According to studies from a few years ago, nearly half of Americans have smoked cannabis at least once in their lifetime. This means that half of us haven’t ever tried this magical green plant.
With various reported experiential, mental, and physical benefits, it’s a surprise that everyone hasn’t lit one up to see how it can improve their well-being.
If you’re a newbie in this realm, don’t worry. We’re here to offer you professional guidance so you can have the best experience possible. Keep reading to find out 6 tips for smoking cannabis for the first time.
1. Choose the Best Local Dispensary
That way, you can get assistance, smell the flower, and ask any questions you have. Try to have an idea of the effects you’re looking for ahead of time so your budtender can pick the right product for you (e.g. if you’re wanting to relieve lower back pain or simply want to feel a head-high).
Be sure to bring your valid ID and cash. Give yourself plenty of time to wait in line and browse, as it’s a relaxed environment.
2. Know the Types of Product Available
Believe it or not, you can’t simply go into a dispensary and ask for cannabis. They’re going to ask you what type of product you want and the choices can be narrowed down to two main categories: concentrate or flower
Concentrates include a wide umbrella of products including:
- Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
In general, you’ll want to forego this category until you’re a more experienced cannabis user. Instead, stick with cannabis flower (buds).
Cannabis flower is broken up into a few categories as well: indica, sativa, and hybrid.
Indica strains typically make your body feel relaxed, helps with sleep problems, and in general make you feel heavier. People have nicknamed the strain “in-da-couch” as a result.
Sativa, on the other hand, is thought to be energizing, creative, and anxiety-reducing. Sativa strains typically have higher amounts of THC compared to indica.
Growers make hybrid strains, as the name suggests, by taking different elements from indica and sativa genetics and breeding them into a new, unique plant. Hybrids are often labeled as indica-dominant, sativa-dominant, or balanced.
With the help of a budtender, you’ll be able to decide which is right for you. No matter what, you should try to find products with lower THC percentages (less than 20%) and with descriptions that offer what you’re looking for.
3. Stick with a Simple Method of Smoking
One of the beautiful things about cannabis is that you can smoke it in a variety of ways.
That being said, you should wait to explore different smoking methods until you’re more familiar with the process and getting high.
It’s easier to use pipes that have the bowl where you put the cannabis on the top. This way, nothing will fall out when you try to smoke.
In addition to a small pipe, purchase a small grinder to break up the cannabis as well as a lighter to, well, light up.
4. Prepare Ahead of Time for Your Session
Before you sit down to smoke for the first time, you’ll want to do a little preparation to make things go as smoothly as possible.
This includes clearing your schedule and being worry-free. Do your chores and duties ahead of time so that when you want to smoke, you can sink into the experience.
Smoking at home in the late afternoon or at nighttime is recommended for newbies.
Aside from that, prepare your couch with blankets and pillows, wear something comfortable, and hydrate before you light up. Oh, and have a few snacks nearby in case you get the infamous side effect of “munchies”.
5. Use the Right Process and the Right Amount
The process of smoking is pretty straight-forward. You’ll grind up your cannabis flower, remove stems, and pack your bowl one pinch at a time. You want to do this firmly so that nothing falls out, but loose enough so that air can get through.
Then, hold your pipe to your lips and light the bowl of cannabis while inhaling. Many new smokers claim to not get high during their first time. To avoid this, make sure you inhale the smoke deep into your lungs, hold it there, and release it after a second or two.
Coughing is normal for even the most experienced cannabis user. Keep some water nearby to relieve your throat just in case.
Start with a small puff, see how it feels for 30 minutes to an hour, and then smoke more if you still want to feel more “high.” In due time, you’ll find your sweet spot where you’re high enough but not too high.
6. Have an Idea of What to Expect
Smoking is different for everyone, so it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect.
Still, there are general things that you can learn about so that if you experience them, you won’t be caught off-guard.
First, smoking cannabis makes you feel like time is passing slower. You feel like you’re floating, yet still are in your body. Many people say this alone is “euphoric”.
A high from cannabis typically lasts for a couple of hours but can potentially last longer, if you smoke a lot or have a sensitive system. This is why it’s important to give yourself plenty of free time to explore.
At the beginning of the experience, you may feel giggly, relaxed, or a slow-growing hunger (queue the “munchies”). For some people, unfortunately, an added side effect is anxiety from being “too high”.
If this happens to you, remind yourself that it will end soon and take deep breaths. Listen to your favorite music or watch a silly movie.
Your eyes may become a little red, your heart may feel like it’s pumping a little faster, and you may get increasingly sleepy or dry-mouthed. Rest assured, this is all normal. Go with the flow, accept what you’re feeling, and take it easy by chilling out, drinking water, and snacking during your first time.
Practice Makes Perfect
Everybody who’s smoked before has gone through smoking cannabis for the first time. Luckily, after your first puff, you’ll be on your way to becoming experienced.
Follow these tips, take it slow, and don’t be afraid to try various strains and products. If you give yourself a comfortable environment to experiment in, nothing can go wrong.
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