The first order of business is a warm congratulations on taking this step toward trying cannabis for the first time! The stoner community welcomes you with open arms. Now that cannabis is legal in Canada nationwide, here’s a relevant topic because for most of us, we’ve all been here. There’s much to experience and a vast array of different ways to do it. Understandably, you’re curious to find out what all the hype is about, but would probably prefer to do your discovering without looking like a total newbie. Luckily for you, that’s a relatively attainable goal.
It’s usually best to try out cannabis in the company of some good mates who partake regularly, so that you can see how they prepare their cannabis and what pieces they choose to use. Most cannabis users can recall a moment or two of uncertainty before their first toke, so you’re totally normal for wanting to fill in the gaps. The same questions tend to buzz around in the minds of all first-time users, and fortunately, the answers to many of them can be found right here. Read on to learn five common mistakes that first-time cannabis users make, and spare yourself any sub-par experiences to make the most out of your first toke.
1. Doing Silly Things Instead of Asking for Help
First and foremost, if you’re not sure what you’re doing, it won’t hurt to ask. New cannabis users do all kinds of weird things to avoid doing just that, like putting their lips outside the bong or holding their breath for half an hour before exhaling. In all probability, your friends are stoked that you’re finally joining in on the fun. They’ll be happy to share their knowledge.
Along the same lines, the first time you smoke weed, you can expect to cough at least a little bit, so keeping something thirst-quenching within arms reach will be your best friend. Holding it in sometimes just makes it worse, so don’t waste energy judging yourself. Everyone in the room will be over it sooner than you think.
2. Having Expectations About Getting High
Maybe you’re expecting to feel a high, and maybe you’re not. Either way, try not to get too attached to either expectation, and do your best to enjoy the ride. Some first-time cannabis users find that they don’t get high, and there can be a bit of a learning curve. It can take some time to master the process, but when smoking or vaping, the simplest and most fundamental advice is to inhale. If you don’t, you’re unlikely to feel much of anything other than a dry throat.
Others report that the effects of cannabis were stronger than they expected. Obviously, your high (or lack thereof) will depend on the strain, quality and quantity of cannabis you’re using, as well as the method you use to consume it. The cannabis you’d receive if you had a medical marijuana card could be pretty different from what your eccentric neighbor might share with you. If you’re uncertain or looking for a specific experience, don’t be afraid to ask what kind of cannabis you’re using. Even if your goal is to experience a major high, steering clear of gravity bongs and the like is still your smartest move for your first rodeo. Baby steps are the right steps here.
3. Trying to Keep Up with Regular Stoners
As a rookie user, don’t come out swinging. If you find yourself passing a bowl or joint around and around, and notice your high increasing while the experienced tokers around you continue to puff away unaffected, you might end up feeling a little sick, possibly paranoid, and ready for bed if you try to match them. Taking massive bong rips or dabs on day one is also not the wisest choice.
Luckily, there’s no rush. When it comes to cannabis, slow and steady wins the race. Starting out with a little bowl or small joint is a safe bet, but you could easily still find yourself reaching for the chips and saying things like, “You know what’s crazy to think about…” in no time, so don’t underestimate smaller pieces. To be safe, you might want to clear your schedule so that you can munch, pass out, or watch four hours of nature documentaries to your heart’s content.
4. Torching the Bowl
Keep this one in mind if you’re using a bowl or bong to smoke your cannabis. While taking a hit, beware of holding the flame over the bowl until it’s all glowing orange and burning through. Keep the flame over a small part of the surface area of the weed to light it, and keep a close eye on it while you inhale. Watching someone torch a big chunk of your stash is pretty far up on the list of stoner bummers, so take care to avoid doing it. Realistically, you’ll probably make this mistake once or twice before you get a feel for the technique, which is yet another reason to smoke with good friends who won’t give you too much grief about it.
5. Holding the Joint or Blunt like a Cigarette
It’s no secret that there’s a distinct difference between the way stoners hold a joint and smokers hold a cigarette. This is mostly stylistic, and your friends are likely down-to-earth and won’t care a bit either way. However, if you’d rather avoid looking kind of goofy, pinch the joint between your thumb and pointer finger for the classic grip, and put that old-school cigarette drag away.
Ultimately, the way you hold the cannabis matters much less than passing it along. Don’t hold it hostage while you tell a story about the weird tomato you found at the grocery store, don’t drop the piece it’s in, and don’t spill it, and you’ll be off to a solid start. Sharing is caring, and everyone around you wants a piece. So surround yourself with good people, don’t take yourself too seriously, and try to relax. If you follow these tips, you’ll avoid the most common mistakes first-time cannabis users make, and before you know it you’ll be asking your friends about Round Two. Happy toking.
How many mistakes have you committed?