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Sunday June 16, 2019

By Paul Barach

420 Culture

What’s it like being stoned? We’ve all asked this question at one point, whether quietly to ourselves or out loud to our cooler friends at their place. Luckily, with cannabis now more available and more legal than ever before, new or curious marijuana consumers have a much easier time giving it a try. However, whether you’re a young adult or a regular (old) adult, there are a few things to know before taking that first puff or chowing down on your first edible.

With this in mind, here are 10 key tips to consider before trying cannabis for the first time:

1. You Can Always Take More, You Can Never Take Less

This is the rule of thumb for all things weed. Being stoned is great, being really stoned can be really great, but being too high is the absolute worst. Remember, you don’t have to finish that entire joint you bought. That’s why it’s sold in that handy, re-sealable tube. In the circle, none of your friends are going to say anything if you pass on the third round of puff, puff, pass. It’s more weed for them.

Also, the cookies or gummies you bought may look small, but believe the packaging when they tell you the dosage. 10 milligrams is 10 milligrams whether it’s in a mini-sandwich cookie or a big weed lollipop. And 10 milligrams is enough for a beginner, no matter what your size. Starting with 5 mg is an even safer bet. Either way, inhaling cannabis can take up 10 minutes to hit, but remember to wait at least an hour for your edible to kick in. If you still don’t feel anything, wait at least a half hour more, then maybe take another half. Play it safe with edibles, because you’ll be in for the long haul. 

2. You May Not Get High The First Time

It’s little-talked-about, but you may not feel much your first time consuming cannabis. There are a couple reasons for this. First, you may not be doing it right. If you’re not a regular consumer, inhaling smoke or anything besides air into your lungs isn’t exactly a natural reaction. Unless you turn that puff into a lungful, the THC won’t pass into your brain where you want it.

Even if you do take your first hit like a champion, or chomp down on an entire edible, it still may not work. Cannabis, and many other drugs, may not affect you the first time because your liver sometimes kind of shrugs when a new compound passes through instead of breaking it down. This may be an evolutionary technique to avoid poisons, with your liver not knowing which poisons are the fun ones (yet). Finally, maybe you were a little stoned, but it was too subtle to notice because it wasn’t like the movies. Either way, as the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed…”

3. Enjoy That First Time

On the other hand, you might get really, really high. You could be having thoughts you’ve never had before, seeing some pretty fantastic shapes and colors, or getting really giggly. Either way, cherish it. The first few times you get stoned are some of the most fun you’ll ever have. After that, your brain sort of adjusts to it as you build up a tolerance. It’s still good, but man, those first few times...

4. Drink Water. A Lot of Water

Have some liquids around to hydrate, especially in the case of cottonmouth. Your future, stoned self will thank your sober self later. Also, it’ll help sooth your throat if you start coughing.

5. Get Some Snacks on Hand

Sugary or salty, pizza or cookies, there’s nothing like indulging in the munchies when they hit. Take the initiative beforehand and order some food. It’ll be a welcome surprise when the delivery man arrives like some kind of hero.

Stock up on your favorite snacks to help combat the munchies. photo credit

Or hit the grocery store and rediscover the joy of breakfast cereal with cold milk. This childhood classic is an absolute treat when you’re stoned.

6. Avoid Alcohol and Coffee

Mixing weed and booze, known as a “cross-fade,” can be a “best of both worlds” situation. However, it’s not for beginners. The combination can compound the effects of both and put you down for an early night. Coffee, on the other hand, could make you anxious which could turn your experience sideways fast. Do your best to avoid both your first few times until you get a better feel for what being high is like.

7. There Are No Stupid Questions

If you have an experienced friend, ask them for advice. If not, budtenders field plenty of questions and “What should I try my first time?” is a frequent one. Be honest about what you’re hoping to experience, and if you don’t know, just say that. Your friends and budtenders are there to make sure you have the best time possible.

8. Take the Day Off

You might not feel the full effects the first time you try cannabis, but you should still plan your day as though you’re about to get hella baked. Avoid doing anything important like driving, officiating a wedding/Bar Mitzvah, or pitching a business idea to your boss (unless you’re the main character in a sitcom looking for some wacky antics.) If you’re new to getting stoned, why harsh your buzz with any adulting that day?

9. Find Your Happy Place

Consuming marijuana with friends is a time-honored tradition, and even better when you surround yourself with positivity for your first time. It’s especially helpful if one of your friends is experienced. They can provide suggestions of fun activities or help level you out in case you get too high.

Having friends nearby can help calm you down in the event of overconsumption.

However, if you’ve come on a business trip to Colorado and want to see what all the hype’s about, find a nice calm place like a park, or maybe even your hotel room with a good movie. Either way, it’s best to avoid crowds, strangers, and social obligations. 

10. Remember That You’re Stoned

Enjoy yourself. That’s why you’re smoking weed. If you start to feel anxious, tell yourself it will pass. Maybe take a nap. If you’re having a great time, ride that wave into a landing. And remember, you’ll only get better at it from here. Happy consuming!

Do you have any tips for new consumers trying cannabis for the first time? Share them below!


Paul Barach Paul Barach

Paul Barach is a Seattle-based freelance writer, editor, and author with experience creating well-researched, edited web articles covering cannabis news, culture, history and science. Paul is a regular contributor to PotGuide and has also contributed to publications such as, SlabMechanix, Litro, and The Trek. He prefers to spend his free time outdoors and most recently hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. So far he has only fallen into the La Brea Tarpits once. You can follow him on Instagram @BarachOutdoors and stay up to date professionally through his LinkedIn page.

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