Your First Time Smoking Weed – A Guide

Trying weed for the first time can be daunting. You’ve probably heard many stories, both good and bad, regarding people’s first time experiences with cannabis. Maybe you’ve had your own experiences before, or are looking to try it again.

There are a lot of things to consider when trying weed for the first time, such as how you want to consume it (joints, pipes, vape pens etc), where and how much to consume, and what effects you may experience.

Here we’ve put together some beginner’s info to guide you through your first experience of getting stoned.

Should I try weed?

When you’re looking into trying weed for the first time, there are some questions you should ask yourself before you give it a shot

  • Why do I want to try weed? There are a number of reasons, medicinal, recreational, spiritual – and they’re all valid.
  • What experience do I have with psychoactive (mind-altering) drugs? After experiencing drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and pain medication, the effects of cannabis can feel like a big jump to some, and a small change to others.
  • What do I know about weed? This guide will explain all the basics, but if you’re still unclear about anything, it’s important to conduct your own research.
  • Am I in a good space to try something new? If you’re overrun with deadlines, going through a hard time or not in a positive place mentally, there’s always the potential of a negative experience.
  • Are you on any medication that might interact with cannabis? It’s important to consult your GP if you’re on medication – due to doctor-patient confidentiality, you can’t get in trouble for telling your doctor about trying marijuana.

Marijuana’s effects are delivered by a number of chemicals, the main two being THC and CBD. THC is responsible for the majority of the psychoactive or ‘high’ effects, whereas CBD produces anti-anxiety and pain treatment effects.

CBD has more recently been discovered to hold incredible anti-seizure effects, as well as being looked into as a treatment for insomnia, chronic pain and arthritis. CBD on its own as an extract has no psychoactive effects and is legal in many countries where cannabis remains illegal.

First time smoking weed: effects

Do you get high the first time you smoke weed?

Many claim that the first time they attempted to get high, there was no effect whatsoever. There is conflicting evidence on this matter, and not much scientific research, however, the most common cause seems to be not inhaling properly. While following these steps should certainly help you get it right, some people just don’t manage to feel the effects the first few times. Don’t be discouraged, just take a few days break and try again.

If you’ve smoked cigarettes, pipes or vapes before you will not likely have any issues. Note that marijuana smoke burns hotter than tobacco, so it can be quite a shock the first time you smoke it.

Here’s a quick guide to making sure you inhale properly the first time you smoke

  1. Put the joint / pipe / vape to your lips, and pull the smoke into your mouth as if you’re sucking on a straw
  2. Now, use your lungs to breathe that smoke in as deep as possible – this is a similar lung motion to a deep breathing exercise.
  3. Hold the smoke in for 3-5 seconds – here is where the stereotypical coughing will likely begin.
  4. Exhale, and take a moment to breathe in and out a few times to make sure your lungs are clear of smoke before you repeat.
  5. Be sure to take a series of very small puffs at first, so you become accustomed and don’t have a coughing fit.

Not getting high from weed

If you’re doing it all right and it still doesn’t seem to be working, there could be a number of issues. You could have a naturally higher tolerance, you could be smoking a very weak strain or sample or you could still be smoking wrong.

It’s also possible, that in your altered state, you simply didn’t quite realise you were under the effects.

As previously mentioned, just give it a few days and try again

If this problem still persists, edible THC might be your solution – but this can have a lot more potential to become a very intense experience, and should be treated with caution.

What does it feel like being high for the first time?

There are a varying number of effects people experience when smoking for the first time. There is a misconception that marijuana is a hallucinogenic or psychedelic drug, and while it has hints of these effects, you won’t be seeing anything that isn’t there, or losing the plot to any real extent.

Here are some of the effects most commonly experienced when being high.

