How to Start Using Weed Safely

cannabis products

How to Start Using Weed Safely

So, you’ve heard that marijuana isn’t dangerous but can offer a number of notable health benefits, which include improved sleep, stress management, pain relief and more. Naturally, it follows that you want to try using weed products yourself — and as long as you live in a state where adult-use or medicinal cannabis is legally available, you have no reason not to.

If you are nervous about trying cannabis for the first time, you aren’t alone. Here’s a guide to walk you through your first time with weed and all but guarantee a positive experience.

Step 1: Know Why Weed

Before you start smoking any green herb you can find in a dispensary, you should ask yourself this question: Why do you want to try weed? There isn’t a wrong answer. You might be curious about what cannabis’s high feels like and interested in using the drug recreationally. You might have a minor health condition that could benefit from cannabis use. In either case (or in case of both!) you should write down your reasons for starting this journey into cannabis culture. These notes will help you during the next couple steps, as you visit dispensaries, talk to budtenders and purchase infused products.

Step 2: Find a Trustworthy Weed Dispensary

It isn’t a good idea to buy weed products off the street. For one, you are supporting a criminal industry that negatively impacts your community. For another, black-market cannabis can contain dangerous additives, like fentanyl, that do pose serious health risks. You should only ever buy and use weed from a legal and licensed dispensary, like these in Oregon:

Once you have found a trustworthy dispensary, you should pay an in-person visit to ask questions about their business and product. Visiting the physical location will give you a sense of the quality of any products you might buy, and it is much easier to receive attentive service from a knowledgeable budtender, whose role is somewhere between barista, pharmacist and retail associate. You should bring your list from step one and explain to a budtender your level of comfort with cannabis. Likely, your budtender will ask you questions about your preferences. Then, they will guide you toward a product they think is best for you.

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Step 3: Consider Different Marijuana Products

Not all cannabis products are equal. Many are beginner-friendly, and many others you should avoid until you have a better understanding of how your body and mind react to the drug. Some good entry-level products include:

  • Pre-rolls. Pre-rolls, or rollies, are pre-made joints filled with different strains of raw bud. As long as you buy a pre-roll in a beginner-friendly strain, like these:
  • Anything CBD-dominant. CBD is non-psychoactive but provides many of the health benefits associated with the plant. Though some CBD products do contain some THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) the THC content tends to be low and manageable for beginners.
  • Topicals. Topical products are lotions, creams and balms which are applied to the skin, not eaten or inhaled. Like CBD products, topicals are good for newbies because they do not get you high; they only provide beneficial effects to the area of application.

Though edibles, like gummies and baked goods, might seem beginner-friendly, they aren’t ideal for your first  experience unless you have a more knowledgeable friend or family member nearby. Because it can take as long as a few hours before the effects of edibles kick in, you might be tempted to eat too much, which can have terrible results and might even land you in the hospital. During your first time, you should take dosing slow, waiting several hours and paying attention to every feeling in your mind and body, before you try to increase your dose.

Step 4: Experiment With Care

Once you feel comfortable with the cannabis products you acquired on your first dispensary trip, you can consider branching out to other methods of use. Most stoners prefer to smoke raw bud from pipes or bongs, which are affordable and convenient, but experts believe the healthiest way to inhale cannabis is through a vaporizer, which super-heats the bud without burning it. You might sample different strains, which boast different terpene profiles for remarkably different flavors and aromas. However, you should always be aware of the effects of cannabis on your mind and body, and you should avoid the temptation to overindulge.

Cannabis is fun and functional, but that doesn’t mean you can dive into the doja deep end. By being conscientious and careful with your first weed experience, you should guarantee some good effects that keep you going back to good ol’ ganja.


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Emerald contributor since April 2019


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