Tolerance break sign

If you smoke weed, it’s always good to take a tolerance break periodically. At some point, that T-break can come in handy for more reasons than you think.

Today, we’re going to get into those reasons. In addition, we’ll also touch on the benefits of tolerance breaks, potential side effects, and how long they last.

man making a break sign

Why should you take a t-break (tolerance break)?

Cannabis tolerance builds up the more you smoke. The main point of a tolerance break is to reset the body’s tolerance to THC.

Why would someone need to reset their tolerance? If it gets much too high.

Unfortunately, a tolerance too high is easy to occur for everyday smokers. The best advice is to take a T-break when you feel your tolerance has peaked. Or, in some cases, you may just feel it’s time to take a break — and that’s perfectly normal, too.

If you have an especially high tolerance, it may be time to take a t break. That goes for whether you’re a medical patient or a recreational user, by the way. While recreational users are the ones most often told to take a break, medical users may benefit even further.

man with a reset button on his forehead and smoking a joint

6 potential benefits of tolerance breaks

Need more of a reason to take a t break than it just being time? Let’s get into the benefits of a cannabis tolerance break.

1. Save money

Think about how much money you spend on weed, concentrate, and other cannabis products. If you were to take a tolerance break, you won’t be spending money on pot. Imagine how much you could save in the 2 days to 3 weeks you’ll be taking a break!

Of course, another way you can save money without quitting is by growing your own. We’ve been offering high-quality seeds to the world since 1996, so check out our seed bank to learn more. Pick a strain you like at a difficulty you’re comfortable growing, and have fun with it!

man smiling with cash money in his hands

2. Better high

The ultimate goal in taking a break is resetting your tolerance. And what happens when that tolerance is reset? You get high again! Enjoy a stoned like you haven’t in too long by taking a t break when you really need one. When you come back to weed, it could be like the first time all over again. Delicious!

3. Vivid dreams

Do you have trouble dreaming at all? It might be the weed. Fortunately, taking a t break can reset your inability to dream. Users who quit smoking weed for a period of time report having vivid dreams they hadn’t experienced in years.

4. Minimize dependence

When you quit any substance, it all comes down to willpower and self-control. Minimize your dependence on weed and use it because you want to, not because you need to. While this isn’t a must for everyone, it does benefit some users.

5. Improved 

Did you know taking a t break can improve lung function? Even a break of 48+ hours can provide an improvement in lung capacity and function. Plus, users experience an increase in mental clarity, too. Talk about a win-win!

man breathing in

6. Use reevaluation

Finally, when taking a t break, you can assess if you need to make any adjustments to your weed. Evaluate your mental and physical health to determine if you need to increase or decrease how much pot you’ve been consuming.

Potential side effects of tolerance breaks

If you’re a heavy cannabis user, you’re likely to experience some side effects from quitting. In fact, studies show that more than half of consumers report withdrawal symptoms after quitting long-term, regular use. The most common side effects are:

  • Restlessness
  • Decrease in or lack of appetite
  • Or, conversely, cravings
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Mood changes or a depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Just remember, the symptoms are no more severe than nicotine withdrawal. Mild, albeit unpleasant, you can stick it out for however long you have in mind for your t break. You know it’ll be worth it to experience that better high for the first time again.

For medical patients, however, do heed carefully. The symptoms you were using cannabis to help with are likely to return during your period of abstinence. It may be best for you to consult with a medical health professional. Switching to another medication temporarily may be a good solution or complementary alternative to taking a t break.

doctor's list with potential side effects

How long should a cannabis t-break last?

To take an official “tolerance break,” you must stop consuming cannabis for at least 48 or more hours. However, for heavy cannabis users, even that is not enough.

The University of Vermont recommends 21 days (3 weeks) minimum for a tolerance break. In fact, the university offers a t-break guide to help support users on their journey.

It’s hard news, but it’s because THC takes about that long to leave your system. In some extreme cases, you may even want to wait longer.

If you consume cannabis chronically, you may want to extend that tolerance break to 4 weeks. Likewise, since THC bonds to fat, you’ll want to wait longer depending on your body weight.

Determine at your discretion how long you think a cannabis t break should last. Take into account your frequency of use, body weight, and current tolerance level.

The 3-week guide provides daily practices to make quitting for a period of time even easier. It also has a checklist so you can follow along and keep track of your progress. Each week has a different theme, with week one starting with physical. Then, week two leads into emotional, followed by week three for existential and spiritual.

man looking at a clock

How does marijuana tolerance work?

