What to expect when smoking weed for the first time

Here are a few tips to ensure your first time toking is a fun one

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When you are considering smoking pot for the first time, you should know what to expect so there are no surprises. You are definitely on the right track if you are doing research to figure out how pot will affect you. One study indicated that 44 per cent of adults have consumed cannabis, a trend that is growing.

If you carefully follow our tips for smoking weed for the first time, you will be able to determine whether to do it – and make your first experience is a fun one.

If you have never tried weed as an adult, you have probably heard the many misconceptions about it from anti-drug education initiatives such as D.A.R.E and the Reagan era’s Just Say No campaigns. Weed use has been ridiculed in this country for nearly a century, and constant propaganda efforts have discouraged use.

There are numerous myths that scientists and users have debunked, such as smoking pot can lead to a multi-day high, promiscuity, violence and aggression, among other misrepresentations.

You will most likely experience a sense of euphoria that is much more complex than what is depicted in the movies like Cheech & Chong and Pineapple Express. There’s a good chance you won’t hallucinate or lose track of who you are, but you might end up feeling relaxed and the urge to eat snacks.

Advice for first timers

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Use cannabis in a comfortable and familiar environment, such as your home with someone you love around. Don’t mix cannabis with any other substances such as alcohol. This can create a compounding effect and can cause nausea. Take it slow because you can always choose to have a little more depending on how you feel. Do not to drive or use machinery that requires a degree of manual dexterity. Stay away from activities that might be dangerous. It’s best to know how cannabis will affect you before using it with your friends or in public spaces. Lastly, just let go of your inhibitions and try to enjoy the experience. As H.S. Thompson would say, “buy the ticket, take the ride.”

What if I don’t get high?

Sometimes, first-time cannabis users claim to feel nothing. There is an urban myth that says “the body was never introduced to THC, so it doesn’t really know how to use it quite yet.” Research of the endocannabinoid system in the 1980s and 1990s found this to be largely incorrect. The myth is likely related to the way in which you consume cannabis – think Bill Clinton’s claim that ‘I didn’t inhale.’ According to reports, fewer than 10 per cent of THC is ingested by beginner smokers because they don’t know how to draw the smoke into their lungs properly. They smoke it like a cigar whereas seasoned users have a 28 per cent absorption rate. If you’re a beginner and having issues with not feeling the effects, give it another try and breathe deeper. 

If you are having difficulty breathing in deeply, try changing up the method of consumption. Try smoking a joint with a double inhale to ensure you’re getting a good deal of smoke in your lungs. Then hold the smoke in your mouth for a few seconds and exhale it. You might want to use a vaporizer, which is less harsh on the lungs and the throat.

What happens to the body when smoking weed?

The experience of consuming cannabis is subjective and no two people will describe their experiences as exactly the same. However, there are numerous effects that are the same for all cannabis users. Most users will have an increased blood pulse rate that occurs right after smoking. Then the blood pressure drops significantly, which can lead to feelings of lightheadedness. The user’s eyes can turn red and the muscles in the body can feel weaker. The user’s appetite will be increased. In some situations, vision and hearing are enhanced and there may be time dilation.

Many people feel the so-called cottonmouth – or dry mouth. These effects are completely normal and not cause for worry. While physiological effects tend to be similar, psychological effects can be largely different and vary depending on the type of marijuana consumed and the consumption method. Many people report feeling more open, more imaginative and more connected to others. Others might feel tired, paranoid and introverted.

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Cannabis typically falls into two categories: indica or sativa. Some are beginning to define cannabis strains based on the mood they create. Sativa typically contributes to feelings of increased energy that activate the imagination, improves creativity and stimulates the mind. Indica cannabis strains are linked to relaxation, increased appetite and an overall reduction in anxiety.

Every cannabis consumer has their own specific tastes. They may choose to switch their strains up depending on what they feel like for any given moment. If they are tired, they may want some sativa but if they need to relax, they will choose indica. Indica strains are recommended for first-time users because of the lowered risk of paranoia involved.

Is there a chance I’ll get addicted to pot?

Thanks to movies like Reefer Madness, people used to think smoking one joint would suddenly turn a use into a full-blown addict. This is so far from reality. In general, it is very hard to become physically dependent on marijuana because it does not affect the same dopamine reward receptors in the brain as with cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine or sugar.

Individuals may use cannabis as part of a routine, but there is quite a lot of debate out there if heavy cannabis use can cause withdrawal symptoms in people if they stop using it. A 2006 study analyzed male and female cannabis users and found that after one year, males had a risk of dependence on cannabis of under one per cent. After two years of use, the number rose to four per cent but then tapered off. It was similar for women in that they had under a 1 per cent chance of becoming dependent on it after a year of regular use. That number didn’t change in the forthcoming years.

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