February 26, 2019

Marijuana doesn’t destroy neurons like deadly drug substrate methamphetamine neither it affects the neural connections in the brain like alcohol. However, cannabis strains have another effect on the brain of the user, and that underlines with ‘THC tolerance’. 

According to neuronal studies, the ‘high’ of THC is dependent on the CB1 receptors in the nervous system. Initially, these receptors are very active. However, with continual use of marijuana, they become unresponsive and even high amount of THC can’t generate that ‘buzz’. This loss of potency of cannabis in people with excessive use is known as the development of THC tolerance. Let’s have a look at how tolerance develops in people with the excessive use of pot. 

CB1 (Cannabinoid) receptors are present on brain cells. These neuronal receptors are activated once the consumed THC molecules bind with them to give the feeling of being stoned. After THC withers away, the activated CB1 receptors revert back to their normal state.

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However, with the persistent administration of THC for days and weeks, the homeostasis kicks in. Homeostasis is a normal physiological phenomenon that happens whenever body senses some abnormal activity within. When the brain senses that CB1 receptors are activated for too long, it activates the process of homeostasis which basically tries to neutralize the increased activity of CB1 receptors by: 

  • Deactivating them  
  • Dampening their activity  
  • Or by changing their genetic expression 

It entails that you have to consume more amount of cannabis to get the initial high associated with it, and this phenomenon is called tolerance.  

Tolerance Depends on Various Factors  

Tolerance against THC doesn’t just develop by increasing the amount of dose. The previous history regarding the use of marijuana and your unique DNA mapping also play their part in setting the threshold for THC tolerance.  

Cannabis Tolerance Disappears with Abstinence  

Excessive use of any substance, even if it has many advantages, is not a good habit, and same is the case of marijuana strains. But if we compare the recovery time of excessive cannabis use with other drugs, then it is a fact that brain recovers quickly to its normal state during the period of abstinence.

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Scientific studies also substantiate that the recovery from the effects of excessive cannabis use is quick. There is a research that analyzes the CB1 receptors of daily pot users with non-users. It has found out that people in the former lot experienced a reduced number of CB1 receptors. In addition, the study has also concluded that the daily cannabis users get back their original number of CB1 receptors after quitting the administration of THC for two weeks. 

Nevertheless, recovering back to the normal tolerance levels are highlighted with the bouts of withdrawal. In comparisons to alcohol, which is toxic for liver and takes more toll on the brain function or methamphetamine-based drugs, where there is little to no chance of recovery to normal brain function, cannabis doesn’t appear as bad as it is projected by many quarters.  

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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