“Even though it’s a great thing, it still requires a level of discretion. Don’t post publicly about it on social media. You are not protected,” says Wyatt.
Despite the persistent march toward legalization, about 87 percent of weed in North America was purchased on the black market, according to a 2016 survey. That means most of cannabis culture looks different based on the rules and regulations implemented by different states. Whether buying from an authorized dispensary or a friend’s cousin’s weed guy, there are real risks that come with your first experience with pot. They range from simply getting ripped off with weak product to health issues to serious punishment. Here are a few tips that will keep you safe, happy, and maximize your enjoyment.
“Don’t be in a car, and don’t drive,” Wyatt says. “You can be hit with a DUI, whether you’re a recreational or medical cannabis user. A lot of minorities fall victim to that because of how our community policing is done. Even if the smell is on your clothes during a random stop, that can get you in a lot of trouble.”
Next, choose a method. Greenhand suggests first-timers use a small pipe, since they’re cheap, easy to find, and easy to use. Most gas stations and smoke shops throughout the country have them regardless of cannabis laws, though glass pipes are illegal in some states. In a pinch, you can make a pipe out of just about anything, but Greenhand recommends avoiding DIY at first.
If you’re the type who spends days doing research to find the perfect headphones, buy from a shop that lists the level of cannabinoids and terpenes in each strain. Cannabinoids are the active compound in cannabis, and terpenes are the chemicals responsible for that dank aroma. Some people will tell you that a strain is strong because of its high levels of THC, but balancing cannabinoids and terpenes is more useful for measuring the type of high.
Brandon L. Wyatt, Esq., an army veteran and Howard University School of Law alum who serves on the board of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, points out that the ramifications of getting caught can go beyond fines and jail time. “Cannabis use can have an effect on your federal entitlements,” he tells VICE. For example, you can be evicted from a public housing project or military barracks for possessing cannabis, even if you have a medical card. Private landlords and employers also reserve the right to evict residents or fire employees for consuming cannabis, even in states where it’s legal.
As with any legally ambiguous activity, it’s important to understand the law of the land before potentially breaking it. The more you know, the more confident you’ll be if something goes wrong. “Even states where weed is legal have strict rules about how it’s bought, sold, grown, and consumed,” says Tim Johnson, veteran law enforcement officer and the founder of Ohio-based security firm Cannabis Safety First.
US weed prohibition laws have changed in spurts since Oregon first decriminalized the plant in 1973, so they’re inconsistent state-by-state, Johnson explains. The federal government still considers cannabis to be a Schedule 1 drug, even though eight states and Washington D.C. say it’s legal for recreation and 30 for medical use. Legalization doesn’t mean everyone can buy, smoke, or grow on a whim. In California, for example, it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to buy weed. Even those of age can only purchase an ounce per day of flower and eight grams of concentrated oil. Johnson advises looking up whether your state has laws against certain types of paraphernalia, as well.
When you’re buying weed for the first time, the salesperson will categorize it with three different labels that refer to its effect: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Indicas have a depressive, physical effect that can melt you into the couch. Sativas are psychoactive, cause trippy visuals, and act as stimulants. Hybrids combine the effects of both, though often lean more in one direction than the other. There are tons of online resources for learning about different strains, so feel free to look up what your dealer is offering for more info.
Don't start with edibles.
– You feel physically at ease.
2 .You get really, really high – in a good way.
– Any nausea you’re feeling goes away.
For many people, their first smoking experience is something of a letdown. They smoke, and nothing seems to happen. People have varying theories on what causes this, but the most likely answer is that first time smokers don’t yet know to inhale into their lungs rather than just into their mouth.
No seasoned stoner likes to admit to it, but weed doesn’t always have a positive affect depending on the circumstances – especially for newbies.
– Everything becomes funny and you can’t stop laughing.
Let’s dive into it.
You will likely end up making a lot of statements like, “Have you ever noticed how really big things tend to resemble really small things?” Or, “Dude – have you ever tried to look at your back in a mirror? It turns out there’s this whole other side of you.” And the response to this from your stoned friend: “Do you mean another side physically, or another side mentally?” Whoa.
1. Nothing happens.
First-timers have the same questions: How long will the high last? Will I get paranoid? Are munchies real? Learn about what to expect when smoking weed for the first time before you roll up.