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A Guide To Consuming Marijuana For The First Time


first doobieA frequent occurrence has been happening to me lately. Several people from the Baby Boomer generation (and friends of baby boomers), have been asking me for tips on consuming marijuana for the first time or after a multiple decade layoff. If you haven’t smoked since the 60’s or 70’s, you might as well be consuming marijuana for the first time all over again, because the weed we have these days will knock your socks off.

The questions are from people that want to experiment with it to see if they get a medical benefit, as well as people just wanting to do it for recreational use. What has spurred an increase in the latter of the two, I am not sure. Maybe they have been watching ‘It’s Complicated’ on DVD, who knows. At least two dozen middle aged people have asked me recently though, so I figured it would be a good blog topic. As always, if you have tips of your own, please leave them in the comments section so that others can benefit from your expertise!

A big factor in the first time consumption experience is planning ahead of time. There are countless reasons for this. One major reason that comes to mind is avoiding any interaction with the outside world when you are baked out of your mind for the first time, and more paranoid than you’ve been in your life. You were once scared of having your parents find out…imagine having a son/daughter, co-worker, or neighbor find out. This might be something you want to avoid. Simply sending a text message, or Facebook update, etc, stating, ‘I’m not feeling too hot, I think I’m going to go to bed early tonight.’ is a great way to free up the evening.

I always recommend smoking in the evening if it’s your first time. When you get baked, you will want to have funny entertainment around, some tasty treats, and a warm place to sleep by the end of the night. If you get really high during the day, you are going to be high for a long, long time, take a nap, then wake up sometime around 8pm and your whole sleep pattern will be thrown off. That’s not too big of a deal if you are a youngster, but if you have been on the same sleep/work schedule for a couple decades like most baby boomers, you will likely prefer the evening marijuana session.

Music is a big part of the first time marijuana smoking experience, even if it is just being played lightly in the background. When I consumed marijuana for the first time, people were still rockin’ cassette tapes. These days, with i-pods and mp3 players, you can make song lists that last for hours in just a couple minutes. Remember, you will be high for probably four hours or more the first time you consume marijuana, so plan your playlist accordingly. Make sure to include songs that you listen to all the time, but also mix in songs that you haven’t heard for a long, long time. By the time they play, you will be extremely high and likely will have forgotten that you put them on the playlist and it will blow your mind!

As I alluded to earlier in the article, food is going to be your friend. If you plan ahead of time, your experience will be greatly enhanced. Don’t get me wrong; you will probably be so hungry that you would eat anything in sight. However, if you make sure to stock up on your favorite snacks ahead of time, you will be much happier, and not run out of food and have to go outside of your stoner bubble. When I got high for the first time, it was like ‘search and destroy.’ I ate stuff that I have probably never eaten again. The next day I felt like the guy off of ‘Man v.s. Food.’ Whatever you end up eating, the main thing to keep in mind is to have a LOT of it on hand because it is going to be a feast of mythical proportions.

A great comedy film is a must during your first marijuana experience. Find one that you have never seen before, so that you don’t know ahead of time what the funniest parts will be. EVERYTHING will be funny so the title doesn’t matter as much, just make sure it’s good. A stoner movie is preferred for obvious reasons. For a great list of stoner movies, click this link.

The people you are consuming marijuana with is another large factor. I would never recommend getting high for the first time by yourself; it is going to be a journey that you want to share with a close friend or two. Large groups are not fun because you will be extremely high and paranoid, and will over analyze what other people are doing and/or thinking. I had a friend get high for the first time at a sporting event, and he ended up freaking out, running out of the place, and hiding in the parking lot until the event was over — not a good experience. I would recommend doing at your home, or the home of a close reliable friend whose home you are very comfortable with, and no more than a few people.

You want to consume marijuana with veterans, not rookies. You might not have a choice over this matter, as you may be required to smoke with whoever has the weed at the time, which is understandable. But, if you can, smoking with someone that has been doing it for years, day in, day out, is the best option. They will try to make the experience as fun as possible for you, and chances are, they have been looking forward to it for a long time! Just make sure the people are mellow — smoking with a super hyper/drunk person is not fun when it is your first time (or probably anytime!). You will want to chill, while they want to get all amped up. These are the same type of people that will do everything they can to get you as high as possible and mess with you to the point that your experience isn’t fun.

