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A First-Timer’s Guide to Smoking, Vaping, or Ingesting Cannabis Products

A First-Timer’s Guide to Smoking, Vaping, or Ingesting Cannabis Products

Are you new to the world of Cannabis? Would you consider yourself “canna-curious” and ready to break the seal on your curiosity? You might see your friends enjoying the tremendous benefits of this plant and want to jump in. But, you have reservations, as you should. 

If you have never consumed or smoked marijuana before, this HighHello guide will bring you up to speed in no time flat. As always, we want you to be informed to have the best experience possible. 

Before you inhale

The benefit of inhaling Cannabis is the fast acting effect. If you are experiencing acute anxiety or chronic pain, you may need to consider this fast delivery method. This is a classic case of cost versus benefit. 

Smoking weed in a rolled joint or from a glass bowl or bong is not your only option when considering the inhalation method. Other options may be less irritating.

Vaporizers tend to be a “cleaner” inhalation method by reducing the “smoke” inhaled into the lungs. However, make sure it is a high-quality product purchased from a trusted source. Many over-the-counter or lesser-quality vape blends contain additives that can harm the lungs. This is why talking to your HighHello budtender about your products is essential to your safety and success when choosing an inhalation method. 

Take it easy

There is a rule of thumb regarding cannabis consumption: start low and go slow. Following this guideline will give you more assurance (and control) that you will have a good experience. 

When inhaling Cannabis, take a small puff, and wait for about ten minutes. If you feel ok and want to dose up, take another puff until you achieve the desired effect. 

If you are experimenting with edibles, this rule is even more critical. Edibles can take one to two hours to feel in the body. In this case, take a small dose, wait two hours, then take another nibble. Or better yet, wait until the next day and take a larger dose if the first experience was good, but you would like to feel more. 

Set and setting

Cannabis is a holistic experience. Where you are both physically and mentally will have a part to play in your experience. Choosing to smoke marijuana for the first time with a group of people may make you feel anxious or paranoid if you are not accustomed to the effects. This could lead to a bad first time. Similarly, this could also contribute to a bad trip if you are not in the right headspace. 

Find a place (preferably in the comfort of your home) where you are safe and won’t be disturbed. Relax, get quiet, set the mood, have an open mind, and enjoy the ride. 

Do not disturb

If you have never used cannabis products before, you have no idea how they will affect you. You don’t want to schedule your first smoke session followed by a business meeting. You also have no idea how impaired you will be, so don’t plan on driving soon after your consumption. 

You may also want to refrain from getting high before going to work. Allow yourself enough time to have the experience and let the effects naturally disappear. They always do. 

Manage your expectations

With all the hype surrounding Cannabis and with the volume of people you likely know partaking in this enjoyable activity, you may have heard things here and there as to how Cannabis will affect you. But everyone is different, and you will only know what to expect by experiencing it yourself. But there are some commonalities we can arm you with. 

Expect a fast onset: If you are inhaling Cannabis, expect it to hit you relatively quick. Inhaling Cannabis goes straight from the lungs to the bloodstream, so there are no long wait times as with edibles. 

Expect to cough: First-timers will nearly all cough the first time anything is inhaled into their lungs. Even seasoned cannabis users cough from time to time. This is due to the thick and moist smoke generated from the marijuana flower itself. You can rest knowing that it is not from carcinogens like cigarette smoke. Just take small puffs to start until you get the hang of it. 

A mellow high: If you choose a strain that is equally balanced with CBD, you can expect a more mellow and less psychoactive high. This is because CBD actually counters the psychoactive effects of THC. This would be a great way to ease into Cannabis if you feel hesitant or nervous. 

Impairment: The higher the THC content, the more psychoactive the Cannabis will be. You can expect to be a little dizzy, foggy, or heavy. Your thinking and judgment may also be impaired depending on the strength of the strain and how much you consume. 

Ditch the “High” 

While many people like to get “high” for recreational reasons, not everyone does. More and more people are choosing Cannabis for its therapeutic benefits rather than its fun qualities. There are cannabis products that produce outstanding medicinal and therapeutic qualities without the psychoactive effects. This is why CBD is taking the world by storm at the moment. Talk to your HighHello budtender about which strain is right for you if getting “high” is not the priority effect. 

Empower yourself with knowledge 

Before diving into Cannabis, you should know some of the lingo. First, let’s talk about strains. 

You will likely hear terms like Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. These names refer to the characteristics of the plant itself. They are not necessarily indicative of the effect it will have. But, there is a rule of thumb that can be a cheat sheet if diving into terpenes, flavonoids, and ratios is not your thing. 

Sativa: Sativas provide a more “head high” to the user. They can be uplifting and make you laugh, but high doses can cause anxiety or paranoia. So if you have anxiety issues, use it with care. 

Indica: Indicas are sought out due to their “less” psychoactive and more sedating effects on the body. This strain is excellent for pain management, anxiety, and sleep disorders. 

Hybrid: Most strains today are a hybrid of both Sativa and Indica with dominance in one direction or the other. Talk to your budtender about the ratios of each and the desired effect you are trying to accomplish.

What if you overindulge? 

Your first time can be frightening, especially if you take a little bit too much. But rest your head knowing that you aren’t likely to overdose or wind up in the hospital due to it. If you consume too much, you may feel dizzy, have difficulty balancing, and forget things. If you really hit it hard, vomiting can occur as well as paranoia. 

If you feel you have consumed too much, the best thing you can do is relax! Find a comfortable place to lay your head and wait it out. It will pass. Remember the rule of thumb, start low and go slow! 

After smoking Cannabis for the first time, do this.

The effects of marijuana usually last up to a few hours. If it was an enjoyable experience, make a note. Did you enjoy the sensation? Do you feel it was too much? Keep a cannabis diary to keep track of the dose and how it affected you for next time. The effects of Cannabis can last up to eight hours, especially from edibles, so use caution before taking a second dose. 

Once you know how Cannabis works with your body and your endocannabinoid system, you can start experimenting with different doses, products, consumption methods, and strains. 

Need personal recommendations for your edible Cannabis consumption?

All HighHello members get a monthly session with a virtual budtender. Take advantage of this personalized service; subscribe today!

Not ready for exclusive membership benefits? Visit our Green Room for other cannabis resources.
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