General Information

New Cannabis Users: A Guide to Approaching Cannabis Use Safely

By February 22, 2018 January 3rd, 2019 No Comments

If you are brand new to cannabis, you probably don’t know where to start. You may feel nervous going into a medical cannabis or recreational cannabis store for the first time. You may not have any idea what type of cannabis product you’ll like or what will work for you best. This guide will help new cannabis users approach cannabis use safely.

Start with Lower THC Products

If you have never used cannabis in your life, it’s ideal to start with lower THC products so that your first experience isn’t an overwhelming one. Lower THC products may not be effective for everyone, but it is a good starting point. You can build up a tolerance to THC, so it is best to start low and determine from there if you’ve received enough relief or not.

Concentrates are typically higher concentrations of THC, so you may want to avoid those until you become more comfortable with how other types of products react in your body.

Edibles should also be tried initially in lower doses. The effects can come on strong at first, but do even out after a little bit of time. Try a 5mg to 10mg dose first and give it an hour to digest and start to work in your body before consuming more of the edible.


Microdosing is the key to having a positive experience when you are brand new to cannabis. Just two or three hits from a joint, blunt, pipe or bong should be used in the beginning. Wait about 20 minutes and see how you’re feeling.

The point of cannabis use is not to see how high you can get or stay high all of the time, unless you have a serious medical condition with symptoms that never reduce. The point is to help alleviate symptoms of health conditions, relax, reduce stress or uplift your mood (just a few examples). A new cannabis user doesn’t need much to achieve relief.

Research Strain Information

Always be prepared before you walk into a medical cannabis dispensary or recreational cannabis store. Strain information should be available through multiple sources, including seed websites. Some cultivators do crossbreed their own cannabis strains, and these often do not have information available. If you are unable to obtain information about what to expect or what the strain helps or what the negative effects of a strain are – it may be best to avoid that strain.

You can ask your budtender what the strain is like, but their experience may be quite different from what you might experience. Every strain reacts in a person’s body differently than another person’s. You may sit and use the same strain with a group of friends and all of you could have a different experience.

It’s best to see what the strain’s history is, what the parent plants are, read individual reviews, view the strain’s attributes along with its negatives. Knowing this information will help you determine whether a strain is ideal for your needs or not.

Visit Only Trusted Establishments

As the cannabis industry expands across the U.S., it’s important to know which establishments are the most trusted in your area. These establishments will be ones that test whether it’s required where you live or not. Those that do test should be more than willing to show you test results. If an establishment refuses to show you test results if they do test – it might be a hint that there is something to hide.

Read dozens of reviews, both positive and negative. Make sure you’re distinguishing the difference between an incentive-based review and a real review. Incentive-based reviews are often left in exchange for something free (usually a pre-roll), so reviewers will just say the place is great and leave a very short review just to get a freebie.

Don’t Drive After Medicating

There will always be someone that says they drive better when they’re high. Sure, they think they do, but impairment from cannabis while driving is real. Cannabis users tend to drive a little slower and react slower to fast stopping or accelerating at a green light. You may not realize that you’re impaired, but others on the road might notice you’re driving is a little off.

If you do need to go somewhere, there are ride sharing services, public transportation, friends/family and taxi services available.

Wait at least 90 minutes after smoking a small amount of cannabis to drive as long as the effects have completely worn off. If you have an edible, you may be homebound for several hours. Concentrates tend to last longer in the body too, so please, wait until the effects are completely gone before getting behind the wheel.

You can get a DUI for driving under the influence of cannabis, along with other charges depending on the legality of cannabis where you live. Regardless, the rule of thumb is – don’t drive high!

Try Several Different Products

The cannabis industry continues to evolve. Creative folks in the industry are creating new and innovative products regularly. It is a good idea to try several types of products to determine which you like best. This could be different kinds of edibles, different strains of flower, different types of concentrate, varying vape brands or different kinds of topicals. There also bath products available in most markets too.

Use just a small amount at a time to see how each product reacts in your body. If one is too overwhelming, drink extra water and have a healthy snack. Be active as well – this will help your body metabolize some of the THC faster so the effects wear off a little faster. You could also take a nap to get the effects to wear off.

Determine your Preferred Delivery Method

As with trying several different products, you should also consider trying different delivery methods such as joints, blunts, pipes, bongs, vaporizers and so on. See which you prefer. You may like a couple of different methods depending on the environment that you’re in. For example, when using cannabis alone, you may prefer a pipe. When you’re with friends, you may prefer a blunt or joint.

If you think vape will be your thing, try different types of vaporizers. There are vape pens, which are portable and convenient, with standard threading used in the industry. Vape pens charge on any USB device. Consider a portable dry herb vaporizer for your dry cannabis flower. Tabletop vaporizers are ideal for those with medical conditions as it’s easier to inhale vapor. Multi-function vaporizers are also available these days where you can use dry flower, concentrate or even oil in them.

If you think you want to venture into dabbing – try a few different rigs, including portable options. Start with tiny pieces of concentrate as they are potent and strong. You’re likely to cough your head off the first few times.

Closing Thoughts

We hope that this guide will help you approach cannabis use safely. Remember to stay home after using cannabis unless you’re not the one driving. Do your research when it comes to finding the right establishment to purchase your products from. Research cannabis brands and strains to ensure that it is the right brand/strain for you. Enjoy using cannabis, because you can have a great experience your first time – just use a cautious approach so you don’t overdo it and end up with a bad experience.

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