Chances are you’ve been around cannabis at least a few times in your lifetime, but maybe you’ve never actively partaken. No matter your social group, age, or location (assuming all are legal), you likely have plenty of friends and family that smoke, vape, dab, or consume edibles, whether you know it or not. Still, if you haven’t developed a personal relationship with weed, smoking for the first time can be somewhat of an intimidating task. You’ve heard how fun, exhilarating, or relaxing it can be, so you may have built up this idea in mind of what your experience should be like. For many people, the thought that their expectations might not be met is what’s keeping them from trying.
If this describes you, we’ll give you our first tip right off the bat – try not to make smoking weed into a life-changing, intimidating event (though weed has changed our lives for the better!) With that out of the way, whether you’re a first-timer or just looking for some tips to make sure you always have a good experience, we have some great insider info to share with you. Weed is meant to be a good experience that brings out the chill, calm, happy vibes in everyone, and we’re here to help make sure that holds true for you. Understanding the dos and don’ts of smoking weed before you partake can ensure you have a good time every time.
The Do’s: What to Consider when Smoking Cannabis
First, we’ll start with the things you should do or keep in mind to make sure you have a positive experience with weed. These tips include knowing limits, setting your environment, picking the right product, and finding the right mindset.
Know Your Limit
For seasoned smokers, this is an easy concept, even though it may be consistently shifting. However, if you’re a first-timer or otherwise new to the weed experience, it can be difficult to know your limit before you’ve even tried smoking for the first time. For this reason, it’s vital to start out slowly so you can avoid crossing that line and feeling too high. Being too high your first time out is the quickest way to have a bad experience.
Instead of winging it, start slow and allow time to gauge the effects. When you smoke weed, it should begin to take effect in just a few minutes. Take only a small puff or two, and then wait about ten minutes to see how it will affect you – chat with friends, watch TV, or engage in your usual activities in between. You might find that this is the exact right amount for your first session, or you might decide you could manage a little more. If you do need to try again, take another puff or two and wait another ten minutes to make a more informed decision.
Choose the Right Environment
Environment is everything when it comes to weed consumption. While you can, of course, smoke in any legal location, not all environments are created equal. There are a few factors you should consider when choosing your location.
First, you want to make sure that you have a safe place to consume your cannabis. Whether that’s with a friend who always makes sure you have fun, with a group that promotes a calm and chill atmosphere, or even alone in your favorite room of your house, you want to make sure that your location is safe.
Then, you need to consider the kind of experience you want. If you want more of an upbeat atmosphere, good music and company can do the trick. If you’d rather have a relaxing experience, opt for a comfortable chair, a soft blanket, and lower lighting.
No matter your location, make sure it’s optimal for you to remain there for a period of time. It’s important that you are able to stay where you are for a while so you can enjoy your high and come down safely without having to worry about relocating.
Choose the Right Strain
Doing a little research will get you a long way; when you know what the strain profile is, you’ll be better prepared for the effects. First, get to know the general differences between sativa and indica. While they’re more subtle than they once were before the market was dominated by hybrids, it’s important to know the basics of how each might affect you. Sativa-heavy strains have the tendency to promote an energizing result, boosting creativity and alertness. Indica is the opposite and more likely to have a calming effect, so expect pain relief, relaxation, and maybe the munchies we all hear about.
If you’re making the purchase, check the label to get a sense of the strain’s indica or sativa leanings, as well as the THC percentage. While there’s a broad range of high-potency weed, most people consider strains above 20% to be on the verge of potent.
Get in the Right Mental Space
You can do all the right things, but if your mind isn’t in the right space, that can seriously inhibit your experience. Weed can intensify your emotions or make you forget about them, but if you’re in a negative headspace, your outcome might not be a positive one.
We recommend picking a time to smoke weed for the first time when you’re in a good mood without too many expectations. Make sure that your schedule is clear, too; you don’t need to feel rushed to have a particular outcome. You might consider meditating to prepare yourself or even exercising beforehand to boost your endorphins and help get you ready for consumption.
The Don’ts: What to Avoid when Smoking Weed
Just like there’s a list of things to do to prepare yourself, there are also some things you shouldn’t do both before and after smoking, so you can avoid a negative outcome. These things include refraining from driving, not overdoing it, skipping other substances, and not being too friendly.
Don’t Consider Driving
Clearing your schedule and making sure that you’re in a safe and comfortable location serve two purposes. First, you can make sure you’re relaxed, comfortable, and not under pressure. Second, you’ll ensure you won’t be expected to drive anywhere. Not only is driving while intoxicated illegal, but it’s also a good way to have a serious episode of paranoia. When you don’t know how your body will react to weed, driving can be incredibly dangerous. Planning to stay put or arranging transportation in advance saves you a lot of hassle in the future.
