Everybody’s got their first. Whether unexpectedly getting passed the joint at a party or trying your first hit off a vaporizer as a medical marijuana patient, the first time smoking cannabis can be both exciting and a bit nerve wracking. Marijuana is a substance with a lot of unknown factors – Each hit can be unique, and not being sure what you’re in for before taking that first puff means anxiety can be (no pun intended) high.
Rapidly shifting marijuana laws means many people are in the position to try cannabis legally for the first time in their lives, and there’s no need for a first-time smoker to be afraid. If you’re a newcomer to the wide world of weed (and welcome, by the way!) our article below will talk about the effects of marijuana, how different consumption methods can effect your high, and first time tips on what to do if you’re not enjoying it as much as you’d like. Let’s dive in for everything you need to know!
What is “Getting High”?
Cannabis, among other things, contains cannabinoids, small chemicals produced naturally by the plant. In particular, one of these cannabinoids – a chemical called THCA – is transformed into a related chemical named THC when exposed to heat. This process is called “decarboxylation”.
THC and other cannabinoids, such as the non-psychoactive CBD, have a large number of benefits beyond just providing a buzz – Studies have shown cannabis to be a useful treatment for a number of ailments, such as nausea, epilepsy, muscular tension, and neurodegenerative disorders. They do this by interacting with our own, natural, pre-existing endocannabinoid system.
How to Smoke Weed for the First Time
When we smoke weed, whether for the first time or the five hundredth time, your method of intake matters a lot, and can even make the difference as to whether or not you get high the first time you smoke weed. There are four major ways to take THC; let’s go over them below.
Smoking: The traditional. Whether a joint, a bong, a dab or a blunt, smoking involves, like you’d expect, taking cannabis plant matter (namely the flowering bud of the plant), lighting it on fire, and inhaling the resulting smoke. THC (now decarboxylated from the natural THCA) enters the blood stream through the lungs and is rapidly transported to the brain – Effects should be felt anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes after inhaling.
When smoking weed, expect a quick onset and a “head rush”, IE: a sense of active discombobulation often located in the cranium; the brunt of this sensation lasts for about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, but can leave the user lightly “buzzed” for several hours after. Due to the combination of both THC and smoke, expect “dry mouth” to be a common complaint for this particular experience, so make sure to keep plenty of water on hand.
Edibles: Somewhat outside the scope of this article, but we’ll detail it briefly here (please see our related articles on edibles for more in-depth knowledge). Eating THC (in the form of weed edibles) acts differently on the body than smoking, passing through the digestive system before reaching the brain. It can take people between 30 minutes upward of 2 hours before someone begins to feel anything from taking an edible, but the duration of the high will last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours after ingestion, with a significant “afterglow” duration.
Vaporizing: Very similar to smoking, but often delivering a more concentrated and potent payload, vaporizing works by heating THC particles until they turn into a breathable vapor. Vaporizing is more efficient and often stronger method of taking in THC than smoking, but otherwise works in the same way – THC is taken into the lungs where it travels to the brain. Due to the lack of smoke and other contaminants this method can have a slightly faster onset time than smoking but only by a matter of seconds; the active period is also roughly the same.
Tinctures: Tinctures are solutions of THC held inside alcohol, designed to be absorbed through the skin or otherwise ingested. Tinctures somewhat work as a cross between smoking and eating THC: When held in the mouth (underneath the tongue, against the gum line, etc.) the THC inside the tincture is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, same as it would if it had been smoked. Meanwhile, any of the tincture that makes it through to the digestive system will have results similar to an edible. This gives it a dual-acting effect with similarities to both inhaling and ingesting THC, but how much it leans toward one or the other depends on how long it’s held against the skin vs. swallowed.
How often a beginner should use any of the above methods is entirely up to the individual – It can help to remember that we each have unique metabolisms and bodies, and while taking one puff off the joint might not get you high the first time you smoke weed, often times the difference between getting high and getting annoyed is just amount of consumption. If it isn’t working at first? Relax, take another puff, and see how you feel in a few minutes. Repeat as needed.
What Smoking Weed for the First Time Feels Like
Again, among othereffects expect to feel a sudden “rush” for your first time smoking weed, almost something akin to a tingling feeling in the cheeks, eyes, and top of the head. You’ll likely experience a bit of initial dizziness and a sensation of warmth spreading through-out your torso. It’s ok at this point to take a moment and re-center yourself; close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let yourself adjust to the new sensations you’re feeling. Remember that this is just what happens when you smoke weed.
You’re then likely to notice a cloudiness to your thoughts, often referred to as “brain fog” – Thoughts can feel hard to process, and being forced to perform complicated mental exercises can feel difficult or draining. Your reaction times will also likely be slowed, as getting high makes it easy to both get lost in and subsequently lose a train of thought.
Things To Do for Your First Time
Getting high can make simple tasks more enjoyable, by providing a mental and physical distraction to unpleasant work or menial labor; weed can do a lot to help to alleviate boredom and make things that aren’t fun more entertaining. But it can be both easier and more difficult to focus on mentally engaging tasks while high.
If you find a task particularly enjoyable (reading, watching your favorite TV show) it can be easy to “zone out” and become hyper-focused on the task, to the point of losing track of time. If it’s a mental task you don’t want to do (studying, preparing your taxes), it can be hard to concentrate and force yourself to focus.
In general anything that provides a pleasurable stimulus, mentally or physically, becomes more enjoyable while high. Eating food, laughing at your favorite show, listening to music, having sex – These are all things that are enhanced while on cannabis, and are good things to experiment when you smoke weed for the first time. If wanting to know “what should I do when I get high?” the answer is “Whatever you enjoy doing while you’re sober”.
What Happens When You Stop Having Fun
Make sure to keep in mind that not all aspects of your first time smoking weed may be so entertaining; common bad side effects of cannabis use can include things such as anxiety or paranoia. The mental effects of cannabis combined with it’s physical effects can also leave some people feeling off-kilter and panicked, leading to a rush of both emotion and physical sensation.
Common symptoms, such as rapid heart beat, can lead to panic attacks, with many a first time weed smoker convinced they’re about to have a heart attack instead. Deep, focused breathing and trying to enter a relaxed state will often help alleviate these sensations, hopefully letting you return to enjoying your altered state shortly thereafter. Otherwise, in a pinch, there are methods you can try to help sober up from weed quickly.
Particularly if it’s your first time trying to smoke weed the come down period of getting high can last quite a bit longer than being high itself – This usually comes with a somewhat “glowy”, happier feeling, often lasting several hours after the initial smoke.
Reaction time and attention span will also stay decreased after the initial buzz has faded, though not to the same extent, and you may find yourself tired or wanting to take a nap; these sensations should go away after three to six hours after smoking, but a good night’s sleep is typically the best way to make yourself feel completely refreshed after you get high.
The Wrap Up
Again, if it’s your first time trying to smoke weed then welcome – There’s a wide world of cannabis consumption awaiting you, and smoking weed for the first time is always a unique, interesting experience for whomever it is having their first puff.
Though we’ve given a number of solid tips and a rough outline of what to expect above many people experience their first time smoking weed differently, and it’s good to keep in mind that your own experience can be completely different from someone else’s. If it’s the first time your friends have gone to pass you the joint, just try to remember to stay relaxed, enjoy yourself, and if you find yourself uncomfortable it should pass soon enough.