We researched everything under the sun when it comes to tolerance breaks. Some are from rehab stories, others are from professional psychiatrists and some are just from stoners like you and me. Here are some top tips to help you start and stick with your tolerance break! Please note this is not professional medical advice and all opinions are our own.
It takes 3 weeks to make or break a habit. So if you’re really serious about taking a tolerance break, you’re going to have to put some work in. Here’s a typical timeline for your break:
Tolerance Break Timeline
Day 1: Your body will start to withdraw from THC, you can do this!
Day 2 and 3: The withdrawing will peak in these two days so just buckle in and brace yourself.
Week 1: Typically after week 1 you’re out of the red zone with the withdrawal symptoms.
Week 2: If you were a heavy smoker, the withdrawal symptoms might last through this week. If not, you’ll move into the mourning stage where you miss weed but don’t physically feel like you need it.
Week 3: Congratulations! You’ve successfully made it through your tolerance break. Now will you stick with it? Or hit the bong ASAP 🤔
Think of Your Tolerance Break Like an Experiment
Make yourself the guinea pig of your own experiment. Just like Jim’s prank on Dwight on The Office – you want to do something to cause your brain to associate a noise/feeling with a certain outcome. As of right now, you might associate bad thoughts and feelings with your cannabis usage. We feel stressed or anxious, so we smoke to dull that away and as a result, we feel better, right? Well during a tolerance break you need to find another behavior to address these issues.
Cognitive restructuring: Trigger – Behavior to fix it – Outcome.
One way you might do this is to meditate or exercise. Another way is to temporarily reverse how you view weed. Take a rubber band and put it around your wrist, when you think about wanting to smoke, just lightly smack the rubber band against your wrist. Over a couple of days your brain will recognize that the thought is associated with mild pain and will eventually stop bringing it up. Using this technique, you want to basically rewire your brain.
Take it day by day – You might even have to do it hour by hour if it’s really difficult. Focus on the four D’s: Delay, Distract, Deep Breathing, and De-Catastrophize. Broken down by my favorite tolerance break article (which is helping me get though my current break).
Find some holistic coping skills
– Get a journal and write about how you feel each day. When you’re done with your break or want to continue with it, you can look back and trace a pattern of what your triggers were that made you want to smoke in the first place
– Find a creative outlet like painting, coloring or anything that can help you relax.
– Meditate: Even if it’s just five minates a day, it really helps refocus your energy.
– Work out: Get your sweat on, in doing this you’ll help your body metabolize the THC faster so that it can get out of your body. yoga, cardio
Things to watch out for on your tolerance break
– Disrupted sleep patterns: A lot of people smoke before bed to help them relax. When you start to withdraw from weed, you might feel sluggish during the day which in turn might make you drink some coffee to keep up. BUT DON’T DO THAT. The caffeine will just add to the cycle of sleepless nights, causing further irritability. If you’re struggling to sleep at night, try to taking some sleepy time tea with valerian root or melatonin.
– Mood Swings: Because of the lack of THC that keeps you mellow, in addition to the lack of sleep, you might find yourself white knuckling it throughout the day. You also might feel overwhelmed and anxious. This is because cannabis typically helps us distract ourselves from how we really feel. So when we don’t have it, our emotions might feel like they’re smacking us in the head from all directions. Don’t Panic. Just let yourself sit in those emotions and sift through them until they pass, and I promise, THEY WILL PASS! Try distracting yourself instead by going for a walk and taking a few deep breaths outside. Another thing that might help is having some essential oils handy such as eucalyptus to rub behind your ears.
– Sweats: your body chemistry is changing because it feels deprived of something you’ve given it long term. Just like if you stopped drinking coffee (which I highly recommend), your body’s temperature will change so don’t freak out if you start getting night/day sweats. It’s natural and I promise it will pass.
All in all, be kind and forgiving to yourself during your tolerance break, acknowledging that it will be a challenge but you can get through it. 💪🏽 Have any tips and tricks that worked for you? Post them down in the comments below! 👇🏽