What To Expect During a Cannabis Tolerance Break


yellow weed leaf on pillow

Tolerance has been all over social media. We all joke about the dreaded breaks from cannabis but there actually are benefits of a tolerance break. There could be a magnitude of reasons why you take a break just the same; but, more often it’s to curve overconsumption. 

While it’s not harmful to you, a tolerance to cannabis is a problem within itself unless you learn to grow your own. If you can’t, however, Las Vegas cannabis taxes make it hard enough to get. Needing more of it only hurts that much more. Regardless of all of that though, there’s some stigma and science behind this I want to investigate. 

According to some peer studies, your brain can deplete the CB receptors that cause tolerance. The endocannabinoid system in our body has CB1 and CB2 receptors. They interact differently with your mind and body. In two separate scientific reports from 2007, it was speculated that tolerance in some can stop the binding of those receptors which affect mood, appetite, pain-sensation, vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle tone, and immune function. 

Additionally, there are plenty of studies involving cannabis tolerance and REM sleep. I even looked into myself a few years ago. Essentially, studies allege that long-term cannabis consumption prevents the mind from going into REM sleep. This inability is what keeps consumers from having regular or even any dreams at all. Anecdotal evidence confirms it. 

So, why not use myself as a guinea pig for science and see how a T-break affects me. My tolerance is a clustered mess right now so this might be the best idea for a reset. Supposedly, your brain needs at least 14 days to reset your CB receptors. Over 14 days, I didn’t have cannabis in any form including separate cannabinoids. So, for science, let’s revisit that trainwreck.


I kept a journal to keep track of my mood, dreams, and productivity, to make this official. Looking back, the first few days were a blur now. I wrote a lot about reaching for the bong and forgetting that I’m on a tolerance break. When you stop doing something that is a normal part of your day, reminding yourself that you aren’t doing it is kinda funny. 

The next few days were more of the same while getting noticeably irritated by how much people were offering me cannabis or to join a sesh. Was it always like this? Did I just not notice? Is everyone testing me? I found my dab pen in my backpack while at work. Thought about hitting it in the bathroom. Maybe it’s my fault for choosing to do this right before the holidays while planning a wedding. That’s on me.

Dreaming didn’t happen at all. A lot of daydreaming and, ironically enough, stares at work. As usual, I’d toss and turn until I fell asleep without cannabis to calm my mind. Meditating helped. No further dream updates, however.

The second week was odd. I was clear-headed but clumsy. I had more people asking about my smoking since I was so clumsy. Ironically enough. I was a lot more meticulous about work. It wasn’t until about the tenth day when I had my first dream. Well, one I could remember at least. It wasn’t much of anything but a lot of vivid colors. There was something though.

It kept going for the rest of the tolerance break. Every night, I had more vivid dreams and my memory of them got a little better with the help of a journal. They even remained for about a week after my break. These are the biggest changes I noticed while on my cannabis tolerance break:

  • Gradually appearance of dreams and my improving memory of them 
  • Dehydration
  • Appetite changes
  • The reemergence of old pain
  • How many bongs I have


As for the benefits of a tolerance break, they were a lot more than I originally thought. Upon sparking up a joint the second my break was over, I noticed how high I was. This was the overall point; but, I noticed the efficiency of every cannabis product I tried. It’s still anecdotal but it’s a case of efficiency improving after an attempt to reset CB receptors. 

CB receptors cannabis science 
Image Credit: Wut.ti.kit / Shutterstock
Image Credit: Wut.ti.kit / Shutterstock

My appetite was all over the place. I had better portion control and more consistent meals while not consuming cannabis. Contrary to popular belief, I gained weight while not smoking. My mood is as I expected. I just grew more comfortable in my introverted nature without cannabis. 

More than anything in those days. I noticed how cannabis helps me move on from certain thoughts. I notice how much I linger and cause myself stress. The absence of cannabis made me notice how many times I would revisit an issue that was out of my control. I used to be a lot more methodical about my cannabis consumption. I could blatantly see how my lackadaisical attitude toward it was affecting other aspects of my life.

In the end these are the benefits of a tolerance break that I experienced:

  • Improved cannabis efficiency
  • Regulated appetite
  • Consistent, more vivid dreams
  • More money
  • An urge to learn how to grow and a larger apartment 


So, that was my dread tolerance break from cannabis right before the holidays. Wasn’t so bad after the first week. I definitely don’t recommend it over the holidays. After trying this twice, I do believe 14 days should be the minimum of a true tolerance break. Dreams started coming back as well as old pains I had forgotten I had around ten or eleven days. Others suggest 21 days or even upto six weeks. I can only imagine the benefits will be even stronger; but, I won’t put anyone up to it that long. Unless it’s for science, of course.

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Picture of Joycelin Arnold

Joycelin Arnold

Dating back to 2012, Joycelin has wrote for various online Video Game publications covering events and launches regularly. Cannabis has been with her throughout the journey, however. She officially joined cannabis industry in 2016 as a budtender and begin writing for brands and magazines in 2017. Outside of cannabis, she writes science fiction with one published novel, Siren, so far.

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