Taking a Tolerance Break

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Hi.  This is Dr. Victor Chou with the Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana.

Today we’re going to talk about medical marijuana tolerance breaks, or as I like to call them, reboots.



Please keep in mind that we are discussing general medical concepts only and that patients should always discuss their individual medical situation with their personal physician.



Like many other medications, your body will develop tolerance to medical marijuana over time.

What is tolerance?

It is a situation where your body requires higher and higher doses of a given medication over time to have the same effect.

We see tolerance develop to a wide variety of medications, including narcotics, benzodiazepines, seizure medications, and insulin, for example.

Patients on medical marijuana will also likely develop tolerance over time, which means that you will likely need higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect.

At some point, patients cannot continue to increase their dose, and that is why a tolerance break is often needed.

When you take a tolerance break, you allow your body’s tolerance level to reset which can often allow you to feel the benefits of medical marijuana with up to 75% less usage.



In terms of actually taking a tolerance break, it’s actually quite easy.  You basically just stop cold turkey.

There is considerable debate how long a tolerance break needs to be.  Some doctors say as little as 2 days, while others say as long as 2 weeks.

My general rule of thumb is to go as long as you can.

One of the benefits of treatment with medical marijuana is there is typically no need to wean off your dose.

Now a patient might have some physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms, or the underlying medical condition may flair up, but those are typically the only major side effects noted.



As with any medical condition, you should always consult with your own individual physician before making any medical decisions or trying any medical treatments, including tolerance breaks.

The reason is that while tolerance breaks are well tolerated by most people, there may be some people for whom tolerance breaks could be dangerous.

These patients include seizure or PTSD patients for whom an abrupt discontinuation of medical marijuana could lead to serious complications.



So thank you for turning into today’s article on medical marijuana tolerance breaks.

We have many more articles and videos on medical marijuana that I hope you will view.

Thanks for reading.


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Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana