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So you’ve decided you’re going to try marijuana for the first time. Whether you’ve decided this for medical purposes, or have chosen to try it recreationally, the first time can be quite intimidating for some people. Even if you enjoyed cannabis frequently in the 70s – prepare yourself; cannabis these days can be far more potent and trying it again may resemble the first time! 

Below we have created a list of things you should consider, to help make your first time relaxing and enjoyable.

What are the effects?

Marijuana is a mind-altering substance. A tip for first timers is to understand what exactly to expect during your first experience. But, keep in mind everyone is different, and it can affect people in different ways. A lot depends on what type of cannabis you try, how much and how you consume it. In addition, because it is a psychoactive substance, you may actually alter your “high” with your expectations prior to consuming.

There are many chemicals found in marijuana, but the two that contribute to the “high” feeling are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that makes you feel calm and relaxed – particularly in the body more in the mind. Marijuana that is high in CBD is more often used medicinally as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.

THC is the chemical that gives you more psychological effects, often referred to as the ‘high’. The THC in marijuana mimics a natural neurotransmitter in your brain called anandamide. After a person consumes marijuana, THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in areas of your brain that are responsible for short-term memory, coordination, learning, problem-solving, and unconscious muscle movements. When THC binds to cannabinoid receptors, it gets in the way of natural neurotransmitters that are needed to make all of the functions listed above work properly.

how marijuana affects the brain A Guide To Smoking Weed For The First Time
Photo credit: Visual.ly – click to enlarge.

THC blocks anandamide, and the chemical balance is thrown off – causing a euphoric feeling. After consuming cannabis, you may feel relaxed and euphoric. On the not-so-positive side, some people can feel panic or paranoia. The physical effects include increased heart rate, red eyes, dry mouth (also called cottonmouth) and increased appetite (the munchies!).

In addition, you can control what type of high you get depending on what type of cannabis you have.  There are two indigenous strains of cannabis, Indica and Sativa.  Each has a different effect on the person consuming the plant. Indica is likely to make you sleep and gives more of a body-high. This strain is also good for pain, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Sativa, on the other hand, causes a cerebral high – these types of strains will keep you perky, energized, and creative.

How much should I have?

The amount of marijuana to consume differs in each individual. For your first time, it is important to take it SLOW. If you are smoking or vaping, start with 1 puff and see how that makes you feel. After 20 minutes if you would like to heighten the effects, try another small puff. If you are using edibles, the effects can take MUCH longer to kick in. Try half of a brownie and then wait at least an hour to see if you need more. Remember, edibles can produce a much stronger effect, so it’s important to take it slow.

It is all about what you’re comfortable with, and the type of high you would like to have. The important thing is not to have too much at once. Take it slow and increase the dose if needed.

What is the best way to take cannabis?

There are a few ways to consume marijuana, but the 3 best ways to have cannabis are smoking, eating and vaporizing.

Smoking

The most common way, and perhaps the most popular method to consume weed for the first time, is to smoke it. For your first time smoking weed, a pipe may do the trick. When marijuana is smoked, it goes into the nervous system via the lungs. The reaction is very quick (2-8 minutes) and can be intense at first. Then the feeling will slowly dispel over the course of a few of hours. Smoking can be painful on the lungs, especially for first-timers, so be sure to only take small puffs at a time.

first time pipe A Guide To Smoking Weed For The First Time
Photo credit: Flickr

Edibles

You may choose to consume the marijuana in a yummy brownie or cookie. When marijuana is ingested, it goes into the blood stream through the digestive system. It can take about an hour to feel the effects – so just WAIT! Don’t eat more because you can’t feel anything… it will happen. You will feel the effects in your head, similar to smoking, but you may also get a warm, fuzzy feeling through your body.

first time brownies A Guide To Smoking Weed For The First Time
Photo credit: Flickr

Vaporizing

A more recent popular technique is to use a vaporizer.  The vape “high” is considerably less intense and shorter. It allows you to utilize all the medicinal benefits in your cannabis without wasting the THC on ‘off burn’ from joints, so it is a very efficient way to consume cannabis. Plus, it is a lot healthier on your lungs.

first time vaps A Guide To Smoking Weed For The First Time
Photo credit: Flickr

Tip: First-time smokers should stay away from joints. The effects of these can be very strong and also harsh on your lungs. However, if you decide to have a joint, then taking small puffs will ensure your first-time experience is not ruined.

Where to get it?

If you are 21 years or older and a resident of Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Colorado or Washington D.C., you can purchase marijuana or cannabis products at marijuana dispensaries. It is legal to have possession of 1oz of marijuana, however, selling it is still illegal in most states, For non-residents of these states, the selling limit is 7 grams. If you have a medical marijuana card, you can purchase your marijuana at any medical marijuana dispensary. Check out this link to see more information on where marijuana is legal.

weed state cards 01 A Guide To Smoking Weed For The First Time
Photo credit: Vocativ

In conclusion

The above tips should help your first time with cannabis be an enjoyable experience.  Just remember, take it slow and be safe.

In the meantime, check out this hilarious video of 3 grandmas smoking weed for the first time. This may give you a little glimpse of what your near future entails… Enjoy!

What was your first-time with marijuana like? Do you have any tips do you have for first-time users? Let us know on social media!

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