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7 Tips For First-Time Cannabis Smokers

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Smoking cannabis for the first time can be a daunting venture, but never fear! We’ve compiled time-tested advice for getting the most out of your first high and sidestepping any rookie hurdles along the way.

Smoking cannabis for the first time is a transformative experience. In just one puff, smokers are thrust into a heightened reality where everything from eating to listening to music is elevated above its normal resonance. For this reason, it’s imperative that first-time tokers know what they’re getting into and how to optimize the experience to their benefit.

In the same way that an incredible first experience can immediately recruit advocates, a lousy one can seriously deter apprehensive smokers from unlocking the benefits of the potent plant. Here are 7 tips for first-time cannabis smokers to put you on the right path to a healthy relationship with pot.



The beauty of cannabis lies in the number of different consumption methods smokers can choose from to enjoy the desired effects of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. For first-time smokers, there are a number of options to consider.

Joints, which are made by grinding cannabis and rolling it in papers like cigarettes, are popular for social situations, as they contain enough cannabis for several smokers to enjoy. Puffing on a joint is a perfectly viable smoking method for first-time users, but be aware: as the joint continues to be exchanged between friends, it can be hard to let pass by, even after you’ve had enough to smoke. Remember, this is your first time, and you don’t want to over do it.

In contrast, blunts are augmented with even more flower and rolled up inside the emptied out wrappings of a cigarillo. Rolling blunts is a process that involves emptying out the tobacco “guts” inside the casing, then re-wrapping the cannabis flower. If smoking a few hits of a joint seems overwhelming, the same can be said about taking just one hit from a blunt.

Smoking out of a glass pipe or bowl allows for a bit more ease in “dosing” your cannabis intake. Learning how to use a pipe isn’t difficult per se, but there is an art to taking a perfect hit without getting a mouth full of burnt flower or singeing your eyebrows off.

A step up from the bowl is the bong. These water pipes are larger and sturdier, and they allow for more smoke to build up inside the chamber. This provides bigger hits and more intense effects. Bongs aren’t necessarily recommended for first-time smokers since higher doses of THC are consumed in fewer hits.

For those first-time cannabis users not interested in breathing in chemicals from combustion, vaporizers are a great alternative that will get you high, but keep you from having a coughing fit. Depending on the model, vaporizers can be filled with flower or cannabis concentrates, which are highly potent extractions from cannabis plant matter.

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At the end of the day, there is no true standard denoting the best method for first-time cannabis smokers. With that said, vapes and joints are perhaps the easiest methods, while smoking from a bowl allows for the most controlled dosing experience.



Not a lot. Granted, the tolerance of first-time cannabis smokers will vary based on a number of factors, but it’s ill-advised to smoke the same amount as someone who has been smoking cannabis consistently for years.

First timers will likely be set with a gram, of cannabis flower for their first session. This allows for smokers to fill several bowls, or roll a couple of smaller joints if they please. In fact, a gram may be enough to see new smokers through several beginner sessions. Once you understand your tolerance, you can then buy in bulk to save money.

Try smoking a hit or two then wait for the effects to peak before deciding if you’d like to smoke more. You have the rest of your life to develop your cannabis consumption habits -- there’s no need to rush!


Environment plays a crucial role in facilitating a positive first smoking experience. Cannabis is a social substance and is best enjoyed around friends when you’re first starting out. When smoked alone, cannabis can spur contemplative, intense experiences, whereas enjoying with friends often encourages more lighthearted effects. In the event that you become anxious or nervous, having a support group of experienced smokers can help to bring you back down to earth.

You’ve heard it before: location is everything. Never is this more true than with smoking cannabis. It’s important to find a location where you feel comfortable and safe, avoiding external factors that might spur possible paranoia. As for time of day, different cannabis strains are more suited to different activities and settings.

For a more relaxing, zone-out body high, you may want to experiment with indica strains, which are known for their “couch-lock” qualities that are perfectly suited for night-time smoking. Sativas, on the other hand, encourage more energetic, cerebral and creative effects that are ideal for experiencing in nature during the day time. Both can be used at any time, but different strains significantly alter each smoking experience.



It’s important for first-time cannabis smokers to know that the effects will only last a few hours at most after one sitting. This of course changes if you smoke consistently for several hours, or mix the substance with alcohol or other drugs. Unlike cannabis edibles, smoking flower creates immediate effects that whither out faster, whereas concentrates also work immediately but have longer-lasting effects.

Since cannabis contains the psychoactive compound THC, the nature of time can be difficult to grasp your first time smoking. Time can feel sped up or slowed down as your perception of pace is altered for a short period.


Although time is the only true detox for THC, there are anecdotal solutions for reducing the effects of an overwhelming high. Firstly, make sure to hydrate consistently and get some food in your stomach. In addition to psychological anxiety, physical manifestations like cotton mouth, sweaty palms and racing heart can make smoking an uncomfortable experience, especially in social situations.

Another tactic is to do deep breathing exercises or meditate if possible. Anxiety reinforces itself, so it’s important to break the cycle by accepting the anxiety, while taking the power away from it. If you are calm enough to fall asleep, this is the best way to pass the time and sober up in dreamland.

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As mentioned earlier, smoking too much cannabis and overdosing on THC is NOT going to kill you, at very most it’s going to bum you out. Coming from someone whose first experience consuming cannabis was with way too many edibles, I can attest that one bad smoking experience does not dictate what the rest of them will be like.



Now on to the good stuff: after you’ve settled into your high, it’s time for some entertainment. Somehow cannabis always seems to breathe new life into art and entertainment. No matter how many times you’ve heard your favorite song, smoking a joint reveals new layers to its sound and meaning. The same goes for the screen -- just when you thought a TV show couldn’t get any funnier, every line is suddenly hilarious.

The kind of entertainment you choose after smoking completely hinges on your environment and personal tastes. Movies and extended programs are suited to relaxing night time highs, whereas music can be a great accompaniment to working on a creative project or socializing with friends.


Your first time smoking cannabis is simply not complete without some delicious munchies. Once again, it’s all about personal preference -- but snack foods are especially appealing once you’re stoned. Avoid having delusions of grandeur about cooking extravagant meals after smoking. Odds are you’re more likely to eat an entire block of cheese than to cook a five-course meal.

It really is important to keep hydrated when smoking. Water is a reliable go-to, as well as coconut water and other electrolyte-filled drinks. While first-time cannabis smokers may want to avoid drinking alcohol in concert with cannabis, a beer and a blunt is a winning combination once you can handle it.

Reflecting on past cannabis use, stoners will attest to how formative of an experience the inaugural toke is on their futures. Years down the line, you’ll find that you’re chasing the same feeling you had when you first started smoking cannabis.

As you embark on your journey, know what you’re getting into and be confident in your limits. Your cannabis smoking experience will be largely dictated by your decisions, so get out there and give it a try!


Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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