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Marijuana Tolerance: What You Need to Know

December 17, 2020 • • General

Patients who regularly use cannabis often develop a tolerance to their medication. Here’s how to reverse the process.  

Frequent marijuana use leads to the body’s cannabinoid receptors becoming desensitized, which makes them less effective at binding with compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and terpenes that are naturally found in the Cannabis sativa plant. As patients develop a tolerance, they often find that their medication doesn’t provide the same degree of relief.

The good news is that tolerance to cannabis isn’t permanent and typically can be reversed without too much trouble. It’s worth pointing out that developing a tolerance in some cases can be desirable, as it will often reduce the negative side effects that can come with marijuana use, such as dizziness, impaired cognitive ability, or short-term memory loss. However, if you’d like to rebuild
your body’s response to cannabinoids, here are few methods you can try:

Work It Out

THC, the cannabinoid that causes the psychoactive high most often associated with marijuana, is stored in the body’s fatty issues for up to four weeks after use. While getting enough exercise is generally a good recommendation for most patients, studies have found that working out can actually cause the body to
release stored THC back into the bloodstream. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to have a similar effect on THC stored in the body, but patients should consult their physicians before making significant changes to their diet.

Take a Break

Another way to help reset your tolerance is to take a break from using cannabis entirely, sometimes called a “T break.” While it takes around a month to fully reset your endocannabinoid system, studies have found that
abstaining for even two days significantly helps to flush the remaining cannabinoids from your system and give dormant receptors a chance to reactivate. While marijuana has a very low addiction rate, patients should be aware that going cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms like nausea, irritability, insomnia, and fatigue.

Shake Things Up

If you’re not able to go without cannabis therapies for a few days or weeks (whether due to issues of comfort, ability to function, or another reason), then changing how you take your medication could be an option. If you typically smoke marijuana flower, for instance, trying different strains can produce different physiological effects — there’s even evidence to suggest that
products high in CBD can help wean patients off a variety of substances, including opioid painkillers and high-THC strains of marijuana.

You might also consider new delivery methods — such as edibles,
tinctures, concentrates, or topical lotions and salves — or changing your medication routine. Microdosing, for example, is a technique that allows patients to get pain relief and increased mental acuity without the full-blown high. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the available options before changing your treatment plan, however.

Finding the Solution That Works for You

The healthcare solutions and therapies that can be derived from the cannabis plant are wide ranging and numerous, allowing patients to manage conditions like chronic pain, dementia,
epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, and more. Whether you’re brand new to the medical marijuana world or are seeking advice for how to manage your own tolerance, Lakewood Medical Clinic is the Ohio-based destination for approachable cannabis-based care.

As a team of physicians and certified specialists, our mission is to provide top-quality, holistic healthcare, including both traditional medicinal practices and cannabis therapies. We work closely with each of our patients to find the right solution or combination of treatments that’s best-suited for their lifestyle, health goals, and budget.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.