Safety Tips for First-Time Cannabis Smokers
Here’s what you can expect from your first-ever cannabis smoking session. Don’t you worry, it won’t kill you.
So, you’ve decided to embark on your first herb-smoking voyage. You’ve done your research and had your healthy dose of Cheech & Chong movies to say to yourself, “Hey, why the heck not?”.
Now, let’s assume you’re doing this for recreational purposes, more than anything. Before you get yourself into that altered state for the first time, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind.
Top Safety Tips for First-Time Cannabis Smokers
Whether it’s learning how to ride a bike or completing a judo hip throw, or smoking weed for the first time, there are always safety measures and best practices to consider. Ultimately, it’s all about preparing your mind and body for a totally foreign yet eye-opening experience. Here are our top tips for an enjoyable inaugural cannabis high.
Choose the Best Time of Day
As a rookie entering the game, pick the best time of day for you. Impairment is a guarantee, so you’ll want to smoke up during the night after you’ve crossed out everything on your to-do list. And here’s a word to the wise: don’t try to schedule any sort of activity after you’ve smoked. You likely won’t get anything done, especially if you’ve been hit hard.
Instead, take this time to acquaint yourself with the feeling and how it affects your overall disposition. It may be like going into uncharted territory at first, but the ride will smoothen out as you go along.
Choose the Best Environment
When fixing up your place for a date night, you’d pull out all the stops. That includes picking the right music and preparing the mood lighting and delicacies you’ll indulge in.
Take a similar approach for your first time smoking weed. Make it a comfortable, safe setting for you to feel at ease. Your environment will play a huge role in this first exploration into the unknown.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
One of the first physical signs of cannabis inebriation is “cottonmouth”. As the name suggests, the inside of your mouth will feel thick and dry, as if you stuck a ball of cotton in there. For some people, it could be a very uncomfortable, distressing feeling.
Your best bet against cottonmouth is to keep hydrated. Have a pitcher of water next to you for when the feeling kicks in. Sugary drinks like juices or soda work well too.
Prepare the Munchies Beforehand
You’ll know the weed’s kicked in when you suddenly have the urge to consume everything in your pantry. That, my friend, is a case of the munchies. In a nutshell, marijuana’s psychotropic chemical THC tricks your brain into making you feel like you need more food, causing a seemingly never-ending appetite boost (at least for the next hour or so).
Be prepared for when the munchies attack with a bag of your favourite potato chips or another easy snack. Eating can actually help mitigate some of the more uncomfortable side effects of the high. But like everything good in life, keep it in moderation.
Eat a Bit Before Starting
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will get you intoxicated a lot quicker. That’s because the food helps slow down the alcohol’s absorption when it passes through your small intestine.
You can apply that same theory to smoking weed. Have a cracker or two before diving right in, just to slow down the high a little bit. Ultimately, that allows you to make the most of the entire experience.
Start Out With a Joint
Everyone has their own preferred method of smoking weed. But if you’re a newbie, go with a couple hits from a joint or blunt for your first dive.
Using a bong or pipe involves some skill that is likely alien to you, as opposed to hitting a joint, which is very similar to sipping from a straw. It also provides a more consistent flow of cannabis, often in lower individual doses than hitting a pipe every few minutes.
Pick a Strain With a 1:1 CBD:THC Ratio
Smoking a strain rich in THC will get you the high you’re looking for. But, to not drift off too far into space, you might want some cannabidiol (CBD) to balance things out.
So, if you’re looking for that perfect first-time buzz, go with a strain with a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio. By striking that balance right in the middle, the high will be milder and a lot easier to “control”. You’ll still feel that nice euphoric feeling, but it won’t send you to another dimension just yet.
Choose the Best Companions
Apart from the environment you’re in, the people around you will also influence the quality of your cannabis experience. If you’re with a Debbie Downer, don’t look forward to a nice time. If you’re vibing with someone in great spirits, however, you’ll feel that energy too.
Moral of the story: pick the ideal companions to smoke up with. Ideally, they’re someone you greatly trust, and whose company you enjoy.
Don’t Smoke Alone
This point builds on the one above; while there’s nothing criminally wrong with smoking on your own, it’s definitely a lot more worthwhile to have trusted people around you your first few times. These are folks who will show you a great time, but will slap you back to sanity if necessary.
Just like how it is when learning to drive a car for the first time, you need a seasoned individual to help you learn the ropes. You’re dealing with an entirely different experience here, so save the solo flight for your fifth or sixth smoke.
Don’t Mix With Other Substances
Since you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll want a pure, unadulterated experience for your maiden voyage. So, if you were planning to warm yourself up with a few cocktails, don’t even think about it.
