The virtues of taking a tolerance break from cannabis

Published on February 25, 2022 by David Wylie

Photo: Adobe Stock/the oz.
Some take breaks from cannabis to reset their tolerance; however, there are lots of reasons for wanting to take time off from weed.

You can have too much of a good thing.

With cannabis, sometimes people choose to take what’s called a T-Break, aka a tolerance break.

A T-Break is a period of time—anything from days, weeks, months, and even years—where you lay off the reefer in order to let whatever tolerance you’ve built up fade.

Even Ricky from Trailer Park Boys has expounded on its virtues: “Taking a break from dope is even a good kind of break because then when you smoke dope again, you get more fucked up,” he says.

One of the most easily accessible support groups for those wanting a T-break is found on Reddit at r/petioles. On the subreddit, people post their own experiences and discuss tips to encourage others.

(The petiole, by the way, is the stalk that attaches the leaf blade to the stem, and is able to twist the leaf to face the sun.)

Look on the bright side of life

One r/petioles poster suggests a more optimistic interpretation of daily life and a better relationship to unavoidable realities, such as work, can ease the anxieties and emotions that often come along with a pause from pot.

“The problem, of course, is that we get fixated on the things that make us feel good. We make our schedules around them. We live our lives jumping from one addiction to the next, trying to make a continuous ‘fun time.’ We compromise our health and goals in favour of short-term stress reduction. If you pull away from one dopamine trigger, you may get sucked more into another one. We spend our whole day worrying about if we are de-stressing correctly, which is hilariously ironic,” they write.

“What I’m saying is that it’s easier to focus on growing the positive, rather than destroying the negative. Allow your positive habits to ‘crowd out’ the negative ones—without beating yourself up for having ‘negative habits.’”

This is a meme about taking a T-break

T-break tips and tricks

How does one take a successful break? Some of the tips on r/petioles:

  • Switching to smoking CBD-only flower
  • Dividing up your stash to help cut back
  • Keeping a journal monitoring use
  • Taking up new hobbies and activities
  • Embracing some form of spirituality or meditation
  • Regularly exercising
  • Adapting a healthy diet that includes good fats
  • Rearranging your life to help cut out stress triggers
  • Getting some Vitamin D in the sunshine
  • Reducing stress with yoga or deep breathing

Looking for more ideas to take a break? Here’s a post with 19 ways to reduce withdrawal symptoms. There are also apps that can help keep you accountable and add up the time that you’ve gone without raiding your cannabis drawer. One of the more popular apps is called Grounded.