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Advice for First-Time Cannabis Smokers: 10 Tips to Keep in Mind

May 31, 2017
(Adrienne Allen/Leafly)
Congratulations, you’ve decided that you’re finally ready to take that leap towards trying cannabis. Perfect. Beautiful. Let me be the first to welcome you to the family. But before you take that first toke, I’d like to offer you a few pieces of advice so you know what you’re getting into.

Be Prepared to Not Get High


The first time I smoked, I didn’t get high. Maybe I didn’t do it right. Maybe I was all wrong. But I didn’t. And I’ve heard this as the case for so many people, so just know it’s a possibility. But don’t let it deter you from getting to where you’re going. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. Yes, I did just quote Aaliyah.


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You can’t get high if you aren’t inhaling. I still remember the first time I properly did it. Ooooohweeee. My eyes got low, lights got bright, and my soul left my body. It was epic—no, scratch that—it was euphoric. Everything and everyone made me soooo happy and my body felt soooo good.

If you don’t feel like you’re getting high, maybe you just aren’t inhaling properly. Let that smoke fill your lungs and carry you to infinity and beyond.


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Hydrate Like an Athlete


If I had a nickel for every morning I woke up completely dehydrated from getting stoned out of my mind the night before, well, I’d have a lot of nickels. Probably enough to buy 17 gallons of water, which is the exact amount you’ll need after a solid smoke sesh unless you want to end up looking like Spongebob when he visited Sandy’s house for the first time. If you’re going to indulge in the arts of cannabis, make sure to chug a bunch of water before the occasion like you’re about to play in a high school state championship game.


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Choose Your Piece Wisely

I’ve been smoking blunts since Day One so that’s just how I get down. But if it’s your first time, I suggest easing into it. You don’t run a marathon without first doing a one mile test, and the same principle applies to smoking. Don’t jump into heavy bong rips, dabs, and things of that nature until you take a few baby steps.

I suggest starting with a little bowl and working your way up that ladder until you’re ready to take on more advanced consumption methods like the dab rip, also known as the M. Bison of the cannabis world. Also: beware of the gravity bong. They’re little, but boyyyy do they pack a punch. My first time hitting one resulted in hours of paranoia and discomfort. Don’t do that. You’ve been warned.


What Is a Gravity Bong and How Do You Make One?

Download a Food Courier App


The worst thing possible when high is having to go somewhere and do something, even if the task is just getting food. When I delivered food for Postmates, 95% of the houses I delivered to reeked of cannabis. Coincidence? I think not. It’s because those people were smart enough to make the experience convenient for them. You are, too. Make sure to download your preferred courier app (Postmates, DoorDash, Favor, etc.) beforehand so you won’t entertain the possibility of going out and driving under the influence (or wandering around outside when you’re not feeling particularly social or comfortable).


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Clear Your Schedule

If you’re about to get high for the first time, you’ll probably pass out at some point. Don’t even say “No I won’t,” because you’ll be forced to come apologize to me once you wake up eight hours after taking your first bong hit. It’s like a rollercoaster: you go alllll the way to the top just to drop alllll the way to the bottom.

Even if you don’t fall asleep (which you probably will), you may end up feeling heavy-bodied, so if you’re about to smoke for the first time, make sure you’re in a comfortable environment that encourages absolute relaxation. I suggest a living room with a 65” flat screen and a sectional couch (the crease of the L is the sweet spot).


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Never Smoke With Sketchy People


This pretty much applies to anything in life, but especially when it comes to cannabis consumption. If you’re smoking for the first time, it should be with some friends you trust. But on the off chance that it’s with some sketchy-ass strangers, make sure to abide by Rule #1 of the Bruh, I’m Just Tryna Get High code of conduct: If you didn’t see it rolled or packed, don’t smoke it. You do not want to get hit with a case of the shenanigans around people you don’t know in an unfamiliar environment.


Leafly’s Visual Quality Guide to Selecting Cannabis

Know (or Learn) Your Limits

If you’re stoned out of your mind after one hit, feel free to pass on the joint in rotation. Your mission was to get high for the first time, not melt your entire face off. Know your limits and act accordingly.