Adding alcohol into the mix will only aggravate the situation. It may cause your head and the world around to spin, leading to episodes of nausea and vomiting. Who wants that? You don’t want alcohol to be the factor that puts you off cannabis.
Don’t Smoke Too Much
We’ve all heard those stories about people trying to show off by smoking ridiculous amounts for their first time. As you’d expect, it didn’t end very well for them in terms of enjoying the experience.
Don’t be that guy. Take things slowly, savour the moment, and smoke in moderation. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t Get Up Too Fast
Let’s assume you were in a very comfortable spot as you were smoking. You could be sprawled out on the carpet of your living room or plopped right onto a La-Z-Boy, then you’re suddenly hit by the urge to take a leak.
Word of advice: don’t get up too quickly. That may cause your world to spin out of control, in turn causing some unnecessary and unwanted worry. Save yourself that trouble for your first time, yes?
All seasoned weed smokers know that one person who questions everything after that first hit. A Doubting Thomas, if you will. You’ll hear endless laments of, “Hey man, I’m not feeling anything. Is your stuff even legit?”.
Again, don’t be that person. Be patient and give it a little time. The high you’re looking for will hit you like a thief in the night when you least expect it. And when it does, you better be buckled up.
Learn From the Experience
Depending on the strain’s potency, the overall vibe, and your pre-smoking mood, the experience may vary between pleasantly memorable and very uncomfortable. However the ride turns out, it’s best to be as neutral as possible and try to learn from the experience.
Remember when you started drinking alcohol? It probably took some time to learn your limits. Do the same thing with your weed smoking. It may take a while (or not), but you’ll get there.
Don’t Even Think About Driving
Not even after an hour or two after smoking. There’s a good chance that your brain is still fried and you have yet to descend from the ether.
If you really need to be somewhere, have someone else drive for you. Do not do something stupid that could endanger yourself and others. Better yet, just stay put. You’ll thank yourself later for making such a decision.
Taking Edibles Is a Totally Different Ballgame
It goes without saying that smoking and eating cannabis are two completely separate things. The herb enters your body differently, which ultimately leads to somewhat different experiences.
Edibles are around four times more psychotropic than smoked cannabis because the THC is turned into the highly potent 11-hydroxy-THC when digested. So, if you choose to go the edibles route, or it’s your only option, start very slow and consume small doses. It’ll kick you hard before you even know it.
You Might Feel High the Next Day
Now, here’s a little disclaimer: there’s a good chance you might still feel a little high or “out of it” the day after your first toke. That could be due to a few things. For example, if you take edibles, the entire experience can last eight hours or more, depending on how much you consume.
But what do you do if you still feel high the next day? Although the manner in which you deal with it will be entirely up to you, keep in mind that the feeling won’t last. You’ll eventually descend back to normalcy in a matter of hours—don’t worry about it.
Weed “hangovers” can make you feel lethargic and a little fried, but they are by and large more bearable than alcohol hangovers.
With that in mind, you can deal with a weed hangover by staying hydrated, resting, and perhaps taking some CBD to feel a little more balanced and “together”. Thanks to our innate endocannabinoid system, and the relative safety of cannabis in general, weed is processed in a manner that doesn’t take too much of a toll on the body.
What Can Happen to You When Smoking Weed?
Cannabis affects everyone differently. That said, there are certain sensations experienced by a large share of users—both in the positive and negative sense. First, let’s focus on the positives. Here are some of the reasons weed is beloved by so many:
- Uplifting, euphoric effects
- Giggles—everything will be triply funny
- Food will taste extra good (you’ll gain five pounds at most if you give in to the munchies)
- Strong wave of relaxation—kiss tension goodbye, at least for a little bit
- You’ll feel a sense of bonding with your fellow smokers
- Prepare for profound or complex thoughts
- Music and movies (sounds and visuals) will be enhanced
- Increased focus on a single topic/activity
- Slowed passage of time
But what if you’re on the other side of the spectrum and you’re instead met with a racing heart, uneasy feelings, and strong negative thoughts swirling around your head?
Here’s what you can do:
- Take some deep breaths
- Hydrate and have something to eat
- Distract yourself with conversation or some form of relaxing media (stay off your phone)
- Lay sideways on the sofa (as opposed to on your back)
- Don’t keep yourself planted on one surface for too long—stretch out
- Get some fresh air or open a window
- Make your surroundings more comfortable—put on some soothing music, etc.
- Try to sleep
- Relax—remind yourself that you’re just high and everything will pass
With our list above, we hope to have informed you a bit on the important safety measures and best practices to consider your first few times toking. Even experienced stoners would do well to keep this advice in mind, as everyone can have an unpleasant cannabis experience from time to time. Just proceed slowly, exercise moderation, and bask in the good vibes.