Consuming Marijuana For The First Time
Ever since I wrote an article titled 'Robert Platshorn's "Silver Tour" Is The Key To The Medical Marijuana Senior Vote' I have been getting a lot of e-mails from seniors around the country looking for advice about how to consume marijuana for the first time, or at least for the first time in awhile. I actually wrote an article about this when we first started TWB. The article is pasted below, hopefully it helps steer you folks in the right direction:
A frequent occurrence has been happening to me lately. Several people from the Baby Boomer generation (and friends of baby boomers), have been asking me for tips on consuming marijuana for the first time or after a multiple decade layoff. If you haven't smoked since the 60's or 70's, you might as well be consuming marijuana for the first time all over again, because the weed we have these days will knock your socks off.
The questions are from people that want to experiment with it to see if they get a medical benefit, as well as people just wanting to do it for recreational use. What has spurred an increase in the latter of the two, I am not sure. Maybe they have been watching 'It's Complicated' on DVD, who knows. At least two dozen middle aged people have asked me recently though, so I figured it would be a good blog topic. As always, if you have tips of your own, please leave them in the comments section so that others can benefit from your expertise!
A big factor in the first time consumption experience is planning ahead of time. There are countless reasons for this. One major reason that comes to mind is avoiding any interaction with the outside world when you are baked out of your mind for the first time, and more paranoid than you've been in your life. You were once scared of having your parents find out...imagine having a son/daughter, co-worker, or neighbor find out. This might be something you want to avoid. Simply sending a text message, or Facebook update, etc, stating, 'I'm not feeling too hot, I think I'm going to go to bed early tonight.' is a great way to free up the evening.
I always recommend smoking in the evening if it's your first time. When you get baked, you will want to have funny entertainment around, some tasty treats, and a warm place to sleep by the end of the night. If you get really high during the day, you are going to be high for a long, long time, take a nap, then wake up sometime around 8pm and your whole sleep pattern will be thrown off. That's not too big of a deal if you are a youngster, but if you have been on the same sleep/work schedule for a couple decades like most baby boomers, you will likely prefer the evening marijuana session.
Music is a big part of the first time marijuana smoking experience, even if it is just being played lightly in the background. When I consumed marijuana for the first time, people were still rockin' cassette tapes. These days, with i-pods and mp3 players, you can make song lists that last for hours in just a couple minutes. Remember, you will be high for probably four hours or more the first time you consume marijuana, so plan your playlist accordingly. Make sure to include songs that you listen to all the time, but also mix in songs that you haven't heard for a long, long time. By the time they play, you will be extremely high and likely will have forgotten that you put them on the playlist and it will blow your mind!
As I alluded to earlier in the article, food is going to be your friend. Things to drink are a necessity too, as dry mouth is a virtual guarantee. If you plan ahead of time, your experience will be greatly enhanced. Don't get me wrong; you will probably be so hungry that you would eat anything in sight. However, if you make sure to stock up on your favorite snacks ahead of time, you will be much happier, and not run out of food and have to go outside of your stoner bubble. When I got high for the first time, it was like 'search and destroy.' I ate stuff that I have probably never eaten again. The next day I felt like the guy off of 'Man v.s. Food.' Whatever you end up eating, the main thing to keep in mind is to have a LOT of it on hand because it is going to be a feast of mythical proportions.
A great comedy film is a must during your first marijuana experience. Find one that you have never seen before, so that you don't know ahead of time what the funniest parts will be. EVERYTHING will be funny so the title doesn't matter as much, just make sure it's good. A stoner movie is preferred for obvious reasons. For a great list of stoner movies, click this link.
The people you are consuming marijuana with is another large factor. I would never recommend getting high for the first time by yourself; it is going to be a journey that you want to share with a close friend or two. Large groups are not fun because you will be extremely high and paranoid, and will over analyze what other people are doing and/or thinking. I had a friend get high for the first time at a sporting event, and he ended up freaking out, running out of the place, and hiding in the parking lot until the event was over --- not a good experience. I would recommend doing at your home, or the home of a close reliable friend whose home you are very comfortable with, and no more than a few people.
You want to consume marijuana with veterans, not rookies. You might not have a choice over this matter, as you may be required to smoke with whoever has the weed at the time, which is understandable. But, if you can, smoking with someone that has been doing it for years, day in, day out, is the best option. They will try to make the experience as fun as possible for you, and chances are, they have been looking forward to it for a long time! Just make sure the people are mellow --- smoking with a super hyper/drunk person is not fun when it is your first time (or probably anytime!). You will want to chill, while they want to get all amped up. These are the same type of people that will do everything they can to get you as high as possible and mess with you to the point that your experience isn't fun.