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Develop a Tribe


Once you start smoking, you’ll want to have a group of friends that you can smoke with. I like to call this my tribe. These are the people that you hit up for a group sesh. You also want to have a tribe because, if I can keep it funky, smoking solo can get extremely boring. But when you have friends, who knows what type of adventures y’all might get high enough to go on? Or even if it’s not an adventure, you might end up having a dope/deep-ass conversation, which may turn out to be a therapeutic experience. So make sure to find friends who enjoy the same activity then build with them.


Why a Good Smoke Session Is the Ultimate Bonding Experience

Be Prepared to Fall in Love

For me, cannabis was love at first pipe. When I took that first hit and felt that buzz in my eyelids I instantly knew that I was smitten. You might be, too. Prepare to embark on a new, groundbreaking relationship. (But much like any relationship, things can get expensive. So before you go into this, just know this love may leave your pockets taxed.)


Which Cannabis Strains Give You the Best Bud for Your Buck?

Dante Jordan's Bio Image

Dante Jordan

Dante Jordan is an Associate Subject Matter Expert for Leafly, where he specializes in informational and lifestyle content pertaining to cannabis strains and products. He also manages the Leafly strain database.

View Dante Jordan's articles

  • Moxie

    I have never been on this site before, so I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. I just became a budtender at a medical marijuana dispensary. My coworkers, even the ones that were hired on at the same time as me, know SO MUCH more than me. When people come in and ask for strains for specific problems they’re having, or if they ask me what is the best bed- the best sativa or the best indica, I generally end up having to defer them to my coworkers. We have usually 35 strains at a time… it’s a lot! And then there’s wax and cartridges and pens and moon rocks. Anyway, I have only been there for a month, and am learning as much as I can- like, I study it when I’m at home. I want to be the best budtender I can be. Does anyone have any suggestions, like maybe specific websites, or books that help teach people about cannabis? I at least know the basics, but I’d still be willing to start from there. Thanks guy!

    • 360dunk

      Medically speaking, a good starting point would be to research the different terpenes and learn which ones benefit which ailments. Dig a bit into Linalool, Myrcene, Limonene, etc. and their effect on things like inflammation, insomnia, and stress reduction to name a few. Also, familiarize yourself with newer products like THC-A. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask co-workers for advice….this is a fledgling industry and the more info that is shared, the better. Good luck, you chose a fulfilling career.

  • 360dunk

    Good points in the article. Personally, I prefer getting all my day’s activities accomplished before sparking up. That way, I don’t have to drive under the influence and can just relax at home. First time users should probably do the same….find a safe place to light up and do it in the evening so that getting high won’t affect your decision-making.

    • Burfm

      This is the best advice to give someone about smoking pot. I used to get high at work just because there were guys there that liked to smoke all the time, but it would make the day go by so slow and I didn’t do my work as well. It was pretty stressful. Once I started only smoking at night when work was done and I didn’t have anything to do I always had a great time getting high. When you’re stoned the only thing you really want to do is park it on a couch, watch TV and munch. So do that.

  • glaucomajim


  • Yukon Eddie

    And be prepared to eventually turn into a vegetable over time. Your whole world will become a fantasy. Canada’s Prime Minister, his mother and brother are true examples. In 20 or so years, you will wake up and wonder what the hell happened to your country and society. Just warning.

  • Moira Faulds

    Excellent article.

  • marihuana store

    Smoking the cannabis for the first time is not that easy as smoking as the regular cigarettes. Knowing the thing that we need to do before starting to smoke the cannabis can prevent us from getting high too much. Therefore, before attempting to smoke the cannabis for the first time research for the advises old time users precautions.

  • NorthIce18

    I would add “For beginners, stick to Indica dominant strains, with higher CBD % and lower THC %.” High THC content is terrible for night-time. They mess up your REM sleep and you’ll have dark circles under your eyes the next day, which don’t really go away. Unless you’re only smoking first thing in the morning, stick to CBD dominant strains.

  • Bora

    I think that: in first time people not get high, from not knowing,
    from not knowing (thinking something like alcohol) they gave some extra attantion to what they dont know, hen not understand ,,
    but after few practice, they start to see effects, for body and mide relaxation, activation.. <3

  • Enjoyed reading the article above , really explains everything in detail,the article is very interesting and effective.Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles