Are you interested in experiencing the renowned effects of marijuana, but aren’t sure where to begin? Everyone starts somewhere, and your first time doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here we are going to break down some of the best tips and tricks for smoking weed for the first time, how to smoke a joint, the science behind smoking, and how to make the most of your experience.
Those of us who’ve already had our first time smoking weed know it isn’t as scary as one may think. Approaching an unfamiliar substance can be daunting when you aren’t sure what to expect, so let’s empower you with some basics first. The psychoactive compound in marijuana is THC. When burned and inhaled, the THC molecules pass through your bloodstream and fit into your brain’s endocannabinoid receptors. This amplifies your body’s natural endocannabinoid process, while also activating the release of dopamine, providing that “high” feeling.
It’s best to set yourself up for the most comfortable experience possible, and many of us choose a drink to loosen up before a nerve-wracking “first”. However, when approaching smoking weed for the first time, it’s highly recommended to come sober and clear-headed. That way, you’ll be fully lucid and aware of what you are feeling throughout.
Next, consider the method you’ll use to smoke weed for the first time. Dosages can vary based on the device — for example, a heroic bong-rip or a dab off of a rig are not recommended for first-timers. Your safest bet is to go with either a glass bowl or the classic paper joint. These give you the most control over your experience, as you can light up as much as you want, pull away as needed, and manage the amount of weed you’re smoking as you go.
Lastly, manage your set and setting. Pick a safe home setting where you’ll be fully comfortable and have everything you need to enjoy your time (a couch, TV, snacks, maybe a video game?). Get together with a friend or group of friends you trust, as you may feel loose, silly, and want to have the space to verbalize what you experience openly. Communication is important, especially if you begin to feel discomfort or anxiety. Keep in mind if these come up that they will pass–a glass of water and steady breathing will get you through nearly any weed discomfort.
Onto the main event of how to smoke weed! The joint is being passed your way, and you are ready. Lest you make the rookie mistake of exhaling into the joint, take a big breath out once it is in your hands. Bring the filter-end to your lips, inhale for about three seconds, or to the point where your mouth is filled with smoke. Remove the joint, inhale again to send the smoke to your lungs, and hold for a few more seconds. Breathe out naturally, and repeat a second time before passing. This term is affectionately coined “puff, puff, pass”, and there’s science backing it up as the most efficient way to smoke.
A 2008 study conducted in the Netherlands used joints with 700mg of pharmacy-grade flower. Participants first took a two-second drag in three different intervals: every 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds. They repeated the experiment with the same intervals, but with different drag lengths at two seconds, three seconds, and four seconds. As expected, a longer drag took more THC into the bloodstream. What’s interesting is that the trials with the two-second drag every 30 and 60 seconds yielded the same amount of THC absorption, whereas the two-second drag at 15-second intervals proved to have double the THC intake! This is because the more time spent letting the joint cool, the more often you break the decarboxylation cycle, thereby hindering the delivery of THC. Think of it as the difference between the efficacy of turning your car on & off to keep it warm, versus letting it run for a little while.
Give yourself two “puff, puff, pass” opportunities and wait a few minutes to see how you feel. While it can be helpful to research first-time smoking weed stories, you are going to come across an array of experiences, as marijuana affects everyone differently. You may feel giggly, talkative or hungry, or you could feel dizzy, nauseous or anxious. Recall what we mentioned earlier: communicate, hydrate, and breathe through it. Take it one step at a time before going in for another drag, because you can always smoke more, but coming down takes time!
Remember, the point of smoking weed is to relax, amplify your current experience through heightened senses, and ultimately have fun! Try not to get in your head and bog down the novelty of your first time smoking weed by dwelling on the possibilities. Chances are it’s all up in smoke anyway. Enjoy the ride with your newfound knowledge. Cheers!
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