  • A warm feeling in the chest
  • Euphoria / Mood enhancement, usually accompanied by the giggles
  • An overwhelming feeling of relaxation or “chill” as experienced smokers would refer to it. This can become quite the opposite, however, if over indulged.
  • A dry mouth. This can be combated by drinking water or brushing your teeth directly after smoking.
  • Visual / Audio enhancement. Music can sound really amazing and like nothing you’ve heard before, and it’s easy to get lost in paintings or pictures that catch your eye.
  • Nature Appreciation. It’s unclear why, but many report an enhanced enjoyment of nature connected to the effects of cannabis.
  • Memory loss. Marijuana highs are known to produce a somewhat slower memory recall, but this lifts once the high is over.
  • Time dilation, ie. seconds feeling like minutes, minutes feeling like hours.
  • Creative boosts. Many report creative boosts linked with marijuana – a lot of artists, musicians and creatives enjoy using marijuana as part of the brainstorming process as it can alter your usual perspective of things.
  • “The Munchies”. When you’re stoned, food can taste absolutely incredible, and in combination with this marijuana interrupts the part of your brain that tells you when you’ve eaten enough. In short, you just won’t feel full.
  • Red and droopy eyes. THC dilates blood vessels which cause your eyes to appear red and lids to sag. If you don’t want people to know you’re stoned at a glance, consider using eyedrops.

How long do you stay high on weed?

For most, the effects of weed last from 4-8 hours, with side effects that can last from twelve to twenty-four hours after. These effects can range from tiredness the next day, to a little fogginess or grogginess. This can be compared to a very mild hangover, is similarly lessened with a nutritious meal and exercise.

Because of the length of the high, it’s definitely not something you should do for the first time before any important commitments or appointments. After smoking you’ll likely find that you fall into a deep sleep very easily, for a longer time than usual.

Always remember that you’re under the influence, and should never drive or perform any activity that should only be done sober.

As your tolerance rises, the duration of the high will shorten, but this won’t be an issue for first-time users.

Smoking weed for the first time

Smoking weed for the first time should be a slow and steady process. For first time users, it’s recommended to take two to three drags of whatever you’re smoking, then wait. The effects can take 10-30 minutes to fully set in, and vary slightly from user to user.

If you’re not getting the desired or expected effects, wait a good 45 minutes after smoking before lighting up again, and once again keep it to two to three drags so that the effects come on gently.

Remember: you can always take more, but you can never take less.

How to smoke a joint for the first time

Joints are probably the most common form of smoked marijuana. Consisting of a classic rolling paper, and paper filter (also known as a crutch or a roach) combo, this is a go-to for most with rolling being a skill worth learning.

Depending on where you live in the world, it may be commonplace to mix tobacco into joints (at which point some may refer to it as a spliff). This is often a method of helping the joint burn slower and more evenly.

One the one hand, this will ‘water down’ the joint, making it less potent. On the other hand, however, tobacco can potentially intensify a high with the head rush it produces – especially if you’re not a tobacco smoker.

Joints are great for beginners as the materials needed are sold at almost every corner shop, and they’re relatively easy to prepare, with a little practice.

How to use a vape pen for the first time

Vape pens are rising in popularity as a more healthy, convenient way to smoke. Though they have many variations, the general idea is to load a cannabis extract into a tank that supports it, and once again take two to three puffs for your first time – maybe even less, as extracts can be far more potent than smoking the plant material.

Vape Pens are often claimed to produce a more heady, clear high but this depends on the method of extraction. Some vaporizers use ground bud in a chamber as opposed to an extract. This will produce effects more similar to smoking a joint.

These are a great option if you’re averse to smoking but want to try it out, but the materials needed can run up quite a cost. Be cautious of pens using combustion action falsely advertised as vapes, as this is no healthier on the lungs than smoking weed.

How to smoke a blunt for the first time

A blunt is, simply put, a joint rolled with a cigar wrap instead of a rolling paper. Blunts don’t usually have any crutches or filters in them, and often contain larger amounts of weed due to the size of the blunt wrap you’re using.

Blunts are perfect for smoking with a large group of people, as they burn slowly and can be passed around for a lot longer than a joint. Rolling a blunt is far more challenging than a joint, especially when you take into account the ‘stoner etiquette’ around brand loyalty, and the fact that most different brands of cigar wraps require very different methods of construction.

