The Challenge of Diminished Effects in Long-Term Cannabis Users

The Challenge of Diminished Effects in Long-Term Cannabis Users

Taking a tolerance break from THC doesn't work for many; despite how much they've read, when it comes down to it, people love their weed. "I've been smoking since before it was legal, and I've always got high from it, but in the last few years since legalization, things are changing. The dabs and other concentrates got me higher, so I started using them. Now the bud I love doesn't do it."

Mark Anderson is not a medicinal patient in that he refuses to get a physician's recommendation and card in his state; he uses cannabis solely, in his words, "to get stoned, man."
"I started smoking weed in 10th grade; it wasn't habitual; it was something I did with my friends after football games. Everyone thought I would be something I wasn't by the time I was a senior, and the pressure on me caused a lot of nausea; it made me sick so much I missed out. I had to get my G.E.D. when I was supposed to graduate, but it wasn't because of drugs; it was depression. I smoke weed and feel better; I don't want to call it medicine, man; it grows naturally." 
Many people are not down with the medical marijuana movement and, like Mark, are kids of hippies who didn't believe in what we're all seeing with the commercialization of a plant they wanted to use for peace and harmony. 
Some people do not want anything but the freedom to grow the plant, use it, and be left alone, and he is one of them.
"I voted no for legalization, and my friends were disturbed because, you know, I smoke weed. I started growing it when I got accused of selling it because my stash was so big, but it's what I needed. Why do I have to say it's my medicine for depression; it makes everyone feel good; why do I have to point out my problems to use a plant."
Mark makes sharp and valid points; this plant was on Earth long before mankind - fossil research has proven this. 

Let's get to the problem: why did Mark contact me for Guidance?

"The more I smoke, the more I smoke; you ever hear that Tom Petty song? I smoke two joints at a time." -Mark

"When I wake up and get ready for work, I smoke a joint; it's a one-gram pre-roll I make at home. Then, before I get on the bus, I light up another while I'm waiting. I lost my license over alcohol, and it relaxes me to smoke, so I don't care what people think"

"Don't talk to me about Recovery as it's not for me; I was a drunk, and now I'm not; I hope I don't become one again, so I smoke a lot of weed."

But my problem is that I can't get high. I smoke and smoke, and it doesn't make me stoned. Concentrates burn my throat sometimes and aren't what I want. 

So he quit cold turkey and just put the joints down.

"That's when life went to shit."

I didn't feel it for the first few days; on day 3, I left work early with an attitude and, for the first time in a while, thought about having a drink. Then I thought about how I had acted the night before to the lady and I could have been nicer to the kid. I went to a store to buy a few things, and it got so wild, man Two older people were fighting, and I wanted them to stop; I tried to stop it and didn't know that security was on the way, so when I got grabbed at suddenly,

I pushed back, knocking the guard down. I talked my way out of it, found my old stash, smoked three joints in a row, and ended up with a headache off some strong bud, but I still wasn't stoned. I can't quit like that; I need it; not having it is dangerous. But, this is medicinal, but I won't be part of a system; I'm not a number."

Since Mark had never used CBD in the past but had access to it at the time of our call, that's what we tried. He reported that his body felt better after combining THC and CBD, the calming effects came back, and he liked smoking it in flowers but didn't feel the impact of using a tincture, so we examined what a friend had gifted him.

It was a 900 milligram 1:1 in a 1 oz bottle, which is a 1.5% concentration of CBD along with an equal 1.5% THC, with instructions to use one dropper, which is only 30 milligrams. So he increased the dose to 3 droppers in the morning for 100 milligrams, and the changes were within days. As he ran low, he moved over to ingestion of both CBG and CBGa in the mornings, and even though advised to reduce use to 1/4th of what he was before, he went back to smoking his joints but reported it's not so many of them. 

Mike Robinson CBGA Crumble
Mark and I have had several talks about how his THC use has declined and, at the same time, how much more he enjoys it. "I can get stoned, man; it seems like I taste the different strains better than I used to," I told him he was right about that; when we smoke a lot of ganja, we're affecting our olfactory senses like any other smoke inhalation does - purposeful or not. Reducing the number of joints he smokes daily equated to significant savings, better feelings, and a new outlook as he now considers Cannabis medicinal. 

Patients who use THC exclusively will often not want to take a tolerance break. However, science is emerging that is leading to pharmaceuticals to treat Cannabis Use Disorder and Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, two very debated topics that are the highlight of biotechnology corporations' research and development into making new drugs that work specifically on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).  

Advancements in modern medicine are significant, but it will be a while before we see novel drugs for these issues made out of cannabinoids available through doctors. It may be much longer before cannabis users identify with any diagnostics and agree to a synthetic substance that alters the ECS. Ultimately, that may be one way to help a hindered ECS, but for now, we do have plant constituents that can do that job - in the future, they'll also do that job, and some will continue using plant medicine regardless of other options. 

In the meantime, with the lack of said options, the bougie stoner is taking a few days off, drinking some cleansing agents while suffering a bit, calling it a break, and quickly returning to their old style. Did their receptor systems truly get cleansed, well, a little?

Mike Robinson CBGa

It's comparable to chaining off the fridge for a week and nailing all cupboards and doors shut, starving the body of intake of anything outside of it. After a few days, the body will need substances to survive. When it finally gets them, it won't use as much as it once did, but give it a month, and things are back to normal, and once again, the consumer is using quite a bit of THC and never feeling balance, losing efficacy at the same time. 

Many consumers can't take a break from THC and never will, so balancing the ECS with other cannabinoids will be the option that makes sense and works to keep things functioning and continue feeling the highest level of efficacy possible. Exercising and eating a healthy diet is essential to the endocannabinoid system; many who do not have access to anything but smoked cannabis have changed their entire lifestyle to once again feel the effects and, in doing so, added walking and other routines that cause them to break a sweat along with ingestion of foods with omegas. 

Sure, cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBGa can do a quick trick and put someone back on track, but ultimately it's about how we treat and maintain our bodies. We need to feed our heads with much more than a joint; let your food be your super medicine - that means be careful of boxes and ingredients. Also, get the exercise your body needs, a moderate workout causes us to build endocannabinoids. 

Gaining and maintaining ECS Balance is imperative for everyone, whether we use Cannabis or Cannabinoids. A whole body and mind approach is necessary. Mark's name was changed for privacy purposes. He lives in a state with a legal Medical Marijuana program but refuses to get a card and, as he says, it, 'be labeled over a plant.'
Update 2024: This article was originally written two years ago; a talk with 'Mark' this morning was far different than our past talks. He followed my advice and eventually started doing things he used to do in the past; following me on social media, he saw an older guy on a skateboard and decided he would get one again. "If you can do it, so can I"! said the 39-year-old former stoner who told me, "I get medicated now; I used to get baked. My dab habit slowed down naturally when I started the Balance protocol; now I buy them for the taste."

What a remarkable change!

Let's talk today about your ECS issues to see how we can get you back on track; for many people, a combination of things creates that perfect storm. This consumer, who's always been a stoner, had to find balance, and once he did, everything from his relationships to his activity level changed.

His ability to smoke or dab THC and feel it was restored - although he'll never consider it to be 'medicine' - and that's okay as since 1937; our government has felt the same way!

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