A Nice Bowl of Weed
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Aside from High Times and the Denver Post’s nascent Cannabist section, there are few knowledgeable resources for the marijuana connoisseur. The former suffers from a giggle-and-cough vibe—if High Times were a magazine for drinkers, it would offer the best methods for stealing from your parents’ liquor cabinet—while the latter assumes too credulous a readership. Yes, under ideal testing conditions (HEPA-filtered room, virgin vaporizer, Neti-potted nose) Afghan Kush may indeed offer notes of cardamom, but this occasional cannaphile suspects the emperor wears no hemp clothes.
It is a curious problem, not only because weed has been cultivated by humans since at least around 3,000 B.C.E., but because using marijuana is so much fun. More fun than drinking and more fun than other recreational drugs, all of whose potential for abuse mitigates whatever brief euphoria might be found in their swirling depths.
When I think about my experiences with cannabis, I find no fewer than 10 outstanding rules for enjoying the perfect bowl of weed. Orwell had 11 rules for his cup of tea, and he claimed at least four were controversial; I have no comparison. Controversy, as one would expect among marijuana enthusiasts, is soon lost in a warm, smoky haze. Or vapor, if I’m being literal.
Here are my 10 rules, every one of which I regard as both unassailable and subject to dismissal:
- Firstly, if possible, choose Cannabis sativa over Cannabis indica, unless you are using marijuana for pain relief. Sativa invigorates, uplifts, and inspires. Indica dulls, muddles, and caresses. Indica is more common, due to its short, dense, bushy plants (making it easier to grow incognito), and pure Sativa is rare as moon rock. Still, insist on hybrids with at least a 70–30 split, in favor of Sativa. Music will never sound better, peanut butter never more peanut-buttery.
- The weed should be strong. Economics aside, if you are inhaling anything, you want maximum effects with a minimum of irritation. Two puffs are superior to three—anything more, and you risk a scorched throat. Anything less, and the ritual is truncated. Smell is no indicator of potency, nor is the presence of orange hairs, red hairs, purple hairs, or glistening trichomes. How to determine potency? Sampling. Take nobody’s word but your own.
- A wooden pipe is aesthetically the most pleasing way to inhale marijuana—especially a well-burnished Savinelli churchwarden—but the flavor is awful and the smoke is harsh. Forget those silly glass pipes; fragile, awkward, and difficult to clean, they are always overpriced and often decorated with embarrassing graphics. Same goes for ceramic “sculptures” of dragons, skulls, Buddhas, et al. You would not drink wine out of a llama’s hoof. Do not smoke weed out of a frog’s ass.
- Fourthly, rolling the perfect joint is a welcome skill across generations, social classes, and political affiliations. The perfect joint is made from one sheet of rolling paper, filled with no more than three grams of finely chopped weed, is free from seeds and stems, packed to medium density, and twisted shut, with a stiff tail providing a wick for lighting. Organic fibers and glue are a luxury, not a necessity. Avoid filters—they remove T.H.C., not particulates. The perfect joint, coupled with a potent strain of Sativa, can entertain a party of five.
- Forget bongs. Without exception. They are the sound of unemployment.
- Sixthly, weed should not be ground but rather chopped with a sharp, well-balanced kitchen knife. Grinding scours resin off the bud, making your bowl/joint less potent. Kief-collection screens are inefficient and difficult to harvest. Instead: chop your batch on a glass surface, then use a playing card to collect the psychoactive dust. Sprinkle as needed.
- Seventhly, remember that marijuana magnifies the user’s mood. A more poetic way of saying this: weed reveals and obscures the group’s intentions. Buried resentments will surface; sublimated desires will materialize. Choose your companions with care—avoid especially the excitable novice who delights in pointing out, ad nauseum, how high everyone is. Marijuana narrows bandwidth, which is terrific for artistic and sensuous pleasures, and terrible for conflict resolution. Keep it light.
- And if paranoia strikes, remind yourself that overdosing is impossible, as most medical experts agree. Retreat to a warm, quiet place, and sip something sweet. A hot bath can help, along with dark chocolate. Relinquish control. Let your emotions flow and visualize muddied water pouring from a spigot; eventually, it will run clear.
- Vaporization is the exception to the rule that the oldest ways are often the best ways. A brief primer: vaporizers heat the marijuana just enough to extract its psychoactive compounds, but not enough to reach combustion, meaning that vaporizing will get you high without smoke. Proper vaporization (no hotter than 365 °F) offers the ideal experience: minimal coughing, minimal residual smell, maximum efficiency, and increased flavors (yes, even cardamom, if given the right strain). Portable vaporizers are easier to operate than desktop models, while desktop models are ideal for childless households, where the vaporizer may take up semi-permanent residence alongside other helpful appliances.
