March 04, 2021 5 min read

Many people are just learning about Delta-8-THC’s mild psychoactive effects, but others are seasoned Delta-8 connoisseurs. If you fit the latter description, sooner or later you may find yourself in the sticky situation that all regular THC users dread—your tolerance is high and you aren’t.

The solution? Delta-8-THC tolerance breaks can help lower your tolerance. When you return to your Delta-8 routine, you’ll be able to relish that first-time high feeling all over again.

Table of Contents
Can You Build a Tolerance to Delta-8
What is a Delta-8 Tolerance Break?
How Long Should You Make Your Delta-8-THC Tolerance Break?
What to Do After a Delta-8-THC Tolerance Break
Delta-8 Tolerance Break Tips
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8-THC is thought to be tolerance building, which means you may find that you need larger doses to experience the same effects over time.
  • You can combat high tolerance by taking a Delta-8-THC tolerance break, or abstaining from Delta-8 use for a period of time.
  • The duration and technique of your tolerance break may vary, but some people use CBD to help aid the process.

Can You Build a Tolerance to Delta-8?

Before we discuss how to take a tolerance break from Delta-8, less discuss tolerance in general. Obviously, you can build a tolerance to Delta-8, or we’d never be discussing tolerance breaks to begin with.

But how does it happen?

A museum exhibit modeling the human body and it's endocannabinoid system.

We don’t have a lot of information about Delta-8-THC tolerance, but we do know a bit about how the body builds a tolerance to Delta-9. Since Delta-8 and Delta-9 are nearly identical, it’s probably safe to assume that the biological process is similar.

Frequent Delta-9-THC use can lead to over-stimulation in the brain’s neural pathways. The body reacts by reducing the number of CB1 receptors in the body. Less CB1 receptors means less receptor sites that can absorb THC, which means reduced effects after using THC products.

Fortunately, the body can produce more CB1 receptors to help regulate endocannabinoid system levels over time when exposure to THC is reduced. Some evidence even suggests that CBD may help to increase the number of receptors in the Endocannabinoid System, which is one of the reasons why CBD is not thought to be tolerance building.

What is a Delta-8 Tolerance Break?

A tolerance break is exactly what it sounds like—a break from Delta-8 use in order to lower your overall tolerance, which could also be described as your “sensitivity” to Delta-8.

You'll know that a tolerance break is needed when you need to intake more Delta-8 to feel the same effects as usual.

In order to combat your increased tolerance, you’ll need to abstain from Delta-8 use altogether for a certain period of time. People commonly use this method to help decrease their tolerance to Delta-9, which can help the user reap more proficient medicinal and recreational effects when they begin using THC products again.

In some cases, tolerance breaks are difficult, especially for those that rely on the therapeutic benefits of THC products. People use various techniques to take tolerance breaks, like using an alternate product, slowing lowering the Delta-8 dose over time, or quitting cold turkey for a period of time.

It is a misconception that you need to refrain from THC use long enough for all traces of THC to be removed from the body’s fat storage (like you have to do before you can pass a Delta-8-THC drug test) in order to lower your tolerance. You simply need to allow the body time to regenerate CB1 receptors and balance the Endocannabinoid System.

How Long Should You Make Your Delta-8 Tolerance Break?

A calendar used for tracking a successful 30-day Delta-8-THC tolerance break.

The amount of time that you should abstain from Delta-8 in order to lower your tolerance will vary based on a number of factors, like the amount of Delta-8-THC you frequently intake and your unique metabolism.

A general rule of thumb is that the more THC you previously used, the more your CB1 receptor system has been repressed. Unfortunately, there isn’t much evidence to help us understand how long it takes for the body to regulate the CB1 receptor level after you quit ingesting THC.

A tolerance break will usually range from a few days to a month or more. Most commonly, people need to abstain for two to four weeks, closer to four if they previously used moderate to large doses of Delta-8-THC everyday.

For those who intake small, infrequent amounts of Delta-8-THC, a few days may be enough to help reset the balance.

What to Do After a Delta-8-THC Tolerance Break

Tolerance breaks are difficult, but once you’ve reset your endocannabinoid balance there are a few things you can do to help avoid re-building a high tolerance in the future.

First, you should pay careful attention to your Delta-8-THC consumption. In most cases, skipping days in between dosing can help avoid tolerance building, but that may not be possible for everyone, especially those who choose THC for its therapeutic benefits,

You can still watch your THC dose and try not to consume more than necessary to reach your desired effects. By keeping your consumption levels lower or taking “skip days,” you may be able to avoid the need for tolerance breaks in the future.

Scheduling short tolerance breaks is another effective method. Instead of an infrequent 2-4 week tolerance break, you may benefit from short (1-2 day) tolerance breaks that are strategically scheduled (like once every 2 weeks.

Ultimately, over-consumption is what causes your tolerance to build and it can generally be avoided by being more mindful of when and how much you consume. You may benefit from using Delta-8 edibles, which make it easier to keep up with how much Delta-8 you've ingested. 

Delta-8 Tolerance Break Tips

A selection of CBD products that may be useful during a Delta-8-THC tolerance break.

Ready to start your Delta-8-THC tolerance break? Here are some tips to help you be successful:

  • Decide how long you want to take a tolerance break for and mark it on a calendar. Counting down the days may help you maintain your tolerance break for an effective period of time.
  • If you’re unsure how long your tolerance break should last, start with a week. You can always take a longer tolerance break later if a week didn’t seem to work.
  • Try various types of CBD products in place of Delta-8 products during your tolerance break. A CBD vaporizer is a great, non-tolerance-building alternative for your abstinence period, and CBD tinctures and edibles may provide various benefits that help replace some of Delta-8's non-psychoactive therapeutic effects. 
  • Be strict with yourself! Your tolerance break will be less effective if you cheat along the way.
  • When your tolerance break is over, start with very small doses of Delta-8 to see how much you need to take. Always stick to a minimum dose to help avoid re-building your tolerance in the future.

Resources

  1. “Reversible and regionally selective downregulation of brain cannabinoid CB1 receptors in chronic daily cannabis smokers” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3223558/

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