10 Essential Tips for First-Time Cannabis Consumers

Article image

There is a real good chance you will be disappointed by your first-time cannabis use. Brainwashed by media portrayals and word of mouth rumors, your expectations will mislead you. It will take some time to become a cartoon stoner, and you are not likely to experience anything near a legendary LSD trip. Cannabis is not cocaine, heroin, or meth, and any comparison is unfounded.

Consumption is no longer limited to students, baby boomers, or surfers. But if you are a first-time cannabis consumer, you’ll want to frame your expectations, learn to shop and respect certain etiquette rules.

10 essential tips:

To put this in more complicated terms, a study in The International Journal of Addictions (1981) reported, “Participants' expectations of marijuana effects are frequently cited as unmeasured post hoc explanations of variability in response to the drug, or of the data which fail to conform to the experimenters' expectations of the drug's effects.”

That is, they gave cannabis to some and a placebo to others, and they all reported experiences framed by what they had learned to expect. In real terms, it goes like this:

  1. Do some research. Teen buddies and college roommates are not the most reliable source of information. You should understand what Indica, Sativa, and Hemp do. Each strain has been fully analyzed and communicated, so you shouldn’t go into this blind. In the states that have legalized access to cannabis, you will usually get good advice from a dispensary budtender. Don’t be afraid to say you are a cannabis “virgin;” they will gladly give you starting suggestions.

  2. Understand the risks. For most people, cannabis is a non-addictive, low-risk experience. However, if you are pre-disposed to addictive behaviors, this should not be your choice direction. Cannabis is inebriating; that is, its effects last for hours during which you must not operate a vehicle or machinery. Some strains provide energy and clarity of thought which allows you to work through the day, but you still should not drive.

  3. Do not use it alone. For the most part, cannabis is a social pleasure. Most people learn to use it from a friend and in the company of friends. If they are experienced, most of the friends will help you with the process and watch out for bad experiences. Once you have become a veteran user, you may indulge privately, but you may find it more fun with others.

  4. Respect your health. Smoking cannabis and using it in other forms does pose a risk to existing health conditions. For instance, if you suffer from respiratory conditions, from mild asthma to chronic bronchial problems, cannabis is not for you.

  5. Observe the context. Cannabis is not meant to mix with other drugs and/or alcohol. They increase the inebriation and risk to your health and wellbeing. Social users may try their product after a fine dinner including wine. Too many consume too many beers while using. But veterans will tell you using and drinking just messes with your cannabis experience.

  6. Learn to smoke. Most first-time cannabis consumers start by smoking a joint someone else rolls for them. First-timers are likely to torch the end, puff and blow. You need to learn how to light and hold the joint and forget about cigarette smoking. Using cannabis requires you to drag on the joint and then pull in some fresh air to push it down into your lungs. It calls for that deep breath the doctor orders you take in a physical.

  7. Practice rolling your own. Filling and packing a joint take some practice. You’ll find plenty of lessons on YouTube, and each of your friends will give you different advice. That’s because there is some individuality involved; some like it tight and others like it fine. But rolling it so you don’t waste it takes some personal experience.

  8. Don’t mess with the equipment. Just because you know how to make a bong from a soda can does not make you expert in bong, pipe, bubblers, dab rigs, and other paraphernalia. You should work your way up to those experiences and learn to handle the gear carefully and safely.

  9. Keep the ammo dry. Newbies tend to wet the end of the joint, holding it between their lips, and loading it with saliva. This does not respect the friends with whom you share. And it wastes a lot of expensive cannabis product.

  10. Listen to your friends. There are rituals and etiquette surrounding smoking circles. You should study how to hold, pass, and share, or you will look like a fool. You should be open to coaching and learning as you go.

Everyone remembers the first experience.

From drinking to sex, everyone remembers their first try. For most, it is a bad memory, laughable at best. The downside is a dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, and a bad case of the munchies.

If you expect a psychedelic experience akin to an LSD trip, you will be disappointed. You should not start with the cannabis strains that produce heavy psychic experiences. Some can push inexperienced minds to paranoia and hallucinations.

If you want medical benefits, you must shop well. Cannabis does not cure any physical or mental problem. But some scientific and most anecdotal evidence acknowledges relief from certain conditions. If the relief is only a distraction, it is still relief. States permitting sales, purchase, and use of medical cannabis list up to 40 conditions that cannabis serves well.

Finally, cannabis has always been used for its alternative experience. First-time cannabis consumers should work their way from the mildest impact to a strain that provides a mellow relaxing brain and body experience that enhances everything — music, color, creativity, and conversation.