If you regularly smoke cannabis, inevitably, you will get a higher tolerance. Like coffee or alcohol, you start to need more to feel the desired effects. The worst is when you feel like you are smoking and smoking but just not getting the lift you usually feel. Never fear—you can lower your tolerance!
Whether you are trying to save money or have less THC pumping through your system, you can lower your tolerance pretty easily. We’ll explain how.
Why lower your cannabis tolerance?
The biggest reasons people want to lower their tolerance are money and THC. If you consume less cannabis, you will be buying less. This will save you money and energy from running down to your local dispensary. And for some, getting cannabis is not that easy, making it even more advantageous to get that tolerance down.
Next up is the THC factor. Delta 9 THC—the most psychoactive and arguably most famous cannabinoid—provides documented benefits for different things like nausea and even cancer. However, as many smokers know, too much THC can sometimes make you sluggish, foggy, or too much “in your own head.”
Cannabis and the cannabinoids it contains affect people differently. Cannabis genetics also come into play, as indica strains have more sedative effects. In contrast, sativa cannabis is famous for its functionality, i.e., you won’t be stuck on the couch all day. Nevertheless, there comes a time in every smoker’s life when it’s time to cut back. To get that tolerance down to a more feasible level.
The Best Ways to Lower Your Tolerance to Cannabis
Lowering your tolerance to cannabis means that you will be smoking less. Of course, that’s easier said than done for many of us. But the good news is that you can lower your cannabis tolerance relatively quickly. Unlike alcohol or caffeine, you may find that you can get your herbage tolerance down in just a few days. Here are the best ways we’ve found to make that happen.
1. Stop smoking (3-30 days)
The easiest way to get your tolerance down is to forego smoking for a bit. How long you want to stop will depend on your tolerance goals and how much you currently smoke. This is an estimate from Mayo Clinic Proceedings of how long THC stays in the system (results via urine analysis). As you can see, the more you smoke, the longer it will take for cannabis to flush from your system:
- Smoking 1-3x per week: 3 days
- 4x per week: 5-7 days
- Daily smokers: 10-15 days
- Heavy users (multiple times per day): 30+ days
If you want to go the full monty for a total detox, abstain from smoking for the above time frames. Your tolerance will be much lower when you get back in the game.
However, you can also lower your tolerance in just a few days to a week by abstaining. Sometimes taking just 3-7 days off can do the trick, even for daily smokers.
2. Reduce your frequency
You can also get your tolerance down by simply reducing your frequency. For example, if you usually smoke once per day, take that down to once every other day for a while. If you smoke 4 or more times per day, cut that back to 2. See how you feel and keep going down in frequency until your tolerance is where you want it to be.
3. Smoke smaller bowls
Another easy fix is to smoke smaller bowls. For many smokers, this is another one of those feats that’s easier said than done. To smoke smaller amounts each time, switch to a pipe with a smaller bowl. A reliable, tried-and-true example is the one-hitter. If you switch to smoking from a one-hitter exclusively, you’ll undoubtedly lower your tolerance. It’s science.
4. Measure your daily/weekly allotment
A follow-up to #3 is to measure your daily/weekly allotment. Set aside what you’ve measured for yourself in bags or containers, and stick to the program. This can help you load smaller bowls. Measuring will also help you see for yourself how much herb you are truly smoking.
Whatever you think your current consumption level is, allot 75% or 50% of that to start. You can gradually or drastically reduce as you please. If you’re a type-A personality and are serious about lowering your tolerance, measuring is the way to go. You can do this by eyeballing or using a scale if you really want to get serious.
One of the most popular ways to lower your weed tolerance is to microdose. Microdosing involves taking a minuscule amount of a substance versus the recommended dosage or what you would typically take. And dosage may be more frequent, too. The idea is to give your system cannabinoids still but at lower levels throughout the day.
Microdosing requires self-discipline and experimentation, but it’s highly effective. For example, let’s say you usually smoke 3 bowls of cannabis per day. Microdosing to lower your tolerance could mean cutting that in half (so 1.5 bowls) and smoking that amount 3-4 times per day. This will still fire up your endocannabinoid system, but you’ll be getting half the THC.
Try microdosing for 3 to 7 days with half the amount you normally smoke. By day 7, your tolerance should be somewhat lower. And just a last note, microdosing has been studied with psychedelics, and the results are very promising. You may find you want to stick with microdosing cannabis from now on!
6. Smoke joints and add other herbs.
Smoking joints with increased herbs/flowers other than cannabis can help get your tolerance down. If you’re already a joint smoker, you will either start smoking spliffs or increase the ratio of your non-cannabis herbs when rolling joints. So, a joint smoker who usually enjoys pure cannabis will want to add some dried flowers into the mix.
Increase or decrease as you like for a few days to a week, and see where your tolerance stands. For those who already smoke spliffs—joints with cannabis and tobacco and/or other dried herbs—you will be adding more dried flowers to the mix.
7. Use CBD
Incorporating CBD into your daily or weekly smoking routine may also help you lower your tolerance. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, so unlike THC, it won’t get you high. CBD also has been documented to have beneficial effects on anxiety and sleep.
Many people use cannabis to aid symptoms that CBD can help, so by incorporating CBD, you can feel some of the relaxing effects and not require as much THC. You can add CBD flower to your bowls gradually—it looks and tastes the same as weed. Or you can opt for a CBD tincture or CBD gummies to benefit from the natural effects.
You’ve lowered your tolerance. Now what?
As you can see, you have many options to lower your tolerance easily. It may mean as little as abstaining for 3 days. A lower tolerance will help you save money, and it may benefit your lifestyle and overall smoking experience.
Once your tolerance is lower, you may have to put in some effort to keep it that way. If you want to get your tolerance low and keep it that way, here are some tips:
- Get strains with lower THC content. If possible, select strains with higher CBD/CBG content versus THC. You’ll still feel the THC effects, but you’ll get used to less potency.
- Use CBD. After your tolerance is low, CBD can help keep it that way. Especially if you want to continue the act of smoking, make the switch to CBD flower or have it make up the majority of the ratio in your bowl packs.
Use CBG. CBG has not been studied as much as CBD, but there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that it can take the edge off. CBG is non-psychoactive, so give it a