Whether good or bad, the first time trying cannabis is a memorable experience for most people. It can come out of the blue and many do not see it coming, taking their first puff without much knowledge of what they're doing. This article is to give anyone considering cannabis consumption a head start so they can feel comfortable and safe when a joint eventually gets passed their way.
Trying cannabis for the first time can either be a wonderful, euphoric experience or make one feel completely nauseous and turn the face pale, possibly making one faint. You may have heard a 'whitey' or 'white-out', which is term used for when it goes the wrong way from smoking too much on the first go.
Fortunately, for those that do experience a whitey, it only seems to happen once or twice in the beginning and then it's mostly smooth sailing from there, although it can reoccur from consuming too much. It is also common where tobacco is being mixed with the cannabis.
There are many different kinds of situations where weed may show up in your life for the first time. In most cases, a newcomer tries weed because someone offers it to them at some stage. At this point, one may or may not know anything about cannabis, and one's curiosity will lead the way.
The most important thing is not to be pressured into your first experience or do it 'to be cool'. You could be actively seeking it with understanding and knowing for sure you want to give it a try in a proper setting, or you might have just tried spontaneously one night at a bar to fit in with the group not really knowing what you just smoked.
Tip: Be sensible and don't throw yourself into it if you're not ready or don't feel like it's the right moment.
Before we get started, be aware that cannabis has been seriously misunderstood for a long time now and many people still believe it to be something it is not. Do not get the wrong idea from TV and the media because they have skewed the truth about cannabis over and over again. Be open to the experience and realise that there is plenty to learn. This way you can avoid rushing it or feeling disappointed.
The main risk when it comes to consuming cannabis is the legality of it. Your freedom is at stake so make sure you understand that if you get caught, there is a risk of a fine or even jail. Obviously, this really depends on the quantity and where you live but remember it is still illegal in most places. Check the laws in your area and always consume in a safe environment.
In terms of the negative effects cannabis can produce, there is a risk that you have an unenjoyable experience. You may try and it and simply decide it is not for you. Others consume it their whole lives and have no negative side effects.
Reported negative effects of cannabis use can include:
You've already made a good start on this one if you've got this far. Reading up about cannabis is the best way to inform yourself, just be wary of fake news and untrustworthy sources of information. Take what you hear with a pinch of salt and trust your intuition and close friends for the best advice. This comes with practice and experience, but the more you experiment with cannabis the more you will learn about the plant itself and everything that comes with it.
Tip: Find out about the product you're consuming and be conscious of how it's affecting your body.
When you have a low tolerance it's a wise idea to start with a lower dose than your pal next to you who has been smoking for years. Over time you'll get familiar with the feeling and know how to handle yourself better when you're high. In the beginning the high can be overwhelming and as you are not used to it, it may throw you off a bit.
Some people get uncontrollable laughter and want to talk about anything and everything, others may sink into themselves and get lost in their feelings or thoughts.
When smoking or vaping, the effects arrive quite quickly, which makes dosing relatively easy. Simply stop if you're starting to feel uncomfortable. Give time between puffs to gauge how high it's making you feel. For edibles, be sure to give enough time between doses. If you've eaten a cannabis edible and do not feel anything, wait at least an hour or two before considering another dose.
Tip: The average joint contains between 0.2-1g of cannabis.
Learning to roll can be a struggle for many beginners, and it helps if you can find a patient person to teach you. Once you have the basics down, it's up to you to perfect your skill so you can teach others should they need a hand. No one really enjoys a badly rolled spliff that burns all the way down one side but not the other, or that looks like it's about to fall apart the whole time you're trying to smoke it.
You'll also then be able to make your own joints without relying on someone else or resorting to bongs, not that there is anything wrong with that. There's no need to learn to roll joints if you prefer other methods of consumption, as there are plenty to choose from.
Sharing is one of the joys of life and cannabis culture is based highly around this concept. However, consuming cannabis can also be a very personal experience so it's important to understand that not everyone enjoys being high in the same way. As you start consuming with the people around you, your friends or family, you'll realise how to act politely, not be obsessive over your turn on the joint, share and anything else that maintains etiquette around cannabis consumption in social settings.
The high from consuming cannabis can last for hours depending on how you ingest it. That means it's best to set a time and place where you can know you won't be interrupted by something that could jeopardise your experience. Having to deal with difficult situations when you're high can make things worse and may put you off so make sure you have enough free time. You'll also discover in which type of environment you like to get high.
Inhaling cannabis you can expect to be high for up to 3 hours. For edibles and tea it lasts longer, at up to 6 hours or more in some cases depending on how much was eaten.
We already went over how sharing can allow for a smoother introduction to cannabis. Most people will start with another person present but it help if that person is someone you know and trust. That is not to say you can't smoke with someone you don't know and not have an amazing time and end up gaining a friend, but if it's your first time you want to be sure that person can look after you if you suddenly have an issue to deal with.
Sharing your first experiences with other people is a great way to learn and find out more about the world of cannabis. You'll make some new relationships during the process as weed can really bring people together in a positive way.
Not everyone reacts the same to cannabis and it can cause some pretty uncomfortable feelings, whether you are prepared or not. No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose so try to avoid thinking you won't survive, because you will.
CBD (cannabidiol) can be used to counteract THC in the event of anxiety attack. CBD is non-psychoactive and works to relax and reduce anxious tendencies but won't make the user feel any 'higher'.
Fast Eddy Automatic CBD by AtticGrowing from GrowDiaries
Remember, take it slow and steady if it is your first time consuming cannabis. Many people stop right after they start because the setting, people, or product assisted in creating a bad memory of the experience. With all the information and culture we have now around cannabis, first time users can start their journey knowing they aren't going to have a full on hallucinogenic trip like some of the movies make it out to be.
If you found this article useful, please feel free to leave a comment down below! We'd love to hear about your first time using cannabis!
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This article was updated January 2021.