What to expect when smoking weed for the first time
Here are a few tips to ensure your first time toking is a fun one
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When you are considering smoking pot for the first time, you should know what to expect so there are no surprises. You are definitely on the right track if you are doing research to figure out how pot will affect you. One study indicated that 44 per cent of adults have consumed cannabis, a trend that is growing.
If you carefully follow our tips for smoking weed for the first time, you will be able to determine whether to do it – and make your first experience is a fun one.
If you have never tried weed as an adult, you have probably heard the many misconceptions about it from anti-drug education initiatives such as D.A.R.E and the Reagan era’s Just Say No campaigns. Weed use has been ridiculed in this country for nearly a century, and constant propaganda efforts have discouraged use.
There are numerous myths that scientists and users have debunked, such as smoking pot can lead to a multi-day high, promiscuity, violence and aggression, among other misrepresentations.
You will most likely experience a sense of euphoria that is much more complex than what is depicted in the movies like Cheech & Chong and Pineapple Express. There’s a good chance you won’t hallucinate or lose track of who you are, but you might end up feeling relaxed and the urge to eat snacks.
Advice for first timers
Use cannabis in a comfortable and familiar environment, such as your home with someone you love around. Don’t mix cannabis with any other substances such as alcohol. This can create a compounding effect and can cause nausea. Take it slow because you can always choose to have a little more depending on how you feel. Do not to drive or use machinery that requires a degree of manual dexterity. Stay away from activities that might be dangerous. It’s best to know how cannabis will affect you before using it with your friends or in public spaces. Lastly, just let go of your inhibitions and try to enjoy the experience. As H.S. Thompson would say, “buy the ticket, take the ride.”
What if I don’t get high?
Sometimes, first-time cannabis users claim to feel nothing. There is an urban myth that says “the body was never introduced to THC, so it doesn’t really know how to use it quite yet.” Research of the endocannabinoid system in the 1980s and 1990s found this to be largely incorrect. The myth is likely related to the way in which you consume cannabis – think Bill Clinton’s claim that ‘I didn’t inhale.’ According to reports, fewer than 10 per cent of THC is ingested by beginner smokers because they don’t know how to draw the smoke into their lungs properly. They smoke it like a cigar whereas seasoned users have a 28 per cent absorption rate. If you’re a beginner and having issues with not feeling the effects, give it another try and breathe deeper.
If you are having difficulty breathing in deeply, try changing up the method of consumption. Try smoking a joint with a double inhale to ensure you’re getting a good deal of smoke in your lungs. Then hold the smoke in your mouth for a few seconds and exhale it. You might want to use a vaporizer, which is less harsh on the lungs and the throat.
What happens to the body when smoking weed?
The experience of consuming cannabis is subjective and no two people will describe their experiences as exactly the same. However, there are numerous effects that are the same for all cannabis users. Most users will have an increased blood pulse rate that occurs right after smoking. Then the blood pressure drops significantly, which can lead to feelings of lightheadedness. The user’s eyes can turn red and the muscles in the body can feel weaker. The user’s appetite will be increased. In some situations, vision and hearing are enhanced and there may be time dilation.
Many people feel the so-called cottonmouth – or dry mouth. These effects are completely normal and not cause for worry. While physiological effects tend to be similar, psychological effects can be largely different and vary depending on the type of marijuana consumed and the consumption method. Many people report feeling more open, more imaginative and more connected to others. Others might feel tired, paranoid and introverted.
Cannabis typically falls into two categories: indica or sativa. Some are beginning to define cannabis strains based on the mood they create. Sativa typically contributes to feelings of increased energy that activate the imagination, improves creativity and stimulates the mind. Indica cannabis strains are linked to relaxation, increased appetite and an overall reduction in anxiety.
Every cannabis consumer has their own specific tastes. They may choose to switch their strains up depending on what they feel like for any given moment. If they are tired, they may want some sativa but if they need to relax, they will choose indica. Indica strains are recommended for first-time users because of the lowered risk of paranoia involved.
Is there a chance I’ll get addicted to pot?
Thanks to movies like Reefer Madness, people used to think smoking one joint would suddenly turn a use into a full-blown addict. This is so far from reality. In general, it is very hard to become physically dependent on marijuana because it does not affect the same dopamine reward receptors in the brain as with cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine or sugar.
Individuals may use cannabis as part of a routine, but there is quite a lot of debate out there if heavy cannabis use can cause withdrawal symptoms in people if they stop using it. A 2006 study analyzed male and female cannabis users and found that after one year, males had a risk of dependence on cannabis of under one per cent. After two years of use, the number rose to four per cent but then tapered off. It was similar for women in that they had under a 1 per cent chance of becoming dependent on it after a year of regular use. That number didn’t change in the forthcoming years.
Smoking weed for the first time might seem daunting, but here are a few tips to ensure that your first experience is a fun one
First Time Smoking Weed? What You Should Expect
Everything you need to know for a good first sesh.
As cannabis becomes mainstream, more adults are finding themselves smoking weed for the first time; and if you are reading this you may be one of them. If so, you are on the right track by researching how it will affect you, and what to avoid when starting out. A recent study indicated that 44% of adults had tried cannabis, and the numbers are growing.
