Tolerance Desensitization: A Closer Look

A white arrow going up over a depiction of a cannabis plant wtih "tolerance" written below

There are a number of impacts that people have reported cannabis having on them. From helping to address anxiety, nausea, sleeplessness, appetite suppression, and more. It’s had its fair share of negative impacts as well. This is particularly in the case of overuse. This begs the question: what role does tolerance play in this?

In today’s clip, Riley goes in depth about cannabis tolerance. In particular, she discusses what factors lead to tolerance desensitization. For more videos giving Riley’s take on the plant, visit her Tik Tok page today! And for more on hemp, stick around after the article and browse our extensive site!

What Is Tolerance?

Tolerance in this context is exactly what its root word sounds like. It refers to how well your system tolerates something. This tolerance often depends on how often you use the thing in question. For example, a person with a low alcohol tolerance is likely not a frequent user of it.

Likewise, the more you use something, the more likely your tolerance is to increase. Take the alcohol example. If you increase your usage, your tolerance will likely increase with it. This can lead to a number of implications, and in the case of alcohol, they’re likely not good. But what about in cannabis?

A Statement On Cannabis Claims

Before going any further, it’s imperative that we address the elephant in the room. Cannabis legality still varies widely. Because of that, the field lacks empirical and peer reviewed study. As such, we at Arbor Vita8 seek to make no definite claims of the sort.

Cannabis Tolerance

Cannabis and tolerance have a very interesting relationship. When you first begin using cannabis, there’s an entire biological process that occurs. As we know, there are several cannabinoids present in cannabis. When you indulge in it, these compounds enter into and react with your body. In this case, the ligand attached to your CB1 receptor binds with the cannabinoid. This causes GTP to appear in your G-protein.

Before, only GDP was available. Once this binding is complete, “it causes a conformational change. You have a cellular response. In the case of cellular desensitization, that molecule is still going to bind to the receptor. But, you’re not going to have the downstream pathway signaling.” This gives you a lessened feeling of the compound’s effects. Or in short, tolerance desensitization. Generally, this change occurs over time, and can vary depending on the subject.

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Check out our extensive blog list, where we discuss virtually every aspect regarding hemp. From there, you can check out or list of quality, hemp-based products. If you have any further questions, or are certain of the next steps you wish to take, contact us today!

Clip Transcript

Riley Dee:
Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out. It’s okay. We’re going to talk about this. Let’s talk about the first way our body can build tolerance to molecules like THC. And make sure you’re comfortable with the information in video 16 before we get to this information.

Okay. So essentially, this is your receptor in the inactivated form. Okay. THC has not bound yet and GDP is still attached to our G protein. And if you recall, once that THC binds to a receptor, it causes a conformational change. GDP leaves, GTP comes along, and you have a cellular response, a.k.a. you’re high.

So in the case of receptor desensitization, that molecule is still going to buy into the receptor, but you’re not going to have that downstream pathway signaling. So you’re not going to feel as high. So your receptor is literally not as sensitive to that molecule as it used to be. So you don’t get as high.


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