If you enjoy medical marijuana on a regular basis you might notice your tolerance has increased. This means that you don’t notice the effects of cannabis the way you used to. For a lot of patients, this isn’t preferable. Thankfully, there are a few techniques that can help you maintain optimal tolerance levels.
The best thing you can do to decrease your tolerance is to rotate strains on a regular basis. Rotating between strains that are high in THC and high in CBD helps you keep your THC tolerance lower. Following just a few basic steps will easily maximize the effectiveness of your medical marijuana.
In our new green society, there is still a lot of misinformation being propagated. With that in mind, we plan to give you the facts. Making an informed choice is a big deal, after all.
CBD vs THC
We’re going to start off by clarifying the difference between CBD and THC. There are plenty of other cannabinoids found in marijuana, but these are hands-down the most important. THC is important because it’s the main psychoactive component of cannabis; put simply, it’s what gets you high. CBD, on the other hand, is worth looking into because it’s the cannabinoid that offers most medicinal benefits.
These two cannabinoids are also the ones found in larger quantities than other cannabinoids in marijuana strains. That being the case, they are the ones that have the most prevalent effects on your body. Many growers have begun to focus on increasing either THC or CBD when it comes to their cannabis plants. This is a trend that we expect is here to stay, so it’s definitely something that you should pay attention to.
Cannabinoids and Tolerance
CBD and THC are also the key cannabinoids that you should be focusing on when it comes to rotating marijuana strains and types. The body’s endocannabinoid receptors both have varying levels of affinity for both of them. Furthermore, they have different chemical structures, which means that your body reacts to them differently.
When you ingest less THC and more CBD, for example, your body will develop more of a tolerance to CBD. On the flip side, if you ingest more THC than CBD, your body will develop more of a THC delivery tolerance. This is why rotating strains is a superb way to manage tolerance levels.
CBD and THC delivery levels in individual strains are an important thing to consider when it comes to managing tolerance. Still, there are plenty of other tricks you can use. These techniques range from frequently rotating your strains to simply ingesting less cannabis on a regular basis. Each of these has their own pros and cons, with all of them being worth looking into in-depth individually.
How does Marijuana Tolerance Develop?
Marijuana tolerance usually refers to your system developing an affinity towards THC. This means that people with a high tolerance need to ingest more THC to feel its psychoactive effects. Both THC and CBD affect the body by binding to CB1R receptors in the brain.
When your CB1R receptors are exposed to THC delivery for extended periods of time they will have a weaker response. This is usually referred to as desensitization. If they continue to be exposed to high levels of THC they will eventually be removed from the surface of a cell. Putting this bluntly, the receptors eventually die. This isn’t a huge long-term issue, however, because they are eventually replaced with new receptors.
THC tolerance develops when this process takes place, thus minimizing the effectiveness of CB1R receptors. This, in turn, requires you to ingest increasing amounts of THC to feel the same effects. When you stop ingesting THC, these receptors will bounce back, allowing you to feel high the way you used to.
Studies suggest upregulation (the body’s replacement of CB1 receptors) begins only two days after you stop using cannabis. This process continues for around four weeks, around which time you’re pretty much back to square one. CBD, however, affects these receptors differently than THC delivery does. This is perfect for people who don’t want to wait four weeks for their system to completely bounce back.
Basics of Managing Marijuana Tolerance
Each cannabinoid bonds to different CB receptors in the body. This is because each cannabinoid has a different chemical structure. In general, cannabinoids can bond to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, with each having different bonding affinities. When you develop a tolerance with one set of receptors, there are still others that work perfectly fine. Managing your tolerance, therefore, is all about rotating which receptors are affected by particular cannabinoids.
Additionally, THC only interacts with CB receptors, which means that tolerance develops relatively quickly. Interestingly, CBD interacts with more than just CB receptors, which makes it harder for the body to develop a tolerance. While CBD isn’t as psychoactive as THC, it does help to relax you and has mild sedative properties. This makes it a great substitute for THC, especially if you have a high THC delivery tolerance.
You can focus on all the cannabinoids found in marijuana that affect the body to make the most of this process. Unfortunately, that can get very complicated very quickly. That’s why we suggest simply focusing on strains with high levels of either THC or CBD. This will keep things relatively easy, while still working wonders at maintaining your optimal tolerance levels. This is where rotating strains comes into play.
