First Cannabis Experience: What to expect when you’re expecting to get high?

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

Perhaps your state just legalized marijuana… or you have flirted with the idea for a while and finally decided to take the plunge… or alcohol’s next-day hangover finally took a toll on your body and you are searching for healthier alternatives… However you got here, you’re an informed consumer and want to do your due diligence before partaking.

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You might not get high at all the first time… and that’s totally normal!

First thing first, let’s set some realistic expectations. I still remember the first time I smoked and complained to my cousin about not feeling anything. What I didn’t admit at the time was that I was a little scared and barely inhaled. It probably took me 3-4 more tries to learn to inhale properly. Welp, that’s disappointing given the happy, euphoric effect you were promised. The truth is your first-time experience can be anything: no impact, mildly euphoric, giggly, hyper, couchlock, sleepy, paranoid, nauseous. Or none of these! (whooattt?)

As much as brands and budtenders would like to promise you about the joy, bliss, or creative effects, I want to emphasize that cannabis is a personal experience. Ever gone to yoga and been told to be patient with your body because it feels different every day? Cannabis is just like that! Whether you can get high and how long the high lasts depends on so many factors: how much you consume, how concentrated the product is, your body weight & fat percentage, your metabolism, what / when / how much you ate, etc. Finding your own cannabis experience is a journey. So be patient, don’t expect too much or too little, and just feel what you feel in the moment!

So many options…where do I even start?

Here’s my hot take: Edibles might not be the best choice for first timers! I’m not saying you should jump right into bong rips or dabs. In fact, don’t opt for the smoking route at all if you’re not a smoker already. When people say smoking weed is bad, my response is well yeah… smoking anything is bad for you.

While there are great edible products out there, many have serious consistency issues that either make you too high or have no effect at all. This coupled with your metabolism and the food or amount you eat makes it difficult to have a reliable experience. Plus if you have kids at home, it’s not always the best idea to have ‘spiked’ gummies lying around.

My recommendation? Tinctures! Tinctures are cannabis extracts in liquid form that can be dropped under the tongue. It’s easy to use and kicks in faster!

If you are already a smoker of some sort or hoping to quit smoking, a vape pen is a great option. As much as I like a good ole joint, not everyone knows how to roll a jay. Pre-rolled joints are expensive, and vape pens are much better for measuring your first dose. Whichever you choose, do inhale but just make sure to take very small puffs at first (trust me I’ve learned the hard way!).

Want to learn more or try out your first dose!? Check out this post for our strain, dosage, and product recommendations for first timers!!!

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How much is too much or too little?

Now that you have chosen a product, how much should you consume? Let’s make one thing clear – it’s practically impossible for you to OD on cannabis. While there are about 40,000 alcohol-related deaths occur each year due to binge drinking in the US, there has not been a single account of death due to a marijuana overdose.

That said, you still want to have a good experience and not feel paranoid or stuck in your body. Always be more conservative since you can always take more but not less. While many products have the standard dose of 10mg THC. It’s recommended that you start with 1-5 mg THC and (I can’t emphasize enough) be patient! Here’s why impatient me and edibles don’t bold well. There have been one too many times when I waited for 30 – 60 minutes, the edibles don’t kick in, I doubled or even tripled dose and ended up being too high.

Alright so now you have the basics down, what else?

  • Clear your calendar: Don’t plan to do anything important (or anything at all) after getting high. I would suggest consuming at night after dinner when you’re ready to unwind for the day.

  • Be somewhere safe and comfortable: In case you fall asleep (and you likely will!), be home or somewhere you feel comfortable with proximity to a bed or a couch.

  • Be with someone you trust: Cannabis is a very personal experience, especially the first time around so make sure you’re with people you trust will take care of you and know you can be giggly or silly with. And it’s totally normal to just want to try on your own too, whatever you’re comfortable with!

  • Hydrate: You will likely experience some level of cottonmouth so fill up your water bottle beforehand and drink plenty!

  • Stock up on snacks: Let’s be real… the munchy is what I’m (shamelessly) really here for. Sugary or savory or both, who am I to judge? Most (and I hope you too!) can appreciate flavor, smell, and texture a whole lot more while high. If you are trying to stay healthy, make sure to plan ahead with healthy snacks.

  • Don’t mix: I’m not completely against mixing cannabis with alcohol or coffee but I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. The combined effect can be different by the person so wait until you get a better sense of what being high feels like.

  • Enjoy the experience: Put on a show, movie, or playlist that you enjoy. My favorite thing to watch while high is stand-up comedy (as if Trevor Noah can be hotter and funnier)

  • If you just don’t feel good: Go to sleep. Chances are you can pass out pretty quickly, have a good night’s sleep, and feel ever so refreshed the next day. I’ve never tried but heard of black pepper, pine nuts, or lemon peel as remedy to come down too.

Bottom line, cannabis is a very different experience for everyone and can be different for you from one day to the next. Start small, be patient, and enjoy the ride! Let us know in the comments what your first experience was like and click here to join a community of first-timers that all might just love stand-up!!!