Now that the environment has been set, it’s time to talk about the marijuana itself. As I stated earlier in the article, the quality of marijuana is much stronger these days than when baby boomers were growing up. According to a conversation that I had with an employee at Full Spectrum Laboratories, the best of the best these days is just above 20% cannabanoids, roughly 5 times as potent as what marijuana used to measure at a couple decades ago. Needless to say, you need to be careful to not get too high. But, with that being said, it’s impossible to overdose from marijuana consumption, so feel free to go for the gold! As long as the marijuana you are consuming is not in brick form, is seedless, and does not smell like mold or mildew, it should do the trick. You just might have to consume more of it.

What is the best way to consume marijuana for the first time? I put this out to my friends and it seemed that the most popular answer was the joint. A pipe, bong, or bubbler can be too confusing to a new smoker who doesn’t grasp the concept of a carb. A joint is very straight forward, and easy to regulate the hits. With a pipe, bong, or bubbler, the new smoker will not know that they took too big of a hit until it is too late. A waterfall or gravity bong is definitely out of the question. If you are about to consume marijuana for the first time, beware of anyone that tells you to take a hit from anything involving a 2-liter soda bottle, which is what a waterfall and gravity bong involve. This will be WAY too much for you, and it is very common to throw up as a result of hyperventilation. You don’t experience any adverse health side effects, but it certainly isn’t a fun experience! I have had friends and family smoke people out this way when it is their first time, and it always ends in disaster.

A vaporizer is a great way to consume marijuana for the first time, but a little harder to come across. Most veterans either have one or know where to get one, but are still not quite as common, certainly not as common as a doobie. I would definitely advise against eating the marijuana in brownies, etc. It is a really easy way to consume it, and very appealing to the first time consumer because you don’t have to inhale anything. However, eating cannabis foods will get you really, really high, and there is virtually no way to come down for hours and hours once you have overdone it.

It is really hard to know how it is going to affect a person due to varying tolerances. When marijuana is smoked, it goes into the nervous system via the lungs. The reaction is very quick and intense at first then slowly dissipates over the course of the next handful of hours. When marijuana is eaten, it goes into the blood stream via the digestive system. It takes an hour or so in order to feel the effect, usually resulting in more cannabis edibles being consumed in the interim. Then once the effects come on, it comes on strong, and the consumer doesn’t realize they have over done it until it is too late. While this might be the experience that some first timers like, it is probably not the preferred route. Smoking is much easier to regulate than eating it, so be advised.

The way you smoke the joint itself should be discussed. Don’t toke it until you choke, like most people will want you to. Severe coughing is not fun for anyone and you should try to avoid it as much as you can. You are not smoking marijuana to be cool; you are doing it to get the desired effect, so take your time. Start with a really small hit and don’t hold it in very long and go from there. You will eventually find the perfect sized hit and then go for it.

If you think you are feeling too much of the effects of marijuana, which can be typical of a first time marijuana consumer experience, I have been told a couple things that help. When I was at the medical marijuana clinic the first time receiving my card, the doctor told me that drinking water that is as cold as possible is the best way to reduce the effects. Even splashing cold water on your face is a good idea too he told me. I have never been ‘too high from marijuana,’ but I have seen it happen to other people. They said the water trick doesn’t eliminate the effects, but certainly helps reduce it. Also, it helps to eat something. Everyone that I talk to feels that the effects diminish after a big meal. Once again, the effects don’t go away entirely, but they are reduced. Lastly, going to sleep always helps, and chances are if you wait long enough, sleep will happen no matter what. Most people that I have seen consume marijuana for the first time don’t stay awake for more than a few hours.

Most of the first time consumers that I talked to that inspired this article were up in the air about consuming marijuana because they felt a little guilty. DON’T FEEL GUILTY. There is nothing wrong with consuming marijuana, and it is quite enjoyable, so consume it in confidence! If a person looks at the polls, and looks at the growing force behind marijuana legalization in the political world, they will see that they are in the majority, not the minority. Multiple generations of Americans were brainwashed by Reefer Madness propaganda, and now that the truth is getting out, prohibitionist support is eroding. So welcome to the marijuana consumers club and enjoy; your first marijuana experience is always something that people never, ever forget!


