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Mother Knows Best: Straight Edge No More

A new weekly column that gives you all the advice you could ever want.

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Dear Mother,

I was straight-edge growing up, and now I find myself 30 and having never smoked pot. I've tried other drugs, but for some reason I never wanted to smoke anything. If I try it for the first time now, am I going to make a fool of myself? Will I even get anything out of it if I don't know what being high feels like?

— Straight Edge No More


My dear curvy line,

First off, I want to reassure you that you're not alone. I've heard from many folks in their 30's and beyond who never got around to trying marijuana for one reason or another during their younger years and now find themselves considering it. While I can't predict how you'll act or feel the first time, I can give you some helpful tips to make your first experience a pleasant one.

A lot of people say that the first time they try marijuana, they actually don't feel any effect — so don't be surprised if that happens to you! However, since that's not the case for everyone, we'll assume you're going to get high the first time (and if you don't, follow these tips for attempt two and beyond!).

  1. Set the scene. You'll want to be in familiar and comfortable surroundings, whether that's in your own living room or a friend's house. If you have other folks over, choose friends that are supportive and non judgmental about you trying marijuana for the first time. Even better if you have a friend with some experience using cannabis.
  2. Be prepared. Have some yummy snacks and drinks on hand so you don't need to go far or wait for delivery if you become hungry. Have a Netflix queue lined up of some of your favorite shows in case you find yourself wanting to watch something. You may just find yourself noticing new details to shows you've watched a million times before!
  3. Relax! You might be very excited, nervous, anxious, or all of the above. Try your best to relax. The marijuana will certainly aid in that, but try to relax your body and mind before you even use it. Deep breathing and maybe some stretching can't hurt.
  4. Know your stuff. One great way to help demystify the process is to know what you'll be trying. If you live in a state where recreational cannabis is legal, pop into a dispensary and avail yourself to the knowledge of the staff. They can help you figure out which flower would be best for you. To start, you might want to try something with a lower percentage of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis). You might also want to consider a strain with a high CBD (Cannabanoid) count. CBD is great for anxiety, so a higher percentage strain is usually perfect for a beginner. There can also be some trial and error as you go along, because not every strain affects each person the same way. What might be a super pleasant, relaxing, or even euphoric experience for you, might do absolutely nothing for someone else. If you don't live in a state with dispensaries, you can always hop onto a site like which is basically Yelp for cannabis strains.
  5. Go slow & steady. You might be tempted to smoke all the pot, but know that it's not a race. While you can always have more, you can't take back what you've already inhaled/ingested. So, start slow.

Of course, you can always just head on down to the corner, spark a J, and see where the night takes you. But, if you want to start things off in a way that allows you to be in control and set your own pace, I'd suggest using my tips above. Best of luck and welcome to the club.

— Mother

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