Tolerance break guide: Are you smoking too much?

Arms takes a look at tolerance breaks and gives some advice on how to cut down

Up In Smoke

I’ve had to slam on the brakes and cut down my smoking recently. I use the term tolerance break (T-break). It’s a term I don’t really like as I think the motivation for curbing one’s pot consumption should come from somewhere other than one’s tolerance… but it’s a nice pithy term to capture the notion of cannabis abstinence. I also say I “had to”, but really this is something I chose to do. The reason: I was losing my mind and my motivation. Don’t get me wrong, I love marijuana, but anything gets worn out and wearied if you do it too much and Mary Jane is no exception.

There are a number of reasons for taking a break. In my case I was smoking too much. Now, I should clarify here that I was smoking too much for me. That’s not to say I was smoking too much for you, your mate or your estranged aunty, but too much for my own personal lifestyle conditions and genetic makeup. I’m not one to enforce arbitrary rules on anybody else (it’s up to each individual to determine how much is too much for them), but I am one to enforce them on myself.

In my case, smoking dope was starting to heavily encroach on the other aspects of my life (friends, family, relationships, work). It was becoming more of a dependance than a pleasure, a necessity rather than a choice, and in my mind that’s when it goes too far.

So I decided to take a break. A short break, but a break nonetheless.

And that’s how I think you maintain a weed habit without it getting a hold of you and dragging you down into the hazy depths of “ummmm, wut?”.

In my experience, regular breaks are the key. Otherwise weed becomes boring, a constant, a part of the woodwork. Don’t let weed become that. Let it be something that lifts you to new heights, something that makes you laugh and cry and question the meaning of sitting on the couch. Let weed be something special in your life. When it becomes a necessity it’s time to call it quits, at least for a while.

But that’s more easily said than done. There are a few things you’ll need:

The first one is willpower.

This is the most important thing. But don’t worry, you can strengthen it, like a muscle. The more you exercise that shit, the easier it becomes.

The first day is the hardest – that’s when you’re gonna go into withdrawals because you’re not getting the same rush your used to, but if you can hold out for at least three days then you’re somewhat in the clear. Everything from here on out is willpower: your own will reinforcing your decision.

The second is friends.

Let them know what you’re doing and they’ll support you. If they don’t, then fuck ’em, they’re not your friends and it’s time to start looking elsewhere. If this is the case for you then turn to your family, and if that’s not an option then a health professional like your local GP. The important thing to realise is that you don’t have to do it alone.

The third is a hobby.

This is something I’ve found to be especially important when you’re trying to kick the hooch for a bit. Smoking weed is a hobby in and of itself, but aside from that it gives you the ability to enjoy your regular hobbies with a greater sense of fascination and engagement (for me its gaming). When you stop smoking weed, it leaves this big gaping void where weed smoking used to be. You need to plug that hole. Pick up an instrument or join a sewing club, or – one that’s worked for me – start doing yoga to mellow out in the evening. It doesn’t really matter what it is, just find something new to direct your restless energy at.

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