Smoking Weed For The First Time: A Beginner’s Guide

Whether you have a medical condition you want to try treating with cannabis, or you’re wondering what all the big deal about “getting high” is, your first few experiences with marijuana will depend largely on proper dosing. For beginners, this can be especially challenging, as there are thousands of cannabis cultivars to choose from. There’s also a growing industry of cannabis-infused products, and potent concentrates that can knock you out if you aren’t careful. Also, the myth about not getting high the first time you smoke is just that, a myth. Follow this guide for smoking weed for the first time and you’ll be sure to have a good time.

Smoking Weed For The First Time: How Cannabis Affects You

Cannabis, weed, marijuana, ganja, or whatever you want to call it will affect each person differently. This is why it’s important to take precautions the first time you consume. As cannabis prohibition across North America lifts, we are seeing demands for dosing standardization from consumers and producers alike. People pushing for standardization simply want to help assure safe and reliable experiences. Until there’s an accurate dosing standard, we have a few tips for beginners on dosing marijuana flowers and products made with cannabis oil extracts. Just remember, when you’re smoking weed for the first time, the golden rule is to start low! You can always increase your dose (slowly!) in the future.

Smoking Weed For The First Time By Inhaling

Inhaling smoke from marijuana gives you an almost instant effect, only taking up to 15 minutes for you to feel its effects. A daily dose of dried cannabis flowers for newbies typically ranges from between 0.25 to 1 grams to be used throughout the day. The best way to start is to measure and weight out your flower and put a small amount in a joint, bowl, or vape chamber. Take 1 hit to start, and set your smoking device down. Wait 5 minutes and see how you feel. If you’re not really feeling anything, light up and take 1 more hit then wait 15 minutes. You should start to feel the effects of cannabis by this point. You need to start small and assess how you’re feeling during this process. If you’re smoking with other people, don’t feel pressured into smoking as much as they do, even if they’re also smoking weed for the first time. Your body and their body will be affected differently, so do what feels comfortable to you.

Cannabis-Infused Edibles

Cannabis-infused drinks, foods, and capsules are absorbed through the digestive tract and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to up to two hours to take effect. It’s commonly recommended that those new to cannabis start with low doses of 1-5 mg edibles until they can work up to a single dose of 10 mg edible. This is tricky because cannabis-infused products are made to be more pleasant to your taste buds (you can’t mindlessly munch on these medicinal treats) and consumers ignore recommendations to wait until feeling the full effect of their first dose before ingesting another one.

Don’t be a hero and try to eat an entire 100 mg cookie your first time, you most likely won’t feel good afterwards, and we want you to have a pleasant experience. If you do eat too much and are feeling too high try to get your hands on some CBD products. CBD alone has been known to counteract the effects of the high, bringing you back down to normal and enjoying yourself.


Sublingual tinctures and sprays infused with cannabis oil work a bit faster than edibles, but a little slower than inhaling, typically it takes effect in about 15 to 45 minutes. Beginners should start with just a couple drops of a tincture or a single spray under the tongue. Look at the tincture bottle you have, some of the droppers have marks with dosing lines to make measuring how much liquid to take easy. The trick with these products is to let them absorb in your mouth rather than swallowing them right away. When you let them sit in your mouth they are absorbed through the cells in your mouth and go directly into the bloodstream. If you swallow them too quickly then your body has to process them like an edible, which can take 1 to 2 hours to feel the effects from. At that point it’s just like eating an edible, so just remember to let it sit in your mouth first so you get the benefit of taking cannabis as a spray or tincture.

smoking weed for the first time

Smoking Weed For The First Time General Considerations

  1. Be cautious of your alcohol intake. According to a report from 2015 from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, when you use cannabis along with alcohol, it produces much higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your system. This means you’ll end up feeling the effects of the cannabis much stronger than you would when you’re not consuming alcohol.
  2. Have you eaten before you smoked, or are you smoking on an empty stomach? A full stomach can mean the difference between a cannabis dose kicking in quickly or being delayed and hitting you later, as well as the effectiveness of the amount taken. So if you just ate a meal and then take an edible it is going to take longer for it to hit you than if you ate the edible on an empty stomach.
  3. High altitudes can affect one’s reaction to cannabis; something new and experienced cannabis users alike should keep in mind. It’s not just in your head, smoking weed in Colorado does make you higher.
  4. Don’t be peer pressured to over consume. Smoking weed for the first time can be a scary experience for some people and while your friends may be thinking they’re helping by encouraging you to consume more, it could be detrimental in the long run.
  5. Keep CBD capsules or products near you. CBD will bring your high down if you end up over consuming when smoking for the first time.
  6. Don’t consume and drive. Especially when you’re smoking weed for the first time. Driving impaired is illegal and still unsafe, no matter how many times your friends may do it.

Did you follow these tips when you were smoking weed for the first time? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! Looking for more information about smoking weed for the first time? Check out our Cannabis Therapy PotCast episode where we go more in depth!