Most of us have had an experience, usually in college, where we smoked way too much cannabis and ended up glued to the couch. Each person processes THC differently so it’s important to know how your particular endocannabinoid system reacts and what the perfect dosage is for you. There’s a magic number in terms of the perfect quantity of cannabis, especially for beginners. Here’s a helpful guide to starting out.
How should I prepare?
Location can make the difference between a pleasant experience and an uncomfortable one. Make sure you’re in a familiar, private location with people you know and trust. Consuming cannabis for concerts, music festivals and bars can be fun, but save it for when you’re a bit more experienced. Also, avoid mixing alcohol with cannabis, as this can change its desired effects.
Additionally, it never hurts to prepare some activities in advance. Find a fun TV show or movie to watch or have a groovy playlist ready to go. And make sure to stock up on some healthy, (non-alcoholic) drinks and snacks!
Which method should I use?
Beginners should stay away from advanced forms of smoking like dabbing or bongs. We’d also recommend using extreme caution with edibles.
Edibles seem fun and innocent (who doesn’t love brownies, cookies or candy?) but you need to be careful with dosing. It takes longer for an edible to hit (45 minutes to an hour and a half) and the high can last up to six hours. The most common mistake beginners make is that they “don’t feel anything,” after 20 minutes so they eat another piece of brownie and then experience an overwhelming high all at once. This is not recommended. Additionally, many edible dosages are 10 to 15 milligrams of THC, which is likely way too much for a beginner.
If you’re totally new to cannabis, a fantastic idea is to start microdosing with a 1:1 CBD tincture. Unlike THC, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound and can have anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. It won’t get you high, but you might feel more calm and relaxed.
For those who want more of a buzz, a pipe or a vape pen are the best options. Joints are OK too, but most newbies will have trouble rolling them, so pre-rolls are a good solution. Be sure to ask your budtender for a “newbie-friendly” pre-roll—and don’t smoke the whole thing! Dose pens are an excellent choice for new smokers since they have a timed dose to ensure consistency.
How much should I take?
If you don’t want to get high at all, stick to CBD-heavy products, which will give you a nice, mellow feeling without the psychoactive effects. Otherwise, choose CBD-dominant or balanced strains for a more relaxed high.
Go for products labelled Daily Dose if you’re only looking for a slight buzz; pick up some Sweet Relief or Time to Shine products for a slightly bigger buzz. You may choose to avoid products labelled “Unplug” if it’s your very first time, as these tend to be more THC heavy.
Once you’ve decided on your flower/vape (unless you’re microdosing with a tincture), start with one small puff. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and see how you feel. Want more? Try another small puff and wait again.
Remember, cannabis can be extremely powerful and hits everyone differently; plus the high can vary from person to person. There’s no trick to sobering up quickly other than time, so always go low and slow to guarantee a pleasant experience.
What if I get too high?
If you’ve followed our guide, the odds of you getting too high are slim, but it does happen. Don’t panic. Take a few deep breaths and remember that no one’s ever died from cannabis—you’re going to be just fine.
Get some air, have a nutritious snack and drink some water. We recommend keeping a fast-acting CBD tincture on hand, since CBD tends to mellow out the effects of THC, bringing down some of that anxiety and paranoia.
Some people find a shower can help decrease the effect; others swear by taking a whiff of black pepper, whose terpenes create a calming effect when mixed with the receptors in cannabis. Above all, be patient and take care of yourself as you ride out any discomfort. Remember, you’re not in any danger and the state you’re in is temporary.