Your neighbor, your college roommate and your friendly local supermarket cashier all enjoy cannabis. Whether or not she admits it, your mom may have even tried it. So maybe you’re thinking it’s time for you to give weed a whirl.
Not sure where to start? This guide to getting high for the first time will help you choose a product that’s good for beginners — and maximize the fun and chill-factor.
What It Feels Like to Get High for the First Time
You may get stoned. Great! Time may slow down quite a bit and you may find yourself feeling peaceful, euphoric and downright happy. Your senses might be heightened, so expect music and touch, for example, to feel extra incredible, loud, layered — you name it. You might get giggly over YouTube cat videos, or start contemplating profound topics like the interconnectedness of every living thing.
Rest assured, deep thoughts — and off-the wall ones — are all normal. Have fun with those mental meanderings. Cannabis can lead to wonderful conversations and bonding between you and your favorite people.
Prepare with Water and Munchies
You’re likely to get thirsty when stoned, so make sure you hydrate before, during and after your session. You may also, at some point, get hungry and enjoy food in a whole new way. This, as you probably know, is called the munchies and it happens to the best of us. But don’t worry — it needn’t end up with you elbow-deep in a bag of potato chips while wielding spoonful after spoonful of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
Healthier food tastes amazing when you’re high, too, so surround yourself with the good stuff and that’s what you’ll enjoy.
You May Not Get Stoned
“It took me quite a few tries to actually get high,” says Lillian, now a comfortable cannabis user. You might experience that first-time absent high if you don’t inhale fully. Remember that you want to bring the smoke into your lungs, not just your mouth, so taking a little extra sip of breath after pulling on the joint will help. But there’s no need to hold it in for too long. You’ll feel the effects as long as the smoke reaches your lungs.
Or, it may just be that your first high is subtle enough that you don’t quite recognize the sensations yet. Either way, it’s perfectly fine — you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know your new friend cannabis.
How To Have Your Best First High
There are myriad ways to consume, and it’s true that a trip to the dispensary could leave you feeling overwhelmed with options. So, what should you choose for your first time getting high?
What to Avoid
Edibles, while delightful to many cannabis connoisseurs, are not recommended for first-timers because they take a while to kick in and last longer. Also, avoid using a bong or any highly concentrated products like extracts because they probably pack too much punch for your first experience.
Beginners Should Opt for Flower or Vape Pens
Budtenders at Caliva recommend the old-fashioned way for newbies: smoking cannabis flower, or “bud.” Flower is ideal for your first time getting high because you’ll feel the effects quickly. That makes it easiest to gauge when you’ve had enough.
Caliva’s Hybrid House Doobie or Indica House Doobie are good options, since you won’t need to own a pipe or roll or joint to get started. Toasties, low-dose pre-rolls that clock in at a moderate 10% THC, are also a great option.
Vape Pen Options
Smoking cannabis is less harmful to your lungs than smoking cigarettes, but for those who prefer to avoid smoke, vaping is another good choice. A pull of Caliva’s Afternoon Delight or Kiss the Sky vape flavors can give you that pleasantly altered state without the conspicuous weed smell.
High-CBD Vape Pens
Vape pens are also easy for beginners because high or balanced-CBD formulations are easier to find than high-CBD flower. CBD tempers the effects of THC, so you might feel a slightly less psychoactive — but still very relaxed — high.
Start Low and Go Slow
If you’re new to weed, remember that a little can go a long way. “Start low and slow,” recommends John, a Caliva budtender. “I would suggest starting with one to two puffs of a hybrid or indica.” After that, he recommends waiting five to 10 minutes before possibly taking another hit.
Different Highs: Indica, Sativa, Hybrid
As you shop for flower or a vape pen, you’ll notice many are designated indica, sativa or hybrid. Here’s what to expect from each.
Generally speaking, an indica strain will yield a mellow high that’s best suited to activities like a sunset stroll on the beach followed by a home-cooked meal. (Pro-tip: you might want to actually cook your meal or do anything that requires a stove before you get high.) Dinner will taste extra scrumptious, and you may get the urge to snuggle with your dog, or your boyfriend or girlfriend, before drifting off to a sweet night’s sleep.
Sativas, on the other hand, are likely to make you feel like doing something more active like hitting the trails, or possibly color coding your spice rack and bookshelf, and are thus best suited to a morning- or middle-of-the-day session. Sativas are also known to heighten creativity, and so they’re a good choice for enhancing your photography, sketching or jam sessions.
Hybrids are — you guessed it — situated somewhere between the two and may give you a middle-of-the-road high that’s neither too energetic nor too chill.
Regardless of the strain you choose, avoid driving, going to work or doing anything that requires your utmost focus and coordination. At least until you’re more experienced with what works for you, think of cannabis as enhancing your playtime, not your work and responsibilities.
When in doubt, ask your budtenders! They field newbie questions on the daily and it’s their job to help you discover what you like. It’s always okay to take your time at the dispensary so you feel comfortable with what you’re about to bring home.
Setting up for a great experience: location and People
For your first time getting high, choose a day that’s wide open. With enough time to relax and enjoy the experience, it’ll be much more pleasant than if you have a research paper or a shift at work waiting on the other side of it.
Opt for a comfortable space like your own home or a peaceful outdoor setting to set the tone for ease and good vibes. And last, choose people you trust to get high with the first time. A good rule of thumb here is to smoke with people you enjoy hanging out with when not smoking.
What If You Get Too High?
You’re likely to avoid unpleasant experiences if you follow this guide, but it’s true that cannabis does sometimes make people uncomfortable. Rapid heartbeat and paranoia are both some of the less desirable possibilities. If you’re ever hit with this, remember that it will pass soon. If you’ve smoked cannabis flower, your maximum high will last only a few hours.
CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, is known to moderate paranoia and mellow a THC high, so you may want to have a quality CBD oil handy, like OM Elixirs CBD 18:1 Tincture, in case you find yourself in that situation. Several drops held under your tongue will take effect pretty quickly. Some also swear by eating a black peppercorn, taking a shower or exercising as ways to bring down an unpleasant high.
Remember that cannabis varies a lot by strain and potency, and everyone responds to it a little differently. If you tried something that didn’t agree with you the first time around, you may want to keep exploring to find your sweet spot.
Don’t Overthink It
Cannabis enriches many people’s social lives and free time — all without icky hangover symptoms! Remember to start low and go slow, and you’ll have many good experiences ahead of you. Above all, “trust your instincts,” says Chelsea, a Cailva budtender. “You know your happy place and your limits.”