Don’t Overdo It
Just like we recommended starting slow, it’s important to take other steps to avoid overdoing it. If you smoke too fast and too much, you’re bound to have a poor experience. Additionally, if you pick a strain that has too high of a concentration of THC, you’re not likely to have a good time. Smoking too much could make you nauseous and dizzy, and you may begin to feel paranoid or have racing thoughts. None of these sounds like the experience you were likely looking to have, so avoiding overindulgence is very important.
Say No to Other Substances
Loosening up is helpful in many circumstances. With weed consumption, however – especially your first time smoking weed – it can be difficult to predict how you’ll feel the effects. That’s why it’s important to skip combining any other substances. You may feel inclined to have a beer before your first experience, but it’s recommended that you go in with a sober, level head so that you can be fully aware when the high hits.
Because weed can do a number of things, from giving you that high feeling to mellowing out your system or giving you an energy boost, combining it with other substances isn’t the best option. You should especially avoid any substances that cause similar effects. Using weed with other depressants might slow you down and mellow you out too much and can even inhibit your motor functions.
Weed and alcohol together might seem like a good time, but the possibility of paranoia and short-term memory loss is increased. Additionally, as weed can already produce psychoactive effects, mixing it with hallucinogens is likely to get you too high and induce extreme hallucinations.
Don’t Share with Just Anyone
While we’ve been taught that sharing is caring, sharing with people you don’t know might not be the best choice. When you’re surrounded by friends or people you trust, you know that they aren’t likely to do anything to harm you or put you in a dangerous situation. When you choose your group, you can have a safer and more enjoyable experience.
The same cannot be said for people you don’t know or anyone you aren’t necessarily comfortable with. These people might not care for your well-being, or they may simply be less likely to take your needs and concerns into account. Weed can be a supremely social experience, but it’s often best to keep your first few tries within your close circle of friends.
What Is the Most Healthy Way to Smoke Weed?
There’s always a risk when you’re inhaling smoke. Smoke can be irritating to your lungs, and while weed is different from cigarettes in that it doesn’t contain the same specific carcinogens, it can still be irritating to the lungs. Many producers make tinctures, edibles, and vaporizers, which can be considered healthier methods for consuming weed than a classic bowl or blunt would be. Consider your sensitivities and your level of comfortability with the above products before you decide how you want to experience your first time. In addition, keep in mind that other methods, like vaping and dabbing, will require additional equipment and may have a higher entry point.
What Should I Keep in Mind While Smoking Weed?
There are several things you should think about while consuming. The first is paying attention to your surroundings and your mood. You want to make sure you’re having a good time, so being sure to always be in a safe and comfortable space is good. Also, don’t think too much about your high, but do be thoughtful about making sure you’re not consuming too much.
What Are the Positive Effects I’ll Feel After Smoking Weed?
Weed affects everyone differently, so it’s difficult to say exactly how you may react to weed. It’s also very dependent on the strain and your body. Be sure to read the strain notes for your chosen strain and look up reviews online to get a better idea of what you might expect. Depending on the strain you consume, you may feel energized and creative, or you might feel mellow and a little sleepy. These are some of the best feelings you can have after smoking weed.
How Can I Make My Next Cannabis Session Better?
First, think about what was keeping your first smoke session from being perfect. It may have been the people you were with, your location may not have been as comfortable as possible, or you might not have been feeling great, to begin with. Or, consider the weed itself – maybe you consumed too much or didn’t choose the right strain. Narrowing down which factors were influencing your experience and making changes or adjustments can help you land on a better next session.
Make Sure You Have the Best Cannabis Experience
Like many things, trying weed for the first time can be hyped up to the point where you’re actually nervous about the experience. We know what that’s like, but our goal is to make sure that you have a good time every time. Being sure to follow all the above dos and don’ts can definitely help.
Breaking into the community can seem more difficult than it truly is, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We want you to have a positive experience, and we aim to arm you with all the information you need. If you’re ready to learn more, visit our cannabis education resource.
- Holland, K. (2019, April 8). Sativa vs. Indica: What to Expect Across Cannabis Types and Strains. Healthline; Healthline Media.https://www.healthline.com/health/sativa-vs-indica
- MD, P. G. (2023, January 17). If you use cannabis, do it safely. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/if-you-use-cannabis-do-it-safely-202301172876