If you’ve gotten too stoned, you may experience hallucinations, nausea, paranoia. The first thing to do is not call 911. Then, breathe. Greenhand’s strategies for lessening an overpowering high are eating a big meal, exercising, and if all else fails, crawling into bed and going to sleep.
Now that you’ve acquired the weed, it’s time to smoke it. Both Greenhand and Wyatt stress that it’s best to pick a familiar, private location for your first time. “Don’t be somewhere that’s going to cause you paranoia,” says Wyatt. Surround yourself with people you know and feel comfortable around. Going to concerts, theme parks, and festivals stoned can be fun, but best to avoid the first go around. The same goes for mixing alcohol, cigs, and other drugs with weed. Let yourself learn what a cannabis high feels like on its own.
Learning to use cannabis well is an underrated life skill. Smoking circles are a fast and easy way to make friends, and they’re way more intimate than dollar beer night at the trashy local bar. It’s no wonder 22 million or so American adults use cannabis monthly, according to a 2015 study, and a June survey found that daily use is on the rise. It’s the third most popular mind-altering substance in the country, after booze and nicotine.
Brandon L. Wyatt, Esq., an army veteran and Howard University School of Law alum who serves on the board of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, points out that the ramifications of getting caught can go beyond fines and jail time. “Cannabis use can have an effect on your federal entitlements,” he tells VICE. For example, you can be evicted from a public housing project or military barracks for possessing cannabis, even if you have a medical card. Private landlords and employers also reserve the right to evict residents or fire employees for consuming cannabis, even in states where it’s legal.
Despite the persistent march toward legalization, about 87 percent of weed in North America was purchased on the black market, according to a 2016 survey. That means most of cannabis culture looks different based on the rules and regulations implemented by different states. Whether buying from an authorized dispensary or a friend’s cousin’s weed guy, there are real risks that come with your first experience with pot. They range from simply getting ripped off with weak product to health issues to serious punishment. Here are a few tips that will keep you safe, happy, and maximize your enjoyment.
Greenhand says vaping the flower is also a good method for first-timers. It’s more expensive and may require ordering the rig online, but the experience is gentler since the cannabis doesn’t combust. Others argue that the humble joint is the best way to smoke, but if you’re inexperienced it can be difficult to roll one.
Next, choose a method. Greenhand suggests first-timers use a small pipe, since they’re cheap, easy to find, and easy to use. Most gas stations and smoke shops throughout the country have them regardless of cannabis laws, though glass pipes are illegal in some states. In a pinch, you can make a pipe out of just about anything, but Greenhand recommends avoiding DIY at first.
When you’re buying weed for the first time, the salesperson will categorize it with three different labels that refer to its effect: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Indicas have a depressive, physical effect that can melt you into the couch. Sativas are psychoactive, cause trippy visuals, and act as stimulants. Hybrids combine the effects of both, though often lean more in one direction than the other. There are tons of online resources for learning about different strains, so feel free to look up what your dealer is offering for more info.
It’s not as fun as getting stoned, but researching local laws and police behavior in your community will make your high safer and sweeter. “Even the first time you take a J, you have to answer some of these questions for yourself, or at least be at peace them,” says Wyatt. “Because you can lose your job. You can lose your housing, you can lose your federal benefits. And if you’re a minority, you need to be extra careful, discrete, and informed. It’s about the more you know.”
Don't start with edibles.
If I had a nickel for every morning I woke up completely dehydrated from getting stoned out of my mind the night before, well, I’d have a lot of nickels. Probably enough to buy 17 gallons of water, which is the exact amount you’ll need after a solid smoke sesh unless you want to end up looking like Spongebob when he visited Sandy’s house for the first time. If you’re going to indulge in the arts of cannabis, make sure to chug a bunch of water before the occasion like you’re about to play in a high school state championship game.
I’ve been smoking blunts since Day One so that’s just how I get down. But if it’s your first time, I suggest easing into it. You don’t run a marathon without first doing a one mile test, and the same principle applies to smoking. Don’t jump into heavy bong rips, dabs, and things of that nature until you take a few baby steps.
The first time I smoked, I didn’t get high. Maybe I didn’t do it right. Maybe I was all wrong. But I didn’t. And I’ve heard this as the case for so many people, so just know it’s a possibility. But don’t let it deter you from getting to where you’re going. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. Yes, I did just quote Aaliyah.
Preparation is key for first time weed smokers looking to head off the munchies. Make sure to download your preferred courier app (Postmates, DoorDash, Favor, etc.) beforehand so you won’t entertain the possibility of going out and driving under the influence (or wandering around outside when you’re not feeling particularly social or comfortable).
If you’re about to get high for the first time, you’ll probably pass out at some point. Don’t even say “No I won’t,” because you’ll be forced to come apologize to me once you wake up eight hours after taking your first bong hit. It’s like a rollercoaster: you go alllll the way to the top just to drop alllll the way to the bottom.
Once you start smoking, you’ll want to have a group of friends that you can smoke with. I like to call this my tribe. These are the people that you hit up for a group sesh. You also want to have a tribe because, if I can keep it funky, smoking solo can get extremely boring. But when you have friends, who knows what type of adventures y’all might get high enough to go on? Or even if it’s not an adventure, you might end up having a dope/deep-ass conversation, which may turn out to be a therapeutic experience. So make sure to find friends who enjoy the same activity then build with them.
The worst thing possible when high is having to go somewhere and do something, even if the task is just getting food. When I delivered food for Postmates, 95% of the houses I delivered to reeked of cannabis. Coincidence? I think not. It’s because those people were smart enough to make the experience convenient for them. You are, too.
This pretty much applies to anything in life, but especially when it comes to cannabis consumption. If you’re smoking for the first time, it should be with some friends you trust. But on the off chance that it’s with some sketchy-ass strangers, make sure to abide by Rule #1 of the Bruh, I’m Just Tryna Get High code of conduct: If you didn’t see it rolled or packed, don’t smoke it. You do not want to get hit with a case of the shenanigans around people you don’t know in an unfamiliar environment.
For beginners, I suggest smoking with a little bowl and working your way up that ladder until you’re ready to take on more advanced consumption methods like the dab rip, also known as the M. Bison of the cannabis world. Also: beware of the gravity bong. They’re little, but boyyyy do they pack a punch. My first time hitting one resulted in hours of paranoia and discomfort. Don’t do that. You’ve been warned.
Before you smoke marijuana for the first time, here's some advice so you know what you’re getting into and can plan for a comfortable first experience.