First Time Smoking Weed: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

First Time Smoking Weed: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

First time smoking weed? So you wanna try that plant everybody’s been talking about – cannabis? Otherwise known by terms like marijuana, weed, herb, chronic, ganja, reefer, cheeba, skunk – oh did I forget pot? – and hundreds more.

Safety first! It’s not as simple as it looks, as it used to be, scoring a plastic baggie from some guy on the corner or a friend of a friend of a friend. No, cannabis consumption has become a million tokes more sophisticated than when your mom or dad was passing the spliff back in the day.

You don’t have to be a scientist, but some planning and preparation can make the medicine go down in the most delightful way. Let’s explore all the aspects of popping your cherry bud – yes, that’s a strain name. What’s a strain? Hang on, you’ll find out in one hot minute.

We’ll cover everything from purchasing to environment to identification to actual consumption and important terminology for the first time weed smoker. Simply and thoroughly, so all you have to do is spark it up and enjoy the ride!

Cannabis 101

The first thing you should know is that the cannabis sativa plant comes in diverse flavors known as strains. Scientifically speaking, there are two major categories of strains: sativa and indica. 

You’ll often hear that Sativa strains produce a more energetic and some say productive euphoria, while Indica, is responsible for the “couch lock” stereotype. This is a very persistent myth that might have held some value in the ‘50s but not anymore. In fact, pure landrace cannabis is considered very rare – and not at all potent by today’s standards.

Most strains on the market today are hybrids, which can be anywhere from 80-20% indica/sativa to 60/40% sativa/indica. Anything is possible with the heart and technology the experts have employed over decades of refining cannabis cultivation.

The trick is figuring out which one is right for you. Consider the activities you might be getting into after consuming. Watching a movie or painting a picture? In public at a concert or a private gathering with close friends? Do you want to giggle or get the munchies or just kick back and let your mind wander?  We live in the wonderful era of the internet, meaning you can find a strain for everything these days!

First Time Buying Weed

Now that you have decided on what strain you want to take the dive with, it’s time for procuring. No, that’s not a gardening term. It means to get your hands on some!

If you are fortunate to live in one of the more progressive states or countries, you have options like coffee houses (Amsterdam), Dispensaries (US), Private clubs (Spain), orVape lounges (Canada) where you will be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to guide you on the journey. 

Never, ever be embarrassed to ask dispensary staff for advice. These are trained professionals who are there to help you out.

You’ll be confronted with lots of choices and crazy names. Before you go, take a few minutes to research on the internet. There’s a wealth of information and reviews of different strains that can help you wade through the waves of options. 

Here are some of the reviews we’ve done:

Also, we’ve created a handy guide on weed measurements to know exactly what you’re getting.

However, if the flintstones are your next door neighbors, meaning your state or country’s laws are still stuck in the stone age, you probably won’t have much choice. But at least you can take an educated guess as to what it is.

Sativa bud tends to be lighter and brighter, a little fluffier and have a more sweet and fruity aroma. You can squeeze it between your fingers and it will kind of bounce back.

Indica is what people are usually referring to when you hear the term “dank”. It tends to be tighter, heavier, sometimes stickier. Usually a darker shade of green with hairs often yellow or purple. Squeeze it between your fingers and it will feel compact and probably leave some fairy dust crystals behind on your fingertips.

Choose The Right Environment

Environment is always hard to control for a first-timer. Often it’s just in a circle at a party or amongst a bunch of equally newbies. There is some prep you can do to make sure things run smoothly.

Find a bud buddy! Smoking alone is not dangerous per se, but sharing is caring and it’s more fun with company.

But smoking with lots of company? Especially in public places where you won’t know most of the company? Bad move. You don’t want to spend your first buzz looking over your shoulder or risking random encounters. Best to be in a controlled indoor safe space, or out in the woods as opposed to a public park if you want nature. 

It’s always good to have activities ready to keep you occupied. But don’t fret if you can’t do those activities like you normally do. That’s the point! Enjoy the ride.

Movies, music, candles, food. All are recommended, although be careful with the candles. You don’t want to have the trouble of thinking to distract you from experiencing the buzz, so best not to like, get high and go out to eat. Have some munchies ready, and plenty of beverages because chances of cottonmouth run high. No pun intended.

Always remember: you’re high. If things go wrong, it’s okay. You’re going to come down eventually. The brain is more powerful than you think and if you plant this little message inside it before you spark up: ‘I control it; It doesn’t control me’, you’ll be surprised at the results.

First Time Smoking Weed: Etiquette

Some arguments are never settled. Does the peace pipe go to the left or should you be polite and pass to the right? You ask me, both sides come out on top. But there are some customs everybody agrees on.

