First Time Smoking Weed? Here’s Some Friendly Advice and THC Tips
Trying to initiate someone into cannabis culture? Here are some helpful tips to ensure that anyone's first time smoking goes as smooth as a rip from a brand new bong.
Published on September 11, 2019

Is it your first time trying cannabis? As in, trying cannabis of the high-THC variety? 

You’re in luck. Here are some quick tips to prevent you from smoking yourself into the deep end on your very first outing. 


Start Low, Go Slow

The phrase “start low, go slow” usually pertains to cannabis-infused edibles, but it can apply to smoking weed, too. Since it’s your first time, you don’t know your tolerance or your limits, so taking it easy on the first go-around is always a good idea.

What’s that mean, though, to “start low, and go slow?” Veteran potheads can rip multiple bong hits in a row without feeling much. Since you’re not experienced, start with just a single hit or puff. Give it about ten minutes to fully kick in before deciding to take another. And most importantly: Stick with smaller puffs. You may want to save the lung-filling bong rips for another sesh.

Gallery — Bongs Reimagined as High School Yearbook Photos:

Inhale the Smoke Rather Than Swallow It

If you’ve never smoked anything before, you don’t have the muscle memory for inhaling smoke directly into the lungs. Most novice smokers will either draw the smoke into their mouth and no further, or worse, they’ll swallow it. Swallowing smoke does nothing other than cause cloudy burps. You should breathe the smoke in as if it was air, and you’ll know if you actually inhaled when the smoke appears thin and uniform upon exhale. If you didn’t actually inhale it, it’ll appear thick and wispy when you blow it out.

Also, don’t feel pressured into holding the smoke in your lungs. Although some tokers swear that it’ll get you higher, studies suggest that holding smoke is an urban myth.


Don’t Cross-Fade

Cross-fading is whenever you mix two intoxicating substances together. Although it can occasionally be fun AF, don’t do it when you try weed for the first time. Avoid alcohol especially, which can quickly and unpredictably exacerbate the negative effects of cannabis, such as dehydration, dizziness, nausea, or a supreme lack of judgement.

Check Your Set and Setting

“Set and setting” is a phrase borrowed from psychedelic culture, but it works for weed, as well. 

By checking your “set and setting,” you’re assessing your mindset (“set”) and your immediate environment (“setting”) prior to getting high. In other words, make sure your head’s in the right place first and foremost. Smoking for the first time while extremely depressed, for instance, could amplify your depressed feelings. Save the reefer ribbon-cutting for when you’re feeling upbeat or celebratory instead.

As for “setting,” conduct your first smoking sesh in the company of good, trusted friends in a comfortable environment. In other words, if public gatherings give you anxiety, you may not want to get high for the first time at a packed concert venue. Or, if you know some annoying person will be present, maybe hold off until that nerve-wracking individual isn’t around. 


Inhale Your Weed Before You Try Eating It

If you have an aversion to smoking or vaporizing weed due to health concerns, odor, or otherwise, you may be tempted to try edibles for your first sesh instead. We wouldn’t recommend that.

Although edibles are awesome, and serve as one of the safest ways to consume cannabis, the effects can be unpredictable, even for veteran stoners. That’s because edibles can take up to two hours to kick in, and in that time, you may be tempted to eat more, which could get you far more fucked up than you intended. 

Inhaling weed smoke or vapors, on the other hand, should produce heady effects within a few minutes, if not a few seconds. If your first time trying weed includes smoking it, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re getting in to much faster than you would with edibles.


But Maybe Avoid Dabs on the First Try, Too

So, we mentioned vaporizing cannabis here, which is often done by dabbing. Dabbing involves consumption of ultra-concentrated weed extracts that can easily pack three to four times more THC than the most potent buds. 

In other words, if smoking weed is equivalent to sipping a beer, then dabbing is the equivalent of taking straight shots of Everclear. Since this is your first time, we’d recommend sticking with flower. Save the dabs for after you level up. Now go smoke some weed! 

Follow Randy Robinson on Twitter

Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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