Cannabis tolerance is just as much behavioral as it is chemical. Behavioral tolerance is much harder to break, but you can certainly achieve it.

As our chemical tolerance of THC increases, so, too, do we rely on the behavioral aspects we come to enjoy. It’s beneficial to take a break from both to ensure you’re taking full advantage of your abstinence.

When is a tolerance break from weed needed?

The signs you need a reprieve from cannabis differ by person.

For medical patients, the main sign is when you notice you’re not getting the same result from symptom control as you used to. If you’ve been increasing your dosage lately, it may be time to cut back instead. Getting less of a result from the symptom control you were managing can lead to symptoms worsening further.

For recreational users, generally, it’s if you don’t feel the same effects that you used to from pot. Not getting high the same way? Not feeling the same relief you used to? It’s time to take a short pause from weed while you reset your body’s levels.

man looking horrified at a big cannabis bud

6 signs you may need a tolerance break

If you’ve reached a “too much” level for any of these, it’s likely time to take a breather on cannabis.

Spending too much money

If your expenses for cannabis have seen an increase, that’s a red flag. It may also be the sign you need to take that break you’ve been talking about.

Using too much product

On that same note, using up too much product can get costly. Plus, it’s a drag to just be smoking all day. If you’re using up product and not even feeling anything from it, why not take a pause?

Depending on it too much

Dependency is a hell of a drug. Be sure you’re not leaning on pot too much, just like any other medication. If you find your dependency has reached a peak, it’s okay to cut back.

Wasting too much time

As we said, it can be a drag not doing anything but smoking throughout the day. Are you wasting too much of your time on cannabis? (We didn’t think we’d ever ask that question, but you never know.)

Taking too much priority

If you find you’re shirking on other responsibilities, it may be time to cut back. Cannabis should never take priority over the other responsibilities in your life.

Too much guilt

Finally, smoking pot shouldn’t make you feel guilty.

If you’ve been wanting to quit or take a break for a while now, smoking itself may make you feel extreme guilt.

It feels like you’re running from a challenge or procrastinating, sometimes on yet another thing in your life. If you’ve wanted to rearrange your priorities and quit smoking, you likely know the feeling all too well.

There’s no shame in taking that much-needed break. Walking away, even for a bit, can lead to many positive changes in your life.

Likewise, you can still support the legalization and normalization of cannabis even if you’re not consuming it. It’s essential to do whatever is best for your specific situation.

man screaming with a joint in his hand at an alarm clock

4 tips for a successful marijuana tolerance breakdown

Alright, now we get to the fun part. As we finish up our guide, we want to make your break even easier. Here are all our tips and tricks on how to successfully pull off this cannabis tolerance break.

All about timing

Don’t talk about it anymore — just do it. Pick a date and just start. The more procrastinating you do, the more likely you are to just not do it. Pick a date sooner than later. And don’t increase your smoking routine before your break, either. You can do this!

Hide the stash

Keep everything out of your eyesight while you’re on this abstinence adventure. The closer you are to it physically, the more likely you are to consume it. If you can, leave your stash and paraphernalia with a friend while you countdown your break. Or, just get rid of it!

man heading under a box for weed bud

Build a support system

Identify who might help you while you’re taking a t-break and surround yourself with that vital support system. There may be some people in your life that make taking a break more difficult. You’ll need to abstain from seeing those people until your pause is over.

Use something else

When in doubt, try CBD. Make sure you use an isolate or a broad-spectrum CBD to ensure you’re not using any THC. It’s not recommended, but it’s better than using cannabis and cutting your pause early! Remember, you can do this. You have the power and self-control to pause for how long you want to abstain.


How often should you take a tolerance break?

How often you should take a tolerance break depends entirely on your preferences as a consumer.

Some users use a template of smoking a certain amount of days and abstaining for a day or two before returning to cannabis.

Others may skip smoking on a specific day of the week, or not consume before a certain time of day daily.

Find your comfort level and do what you feel fits your dynamic and routine the best.

Is 10 days a good tolerance break?

10 days is a long tolerance break for some users, but not enough for others. It depends on your frequency of use, tolerance level, and much more.

How long does it take to break weed tolerance?

The University of Vermont reports it takes 21 days, on average, to break weed tolerance.