Does Cannabis Tolerance Influence Medicinal Benefits?
Just like with everything, your body can get used to weed. You are building up a tolerance, and your body needs more to reach the same level of high as before. The same happens when you are using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Medical weed can also build up resistance over time. That is why it is so important to discuss the method of consumption and the dosage needed with your doctor or caregiver.
On the flip side for medicinal users, regular consumption reduces the psychoactive effect. Building up a tolerance to marijuana takes about 1 – 2 weeks. This is if you use it continuously every day. Sometime over that time, there could be side-effects because of the psychoactive effect, and you can feel disorientated at times. As a result, complicated and demanding tasks are quite an issue. When there is a level of tolerance, ordinary tasks get more natural again.
The tolerance build-up process depends on the physiology of each induvial, but when tolerance levels are higher, the disorientated feeling disappears. The cannabis feeling becomes more relaxed and soothing and focusing also becomes more manageable. For a cannabis user, it is like drinking coffee, a very ordinary experience.
How Cannabis causes Tolerance
Using cannabis to treat medical issues over time will result in tolerance. The body adjusts to the dosages, and the receptors become less stimulated by the cannabinoids. Women are prone to get faster to reach the level of tolerance. If you are skinny, it will also lead to faster tolerance build-up. Higher dosage also speeds up a tolerance.
What Does Science Say?
For some, building-up a tolerance can be a significant pain in the ass. For others, it could mean an achievement. But when it comes to the point that you have to pack your joint tighter, or that you have to smoke more to get high, you are in the process of building-up tolerance. So, what is happening? A cannabis expert from the Yale School of medicine discovered that the CB1 receptors change over time when you consume cannabis. The CB1 receptors are where the THC cannabinoids interact.
Daily consumers have a decrease in the availability of CB1 receptors over time. The cannabinoids have to work harder to interact with them. The best way to reverse this is to stop using it. The good news is that availability returns as quick as after 1 or 2 days. After abstinence of four weeks, everything is back to normal. In women, it might be a bit different as the receptors are differently laid out.
Symptoms of Tolerance to Cannabis
When you are taking cannabis for medicinal purposes, you might notice that your pain is not so easily dealt with as before. Chronic pain might still be lingering in the back. When the side-effects of drowsiness also subside, it loses its effect for especially people who have insomnia. The good thing is that it can be reversed by taking small abstinence breaks. In 2 days, you can go back to your normal dose, and the receptors should be back on track again.
Tolerance can be Prevented
There are ways to resist tolerance build-up. This is very helpful when you use cannabis as a medicine rather than a pleasure. Things that can be done are:
- Micro-dosing – when you are micro-dosing, you take small amounts of weed over the day. Instead of taking a big bump at once, it gets broken down over possibly 6 lower dosages. This inhibits tolerance build-up
- Change strains – Different strains have different cannabinoid profiles. When you change your strain, it breaks the cannabinoid profile of the previous one and influences tolerance.
Certain Medical Conditions Benefit from Tolerance Build-Up
The longer you use marijuana, the higher your tolerance levels get. This means that when you started out, you felt the psychoactive effects almost instantly. After tolerance has been built up, you can take higher dosages without having disorientated feelings. Your system can take in higher levels of cannabinoids at the given time. Certain medical issues do very well with high THC dosages. They are:
- Chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis
The human body can build mental resistance to the powerful psychoactive effects of marijuana. If you daily take a certain amount of cannabis, the therapeutic dosage is more comfortable to reach. If the psychoactive effect is not what you are after, then this is great. Your body takes in what is needed without having to deal with the side-effects of weed.
As mentioned before, every person has different physiology and different need. If micro-dosing works better for your condition, then stick to it. When you are new to weed as medicine, you might experience some weird feelings due to the psychoactive properties, but after about two weeks it will subside. If you notice that you don´t experience the same results as before, try to change the strain or speak to a doctor to adapt the dosages to have the desired effect. If all things fail, think of taking a tolerance break for a short time.