A Beginner's Guide To Smoking Pot For The First Time

There's no predicting how you'll first react to the herb, so the best way to go is to start slow and know what you're smoking or otherwise ingesting.
A Beginner's Guide To Smoking Pot For The First Time
Image credit: Aura Fico/Getty via The Fresh Toast

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This story originally appeared on The Fresh Toast

While the scales of prohibition propaganda fall from the eyes of many, cannabis loses its stigma and becomes more of a curiosity than a mound of devil’s lettuce. If you’ve never had the cannabis experience and really aren’t sure what it even entails, this is for you.

For decades there have been political speeches, TV commercials, radio advertisements and even billboards that have touted the many evils of drugs, but especially those of marijuana. Believe me when I tell you: they were all lying. Maybe not maliciously, maybe with the right intentions in their hearts, maybe even unwittingly, but they were still flat out lying.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at the plant that once was demonized, and how to consume it if you’ve never done so before.

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First of all, cannabis is a bushy plant that grows well in many different climates, though the types that are most common to the U.S. prefer long summers and drier harvest times. This is why many people grow the plant indoors, where they can control the environment.

The plant itself contains many different properties that lead to its classification as medicinal. Among the many are terpenes, flavonoids and, most famously, cannabinoids. The latter includes the psychoactive component THC and the more mellow, yet nearly as famed CBD. There are many more cannabinoids working together as well, and these fit perfectly into our own endocannabinoid systems, which run throughout our bodies.

When we ingest cannabis, the receptors in the endocannabinoid system accept the cannabinoid puzzle pieces and they get to work. Cannabis is considered an enhancement drug, so expect food to taste better (and to want more of it), for music to sound more intricate, for a massage to feel like heaven, and for a panic attack to feel like the end of the world.

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There’s no predicting how you’ll first react when smoking marijuana for the first time, so the best way to go is to start slow and know what you’re ingesting. There are three main types of cannabis: sativa, which is more stimulating; indica, which is more sedating; and hybrid, which melds both worlds. If you’re able to get to a dispensary, ask the budtender which type and “strain” (variety or name) is best for you.

Whatever you do, start off slow by taking one to two draws off a vape pen, which vaporizes concentrated oils or the flowers of the plant for a smoother experience than outright smoking. Eat a quarter of a mid-range edible that has been infused with cannabis. Only put one measured dropper of marijuana tincture under your tongue. Not all at once on your first time out the gate, but you get the drift, take it easy and move up at your own pace.

If you’re coming into cannabis now because of an illness, try not to go into the experience with fear, as that can trigger anxiety that can then be enhanced by cannabis. Know that not one  person has ever died from marijuana, it is non-toxic and beyond that has healing properties as well as pleasurable ones that you’re on the cusp of enjoying. Best of luck!

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