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Hey! quick question, would one puff get me high? and for approximately how long? also any tips on covering up for when i get home so my parents dont find out? thanks a ton

  2. Hey, Jennifer in California, welcome to The Weed Blog! And please, you shouldn’t be bashful about asking any kinds of questions here!

    In general, a first-timer would need to take a bite or two of any edible, wait an hour or so, and gauge its effects. Then, the next time you try it, you can take either more or less, depending on your preference. No need to hurry things, right? Just take your time.

    Now, if you want to get into a little more specifics, I would ask if you are considering medical cannabis for your asthma symptoms, specifically which ones. Next, we could try to determine your tolerance level for specific medications, like for pain, so we can find out what kind of THC/CBD level that might work for you.

    Here in New Mexico, a lot of our edibles come without a label, so it’s hard to say exactly what an actual “dose” is. Most times, it is a third or half of the product. I have seen some edibles that include a milligram count, so this would help determine your tolerance level also.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Jennifer in California on

    Hi! :) Thanks for a very informative article! I have asthma and one of its worst triggers is smoke of ANY kind! :( So I don’t plan to ever try smoking pot. However, I’ve a friend who is going to bring me some baked goods made w/ pot. I know you said first-timers should try the smoking route but for me that’s unfortunately not an option; not a lot of things upset my lungs, thankfully, but smoke is one of the few things that is horrendous for them. You said consuming pot can easily get someone way too high because they overdo it, so I wondered how much you’d recommend I try the first time? This friend makes brownies & rice krispie treats. How much should I consume if I want to be cautious about it? I’m sorry to sound so dumb but I really have no idea what to think or what to expect. *blush* So thank you for any tips you can offer! :)
    – Jennifer (sounds generic but it’s my actual middle name; for once I’m glad to have such a generic middle name! LOL)

  4. I suggest just a good ol’ dooby. It will do the trick, wait about five minutes inbetween each hit, so you can kinda rule what your “level of high” is at and see what is most comftorable for you. If you are feeling the effect’s of it, and it is making you nautious, whatever it may be, I would suggest trying to eat just a peice of buttered bread, ( notice how I said bread, not toast, this is very important, I learned in personal experiences that toast, the texture didn’t settle with me right, and I ended up being even more sick then. ) it is super light on your stomach, and will most likely make you feel better. Anything sweet, and for all you Non-Lactose-Tolerant people, go to your local gas station, Wal-Mart, Target, Piggly Wiggly etc… and get your self a pint of Tru-Moo Chocolate milk, I prefer the 2% Tru-Moo, but get that for when you are smoking, it is probably one of the single best things to drink when you smoke. ( In my opinion. ) When I smoked for my first time, I made the mistake of smokeing from a bong, and right after I smoked from a gask mask, I honestly don’t remember much about that day, but I do know I had a hell of a time. Stay safe everybody, also, I enjoy going to the beach / lake and smoking a fatty, it is really relaxing on a nice warm breezy summer day, wind is blowing, sun is shining, got that nice lake breeze going on around you, it is nice, so relaxing, if you can’t get to your local lake, or are to paranoid of being caught, your house or a good friends house will do.

  5. Jim. You’re right on. One hit or 2 is plenty for newbies and old timers like myself. One in the morning with coffee. One after a 5000 yard swim workout and one with the evening meal. Delightful Day.

  6. Take a hit wait a few, take another hit 5 minutes later, then another hit 5 minutes after that if you are a first timer. that way you kind of can know what level you are at without overdoing it, and if you are a first timer, I recommend Indica Strain.. Sativa tends to cause Anxiety, but Indica reduces anxiety.

