At times, you might think that being blissfully high all the time is the solution to all your problems- no more worrying about the hassles of day to day life, but instead filling your mind with peaceful thoughts. For people living with chronic pain or an inflammatory condition, that temptation is even higher, since it allows them constant relief from their condition. However, lurking behind every puff, patch, and dab is a potential problem- tolerance.
Cannabinoids are lipophilic compounds, and they tend to have an affinity for fat. Just like fat can have a tendency to hang around in our bodies (as anybody who has tried to rid themselves of a muffin-top knows), so does cannabis. This makes it difficult to figure out exactly when our bodies are totally free of cannabinoids, and depending on your body type and cannabis intake, it could take months for this to happen.
Finding clarity, for clarity’s sake, means that sometimes in order to know exactly how you truly feel about situations and life. That means that you have to step back and look at things from a different perspective. If we tend to alter our consciousness in one consistent direction, whether that be through cannabis, alcohol, or one of the many other substances that we, as humans, tend to gravitate towards, we might not be able to access a spectrum of self-observation and coping mechanisms like we could before.
The snowflake effect; we are all that unique
My own extensive work in the fields of cannabis has allowed me to witness how individual and unique each person’s response to cannabis is. When it comes to examining tolerance, it’s important to take a look at the specific reasons that we choose to consume. If you are suffering from chronic pain, it might be essential for you to sustain high cannabinoid levels in your blood to prevent that pain from escalating. What works for one person may not be the best option for another.
One thing that we all share in common though, is tolerance. Cannabis tolerance is interesting when you compare it with the tolerance-building capabilities of other substances that don’t have their own system, but instead hijack the system of another. Take, for example, cocaine and dopamine. When you consume cocaine, the brain down-regulates the dopamine it produces naturally. Cannabis does not have such an extreme effect, but this is nevertheless a new and emerging area of study that we should take an interest in. There are questions about the effects of dabbing, with its extremely high concentration of THC, which might cause the down-regulation of our natural endocannabinoids but this is still unknown. Is there a point where we “tinker” with the plant too much and eventually end up with a “drug”, thus resulting in losing the intricate organic balance the plant offers us?
The endocannabinoid system is very complicated and intricately organic. The natural release of pregnenolone, an active neurosteroid released by our brain, regulates THC and makes it so that we cannot overdose. This networked, intricate response is the reason tolerance for cannabis is reduced quickly with only a short break. This also gives us a peak into why some people seem to be able to handle significantly higher quantities of cannabis while others at the same dose are sent to the moon. Showing again how unique each person’s response can be. Our brain chemistry is as unique as our own personal fingerprint. It’s only when we start to explore more refined forms of cannabis and ramp the dosage up quickly that we may see a change in the way the brain normally interacts with the cannabinoids.
I have worked in the cannabis industry for many years. Because of this, weed has always been readily accessible, and therefore became just part of my day-to-day life. However, I’ve always been something of a lightweight. It usually only takes me a few puffs to get where I want to be. I find that not being stoned can be quite the contrast to my typical state of being, and I am really enjoying experimenting with the boundaries of this relationship. I’ve started to learn to appreciate something about experiencing the full spectrum of emotions available to me, with and without cannabis. The process has also given me a greater appreciation for this multi-faceted plant, cannabis, and now that it has been a couple of months since that initial break, I have moderated my use to one to three times a week. I encourage you to explore this relationship, and to always keep it evolving.
Low-dose cannabis is another interesting option that I have been looking into. The more I discuss this option with friends, the more I find that many other people have had the same idea. Not only with cannabis, but even in the pharmaceutical market, we are changing the ways that we view medicines, and I believe cannabis has an important part to play in that discussion and evolution. I think that the current issues we face with these substances were brought about by cultural stigma and the demonization of said plants and substances. Many years ago, we had quite a different relationship with cannabis. It was revered for the many ways in which it can sustain us. In modern day culture though, where everything has become a commodity, we have begun to see a shift away from this reverence. In this culture obsessed with consumption, intoxicants have really stepped up to fill the needs of the consumer. Next time you toke up, take a second to revere this plant. It has evolved with us, and will continue to do so with our help- so long as we are responsible and conscious with our intake.
Sebastian DeRosia is the owner and operator at www.thewinstonhouse.com