Following our guidelines and listening to the stories of others will help you decide whether or not you want to try it, and also make your first experience an enjoyable one.
If you are only first trying cannabis as an adult, it is very likely that you have been exposed to many myths about its use from anti-drug education programs like D.A.R.E and the ‘Just Say No’ campaigns of the Reagan era. For almost a century, weed use has been demonized in this country, and massive propaganda campaigns have been implemented to discourage use.
This includes many anecdotes which have easily been disproven by science and users alike. Examples include: give you a high that lasts for several days, cause promiscuity or encourage rape, make a person violent, and all sorts of other erroneous claims.
In fact, none of that is true. What you will most likely find during your first experience is much less extreme than what you expected. More than likely, it will be a feeling of euphoria that it much more subtle than what is portrayed in the Cheech and Chong or Pineapple Express type movies. You will not hallucinate or forget who you are, but you may end up getting a bit hungry and feeling pretty comfortable and relaxed.
Tips For Your First Time Smoking Weed
- Try it first in a comfortable setting, such as your own home, with people you enjoy to be around
- Do not combine it with any other drugs, such as alcohol, for your first time as they may have a cumulative effect and lead to nausea
- Take it slow, you can always have a bit more if it is not enough
- Don’t try to drive, operate machinery, or any other potentially dangerous activities
- Understand how it affects you before trying it at parties or venturing into public places
- Lastly, let your inhibitions go and just enjoy it. In the words of H.S. Thompson, “buy the ticket, take the ride”
I Tried It But Didn’t Get High. Why?
Often, first-time weed smokers claim not to feel anything and are let down by their expectations. The urban myth is that “your body has never been exposed to THC so doesn’t know how to use it.“
Studies into the Endocannabinoid system in the 1980s and 1990s have largely proven this wrong. More likely it is related to technique, as illustrated by both Bill Clinton and Elon Musk with ‘I didn’t inhale.’ According to some studies, in general, less then 10% of the THC is absorbed by novice smokers as they do not yet know how to pull the smoke into their lungs, and instead smoke it like a cigar, compared to the 28% absorption that a more experienced smoker would get. So, if you don’t feel anything, try again, but breath deeper.
If you’re having trouble taking deep pulls, try hitting your joint (or whatever you’re smoking) and before exhaling, inhale again. This double inhale 1. ensures you’re actually inhaling smoke, and 2. allows the smoke to cool off a little bit in your mouth, making it less harsh to inhale on the second round. You might also want to try a vaporizer, which can be less harsh on the throat and lungs for first-time smokers.
From a medical standpoint, what happens to my body when I smoke weed?
The experience of smoking weed is generally quite subjective, each person will feel and describe it slightly different, and enjoy it for different reasons. There are, however, several effects which scientifically can be attributed to smoking weed for all users. The first of which is an increase in pulse rate, often immediately after smoking. Blood pressure then falls slightly, which can lead to light-headedness at very high doses. Next, the eyes turn redder, and the muscles in the body become weaker. Appetite is generally heightened. In some cases, hearing and sight are enhanced, and time dilation may occur.
Most users also experience what is known as ‘cottonmouth,’ or dry mouth. All of these effects should be anticipated and are no reason for alarm or worry.
The physiological effects are quite consistent across users, but the psychological effects vary greatly between users, and between strains of marijuana consumed, as well as the method of consumption. Some people report feeling more open, creative, and connected to others. Alternatively, some users say they feel lazy, paranoid, or more introverted.
Not only is this a factor of individual biology, but it is also a factor of the different types of weed out there. Generally, cannabis is classified as either Sativa, or Indica (although some brands are starting to lean towards describing strains by mood rather than sativa or indica.) Sativa weed leads to a more energetic high that stimulates the mind, increases creativity, and can be energizing. Indica weeds are attributed more towards relaxation, slowing of the mind and body, increasing appetite and reducing anxiety.
Every user has their own preferences or may switch between strains throughout the day (i.e. Sativa for the day time, Indica for the night). If it is your first time, it is generally recommended to smoke an Indica, as there is less chance of paranoia. Once you know more how you will react, then try other strains and methods of ingestion such as tinctures or edibles.
Will I get addicted if I try it?
In the old days of such films as Reefer Madness, it was claimed that smoking just one marijuana cigarette would turn you into an addict. This is far from the truth, and in fact, it is very difficult to become physically addicted to cannabis as it does not influence the same dopamine reward circuits in the brain as with nicotine, cocaine, or even sugar.
People can develop a habit of use, but whether or not heavy cannabis use can cause withdrawal symptoms if ceased is still widely up for debate. A 2006 study looked at males and females using cannabis and found that the risk of dependence for males after 1 year of regular use was less than 1%.
That number rose to 4% after two years of use and then declined. For women, at the end of 1 year of regular use, less than 1% were dependent and that number did not change over subsequent years.
First time smoking pot is a unique experience. You might enjoy it a lot, you might walk away undecided, or you might not get high at all.