Life is a mosaic of memorable firsts. First kiss, first paycheck, first road trip, and of course, first time smoking weed. Some of us have hilarious stories about our first time using marijuana, however, others have less than ideal tales laced with coughing fits, social anxiety and hard-hitting highs.
One thing is undebatable–the first time you smoke weed is pretty much always going to be memorable. If you want to set yourself up for a positive experience, however, read on to learn about our tips and tricks for an unforgettable first encounter. We’ll outline helpful hints like the easiest, most effective delivery method; how to relax into the experience, and then walk you through what to do afterwards.
Here’s the Dynavap guide to smoking weed for first timers!
As all good athletes and weed smokers would agree, preparation is key. Preparing yourself for your first-ever weed smoking session can make the difference between a fantastic experience and a fear-inducing one. Follow these tips to find your feet with weed.
Choose a Beginner-friendly Strain
If you’re a first time weed smoker, selecting the right strain is essential. Different strains of weed boast unique concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes, leading to profoundly distinctive physical, mental and emotional effects on the user.
First timers should ideally lean towards strains that have lower THC concentrations so they won’t deliver heady intoxicating effects. Strains that are rich in relaxing terpenes can also help ensure a more enjoyable, laid-back experience.
Here’s our pick of beginner-friendly strains:
- Blue Dream
- Sour Tsunami
- Northern Lights
Find the Right Consumption Method
The delivery method you choose can dramatically affect your experience with weed. When it comes to inhalation methods, you don’t have to smoke weed—you can vape instead! Gone are the days of dragging heavily on a joint and inhaling a lungful of sooty, blackened flower. When weighing up the pros and cons between vaping and smoking, the experts are siding with vaping, thanks to reduced toxin and carbon monoxide exposure, along with a lower risk of respiratory damage. Check out this chart comparing the “B” dry herb vaporizer with smoking a joint:
Be in a Comfortable EnvironmentGet the set and setting right has become a mantra for many first timers. Chilling out and smoking in a familiar, comfortable setting (i.e. relaxing in your living room) can create an entirely different experience to being at a party surrounded by people you might not know so well. While smoking or vaping weed at a social gathering can be legitimately awesome, it can also be stressful if you’re feeling paranoid about what others might be thinking about you. For your first time, choose a place that you know is going to feel great, where you can feel open and curious about what unfolds–rather than freaked out.
Start with a Small DoseWhen it comes to dosing for noobs, cannabis specialists often refer to the old adage, “start low and go slow.” In simple terms, it’s a good idea for first time weed smokers to start by vaping/smoking a really small amount. Experts recommend starting with around 2.5 mg, which is half of the standard 5 mg unit. Work your way slowly to higher doses over time, taking a self assessment each time you smoke to see how you feel.
Use Fresh WeedMake sure your first time smoking delivers a flavorful, full-bodied experience! Freshly dried cannabis flower packs much more punch than old, dried-out, brittle buds. There’s nothing like smoking freshly dried and cured weed–you’ll be able to appreciate its fragrant aromas and taste, not to mention you’ll get experience more intense, invigorating high. Research shows that the active components in weed fade as time passes due to oxidation, with THC degrading at a rate of 3-4% per month.
How to Avoid CoughingLet’s face it, coughing isn’t fun. Coughing because you don’t know how to inhale cannabis flower correctly is no different and can be socially awkward if you’re at an event–no-one likes sporting a red face and watering eyes. The key to avoid (or lessen the likelihood) of coughing is to take a slow, steady, deep hit down into the lungs, and exhale slowly and smoothly. Coughing tends to happen when people inhale the weed in a shallow way, with the smoke irritating the back of the throat.
Bring a FriendIf you’re a first timer, have a buddy with you! Having an experienced friend or family member on hand can help you feel reassured and relaxed as you experience your first high. In the unlikely event that you freak out or feel anxious or paranoid, your buddy can help you find a quiet place to chill and take it easy until the feelings pass (or grab snacks for you if the munchies strike).
Clear Your Schedule
The effects of marijuana use can last for a few hours (though the climax hits pretty quickly, with peak effects after ten to thirty minutes). For obvious reasons, you’ll want to make sure you’re not bookending your first smoking session with work meetings, social events or deadlines. Choose to smoke on a day where you’re fancy-free, able to relax and absorb the experience without needing to rush off anywhere as it will definitely reduce the likelihood of anxiety occurring. Driving while high is also dangerous (not to mention illegal) so avoid making plans to head out anywhere that requires a vehicle in the hours after you smoke.
What to Expect
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. You loaded your “B” with some beginner-friendly dried flower and you’ve just finished your first-ever weed vaping session. Now what?
When you inhale weed, the effects are super-fast acting–quicker than any other delivery method. That’s because you’re breathing the weed deep down into the lungs, where the active compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) are soaked into the lung’s alveoli (tiny air sacs).The alveoli basically create a super fast highway that carries the cannabinoids from your lungs into your bloodstream, where they enter systemic circulation around the body.
