Before I start talking about my first cannabis experience, you should know that smoking marijuana isn’t uncommon, and not everyone gets it right on their first try. Marijuana has a few medicinal properties that can be used to treat several health issues. It can, however, only be used legally through a doctor’s prescription in most states. Recreational marijuana has been made legal in a few countries now, with Canada being the most recent country to legalize it.
There is still a lot of taboo surrounding the use of cannabis and its harmful effects on the body. As people start thinking in a much broader sense in today’s world, the use of marijuana is becoming more accepted on a larger basis. Whether it’s for recreational or medical use, more people are using cannabis in today’s era. I’ll be sharing my first cannabis experience with you to make yours as pleasant as possible. I’ll also be giving you some tips and possible side effects that you could experience in order to be cautious and protect your health.
My First Experience
I was always curious about trying out marijuana and the kind of effect it would have on me. All my friends smoked marijuana since my first year in college and often forced me to try it out, too. I initially resisted but finally gave in out of curiosity. Since we belonged to an architecture discipline, there was a lot of stigma around the concept of marijuana enhancing creativity. As expected, a majority of the students smoked marijuana on a regular basis and my friends were high all the time, even during the studio classes.
My first experience of smoking marijuana was in my third year of college at a friend’s party. We all gathered and my friends, as usual, pulled out a rolled joint. They lit it and passed it on to others to try. When it was passed on to me, I was compelled to try it as well. My first drag wasn’t as pleasant as I thought it would be. I took a drag, held the smoke in my mouth for a few seconds, and exhaled it. I immediately started coughing uncontrollably and felt no effect as I had anticipated. My friends laughed and chuckled, and taught me the right way to smoke marijuana (we’ll talk about that method in the next section). I followed the method that they taught me and there it was – my first feeling of ‘being high’.
After three more drags, my head felt lighter and my eyes got heavier. I felt the urge to smile constantly and laugh at the silliest comments. I finally knew how it felt to be high; I felt light and breezy and my eyes reddened. People gestured to me in slow-motion and time passed excruciatingly slowly. All of it felt hilariously inaccurate. I laughed and danced my heart out. I had a big grin on my face all night while my friends sat in the corner crushing more weed and rolling up joints. Every moment lapsed and I could not keep track of the events quite accurately. Since marijuana lowers blood sugar levels, we had an urge to eat something sweet. Even though we had plenty of food, we ordered more. We finished and piled up boxes of pizzas, tubs of ice cream, and packets of chips. As soon as I reached my dorm room after the party and hit my bed, I slept almost immediately. I slept deeply and peacefully. Unlike alcohol, I did not experience a hangover or any health complications the next morning, which was a huge relief.
Smoking marijuana for the first time felt like an adventurous break from the routine that I never knew I needed. We had a hearty laugh that night, and it was probably one of the most memorable nights of my college life. Overall, it was quite relaxing and, luckily, I had a ‘good first experience’, unlike a few people who get negative side effects.
How Does Cannabis Affect the Body?
People tend to experience different reactions and feelings after smoking marijuana. While a majority of the users experience almost similar feelings, certain people have an unpleasant experience. The most common effects include a change in sense of time, an increase in appetite, light-headedness, red eyes, change in sleeping patterns, and elevation of mood. A few people have certain side effects such as a feeling of anxiety and paranoia. Some might also experience hallucinations due to heightened senses. The effect of marijuana also depends on the strain of weed you use.
Cannabis is made up of numerous compounds known as cannabinoids. The two main components, known as delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are responsible for causing the ‘high’. THC, which is also a psychoactive compound, helps in releasing dopamine and giving you a sense of high. CBD is used for treating health issues and combating problems such as insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, and inflammation. You might have heard about medicinal marijuana that’s recommended for resolving these issues. Among the two active compounds, CBD is majorly used to treat these, and you can find it in the form of CBD oil or CBD capsules.
When you smoke marijuana, these two components are released in your bloodstream. They meet and react with the cannabinoid receptors in your body, which triggers the feeling of euphoria.
Tips When Trying Cannabis for the First Time
- Correct Method
Now, a lot of people who smoke cannabis for the first time complain about ‘not feeling high’ as they were told and they blame it on the quality of marijuana. Now, the type and strain of weed are bound to have an impact on how you feel, but it’s mostly because of the way you smoke it. There’s a correct way to smoke it in order to experience its effect. Whether it’s a vaporizer or a joint, you should always inhale the smoke and hold it in your lungs instead of your mouth for a few seconds. Exhale it out of your mouth or nose, as you feel comfortable. At times, the smoke might tickle your throat and cause coughing. In this case, you should hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before inhaling it in the lungs for it to cool down. Don’t worry if you feel like coughing for the first few times. You’ll get accustomed to it after a few trials.
