There are many reasons you might decide to take a break from consuming cannabis. Perhaps you just landed a new job and they require drug testing or you have been getting pressure from family or friends to rein in your marijuana use. One of the most common reasons for a cannabis break is called a tolerance break and happens when over time your body builds up a high tolerance for the cannabinoids in cannabis and you stop feeling that wonderful buzz when you consume cannabis. You may not even feel high at all despite the immense quantity you smoke, vape or the edibles you eat. Regardless of the reasons for a break there are a few important things to keep in mind and expect from a successful cannabis break.
Preparing for a Drug Test
If you have just received word that your new employer requires a drug test or your existing employer is going to start random testing, don’t panic but don’t ignore the situation. The standard wisdom for urine tests is that you need to be cannabis free for approximately 2 weeks. Completely cannabis free. One small toke off your friends blunt counts and so does one small gummy. Tough to give it up completely, even temporarily but if you decide you want the job, or want to keep a job, it must be done. Spending hundreds of dollars on high priced detox methods may help, but not much and you may end up making yourself sick in the process. The best way to detox is to eat as clean as possible and drink lots of water but don’t go too crazy with the water. Keep things simple with regards to what you eat and drink, try and get some moderate exercise as well but once again don’t wrap yourself in Saranwrap and go for a 2 hour jog. Some sites do offer test kits if you are approaching your official test date and want to make sure your system is cannabis free. If they are from a reputable source, testing yourself first may give you some peace of mind.
Pressure from Family and Friends
This type of cannabis break is the most controversial because if you let other people, even people that you care about, dictate your lifestyle choices, resentment may soon follow. That being said if a friend or family member voices their concerns regarding your marijuana use, hear them out. Ask questions if you need to but if you agree with what they have to say and decide you are going to take a cannabis break it’s crucial to set boundaries right away. Assuming you are an adult, have a friend or family member monitor your “progress” will do absolutely nothing but stress you out and be counterproductive towards a successful break. Let them know that and be completely transparent that this is a break and you will decide how long that break will last. If they respect your boundaries, great, they will make a good sounding board if you are struggling. You may want to reach out to other people on social media who are also taking a cannabis break. It can truly be helpful to hear from others going through a similar situation.
Probably the most typical type of break from marijuana use is known as a tolerance break. As described above, you will know when it’s time to take a tolerance break. Are all your friends super stoned while you remain completely unaffected by a few good bong hits? Time for a tolerance break. How long the break is depends on a number of factors. It takes approximately a month for cannabis to be completely out of your system. Not the same as taking a drug test, this type of detoxing takes longer. For many people this is too long of a time period and they may have medical or personal reasons for trying a shorter break. If you just need a good reset from your cannabis use, start with a week and see how you do. Some people choose a longer break than even a month and that is also perfectly fine, if you are doing it for the right reasons and are happy with your choice that is the most important aspect.
Will I Experience Cannabis Withdrawals?
There is not a yes or no answer to this question. The honest answer is, it depends. It depends on how long you have been using cannabis, how much you have been consuming and the reasons you consume cannabis. For most people that consume cannabis to treat medical conditions, whether it’s anxiety, pain or nausea from chemo you can expect the symptoms to get worse so if you plan on taking a long break, it’s wise to talk to your doctor about how best to manage your symptoms in the meantime. If you are a pretty light marijuana user you may notice some sleep disturbances, especially the first week and a few mood swings. If you are a more serious cannabis user those issues will likely be worse and go on for a longer period of time. Plan ahead and find out ways to minimize problems like sleeplessness and anxiety during a cannabis break. 4 am on the second night of a break is probably not the best time to decide you need alternatives. For some cannabis users, even ones who have been consuming cannabis daily for years, they can take a break with no negative side effects. This is pretty rare so if you decide to take a cannabis break, prepare ahead of time to make it a positive experience.
Be sure to check out: Greening Out with Cannabis – What to do if it happens to you or a friend.