A Stoner's Guide For First-Time Weed Smokers
Your first experience with smoking weed is by far the most important. You don’t always get a second chance to make a good first impression, so it's wise to make it a great one.
Sure, a bad experience can be corrected, but you want to start on the right foot so you don’t end up crawling.
If you are reading this in preparation for your first time smoking weed, please, heed my warnings, but also take everything with a pinch of salt. Weed affects everyone differently.
I can remember my first marijuana adventure pretty well, except for the parts I’ve completely forgotten. I was ten years old, totally unprepared, and way too young to be trying weed for the first time. My older brother and his friends were sixteen, and I guess they thought it would be funny to get me high.
We hit a small, ceramic bong, and it made me want to cough my lungs out. After that, I don’t remember much. It’s all been lost in a haze of confusion, anxiety, and wanting to go home.
Needless to say, this wasn’t a great first time smoking weed.
I only smoked again in my teens, and I had to do it at my own pace.
So how do you do it right?
Keep reading to find out more about our stoner's guide for first-time weed smokers.
Snuffing the Stoner Stigma
There are so many myths surrounding marijuana, and most of them are simply untrue. The problem with these is that they affect our beliefs, which in turn affect our high.
It’s sort of like the placebo effect: if you are told that a sugar pill is a cure for your pain, it might just cure it.
Belief is a powerful thing, so it’s important to apply this to marijuana use. If you believe that smoking marijuana will make you anxious, chances are it will. Studies have shown that parents' beliefs influence the effects of marijuana on their children.
So how can this make your first time getting high better?
Before you light up your first joint or hit your first bong, try letting go of any preconceived ideas you might have about marijuana.
An effective way of doing this is by writing down all your negative beliefs surrounding weed. Then cross all these out and write a positive in their place.
Some of the common misconceptions about weed include:
- Marijuana makes you stupid and lazy.
- Smoking weed means you are using drugs and potentially becoming a drug addict.
- Weed takes away motivation.
These issues are a result of someone's actions and choices, not the marijuana they smoke. If you read, exercise, and be productive while high, I can guarantee you won’t feel stupid or lazy.
Laws and perspectives around cannabis have seen a huge improvement in the past couple of years. It's no longer seen as a drug by many people.
It is now more of a medicinal and recreational herb. Smoking weed is not as big of a deal as it was 30 years ago, so you really have nothing to worry about.
Preparation H-igh: What to Do Before You Get High
To ensure you have the best first experience smoking weed, it's a good idea to prepare so you’re in a comfortable place mentally, physically, and emotionally.
There’s nothing worse than smoking around people you don’t like or being somewhere where you don’t feel comfortable.
There were a few occasions when I made the stupid decision to smoke weed at school. While it could be fun, my red eyes and pale face just made me way too paranoid to enjoy it.
So the first thing to consider is the right environment. You want something comfortable, so make it the best stoner relaxation spot you can think of. It boils down to personal tastes. My perfect stoner cave would have a pool table, gaming consoles, a boxing bag, and some cool lighting.
Next, you can fill it with the friends of your choosing, or none if you’d prefer to do it alone. The people around you can really make or break the trip, so be wary of who is in your company the first time you smoke weed.
I’ve had many smoking sessions ruined by unwanted phone calls. As a result, I normally turn my phone off if I don’t want to be disturbed. Being on call for work can be a recipe for undue stress and anxiety, so it's best to do it on a day off.
Lastly, you want adequate food and snacks to chow on when you get the inevitable munchies. You want to stay well fed and hydrated; otherwise, you could sober up pretty quickly.
And when I say hydrated, I mean with real water, not Pepsi. If you want to avoid getting the "greenies" and throwing up everything you ate, I would recommend staying far away from alcohol.
Effects & Expectations
There is no one type of high that you can pinpoint. Everyone is different, so we all experience a unique high.
One person might become bouncy and talkative, while another will barely be able to cough a word out.
You will have to try it to know exactly how it will affect you.
Having said that, there are some common feelings you can expect after taking a hit of the doobie.
The first thing one tends to notice is the deep feeling of relaxation that washes over your body. Then the world around you starts to slow down, and your sense of time becomes distorted.
Colors may appear more vivid and intense, and all senses may be enhanced. This is why food tastes so good when you are stoned. Once you are at the peak of your high, you may feel a sense of euphoria and giddiness.
As you start to come down, you will likely feel a bit tired and drained. I would recommend you relax into the couch and zone out to a movie. It's not uncommon to pass out deeply at this point, especially for the first time smoking weed.
Some people experience some negative effects that can make it pretty unpleasant. We will cover these further down, as well as what to do when it happens.
The most common effects of marijuana include:
- Increased appetite (the munchies)
- Increased/Decreased sociability
- Enhanced creativity and introspection
- Elevated heart rate
- Heightened sensory perception
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Bloodshot eyes (eye drops help)
- Euphoria and relaxation
- Reduced or increased anxiety or paranoia
- Red eyes
Pick Your Poison
There are many fun ways to take in the icky, sticky green stuff, but for your first time, I would recommend you choose between a bong, a joint, or a pipe.
There are also edibles, drinks, and more processed forms like dab/shatter (I would not recommend these for a first-timer).
