A user’s first time smoking can be a daunting and intimidating experience. Whether it’s yourself or a friend you’re introducing to cannabis for the first time, taking that first step into the world of cannabis is typically wrought with questions.
What are you supposed to feel? How can you tell that the effects are happening? How can you tell you’ve smoked too much? What do you do in case of green out? All these questions and more are undoubtedly swirling around in a beginner’s head if it’s their first time smoking cannabis.
First impressions matter and your first time smoking can significantly impact how you experience and view cannabis moving forward into future endeavours.
Before you or the friend you’re introducing to cannabis smoke weed for the first time, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that the experience is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Below, we will outline various tips, tricks and advice to help you prepare for your first time smoking.
You Might Not Even Get High
The cannabinoids within cannabis act on our endocannabinoid system. Also known as the ECS, this system exists within our bodies like our immune system and our central-nervous-system.
The ECS helps regulate our energy levels, libido, hunger, and even creativity, among other functions.
Everybody’s ECS is different, so everyone’s first time smoking cannabis will also likely vary. For example, some may feel the effects right away, while others might not feel anything at all.
If, at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. Not getting high the first time might even be beneficial since it’ll teach you how to smoke weed in the first place and prepare you for the next time you get high.
However, the “try, try again” notion is not to say that you should ingest more cannabis in the same session if you do not feel the effects. This idea is a common mistake among first-time smokers.
Ingesting too much cannabis at once, especially for those with minimal to no THC tolerance, can lead to adverse effects, including green out.
For many, smoking a joint will be the first time they’ve smoked anything. Current cigarette smoking rates are on the decline, with only 12% of Canadians in 2019. As such, the action of smoking a joint might not come as intuitively as users might initially think.
If you’re not feeling the effects after the third, fourth, or fifth time you’ve tried smoking a joint, you’re most likely not inhaling correctly.
For joints, be sure to create a tight but light seal around the joint’s filter and inhale naturally, as if to draw a breath. Lightly inhale, and you’ll soon feel the smoke fill your lungs. Hold that smoke for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly.
If done correctly, you should see a cloud of white smoke exit your mouth and feel the onset of effects relatively soon, if not instantaneously.
Remember to Hydrate
One of the more undesirable side effects of smoking weed for the first time, or any time, is cottonmouth. Cottonmouth is a highly uncomfortable side effect of cannabis consumption that’ll leave your mouth dry and dehydrated.
While it’s not harmful and only uncomfortable, cottonmouth can leave a terrible taste in your mouth – literally and potentially figuratively – and turn off anybody you’re trying to introduce to the world of cannabis.
Having a large bottle of water handy will help relieve the cottonmouth while ensuring that your elevated conversations flow smoothly.
Like with alcohol, ensuring your schedule is clear ahead of time to allow yourself to enjoy the effects and sober up from weed smoking is essential.
If it’s your first time smoking cannabis and you’re fortunate enough to feel the effects on the first try, you might just end up falling asleep.
This cannabis-induced nap can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, and even if you don’t fall asleep or wake up after experiencing the effects of THC, you may feel groggy and disoriented after your first couple of experiences.
In other words, you’ll be under the influence and will not be able to drive, operate heavy machinery, or carry out an entirely coherent conversation.
If you’re smoking for the first time, planning ahead is a must.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
This idiom works literally and metaphorically. When it comes to consuming cannabis, ‘starting low and going slow’ can’t be emphasized enough.
Whether it comes in flower form or edible form, cannabis needs to be respected and not as a cavalier substance.
A user’s first time smoking cannabis should be about getting their feet wet, not diving in headfirst. Don’t try to match your friend’s number of hits or let them peer pressure you into doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
A good friend or smoking companion will never pressure you to take an amount that’s outside your particular comfort level. As we stated previously, consuming more than you can handle can lead to a green out, an extremely negative experience that might turn you off from cannabis altogether.
Likewise, the ‘start low, go slow’ mantra bears repeating for edibles, too.
If you don’t feel the effects within 30 minutes to an hour, do not take another dose. Allow up to at least 3 hours for an edible’s effects to come on before dosing again. Unlike smoking cannabis, metabolizing cannabis works in an entirely different manner.
