So, you’ve finally taken the plunge. You’ve beaten your misconceptions, you’ve taken the red pill, and you’re finally going to get high for the very first time. Congratulations!
However, it’s actually not as easy or simple as certain movies might have you believe – it’s generally a good idea to know some things in advance, as well as prepare a few things.
There are a few basics you need to consider as well, like…
Edible or Smokable?
Though you might be immediately inclined to go for the frequently used joint, there is also the option of edibles.
Edibles are made using THC extracts, either through an industrialized process known as CO2 extraction, or even made in a home kitchen using nothing more than marijuana, butter and water. Regardless of its method of extraction, edibles are often brownies, candies or even pastries that will get you high.
Edibles are a great option if you’re not a fan of the heat and, well, smoke that come with smoking. They’re also a great way to imbibe without being noticed – to an onlooker it’ll just look like you’re having a snack.
If you desire surreptitious imbibing, or just want to avoid smoke, then consider using some edibles. You can even make them yourself!
If you want to go the more traditional method, however…
How Will You Smoke it?
It turns out that there are a lot of different options for smoking marijuana.
You can roll it like a cigarette into a joint, you can smoke it out of a pipe, or use the ubiquitous bongs if you prefer a cooler-temperature smoke. For those with great experience of rolling, you can even take the tobacco out of a cigarette and roll your marijuana into a blunt using the outer layer – it’s a lot more work, but you get a smoother taste.
The main differences, generally speaking, are the consequences of the heat from the smoke, as well as the taste. Joints are easy and convenient; allowing you to imbibe in the same way you’d smoke a cigarette. Pipes are easy as well, but can be quite acrid with the intensity of the draw if you’re not used to it.
Blunts give a nicer taste profile, but you need a lot of experience to do it properly, whereas bongs are something a bit different altogether.
If you use a bong, make sure you look up the process beforehand – it’s surprisingly complicated! Alongside that, be prepared for an intensity of coughing.
Regardless of your chosen method, you’re going to need to learn how to actually smoke.
How to Inhale
The actual process of inhaling is surprisingly difficult to those not used to it. If you’ve ever smoked a normal cigarette before, it won’t be a problem, but to someone inexperienced, you might not realize you actually need to work at it.
Using the example of a joint, the inhalation process is as follows:
1. Gently draw on the lit joint while holding your breath, allowing the marijuana smoke to fill your mouth.
2. Pull the joint away from your mouth, and then breathe in normally. This allows the air you’re breathing in to force the marijuana smoke into your lungs.
3. Hold the smoke in your lungs for a few moments – some people like to try and hold it as long as possible to get the most use out of their weed.
4. Exhale smoothly and take a couple normal breaths in between draws.
Though it might seem simple, to a lot of first time users, they might not realize the necessary steps, instead just filling their mouths with smoke and then breathing it out.
However, even if you do it all correctly…
Be prepared to not get high at all
Though it might seem strange, it is possible to not get high at all during your first time.
Part of the reason for this is the fact that you’re likely to make mistakes when trying to inhale, but the majority of the reason is pure nervousness.
For a lot of first time users, they’re so focused and worried about what’s going to happen to them that they can’t just relax and enjoy the high. Consequently, even if they have imbibed a sufficient amount, they’re too focused on what might happen, constantly second guessing themselves as to whether or not they’re high yet.
So, to combat this…
Try to relax as best you can! Although the media and advertisements have led you to believe that marijuana is this dangerous substance, you’re in no danger whatsoever.
There has never been a single recorded death due to marijuana overdose in history, so don’t worry about anything like that – you’re completely safe! Sit somewhere comfortable, take your time and surround yourself with good friends.
This last one is incredibly important, because you should always…
Smoke in Good Company
You might have heard the often repeated advice when doing psychedelics to only ever imbibe in good company. This is not just for your safety, but also for the quality of your high – if you’re surrounded by negativity, your high is going to be tainted by that. Though this is often attributed to harder narcotics like LSD, the same rule does apply for marijuana, especially when it’s your first time.
