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.
What To Expect When You Smoke Weed For The First Time
The sea change of medicinal and recreational cannabis legalization has brought a lot of inexperienced smokers to the circle as legal and stigmatic barriers have fallen away. That being the case, a lot of newbies are wondering what to expect when they smoke weed for the first time.
Let’s dive into it.
What Happens When You Smoke Weed for the First Time?
There are a number of reactions that are common to first time weed smokers:
1. Nothing happens.
For many people, their first smoking experience is something of a letdown. They smoke, and nothing seems to happen. People have varying theories on what causes this, but the most likely answer is that first time smokers don’t yet know to inhale into their lungs rather than just into their mouth.
2 .You get really, really high – in a good way.
That’s right, there isn’t much middle ground. Either you don’t do it right so it doesn’t work, or it works and it really works.
What does that mean? It depends on the individual and the strain of weed. It’s really difficult to explain what “being high” is to someone who’s never experienced it, but here are a few things that might happen:
– You enjoy a euphoric, uplifted feeling.
– Everything becomes funny and you can’t stop laughing.
– Your senses become heightened, and inputs like color, light, and sound all take on a stronger or at least different quality.
– Any nausea you’re feeling goes away.
– You feel physically at ease.
There are a variety of other things that might occur, but these are a few you’re likely to notice.
3. You get high – in a bad way.
No seasoned stoner likes to admit to it, but weed doesn’t always have a positive affect depending on the circumstances – especially for newbies.
What are a few things that happen during a bad high?
If you experience any of these things, the important thing to keep in mind is that they will go away shortly, and that you can usually solve them by changing your circumstances, i.e., moving locations, putting on music, finding something funny to watch, going for a walk, or whatnot.
4. Time gets tricky.
It’s not uncommon to let the clock get away from you when you’re stoned. One minute you’re clicking over to YouTube, and the next thing you know six hours have gone by. (I know this can happen even when you’re not smoking weed, but pot certainly tends to exacerbate the situation.)
5. You open up.
Smoking weed can be a huge bonding experience, especially for first time smokers. Don’t be surprised if you and the people you’re smoking with end up spending some time sharing secrets and discussing intimate aspects of your personal life.
6. You get profound – or at least feel profound.
You will likely end up making a lot of statements like, “Have you ever noticed how really big things tend to resemble really small things?” Or, “Dude – have you ever tried to look at your back in a mirror? It turns out there’s this whole other side of you.” And the response to this from your stoned friend: “Do you mean another side physically, or another side mentally?” Whoa.
Profundity – whether real or imagined – is a central theme of weed smoking. Embrace it. These are the realizations that will at most make you wiser, and at least make you laugh a lot.
7. You worry (probably).
When most people smoke weed for the first time, they’ll often find themselves worried or at least attentive to considerations to which experienced pot smokers rarely give a thought.
Newbies worry that “people know” they’re high. They worry that their eyes are red, or that they smell like smoke. They worry about getting in conversations with people who aren’t stoned. These kinds of concerns tend to fall short of paranoia, but the worry is still there.
Here’s the thing – your worries are almost always unfounded. No one knows you’re high, and if they can recognize that you are it almost certainly means that they smoke themselves.
So what should you expect when you smoke weed for the first time? That you’ll enjoy very real euphoria, giggles, and hunger, dubious profundity, and unnecessary concern. Just about everyone tends to experience some balance of all these things.
What I’m saying is, the assured good outweighs the potential bad. And in the event that things do feel less than enjoyable, I prescribe your favorite song, a funny video, or a sunset.
First-timers have the same questions: How long will the high last? Will I get paranoid? Are munchies real? Learn about what to expect when smoking weed for the first time before you roll up.