For thousands of years, people have smoked cannabis for many reasons. However, if you have never smoked weed before, the idea of doing it for the first time can sound a little intimidating. Here’s a quick guide on smoking weed for beginners to get you started.
Understanding Cannabis – Strains, Cannabinoids, and More
If you are totally new to cannabis, there are two key things to get familiar with before heading to the dispensary: strains and cannabinoids. Strains are the different cultivars of cannabis. Much like there are multiple varieties of plants that are in the same family (such as tomatoes, peppers, or beans), there are multiple varieties of plants that are in the cannabis family. Each variety is given a unique name, such as White Widow, OG Kush, or Gorilla Glue.
Each strain of weed is unique because of its terpene and cannabinoid makeup. Cannabinoids give cannabis its effects, whether you’re speaking in terms of intoxicating or therapeutic effects.
For example, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two main cannabinoids in cannabis. Some varieties are higher in THC, which tends to make them more intoxicating. Terpenes, by contrast, give each variety its unique flavor and smell. For example, a strain like Orange Vanilla Milano has a citrus and vanilla odor and flavor, and this is because of the plant’s terpenes.
How Does Smoking Weed Deliver Effects?
Your body has a unique series of cannabinoid receptors that have a name: the endocannabinoid system. When you smoke cannabis, the cannabinoids go through the lungs, enter the bloodstream, and then interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. For example, THC binds to certain receptors that alter things like pain perception or how information is transmitted through the synapses in your neural system.
How to prepare for your first time smoking weed:
- Make sure you have all of the necessary materials, things like:
- Smoking device – papers, a bowl, a bong, etc.
- Grinder – a way to grind your cannabis flower and get it ready to smoke
- Ash tray – avoid making a mess!
- A glass of water – sometimes smoking can make you cough, water helps!
- Have a planned activity – having a plan for what you are going to do can avoid anxiety and help you enjoy your experience
- Listen to an album
- Take a walk
- Watch a show or movie
- Chat with a friend on the phone
How to Smoke Weed Step by Step
1. Pick your preferred smoking method and grind your bud
There are two primary ways of smoking weed: in a rolled joint (a marijuana cigarette) or by using a pipe. Both methods have their pros and cons. If you’ve never rolled your own smoke, it can take a little practice to do. Be sure to take a look at How to Roll a Joint (5 Easy Steps) to get you started.
You will need a good grinder, rolling papers, and a little practice. For newcomers, sometimes the easiest path is to simply pick up a pre-roll, which is a pre-rolled joint or blunt that you can smoke straight from the package.
Using a pipe to smoke weed is a little more straightforward. You simply add the ground cannabis to the bowl, and you’re ready to smoke. The goal is to do a medium pack—not too tight because it will be too difficult to smoke your pipe, and not too light because the weed will burn too quickly.
Whether you go with rolling your own or using a pipe, it is important to grind the cannabis you intend to use. This breaks down the flower into small, uniform pieces, which means it will burn more evenly and consistently when you light up. Handheld grinders are small and inexpensive, and you can pick them up at just about any dispensary. However, if you don’t have one, you can also use scissors or your fingers to break down the flower into smaller pieces.
2. Ignite the cannabis
With your joint made, your pipe packed, or your pre-roll in hand, the only thing left to do is to ignite the cannabis so it produces smoke. Using a lighter or match, apply the flame to the end of the joint or the bowl of the pipe and inhale from the mouthpiece to encourage the cannabis to start burning.
3. Inhale, exhale
Now that your cannabis is ignited, simply inhale small puffs, pull them into your lungs, and exhale. It is always a good idea to stick with smaller puffs if you are smoking weed for the first time. The smoke can tickle the back of your throat and the flavors can be pretty intense. So, remember slow, small, and easy puffs. Also, there’s no need to hold the smoke inside your lungs before exhaling.
Smoking Cannabis – Other Things to Know
How much marijuana should I buy?
A standard joint will only have about half a gram of cannabis or less, and you can pack a bowl on a pipe with about as much in most cases. If you are just starting to explore cannabis, this means that buying just a gram at the dispensary is probably good enough for two small smoking sessions. An eighth of weed will give you 3.5 grams, which is enough for a handful of smoking sessions for most people.
How much should I smoke?
Cannabis affects everyone on a different level depending on a lot of factors, such as age, body chemistry, and the potency of the flower. Some strains can be pretty potent, while others will have much lighter effects.
In either case, as a first-timer, taking just a few puffs and waiting a few minutes to monitor the effects is a good idea. After 10 minutes or so, if you feel like you need a little more, try a few more puffs, and repeat as necessary. The general rule applies here so you don’t accidentally smoke too much or get too high: puff, puff, wait.
How long will it take to feel the effects?
One perk of smoking cannabis is the effects kick in quickly, which makes it easy to determine if you are where you want to be or need a little more. The cannabinoids enter your bloodstream quicker through the lungs. The general timeline for most people is about 2 to 10 minutes.
How long will the effects last?
The effects of smoking weed will usually last about one to three hours, but every person can have a different experience. In rare cases, someone may feel some lingering effects for as long as eight hours.
Talk to the Team at Silver Therapeutics
Cannabis has a lot to offer, and exploring this plant can be incredibly rewarding. At Silver Therapeutics, we are committed to helping everyone discover how cannabis can be beneficial to them. If you are a first-time smoker and have questions, be sure to talk to the team at our dispensary. They will be happy to help you track down the right products and offer guidance.