The people you smoke with for the first time should be people you trust, people you can confidently let your guard down around. If you’re getting high for the first time and there’s a person in the corner who does not imbibe, silently judging you for your choices, you’re going to feel subconsciously guilty and uncomfortable, despite the fact that you’re not doing anything wrong.
This can sour your experience; you won’t necessarily have a bad trip, like in the case of LSD, but you’re still certainly not going to have the best time possible.
However, that doesn’t mean you should only smoke around other smokers – it can, in fact, be beneficial to…
Have a Responsible Person Nearby
Although you want to avoid having anyone judging you while you imbibe, it can be helpful to have someone nearby who is responsible and, more importantly, sober. While marijuana isn’t going to do anything dangerous to you, it’s possible that your judgment might be impaired in a similar manner to when you drink alcohol. While it’s not at all certain, it’s a good thing to have someone you can trust who can steer you the right way.
Not that it’s definitely going to happen, of course, but if you’re concerned about your behavior while high, having someone to take care of you can be beneficial.
However, perhaps even more importantly when you’re high, you need to remember to…
It’s very easy when you’re smoking for the first time to forgo the requisite hydration that accompanies being high.
When you imbibe marijuana, your body is working harder than it would be normally, causing you to become dehydrated much faster. However, in your inebriated state you might not realize it, meaning you don’t get enough water.
This is especially important if you’re smoking, as the hot smoke from each draw can dry out your throat. When that happens, your throat gets burned and irritable. The best solution to this is to drink water frequently.
Stay hydrated and you can avoid that pesky dry mouth. Now that you’ve got water, you need to think about food.
Know Where Your Food is
Though it might seem stereotypical, the munchies are very much real. When you imbibe marijuana, the THC triggers the receptors in your brain responsible for the feeling of hunger, causing you to want to eat anything and everything.
This feeling of munchies is different from strain to strain, as well as between indica and sativa varieties, but regardless, make sure you have a ready source of available snacks, or you’ve got your UberEats accounts set up.
In short, order your pizza before you smoke!
Hang on though, what’s indica and sativa?
Know What You’re Smoking
Whenever you smoke, but especially when you’re smoking for the first time, you need to make sure you know what you’re smoking. Different strains produce different effects.
Generally speaking, marijuana is either indica, sativa, or some blend of the two. Indicas will give you that stereotypical “couch lock” sensation, commonly referred to as being “stoned”. This is what you smoke when you want to lounge in a chair and watch TV and do nothing else.
In contrast to that feeling of languid restfulness, sativas give you the sensation of intense energy and creativity, commonly referred to as a simple “high”. This is the strain to help you paint or write, or even just go through your day with pleasant feelings.
Besides the diversity in types of marijuana, each individual strain of marijuana is different. Different strains can give varying different effects. Some are good at helping you sleep, others at mitigating pain, whereas others stimulate your creativity just enough to help you play guitar.
Regardless of what you want, make sure you know what you’re smoking – just because your friend can get you some indiscriminate weed doesn’t mean you should accept it.
However, perhaps important when smoking marijuana is the adage repeated for every substance.
Smoke in Moderation
While it is impossible to overdose on marijuana, you want to avoid smoking too much. Overdoing it can have a myriad of negative effects – some people claim that smoking too much causes them to feel paranoia or anxiety, whereas others find themselves so utterly couch-locked that they fall asleep within a couple hours.
It’s your first time, so pace yourself and know what you’re getting into it. If possible, try to smoke just a little bit first, then smoke more a bit later if you feel you can handle it.
However, if you’re getting high using edibles, make sure you wait a long time before taking anymore. It can take up to three hours for some edibles to affect you, so don’t give yourself too much and fall asleep before you can enjoy your high.
Above all else, enjoy responsibly and smoke in moderation.