Whether it’s joints or edibles, remember to respect the cannabis plant, your smoking companions and yourself and only consume as much as makes you comfortable.
Surround Yourself with Trusted Friends
Marijuana is a mind-altering substance. Your first time smoking weed will expose you to new sensations and feelings that may make you feel uncomfortable or anxious. Surrounding yourself with friends you trust and people you know will help you enjoy your first cannabis experience more comfortably.
Another advantage of smoking with friends is that you’ll know exactly what you’re smoking and where it came from. While uncommon in Canada, synthetic cannabinoids are becoming increasingly popular and are an attractive but harmful alternative for those on a budget.
A safe rule of thumb to follow is, if you don’t see a joint or edible prepared or given to you by someone you trust, don’t consume it.
Prepare Some Snacks
Even if you’re not well-versed in cannabis culture, you’re probably aware of the munchies. Medically known as hunger stimulation, the munchies are a common side effect of cannabis consumption that’ll make you acutely hungry.
When you’re under the influence, the last thing you want to be doing is order food or, worse yet, drive to a restaurant to order and pick up food. Save yourself the danger and legal trouble by preparing some snacks ahead of time or ordering in.
Your stomach and future self will thank you.
Pick Your Consumption Method Wisely
Ideally, your first time smoking should be with a joint or a vape pen.
There are numerous methods for consuming cannabis and its derivative products. However, it doesn’t mean that you should take a dab for your first time smoking. Our recommendation would be to steer clear of pipes, bongs, dab rigs, and anything else that’ll give you a concentrated dose of THC.
Not only will you be overwhelmed, but your lungs will also be begging for mercy through being exposed to extreme amounts of irritation for what is likely the first time.
Why Vaping May be the Safest Choice for First-Time Smokers
As we’ve said before, a user’s first exposure to cannabis will likely be in the form of a joint or, these days, a vaporizer pen.
Vaporizers have become one of the most popular methods for users to consume cannabis due to several factors. One of the most prominent reasons is that they serve as a safer alternative to traditional smoking.
This advantage is because vaping does not combust the cannabis plant matter as smoking does. Instead, it heats it to the optimal temperature without burning it, transforming it into vapour instead of smoke, which the user then inhales.
In this way, vaping minimizes the risk of exposure to various harmful toxins, including tar, carcinogens and excess plant matter.
Not only that, but many users appreciate vape pens for their added level of discreteness and convenience.
For example, Hooti THC Distillate Pens are made with state-of-the-art premium THC distillate and reintroduced strain-specific terpenes. They offer users the convenience of being able to smoke on the go freely and discreetly while being portable and easily transportable.
Additionally, for first-time users, Hooti vaporizers pose a much more pleasant and comfortable experience than standard joints. They are incredibly user-friendly and easy to understand, so users will surely get the hang of them in no-time.
Finally, through inhaling vapour instead of smoke, you’re far less likely to experience uncomfortable irritation, such as coughing and unpleasant side effects.
All in all, vaporizer pens serve as an arguably better alternative for first-time smokers than more traditional consumption methods.
You Never Forget Your First
A person’s first time smoking is a rite of passage into the broader world of cannabis and the cannabis community. As such, it is something that most users are likely to remember, whether or not the experience is positive or negative.
That said, there are methods for helping your or a friend’s first experience to make it as positive as possible.
Making sure that this first time smoking experience is with a group of friends or trusted peers is one of the best ways to promote a respectful and safe environment where there are no pressures to exceed one’s comfort level.
From there, staying hydrated, having snacks on hand and staying with a comfortable dosage limit are all best practices for ensuring a pleasurable and positive introduction into cannabis consumption.
Finally, for those looking for a safer alternative for smoking, vaping poses a cleaner and healthier option to avoid irritation and exposure to harmful toxins.
The first time smoking experience can be intimidating for those new to cannabis. Thus, as members of the cannabis community, it is a responsibility to ensure that the process is as positive as possible to eliminate the stigma surrounding cannabis and build a tighter community based on respect and safety.