People who vape or smoke marijuana start usually feeling the psychoactive effects within ten minutes. In comparison, those who consume oral cannabis products (cannabis oil, edibles, beverages) will be waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes for the onset. The high from smoking wears off after two to three hours, whereas the effects of edibles can take up to twelve hours to completely fade.
How You Might Feel
Marijuana can kick off a marvelous mixture of physical, mental and emotional feelings, sometimes intensifying everyday life in an epic way. Regular cannabis users often allude to feelings such as euphoria, relaxation, heightened sensory awareness (the perception of brighter colors or appreciation for sounds or music, for example), creativity, an increased propensity to laugh and find things funny, deep bodily relaxation, mental alertness and energy, or a desire to socialize.
However, it’s important to know that diverse factors can significantly influence your experience, such as the quantity you smoke and the different cannabinoids and terpenes present in the strain.
Strains with high THC concentrations may cause anxiety in newbie users, rather than the chilling effects weed is so renowned for. CBD and terpene-rich strains may create strong feelings of relaxation and sleepiness rather than elevating energy. Some beginner users may not even feel anything the very first time they smoke, as the body’s endocannabinoid system needs to get familiar with the effects of cannabinoids–a phenomenon that is called the sensitization period.
What to Do After Your First Session
Congratulations! You’ve successfully made your way through for the first experience smoking or vaping cannabis flower. You may be wondering, what next? Do I smoke more? Do I put the remaining flower in the fridge? Do I order a pizza?
Here’s how to seal the deal and finish up your first sesh:
Don’t Smoke More
As tempting as it may be to smoke more, (particularly if you’re feeling great and really enjoying your high), don’t. If you’ve already used up your designated dose, just leave at that. Bask in the effects and the afterglow of the high, and know that next time you can slightly increase the dose if you’re looking for a little more kick. Smoking more while you’re still in the sensitization period (the period where your body is still getting used to cannabis) may up the chances of an unpleasant experience such as anxiety or paranoia.
Air Out Your Space
Weed smells skunky! The distinctive, unmistakable odor of super fresh cannabis flower can really cling to soft furnishings and clothes, so unless you want the place where you’ve smoked to smell like a dispensary or weed lounge, open the windows and doors to air the space out. If you have any lingering odors, burn a fragrant candle or if you’re really old school, opt for a patchouli-scented incense stick.
Proper weed storage is fundamental. Stashing your supply in an airtight ziplock bag, container, or jar and placing it in a cool, dark place will ensure its longevity and also help keep the scent sealed in too.
If you live in a hot humid place and you don’t store your weed correctly, you also run the risk of mold or mildew forming on the weed, which you definitely don’t want to be inhaling when you smoke.
First Time Smoking FAQs
How long does it take for weed to kick in?
If you’re smoking or vaping, weed can start kicking in within ten minutes with the peak effects taking place between the 15 to 30 minute mark. Find out more about the onset time for inhalation, topical, oral, and sublingual methods here.
How do I measure weed?
If you’re new to purchasing weed, it’s helpful to know how weed is measured and sold online and at dispensaries. Cannabis consumers use specific terms and measurements when they’re purchasing weed. Take a look at our super-straightforward guide to weed measurements, so you can feel confident when you’re purchasing flower.
What to do if you smoke too much?
As Abraham Lincoln once wisely said, “This too, shall pass”. The effects of weed are transitory, so even if you smoke way too much, it’ll wear off within a couple of hours. In the meantime, get yourself to a quiet, chilled place where you can be alone and wait it out. Some people also swear by chewing black peppercorns or taking a shower–see what works for you!
What happens if I get a weed hangover?
Weed hangovers can strike when heavy-hitting high wears off, or if you’ve consumed sub-par weed. If you feel headachy with dry eyes, a dry mouth, brain fog, or lethargy after you smoke, you may be hungover. Drink lots of water, rest, eat a wholesome meal, and wait it out. Or better yet, take steps to avoid a weed hangover! The good news is that weed hangovers are usually way more mellow than alcohol hangovers.
How can I avoid couch lock?
Feeling so high you can’t move? You may have a case of couch lock. While some cannabis users love the sensation of deep sedation and feeling couch bound, others can’t stand it. If you want to avoid being couch-bound while high, follow these tips to avoid hitting the couch.
What are the worst strains for anxiety?
Many first time weed smokers feel nervous about becoming anxious from using weed. If you want to lessen the chances of a stressful session, make sure you select a mellow strain. Avoid these strains that may cause an intense high and trigger an anxiety attack.
What strains are best for beginners?
Opinions vary about the most suitable strains for first timers, but popular cultivars that often make their way onto beginner-friendly lists include Blue Dream, Sour Tsunami, Northern Lights, Harlequin and Sour Tsunami. If you live close to a dispensary, you can also ask a knowledgeable budtender to offer a recommendation. Knowledgeable budtenders can also help point you in the direction of strains suited to pain relief, relaxation, or supporting sleep.
What consumption method is best for beginners?
Beginner-friendly vaping devices, such as vape pens or DynaVap’s The “B” Dry Herb Vaporizer, represent super straightforward, safe and effective ways for first-time smokers to enjoy the benefits of weed. Inhalation also boasts the fastest onset time.