In my experience, edibles and cannabis drinks make me sleepy. Dab is the strongest form of marijuana. It's best to try smoking weed the old-fashioned way before moving onto these.
While they're all the same substance, the high from all of them differs.
Getting high from a bong is more intense than that from a pipe or a joint, but it tends to wear off quicker. You also use a little less weed for a bong.
Joints burn smoothly, and the feelings come on a bit slower than with a bong. It's great for passing around a circle of friends and waiting for the effects to overcome you. It takes some experience to roll a good joint so practice to make sure you get it right.
Hand pipes are great if you don’t want to get too high, too quickly. You can take smaller drags so it doesn’t hit you as hard.
Speaking of inhaling, you have to ensure you inhale all the smoke into your lungs; otherwise, you won’t feel much of the effects.
Start by pulling the smoke into your mouth, then deeply inhaling it into your lungs. Hold it for a few seconds, and then release. Do this a few times, and you’ll be floating on the clouds.
Beyond the smoking methods, there are also different strains of weed to try.
Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrid
Sativa, indica, and hybrid are the three dominant types of cannabis that you will come across.
Sativa is supposed to bring about an energetic high that keeps you uplifted. This will be better for social situations and times where you might want to think a bit more clearly.
Indica offers a more relaxing high that’s better if you want to chill out. You will want to eat a lot, and if you sit down, you will feel couch-locked.
A hybrid is a combination of both sativa and indica, so it's supposed to give you the best of both worlds.
These effects are not a guarantee, as they vary from person to person, but they can give you a rough idea of what you’ll feel. If in doubt, ask your budtender what they recommend.
There are over 700 strains of cannabis in existence, and new strains are always being made. We are truly spoiled for choice, so deciding between all the funky names can be difficult.
Don’t get too caught up in your decision. The effects of these strains are not set in stone and vary from person to person.
After years of trying different strains, here are three that I can recommend:
Durban Poison is a sativa-dominant strain that has a fruity, earthy flavor. Since it is a sativa, it should offer an energetic high. In my experience, it does the opposite - it mellows you out but allows conversation to flow easily. Perfect for a laid back chill session with some friends.
This was the first A-grade strain that I ever bought. It can be super intense, so puff lightly if it's your first time. It's a hybrid strain with Indica dominance, so you can expect the best of both worlds. If you don’t have too much, it will be great for daytime highs in the sun.
Super Silver Haze
When I really want to have a blast, I will go for Super Silver Haze. This sativa-dominant strain can be highly energetic and leave you bouncing off the walls. It is perfect for social situations and carries a spicy, sweet aroma. It's no surprise that Super Silver Haze has won multiple cannabis cup prizes.
How Much Should You Take?
I’ve seen way too many people who say they can smoke then pass out on the hood of someone's car after a joint (true story).
It’s not a competition, and if it were, it would be a marathon, not a sprint. You want to pace yourself, so start off slowly.
With a joint, take 2-3 hits and then wait a few minutes. If it doesn’t kick in, take a few more, and so on.
Bongs can knock you out, so have one big hit and leave it at that... Be prepared to cough pretty hard.
Pipes make it easier to take small doses, so just take small drags till you feel something.
The same logic applies to edibles and drinks: take small bites/sips until you find the ideal dose. Don’t be like me and eat several brownies at once, only to wake up the next day with no clue what happened.
Things To Do While High For The First Time
Anything you enjoy doing sober, you will probably enjoy doing high even more. There are so many activities you could do while high.
You should decide if you want to do something recreational or productive.
Some fun things to do:
- Go to a live concert (music gives you eargasms when you’re high).
- Spend some time in nature.
- Play a video game.
- Have sex (Yes, it’s better when you’re high).
If you want to be productive, try these:
- Go to the gym/exercise (boxing is my personal favorite).
- Read a book
- Learn to play an instrument.
- Get creative with art or writing poetry.
Remember, what you do while high really changes the effects, so it's important to do an activity that you feel will bring you nourishment and satisfaction.
Dealing With A Bad Trip
Ahh, the dreaded bad trip. It happens to the best of us at some point, so don’t beat yourself up if it does occur. Prevention is the best cure when dealing with a bad trip, so try to stay away from negative thoughts and people that might kill your buzz.
If you do start to spiral, there are a few tricks to help:
- Take a cold shower to get sober and wake yourself up.
- Do some jumping jacks or any other type of exercise.
- Watch a motivational video or listen to pumping music.
- Write down your thoughts to get an idea of what is making you trip out.
- Watch a comedy show.
- Eat some tasty food.
- Stroke the furry wall.
If all else fails, curl up in a cocoon on your bed and watch a soothing movie until you fall asleep.
There And Back Again: A Stoner's Tale
Smoking weed for the first time is a journey you will either love or hate. If you have a bad experience, this shouldn’t stop you from getting high again.
I had many bad trips in the beginning, but when I discovered what gels with me, it was smooth sailing (or flying) from there on out.
I have learned just as much from my bad trips as I have from the good ones. Marijuana can bring out the best and the worst in people.
Seeing our worst qualities for what they are can help us improve on them, so don’t get down if your first time isn’t what you expect.
It’s a good idea to reflect on your experience to fully understand how this herb can help or hinder you. If you know it's not for you, then don’t push it.
Either way, I wish you the best of luck on your first time smoking weed and all the times to come.