Now that the environment has been set, it's time to talk about the marijuana itself. As I stated earlier in the article, the quality of marijuana is much stronger these days than when baby boomers were growing up. According to a conversation that I had with an employee at Full Spectrum Laboratories, the best of the best these days is just above 20% cannabanoids, roughly 5 times as potent as what marijuana used to measure at a couple decades ago. Needless to say, you need to be careful to not get too high. But, with that being said, it's impossible to overdose from marijuana consumption, so feel free to go for the gold! As long as the marijuana you are consuming is not in brick form, is seedless, and does not smell like mold or mildew, it should do the trick. You just might have to consume more of it.
What is the best way to consume marijuana for the first time? I put this out to my friends and it seemed that the most popular answer was the joint. A pipe, bong, or bubbler can be too confusing to a new smoker who doesn't grasp the concept of a carb. A joint is very straight forward, and easy to regulate the hits. With a pipe, bong, or bubbler, the new smoker will not know that they took too big of a hit until it is too late. A waterfall or gravity bong is definitely out of the question. If you are about to consume marijuana for the first time, beware of anyone that tells you to take a hit from anything involving a 2-liter soda bottle, which is what a waterfall and gravity bong involve. This will be WAY too much for you, and it is very common to throw up as a result of hyperventilation. You don't experience any adverse health side effects, but it certainly isn't a fun experience! I have had friends and family smoke people out this way when it is their first time, and it always ends in disaster.
A vaporizer is a great way to consume marijuana for the first time, but a little harder to come across. Most veterans either have one or know where to get one, but are still not quite as common, certainly not as common as a doobie. I would definitely advise against eating the marijuana in brownies, etc. It is a really easy way to consume it, and very appealing to the first time consumer because you don't have to inhale anything. However, eating cannabis foods will get you really, really high, and there is virtually no way to come down for hours and hours once you have overdone it.
It is really hard to know how it is going to affect a person due to varying tolerances. When marijuana is smoked, it goes into the nervous system via the lungs. The reaction is very quick and intense at first then slowly dissipates over the course of the next handful of hours. When marijuana is eaten, it goes into the blood stream via the digestive system. It takes an hour or so in order to feel the effect, usually resulting in more cannabis edibles being consumed in the interim. Then once the effects come on, it comes on strong, and the consumer doesn't realize they have over done it until it is too late. While this might be the experience that some first timers like, it is probably not the preferred route. Smoking is much easier to regulate than eating it, so be advised.
The way you smoke the joint itself should be discussed. Don't toke it until you choke, like most people will want you to. Severe coughing is not fun for anyone and you should try to avoid it as much as you can. You are not smoking marijuana to be cool; you are doing it to get the desired effect, so take your time. Start with a really small hit and don't hold it in very long and go from there. You will eventually find the perfect sized hit and then go for it.
If you think you are feeling too much of the effects of marijuana, which can be typical of a first time marijuana consumer experience, I have been told a couple things that help. When I was at the medical marijuana clinic the first time receiving my card, the doctor told me that drinking water that is as cold as possible is the best way to reduce the effects. Even splashing cold water on your face is a good idea too he told me. I have never been 'too high from marijuana,' but I have seen it happen to other people. They said the water trick doesn't eliminate the effects, but certainly helps reduce it. Also, it helps to eat something. Everyone that I talk to feels that the effects diminish after a big meal. Once again, the effects don't go away entirely, but they are reduced. Lastly, going to sleep always helps, and chances are if you wait long enough, sleep will happen no matter what. Most people that I have seen consume marijuana for the first time don't stay awake for more than a few hours.
Most of the first time consumers that I talked to that inspired this article were up in the air about consuming marijuana because they felt a little guilty. DON'T FEEL GUILTY. There is nothing wrong with consuming marijuana, and it is quite enjoyable, so consume it in confidence! If a person looks at the polls, and looks at the growing force behind marijuana legalization in the political world, they will see that they are in the majority, not the minority. Multiple generations of Americans were brainwashed by Reefer Madness propaganda, and now that the truth is getting out, prohibitionist support is eroding. So welcome to the marijuana consumers club and enjoy; your first marijuana experience is always something that people never, ever forget!