  • Don’t bogart that banana! Banana being yet another slang term. Puff, puff, pass is the prevailing wisdom and that’s 2-3 puffs, no more.
  • Don’t tap glass on glass, man! A lesson many have learned the wrong way. Don’t tap out an empty glass pipe or bong slide on a ceramic ashtray. Pipes are sacred and you want to handle them with care. Put a tissue in the palm of your hand and tap it there. That way you don’t accidentally burn yourself either.
  • Do practice the two A’s: ask questions and apologize. Where’s that carb hole? Oops, I blew the bong water all over your rug – Sorry! Most cannabis consumers are pretty understanding people so don’t be shy.


Before choosing your method, get a grinder. The sticky bud will stay lit and be a lot less harsh on a first-timers throat if you grind it up first into a nice pile of not quite powder, but close. Makes joints easier to roll, too.

But you shouldn’t be rolling your own joint. You could kill the buzz and waste the weed before the fun has even started! Get a pre-roll from your local legal provider or have an experienced friend roll it up for you.

On that topic, there is a bit of debate about the term “spliff.” It is suspected to be a west indian term dating to the 30s. In pot parlance, it is believed to refer to a joint that “splits” the contents between tobacco and cannabis. But some people just use it as an all-purpose alternative to joint. Make sure you clarify.

In North America, it’s a sin to corrupt cannabis with tobacco. Yet in Europe, it’s a sin not to add some tobaccy to the wacky. So, go figure. One plus is that it can make sticky bud smoke smoother without going out every other puff.

Then there’s blunts, which is a cigar emptied of tobacco and replenished with cannabis. You can also get just pure tobacco leaf rolls. Joints and blunts kind of demand that you smoke the whole thing, so for a first-timer, a lightly packed bowl will hold flavor and encourage a little more prudence. Take a hit, put it down and see how it goes before you go back for round 2.

A lot of pros don’t recommend bongs for first-timers. I disagree. If you take it slow and practice safety like making sure water levels aren’t too high and you’ve asked whether it’s a carb or a slide, a bong hit can be a powerful way to kick off your career in cannabis consumption.

What’s It Like To Smoke Weed For The First Time

First, let me warn you – you might not get high the first time. Many people don’t. It may be just that you don’t have enough experience to recognize the feeling, or you may be high in a way that you don’t realize you’re high – for example – blabbery high. Later, when you look back, you might say “Wait, yes I was LOL!”

The reason this is noted in this article is just to make sure you don’t overdo it. Don’t be so obsessed with reaching an altered state of mind that you smoke yourself into a paranoid, emotional mess while thinking you don’t feel any different. It’s different for everybody. 

Remember, the human body has cannabinoid receptors built in, so it’s not completely unnatural. 

How To Smoke Weed For The First Time

Take it slow and be prepared to cough. There’s a reason behind the old phrase “Cough ‘til you get off.” Wrap your lips around whatever the device maybe – end of a joint or mouthpiece of the pipe – and inhale slowly, in small bursts. Puff out your chest a bit on each burst, as if adjusting your posture.

Pull it in to properly inhale. But don’t exaggerate the gesture. You will cough harder, possibly painfully, and look silly. The action is similar to breathing. 

Should you hold it in? Well, first, treat it like a glass of wine at a tasting. Let the smoke roll around in your mouth, make sure you appreciate the flavor. Since it’s your first time, you might not be able to hold it in, you might explode with a cough. Don’t worry about it. Just keep a glass of water nearby. 

Then take one more good kick back in, maybe a swallow, a gulp. Then slowly exhale, letting the smoke twirl from your mouth into a little fluffy, puffy cloud of smoke. Ahhhh!

What Happens When You Smoke Weed For The First Time?

Let’s help you recognize the feeling, huh? That would be a big help that isn’t often mentioned in other articles on this topic. 

  • What to always feel around for first is the heaviness in my eyes. Or rather, your eyelids and the bags below. The more sunken they feel, the stronger the effects.
  • Your body may feel extra heavy or extra light. Like you either lost all coordination or cannot move very quickly. Both are fine. Just make sure you have a place to sit down and rest those bones. Ride it out and enjoy the comfort of a bean bag or a couch. 
  • Cottonmouth can just suddenly appear! That’s right, mid-sentence. It happens to entertainers and stoners alike. Be ready!
  • You could become uncontrollably talky or giggly, or forget what you were going to say. Bring a notebook and pen! Might be fun to record this crazy once-in-a-lifetime experience. 
  • Don’t keep too much in your pockets. It will be really annoying to look through, or you might lose things altogether. 

Like losing your virginity, the first time can go either way. Try to remain comfortable and go with the flow. And like losing your virginity, it isn’t necessarily representative of future experiences. Live and Learn!

At the very least, this article should provide a helpful jumping off point and some tips and tricks to remember as you venture into your maiden encounter with the plant everybody says will make you forget everything. 

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About the author

George Mouratidis works as a full-time copywriter and journalist. He is the founder of, a bespoke content writing agency for the cannabis industry. George is a regular editor for many industry publications, as well as corporate blogs. He is also the co-writer of the book Ganja Hustle; a hit cannabis growing guide for the USA and Canada markets. When he is not writing, George likes to work out, trying new foods and playing with his cat. Currently, he lives in Greece.