  7. I also started going to the gym when I took up smoking weed again after ten years off it due to having kids and just generally being brainwashed about it. Stopped smoking tobacco, lost weight and gained muscle because of weed. Can’t believe it! Gone from approx twelve cigarettes a day to half a joint at night. It’s changed my life for the better

  8. I think if people are wanting to use it medically, then for the first time they should go on a tincture, oil and raw flower regimine. Easy to do with a little creativity. If they want to feel what it is like to get high or for quick pain relief, they should smoke a J (high CBD strain if possible. 1 hit every 5 minutes, no more than 2 hits the first time, wait 30, then hit it again. I think everyone should use cannabis in all of it’s wonderful forms available. peace 8-|

  9. This is the kind of stuff im so glad to hear from first timers! More people like you need to let others like yourself really know how wonderful this plant can truly be.

  10. the first time I smoked weed I coughed A LOT :xx and I didn’t get high. Is this normal ?

  11. Pretty sure it will work. Any bottle should work. Just that smaller bottles hold less smoke.

  12. Iggy Pop, obvs on

    My friend has only smoked once, but my bowl is broken now and she wants to again. I want her to too, but all I have is a gravity bong. however, it is a water bottle and not a two-liter bottle, should she be ok?

  13. People weed is actually good for you if you have it occasionly it helps depression and motivates you i tried first time a week ago i feel better and im excercising

  14. ConservativChristian on

    Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child or grandchild thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.
    If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let’s put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. It’s time to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.
    We can email our Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml to discuss HR 2306, the proposed Federal law that will get the Federal government out of the marijuana business and let states make their own laws.
    And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

  15. it is always best to eat a small meal about 10 min. before consuming edibles so you dont over do it (you should start feeling the effects in about 30-50min) and also smoking top quality for the first time i would not recommend because when hi quality isnt available just medium quality doesnt do it i smoked hash the first time i smoked then 3-5 days later wasted a gram of fore mid that didnt get me a buzz

  16. for your first time smoking with your dealer ist probly a good idea because people will be in and out

  17. Good advice for a first timer! I have smoked over 30 years and have seen many 1st timers talked into a large bong or mega-doob by a jerk wanting to mes with them, how shitty.for a 1st timer to be terrified by smoking way too much of something us old timers take for granted. For example, my new wife smoked with her ex hub a few times, he had her smoking out of a 4 foot bong over and over she freeked got sick and hadnt tried it since. 2 weeks ago myself, my wife and a close family member decided to smoke, my wife agreed to try it agaain and dug up my old one hitter and explained to her to hit it lightly and not hold it like I. Do. She had a little more than a full one hit and totally enjoyed herself, and I enjoyed laughing lime a teenager again just because she enjoyed herself! 1st timers listen to this advice and go easy. It’ll be much more fun! Happy smokin everyone! FREE MARC EMERY!

  18. Like you said, music is key. Whether in the background or foreground. Sounds cliche, but Marley really does do it for me. And try to avoid large groups, unless you absolutely are great friends with all of them. Because there is a small.. I would say… 15 minute window as the high is going away where everything seems very awkward. Like you stated, “Large groups are not fun because you will be extremely high and paranoid, and will over analyze what other people are doing and/or thinking.”. And it ruins most of the time you just had (in my experiences, anyway). Do not try to start a conversation. If you just need to sit and be high, just sit and be high. Enjoy your experience for YOURSELF.

  19. If you can afford it, visit Amsterdam and go for a Sativa strain. Also, there you can use a vaporizer (which means, you don’t inhale the bad stuff, only the goodies without coughing your lungs out) without having to buy one. Many Coffeeshops these days have one. This way you can start your cannabis experience at daytime and have hours of fun exploring the sights in a completely new light! Just watch out for the zillions of cyclists!

  20. Great starting place! i personally am the first toker of my group of high school friends, so many of them come/came up to me to help them get started. Its sorta like my thing now. the only thing id change about your suggestion is making sure you have something to drink at all times (my first time with cotton mouth, whoa though i was gonna die) and then i suggest an all you can eat place. i always go to chinese. that way you can eat all you want, and if its at a good time the place wont be packed

  21. Well written and well thought out. My wife wants to try pot for (essentially) the first time and I think that these are very cogent and appropriate guidelines. Thanks for the well stated hints!

  22. I think the first time smoker should relax and anticipate a pleasurable evening. If you planned the evening appropriately, it will be a welcome relief from the world that keeps many stressed. Happy tokin’!

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