- Lastly, eat marijuana with caution. Aside from titration difficulties, the effects are so long-lasting as to be uncomfortable, and what begins as potent fun usually becomes tedious. Pot brownies should be reserved for open weekends, not dinner parties.
Whoever said, “A little marijuana warms the heart, but too much burns the soul,” was refreshingly self-aware. Do not get high at the expense of social interaction. Do get high with your significant other. Do listen to excellent music and eat excellent food. Do share your stash, as such generosity is always appreciated and often rewarded. Do watch movies but do not recommend them to your friends unless you’ve seen the movie sober. The perfect bowl of weed is limited more by the user’s essential nature than any other factor; adjust accordingly.
Micah Nathan is a novelist, short story writer, and essayist.
Orwell had his 11 rules for tea. Here are 10 for another kind of afternoon ritual.
How Much Weed Does It Take To Get High?
If you’re a first-time smoker, beginner, or just haven’t smoked in a while (weed has changed since the 70s) you may not be sure exactly how much weed you need to get high. Truth is, each person is different so it’s hard to give a really concrete answer that works for everyone. I’m going to break down the question as best as possible, but I need your help. If you’ve smoked before let everyone in the comments know how much it takes you to get high. As always, I encourage using fake names and email address for comments.
For the purpose of this article, I am going to refer to amounts for only one person. If you are consuming cannabis in a group these numbers will obviously change.
Before we start talking actual number I want to go over the 3 main factors that are going to influence the amount of weed you’re going to need. Once we get that out of the way I’ll give you some real numbers to work with.
Factors that Influence How Much it Takes to Get High
Potency – The potency of the weed is going to have a huge impact. High-grade cannabis could be 30% or more THC while lower grade could have less than 10%. Of course, most the weed on the market will fall between these two numbers. Unless it has been tested in a lab there is no way to know the true amount of THC.
Physiological Traits – Weight and overall size usually come into play when determining how much weed you need. Other biological influencers include metabolism, cannabinoid receptor development, and respiratory system health – among others.
Tolerance – The more weed you smoke the more your body gets used to it and it takes more weed to get high. I would imagine tolerance level wouldn’t play much of a factor for people reading this article. If you’ve smoked enough to build up a tolerance then you are probably already aware of the amount you need to smoke.
How Much Herb Should You Smoke?
If you’re smoking good old-fashioned herb then you’re probably only going to need a few hits if it’s your first time. The effects of weed can be felt anywhere from instantly to up to several minutes. If it’s your first time then just take 1 or 2 hits, and wait for a few minutes. If you’re still not high you can take another hit. Usually, beginners would not need to smoke an entire bowl or joint by themselves to get high. If the quality is decent then 3 or 4 hits total should get the job done. If you’re new to this I highly recommend checking out two of my other articles: How to Smoke Weed Properly: A First-Timer’s Guide and 7 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting High From Weed.
Remember, the more you smoke the higher your tolerance is going to get. Individuals with high tolerances may need multiple bowls or joints to feel effects. Some people report smoking so much they can’t get high anymore. If this is the case I highly recommend taking a tolerance break.
How Many Edibles Do You Need To Eat?
Knowing how much weed to use is about finding your own personal boundaries. With smoking, the effects are felt very quickly so you usually know when you’ve had enough. Edibles are a different story which is why you have to be very careful with them. The effects from edibles are typically felt 45 minutes – 2 hours after it’s eaten. This means you could take too much and not even know it until the rush hits you.
So, how much edibles is good then? The state of Colorado recommends a 10mg dosage for first-time users, and I agree. Edibles hit everyone differently. I personally don’t feel anything on 10mg, but I have a friend who can get lit off the same amount. This is why you have to find your own personal boundary. Make sure to wait at least 2 hours before eating more edibles, but ideally wait until the next day to up the dosage.
If you’re eating homemade edibles you may run into some problems since there really isn’t any way to know the potency of the edible. Have someone experienced try them first to find out their strength. Also, take a very small amount (think one bite or less) if you are unsure about the potency.
As a regular user, I typically take between 50-100mg at a time depending on how high I want to get. Let us know how much you normally eat, smoke, or vape in the comments.
How Much Concentrates for a First-Time Dabber?
Finally, we come to concentrates. The answer to how much you should dab is built right into the name – you only need a small dab. If it’s your first time then take the smallest amount you think you need and cut it in half. We’re talking about a small booger-sized amount. There is no need to try and show off as a beginner and you’re just going to look silly when you take too big of a dab and spend the next half hour coughing up a lung.
Extra tip: Don’t worry about holding in the smoke. It’s not going to get you any higher. It’ll just make you cough more.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this article then here are a few of my other articles you may like:
How Much Weed Does It Take To Get High? If you’re a first-time smoker, beginner, or just haven’t smoked in a while (weed has changed since the 70s) you may not be sure exactly how much weed you