Cannabis Science

How to Lower Tolerance to Weed

woman exhaling smoke

One of the telltale signs you have a high tolerance to weed is needing a high dose to feel the same effects a lower dose provided. If you’re a stoner, it’s not uncommon to develop a high weed tolerance over time. If you suspect you have a high tolerance to weed, you may be looking for a way to lower your weed tolerance. You’ve come to the right place. Here are ways you can lower your tolerance to weed. 

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How to Lower Your Tolerance to Weed

There is a science behind weed tolerance. 

A 2011 study says that there is a selective downregulation of brain cannabinoid CB1 receptors in people who chronically smoke cannabis. 

However, the researchers noted, “After ∼4 weeks of continuously monitored abstinence from cannabis on a secure research unit, CB1 receptor density returned to normal levels.”

With that said, one of the best ways to lower your tolerance to weed is to take a break from using weed. Taking a break from weed, often called a “T break”, is a common way stoners reset their weed tolerance. 

There is no set time that you should abstain from weed, especially since it depends on the individual. Healthline says, “The length of your T break is up to you. There’s no solid data on exactly how long it takes for CB1 receptors to recover, so you’ll have to experiment a bit.

Some people find that a few days does the trick. Most online forums advise that 2 weeks is the ideal time frame.”

However, if you use more than 3 grams of weed per day, it’s recommended that you take a 12-week break. On the other hand, if you use 0.2 grams of weed per day you probably don’t need a T break at all. 

While abstaining from weed can lower your tolerance, you should prepare for withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms, while not inevitable, usually affect people when they quit a substance. For some, quitting abruptly can be super dangerous. However, cannabis does not appear to be one of those substances.

Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, however, some common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Marijuana cravings
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Changes in mood

Don’t worry, withdrawal symptoms are temporary and you’ll start to feel better soon. 

How to Lower Tolerance Without Break

If you don’t want to quit weed cold turkey because you’re using it for medical reasons or even recreational use, you’ve got options! However, if you’re a medical cannabis user, we recommend chatting with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your dose, or frequency.

If you’re a recreational user, here are some other things you can try. 

Consume Less Weed

You have the option of reducing the amount of cannabis you consume or alternatively, you can reduce your frequency of use. Yes, that’s right, firing up your bong less can help reduce your weed tolerance.

Healthline says, “The less cannabis you use, the less likely you are to develop a tolerance. Use the minimum you need to feel comfortable, and try not to overindulge.”

In addition to reducing the amount of time you use weed, you can also reduce how much weed you use each time. 

Use a Different Strain

Maybe you’ve developed a tolerance to your favorite strain and it’s not hitting you like it used to. You can try exploring different strains with various ratios of CBD, THC, and terpenes. 

Amp Up Your CBD Consumption

According to Healthline, since CBD doesn’t appear to downregulate your CB1 receptors, it won’t raise your tolerance. Therefore, opting for strains with a high concentration of CBD may help you to lower your weed tolerance. 

Try Other Feel Good Activities 

The theory is that if you combine using weed with certain activities, you’ll enhance your experiences while using less weed. 

For example, some sources, like Bud Depot Dispensary, think that using weed before exercising is beneficial. They said, “exercising while under the influence of cannabis can lower your heart rate, lessen muscle soreness, and boost endorphin release.”

Endorphins are known to be “feel-good chemicals”. Therefore if the endorphins are already making you feel good, you won’t need as much weed. However, this is just a theory.

In addition to exercise, you can try things like meditation and getting a good night’s sleep. 

Why You Should Lower Your Weed Tolerance 

Lowering your weed tolerance actually has tons of benefits. We already covered the benefits of a weed tolerance break but we’ll summarize it for you. 

Besides lower your weed tolerance, a weed tolerance break can decrease your risk of developing cannabis user disorder (CUD) and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). These disorders are associated with higher doses of THC. It’s easy for stoners to use really high doses of THC if their tolerance keeps going up unchecked. However, with routine weed tolerance breaks they can enjoy an exhilarating high with lower doses of THC.

WebMD also says chronic or heavy use of marijuana can also cause:

  • Chronic bronchitis 
  • Risk of chronic psychosis disorders (including schizophrenia)‌
  • Altered brain development 

Therefore by trying to lower your tolerance, you could avoid potentially negative effects. 


Wondering how to lower tolerance to weed? Probably the most effective way of lowering your tolerance to weed is by taking a break from weed. The length of time varies from person to person. Other things you can try include using less weed, using weed less often, switching strains, including more CBD, and combining weed with other activities. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].