If you don’t feel high even after smoking it the right way, it might be because of the low number of cannabinoid receptors in your body. Since these receptors are responsible for the way you feel after smoking marijuana, you might have to take a few more drags or consume it in a higher quantity to get the feeling.
2. Joint or Vaporizer?
If you’re a beginner, you might come across the challenge of rolling a joint. You need to practice it at least a few times before getting it right or you can use a pre-rolled joint. In this situation, I’d suggest you use a vaporizer. It makes things easier and quicker. The cannabis aficionados at Firefly Vapor recommend using a vaporizer because it’s easy for beginners to use and is designed to have faster heating elements. This makes your first cannabis experience easier and more pleasant. Plus, it’ll save you from the hassle of rolling a joint and save you some time.
3. What to do if you get too high?
Even though this feeling is temporary, you might want to reduce the high to feel less anxious. Black pepper has components known as terpenes that help in lowering the feeling of being high. You can use pepper with lemon to prepare a lemonade drink. All you need is fresh lemon, ice cubes, cold water, and black pepper.
Possible Side Effects
As we know by now, the effect of cannabis on the body varies from one person to another. You either experience a ‘good high’ feeling or you get some side effects; there’s no middle ground. Even if you face any of these side effects, you shouldn’t worry, because these are majorly temporary and go away within a few minutes to a few hours. A few experienced smokers might have faced any of these side effects in the beginning as well. But with time, they developed a tolerance for it and can hardly experience any side effects now.
You might experience a few side effects after smoking marijuana for the first time, some of which are:
- Reddening of Eyes
This is probably the most common side effect that almost every marijuana smoker experiences. When you smoke marijuana, the blood vessels in our eyes, also known as capillaries, dilate. This makes your eyes red. The level of redness will depend on your blood pressure. The lower your blood pressure, the redder your eyes will get. But you shouldn’t worry about it as it’s just temporary. The level of redness will diminish once your blood pressure stabilizes.
Anxiety, paranoia, and feeling worried are other common side effects. Smokers, specifically first-time smokers, tend to worry about people finding out that they are stoned. Red eyes and the smell of smoke are other alarming signs of being caught that cause worry and anxiety. This feeling of being caught and annoying someone elevates anxiety in some people. So instead of feeling relaxed and light, a few smokers tend to feel more anxious and paranoid.
3. Increased Heart Rate
During the initial stage of smoking marijuana, you might feel an increase in your heart rate and palpitations. This might further make you anxious. However, this feeling is generally temporary and doesn’t last longer than 20 to 30 minutes. This phenomenon occurs due to the dilation of our blood vessels, which is caused by THC. You’re likely to suffer from heart palpitations if you use a strain that has more than 10% of THC content. If you’re a beginner, we’d recommend using a strain that has a lower percentage of THC. Even though it’s not life-threatening, it’s better to avoid such situations to have a pleasant experience.
4. Feeling Sad or Confused
Marijuana smokers might experience something that is commonly known as a ‘bad trip’. Cannabis cannot always make you happy. A few people feel sad and confused after smoking marijuana. If you’re one of those people, you might start questioning underlying issues that have been triggering your mental health and could cause a major problem in the future. If you’re facing a constant feeling of self-doubt and suspicions, the effect of marijuana will simply multiply it, leaving you more anxious and confused. If this feeling continues even after a few times of trying marijuana, I’d recommend you stop using it.
5. Feeling of Numbness
Since your motor skills are also affected after smoking marijuana, you might experience a feeling of numbness, especially around your limbs. Being high can also affect your reaction time along with coordination. If you’re new to smoking marijuana and are experiencing impairment in coordination and motor skills, it’s best to avoid activities such as driving and any other operation that could be harmful to you and your acquaintances. If you’re prone to this side effect, you might experience the feeling of numbness and extreme sleepiness.
Apart from these effects, you might also experience your mouth drying up due to the decrease in saliva secretion and feeling extremely hungry because of the drop in blood sugar level. By talking about these side effects, I am not trying to scare you or imbed a feeling that would refrain you from trying it out. As I mentioned, most of these feelings and side effects are temporary and cause near-to-no harm to your health. With regular consumption, you might overcome these effects and develop a tolerance for it.
If you have any kind of serious medical history, especially the ones related to mental health and psychotic disorders, you should refrain from smoking marijuana. People with bipolar disorder should definitely avoid using it.
Trying marijuana for the first time can be overwhelming. In fact, almost all newbies are unaware of what to expect. However, you need to rule out the stigma and enjoy your first time without being paranoid so you can make the most out of your experience.