Why You Should Rotate Strains
Rotating strains is all about switching between high-CBD and high-THC strains. When your body develops a tolerance to THC you should take a bit of a THC break. Many times people take this to mean that they should simply avoid cannabis for a bit. If you rotate to a strain that’s high in CBD, however, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Keeping your body constantly adjusting to THC or CBD levels is key.
The best way to rotate is to get ahead of the game. When you plan ahead you can ensure that your tolerance stays within optimal levels. Rotating strains every three to four days, then, is a good way to be. This ensures that your THC tolerance won’t get too high too quickly. It also forces your body to readjust on a regular basis. Doing this will prevent your system from getting too used to a particular strain or type of marijuana.
This potentially means buying multiple strains at the same time, but you don’t have to. You can simply buy less of each strain and make more regular purchases. This way you can try out as many strains as possible without breaking the bank. Buying budget buds can also help, but sometimes that means sacrificing quality Rotating has the added benefit of letting you judge which strains you prefer and avoid those that you don’t.
Mixing it Up
Different mixes of cannabinoids in each new strain also lead to slightly different effects. When your body gets used to one mix, switching will potentially increase your high. This technique doesn’t need to focus on rotating THC-rich and CBD-rich strains, but that always helps.
At the end of the day, sticking with a strain that’s high in THC, but low in CBD for a few days, then reversing the trend is important. You’ll give your body a break from THC and still enjoy yourself. Taking a few days off isn’t that big of a deal and allows you to try new strains.
When you rotate back to your regular strain, you’ll get a much higher kick after your reset. Sure, you may get a little less high while you focus on a CBD-rich strain, but the difference is minimal. It’s also a much better option than maintaining a high tolerance level for extended periods of time.
Additional Tips to Reduce Marijuana Tolerance
On top of rotating strains, there are other things you can do to manage your tolerance. These are all based on personal preference and aren’t for everyone. Then again, if you apply all of these techniques you can ensure optimal tolerance levels.
Switch Consumption Types
Mixing up the way you ingest your marijuana can also help you maintain your tolerance. This can mean switching between smoking, vaping, edibles, oils, tinctures, or topicals. There are a large number of THC delivery methods available and trying different types can be useful.
This also opens you up to new effects or new methods that may work better for you. In the long run this is a solid option and worth trying out. Experimenting with consumption types can also mean trying different types of smokables.
If you prefer smoking to other ingestion methods, try switching between bongs, pipes, and joints. You can also switch between shatter, hash, and dried cannabis to keep things fresh. Each of these offers very different highs that last varying lengths of time. We like to say, ‘don’t knock it before you try it.’ and recommend trying new types of smokables. At the very least, you might find a method that you prefer over what you’re currently used to.
Take Regular Breaks
This technique to reduce tolerance probably isn’t preferable to most heavy users of cannabis, but bears mentioning. Sometimes taking regular breaks is a good call and moderation is important in everything you do. When you take regular breaks you give your body a chance to reset and find a good balance.
Even if it’s only a few days each month, taking breaks is a great way to clear your head. A break will also reset your tolerance levels to a certain extent. The longer your break, the lower your tolerance will be when you start up again. We suggest trying this out, especially if you use cannabis frequently every day. Heavy cannabis users will find that taking a day off here and there leads to more pronounced effects.
This option isn’t feasible for some patients, but those who don’t suffer from a disability apply it easily. Simply exercising on a regular basis can greatly reduce your tolerance. THC is stored in fat cells in the body and sweating it out works.
Eating well and exercising often will help your body reduce stored THC levels. This, in turn, will make you feel greater effects when you use cannabis. It’s also a solid way to stay healthy and reduce respiratory issues if you smoke cannabis. Even if you’re not a smoker, exercise has plenty of mental and physical health benefits. When all’s said and done, being more active is a good way to be in general.
Is Rotating Strains a Good Option for You?
With so many new people joining the folds of our green society, awareness is important. We’re also seeing more people using medical marijuana who aren’t yet used to the scene. This means that we should educate newcomers and ensure they have the best possible experience.