THC Tolerance: How to Increase the Intensity of Your High

Starting to feel like blunts just don’t do it for you anymore? Does cannabis seem to be getting weaker and weaker? Will they ever start making more potent flower?!

More than likely, it’s not the THC percentage that’s become your problem – it’s your tolerance. You’ve been smoking more, and now need to consume more than you once did to feel the same level of effects.

Want to know if there’s any way to flip a magic switch and start feeling cannabis like you did before? Luckily, resetting your tolerance is actually fairly easy to do by taking a break from smoking for a few days.

Of course, if you’re a medical patient, taking a THC tolerance break might not be an option for you. If that’s the case, read on to learn some different techniques you can try to boost the intensity of your high.

However, before we get to those techniques, let’s first explore what THC tolerance is and how it develops:

What is THC tolerance?

THC tolerance refers to the amount of THC your endocannabinoid system can tolerate. Everyone’s tolerance is different, with some consumer’s being “lightweights” and others “heavyweights”.

Why do people become tolerant to THC?

A person’s tolerance, and how quickly one becomes tolerant to THC, varies due to a number of factors: frequency of consumption, BMI, gender, product potency, etc.

Interestingly, estrogen is a huge influencer of tolerance. Estrogen tends to interfere with the endocannabinoid system by regulating cannabinoid receptor density and signal transduction. Smoking may be more or less powerful, depending on the time of month. Alternatively, a man’s cannabinoid receptors are much more fixed; though they tend to experience more heightened side effects than women (like munchies and paranoia).

Can you reset your THC tolerance?

If you’re a chronic consumer, taking a “T-break” (tolerance break) can reset your tolerance and naturally boost the intensity of your high.

One (male only) study demonstrated that in chronic daily cannabis smokers, CB1 receptor availability is decreased in most brain regions; with upregulation beginning after just 2 days of abstinence. CB1 levels bounce back to almost-normal after roughly 4 weeks of abstinence.

How to boost the intensity of your high:

There are several different ways you can change the intensity of your high. One being, choose a different strain. When you smoke the same strain day in and day out, your body gets used to that specific strain’s potency and terpene profile. Switching strains introduces a different terpene profile, which provides a different experience. (If you don’t know what terpenes are, you can read our blog about terpenes.)

Pre-rolls (like our HashBones)  give consumers an opportunity to mix it up with different strains and terpenes, without committing to a full eighth or more of flower. To boost the intensity of your high, you can also try changing your consumption method.

Edibles and extracts are the two most potent cannabis consumption methods. Hash is a form of extract, so smoking hash with your flower will increase its natural potency. (Just another reason for you to track down a HashBone at your nearest dispensary). 

You can also try supplementing your cannabis use with specific foods and beverages. A cup of black or green tea contains catechin, an antioxidant that binds to your CB1 receptors. Catechin has been known to make the soothing effects of cannabinoids come on more efficiently. Similarly, dark chocolate slows down the breakdown of anandamide (the “bliss” chemical in your brain) and sustains the length of your high.

Foods rich in the terpenes myrcene and pinene (i.e. mangoes, broccoli, nuts and sage, thyme) can enhance strains that are dominant in these terpenes. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also improve the efficiency of cannabinoids.

Last, take up exercising! Not only is exercise good for your general health, but it’s been proven to affect your brain in similar ways to cannabis. It can trigger the release of THC from stored body fat, with one study finding that cardio can raise blood-THC levels by 15%. (“Runner’s high” is a real thing!)