rest of the tolerance break achieved. If you’re doing to take a break, you’ve got to be willing to commit 100 percent.
I personally recommend having a friend or loved one hold onto your cannabinoid collection until your break is finished. This eliminates a lot of the temptation, which is the hardest part. And it makes you accountable to another person — one who knows and supports your tolerance break.
Other non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD can also be an effective substitutes during the break. CBD can offer many of the same useful effects, especially surrounding relaxation and sleep, and can be a kind of stand-in during this time.
Like any commitment, a delta 8 tolerance break can feel like an uphill battle most of the time. But all you need is a ritual that works for you. Once you find that, breaks can be an excellent way to maintain healthy cannabinoid habits. They save money and elevate the overall quality of the experience.
How often do you take a delta 8 tolerance break? Let us know below! And as always, be sure to check back soon for more delta 8 news and reviews. Or click HERE to go to our blog.