While fun, and fancy looking, they’re not always the best for beginners, as it’s very easy to take too large a hit, or smoke too much without noticing. They’re also generally a lot harsher due to the combination of tobacco and weed, and the lack of a filter.

These cigar wraps are usually made from, or contain tobacco, so that’s something to keep in mind when trying one.

How to use Cannabis Oil for the first time

There’s a lot of misdirection around cannabis oil, as there are so many different types of weed extracts available these days. We’ll focus here on the two most common types of edible extract.


CBD Oil is an extract of the cannabis or hemp plant that is non-psychoactive. It has anti-anxiety, pain relieving and anti-insomnia properties, but unfortunately won’t get you high. As previously mentioned, CBD extract or oil is available over the counter in many countries where cannabis remains illegal; and is recognized by many medicine councils around the world.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil is a THC extract of the cannabis flower, and this will get you high. It’s usually a black oily substance, often used for elderly medical marijuana users or those who prefer eating it to smoking.

The effects of cannabis when eaten are noticeably more pronounced, as well as more psychoactive (in short, this happens because certain parts of the plant aren’t activated when smoked, but rather only when processed by your liver). In addition to this, it can take from 45 to 90 minutes for the effects to even begin. So it goes without saying that you should treat edible marijuana products with utmost caution.

First time smoking weed tips

By this point, you should be quite comfortable with all the prep for your first time smoking weed. There’s certainly a lot of information to take in, but it’s pretty simple overall. Here are a few final tips to get you ready for takeoff.

Where to smoke weed?

You want to pick a spot where you’re comfortable, and where you won’t get caught by someone who disapproves. Preferably your own house, or a friend’s, and make sure your first time is with someone who’s experienced with marijuana and who can “guide” you through the experience. It’s important that this is someone you trust, who is responsible, like an older friend or family member.

Remember that while legislation has recently changed, it’s still illegal to smoke weed in public. You’re within your right to be stoned in public, but do the smoking at home.

How do you smoke weed?

A joint is best enjoyed with a few friends (definitely not too many your first time, as this can be overwhelming), with some good music, snacks (go for fruits and healthy snacks to avoid post-munchies guilt) and activities like drawing or painting, board games or tabletop games, etc.

It’s nice to have a movie or series to watch together, especially something funny or visually stunning. There are a plethora of other activities to consider like hikes, cycling and partying, but these are better left for when you’re more experienced.

When smoking alone, all these activities are just as fun, but it’s also a nice chance to explore the introspective qualities of being stoned. This is a great opportunity to try some deep breathing, meditation or yoga – practices that many report to be a lot more approachable or enjoyable after smoking cannabis.

How to get higher

So you’ve smoked a few times now, you’re comfortable with it and you want to try to get higher. The obvious first choice is to smoke more, and you will see that as you smoke more in one sitting (ie. not redosing), certain effects will become more pronounced and even change in their nature as it happens – so take it easy when upping your dose.

Your next option is to secure bud of a higher quality. Many growers are extremely scientific about their methods and can produce some extremely potent bud – sometimes to the extent of it feeling like a different drug. See if you can find a friend to gift you some higher quality weed (such as indoor, or hydroponic) and give it a try.

Note: your friend can gift you weed, or you can grow your own, but with current legislature, it’s still illegal to sell or purchase.

A more extreme step would be to line a joint with kief (a fine powder that falls off the buds when ground, some grinders have a small chamber at the bottom where this collects) or cannabis oil. This will really up the potency of your joint, so once again, proceed with caution.

Overall, it can be quite daunting trying weed for the first time. It’s a big step for many to take, especially those who have been raised with the notion that it’s a dangerous drug, that it deserves to be illegal, and that it’s something one should stay away from.

The reality is that marijuana has been used by humans long before modern society, and its use will continue, regardless of laws or stigmas. It’s important we take a proactive and forward-looking stance on weed and end the stigma, as it’s helping people around the world treat their illnesses, have fun, and enjoy themselves.

You can now consider yourself informed enough on the topic to make your own decision about trying it and spark up your first joint. Enjoy it.

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