In an ideal world, the first time you try cannabis in any of its many different forms, you should have an enjoyable experience. But with everything new, it’s not always easy to get things perfect, which is why we need cannabis 101. Medical marijuana was officially legalized in California on January 1st, 2018. Now with a whole host of different products on offer, it can be a little confusing what to go for as a newbie consumer.

Like discovering you enjoy vodka and cranberry over a dirty martini, you have to feel your way into what works for you. So what should you expect when smoking your inaugural joint, enjoying your first edible or taking a toke of a vape pen? Here is our guide to cannabis 101 – for the newbie who wants to be in the know for their first marijuana experience.

You Might Not Get High

This may come as a huge disappointment to many of you because that is the whole point of doing this for some. But when you smoke your first spliff, it’s quite likely you won’t feel that out of body experience at all. Why? Because many people new to taking cannabis don’t know how to inhale properly. How do you do it right? When you inhale or ‘draw’ from the joint, or your vaporizer (vape pen) inhale directly into your lungs and hold for a brief second. Then exhale.

You may experience a tickling in your throat, in which case wait for the smoke to cool before drawing into your lungs. It’s really the quickest way to experience the high. Of course, smoking weed is not the only way to enjoy cannabis. Rolling a joint may not be something you are particularly into. But this is one of the most common ways. And you pretty much know what you are getting and can control your intake a lot more easily than with an edible.

If you accidentally eat too much you are in for a potentially wild and unpleasant ride for as long as it takes for your body to digest and get that cannabis out of your system. This is where micro-dosing comes into play (we’ll save that for another blog post!)

So why do some people struggle to feel anything at all when they first try cannabis? Our bodies have cannabinoid receptors, and they need to effectively wake up so they can interact with the cannabinoids in cannabis. Once you have consumed cannabis a few times, they start interacting with each other. When cannabis enters the bloodstream, its active compounds increase the number of cannabinoid receptors. This is what is called the sensitization period. If you have never had any exposure to THC, the component that gets you high, or other cannabinoids, you will have to try cannabis a few times to start to experience any effects. This is a rare occurrence, but if you don’t feel anything, those receptors, or lack of them, are to blame.

How Do You Feel When You Smoke Weed?

If you smoke and your receptors are raring to go, you will feel high in a matter of minutes. The feeling initially will be in your ‘head’ or your mind. However, the intensity and nature of the experience can vary greatly depending on what strain of cannabis you tried, and how strong its cannabinoid and terpene levels are. Where you are, your mood before you smoke and who you are with can also have an impact. Some people enjoy the experience, others don’t. If you don’t like the sensation then there is nothing wrong with that. It is not the same feeling as being drunk; it is more like a sense of euphoria, or a kind of floating sensation. Everyone will have a different take on their experience. If you are smoking a higher THC strain, the buzz will be much more potent. This can also result in a feeling of things becoming more clear or sharp when you look at them. If you smoke an equal amount of THC and CBD, as well as pure CBD strains, you will not experience little of anything in your head.

What Is A Body High?

If you are smoking an indica dominant strain, or a high THC strain, you will most likely experience what has been termed as the ‘couch-lock’ effect. These weeds have a lot of a myrcene terpene in them. It makes you feel very laid back and lazy, and all you want to do is lay on the couch and watch your favorite TV show or movie. For this reason, they are recommended for nighttime. But if you don’t want to feel comatose when you smoke your first spliff, go for a sativa dominant strain, the experience is very different. These are likened to having a strong cup of coffee because they have limonene in them. This is in most landrace sativa strains. They are usually used during the day because they keep you awake.

Getting The Giggles

Once you are properly high, all your stresses and worries fall away and you are very relaxed. And without that anxiety hanging over you, everything becomes very funny. Cannabis works in a simple way. If you are miserable, it will make you happy. If you are in a good mood, it will make you happier. Studies done on cannabis use have also revealed it stimulates the parts of the brain which are associated with laughter. When you have marijuana, which has THC in it, it can influence this area and everything becomes very funny.

The Munchies Attack

After about 30 minutes to an hour of smoking, you will get an irresistible urge to eat anything in sight! So make sure you have prepared some healthy snacks. Then you won’t get food regret later if you end up eating a load of junk food. It’s fine to indulge every now and again but you don’t want to eat your way through tons of candy and feel bad the next day!

Side Effects You May Experience When Smoking Weed For The First Time

Cannabis has been linked to a number of medical benefits. But it isn’t for everyone, and for every person who loves the feeling of getting high, there is another individual who hates it. Marijuana can have negative effects. If you have any history of a psychotic disorder or bipolar, then you should really steer clear of cannabis. Research has been done into this area, and the results and conclusions are very divided. However, one thing experts seem to agree on is that cannabis does have the capacity to trigger or exacerbate these mental disorders. If you have any concerns at all you should consult your doctor before trying it. Here is a list of common side effects, which a lot of newbies experience. However, the more pot you smoke, the higher your tolerance for it becomes.

Heart Palpitations

This is a result of an increased heart rate and blood pressure. It happens because THC causes our blood vessels to dilate. It will usually subside after about 20-30 minutes and is experienced after you smoke. The best thing to do is work up to a higher THC strain, such as 10% from something very low. If you live in an area where there aren’t strains, which have lower percentages, take it slowly. It’s not a pleasant experience having heart palpitations so take baby steps and small puffs!

Red Eyes

This is also caused by your blood vessels dilating. And if you have low blood pressure, the THC will lower it even more. If you have high blood pressure this is not likely to happen.

Increased Levels Of Anxiety

While CBD is being prescribed to assist with anxiety, if you smoke too much THC it can actually cause your stress levels to rise! A large amount of THC can also trigger paranoia; this is a short-term thing and usually wears off as the high dissipates.

Loss Of Your Motor Skills

It is not advisable to drive a car or operate machinery after you have smoked cannabis. It can impair your motor skills. The high feeling can be a bit like being numb and sleepy so you have to get used to it. Some people say they can’t feel their legs after they try pot for the first time. This will wear off and is not something to get worried about.

Dry Mouth

Marijuana decreases your saliva secretion so a lot of people get a very dry mouth. We have cannabinoid receptors in our saliva glands. One of the things you can do to overcome ‘cottonmouth’ is to suck on a lemon or lime.

Short Term Memory Loss

If you smoke weed with high THC then it can impact your short-term memory. So that really hilarious joke or situation will have slipped beyond your grasp. Meanwhile, high CBD strains enable to you remember with clarity.

How Long Does A High Last?

This can often depend on how you consumed the pot, who you are with and also your tolerance. The strain you have also has an impact on how long you feel high for. Edibles are a whole different ball game. It can take anywhere from 45 -90 minutes for the cannabinoids to hit your bloodstream. They can also stay in your system from 4 – 10 hours. If you are a newbie with cannabis, edibles are an area you should probably stay away from. You cannot monitor the effects of the high easily, and once they are in your system, you have to try and ride it out. And if that isn’t a pleasant experience, you are stuck with it.

If Your High Is Too High

Remember: This too shall pass. The high will go. If you are feeling like you are on a very bad rollercoaster, one thing you can try is pepper lemonade. You can make this with lemon, ice, water, and black pepper. The idea behind this is the terpenes in black pepper can mellow the high. Using CBD drops can also counteract your THC high as the cannabinoids can dissipate it.

If you liked reading this blog, then check out our post on stress and anxiety. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @green_kong and Facebook.