Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 23, 2022

Every weed enthusiast’s first experience of smoking weed is unique, just like the unique effects that weed produces. If you’ve been wanting to try weed for the first time, you must have wondered about what’s the best way to do it. 

They say you never forget your firsts, so you should make sure your first experience with weed is going to be a pleasant memory, and the best way to do that is by following our tips below. In this article, we’ll talk about how to smoke weed for the first time, as well as give you a recap of the physical and mental effects of smoking weed, so let’s get started.

Getting High In a Nutshell – What Happens In Your Body

If you’re nervous about getting high at all, it may help to know what exactly happens to your brain when you smoke weed.

In short, weed contains two primary active agents called cannabinoids that are behind its effects – CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The former has primarily therapeutic benefits and is used for medicinal purposes but it can’t get you high, while the latter is the main psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high, and has some medical properties as well.

When you smoke ganja, the cannabinoids start interacting with the endocannabinoid system. The ECS is a cellular network that all humans have and it serves to regulate key bodily processes. When THC and CBD bind to its receptors which are located in the whole body, but especially the brain, they modulate the function of the receptors.

Physical and Mental Effects of Smoking Weed

When you’re smoking cannabis, you’ll experience a rainbow of effects, depending on the strain. Some strains will make you feel so relaxed that your body feels like it’s made of jelly, while others will stimulate you and ignite your creativity.

The overall effects, though, are a feeling of euphoria and bliss, relaxation, and an altered state of consciousness. Your senses will feel heightened and even little things will take on new meanings.

Your sense of coordination may suffer a little, as well as your memory and judgment, but only while you’re under the influence.

Common Side Effects of Weed

As a newbie, you should remember one thing: anyone can experience side effects from weed, even seasoned smokers. The side effects of weed are almost always a result of taking more THC than your body can comfortably tolerate. First-timers are more prone to getting side effects because they haven’t built up enough weed tolerance yet. 

The most common side effects of weed are:

  • Cottonmouth (dry mouth);
  • Red eyes;
  • Increased appetite aka the munchies;
  • Heightened anxiety and paranoia.

That being said, these side effects are harmless most of the time and they go away on their own as the high wears off. If you ever experience paranoia, the most important thing is to try to calm down and remember that it’s temporary, distract yourself, and talk to a friend while you’re going through it.

What Should I Use When I Get High for the First Time?

Choosing your weapon well is key when you get high for the first time. Basically, you can’t go wrong with smoking a joint because it’s fun, sociable, and you can control your doses more easily. 

Similarly, smoking from a bowl offers you the same benefits, but it’s a little fancier. Vaporizers or vape pens are good because the smoke is flavorful and they offer good portion control while protecting your throat.

Edibles and dabs should be avoided by newbies until you build some tolerance. Dabs are way too concentrated to be enjoyed safely, while edibles are unpredictable and the high lasts much longer.

Tips for Smoking Weed for the First Time

Here are some tips for all you first-time weed smokers to make your experience as smooth as possible.

Make Sure You Have Nothing Big On the Agenda

For your first time getting high, you’ll want to toke in peace, trust us. Knowing you have nothing on the agenda will give you peace of mind and enable you to enjoy your sesh calmly, as you should. But even more than that, it’s likely that afterward, you’ll feel too lethargic to be productive for anything that requires a little more brainpower, so maybe leave it for a different day.

Stock Up on Food and Prepare a Bottle (or Two) of Water

Weed is very likely to give you the munchies, or in other words, turn your stomach into a black hole, so it’s best to prepare some food beforehand. Get your favorite snacks or meals so you can satisfy the cravings because you will probably have them.

In the same vein, drink water. Cannabis won’t make you thirsty, but it can make you forget to drink water during the sesh (a very common occurrence), which can give you a mild headache, so prepare your water bottle in advance.

Choose Your Weed Strain Wisely

You can find a dizzying variety of cannabis strains in the dispensary, but not all of them are a good choice for first-timers. If you ask, the budtender there will be able to tell you everything you need to know in great detail and recommend an Indica, Sativa, or a hybrid. 

What we can tell you, is to avoid strains that are high in THC and either seek out a strain with a balanced THC:CBD ratio, or with lower THC levels to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Smoke Cannabis In Good Company

The people you surround yourself with can easily make or break your first experience. Smoking cannabis is a great social activity, but it shouldn’t be done just with anyone. If you’re given a chance to toke with someone you barely know at a party with a bunch of strangers, it’s better to pass. A doobie is best enjoyed among good friends.

The Right Mood Is Everything

Similarly, it’s best to get high for the first time when you’re in a good mood. If you’re going through something, then maybe taking a mind-altering drug won’t be such a good idea. The feeling will be unfamiliar and you can’t predict whether you’ll feel better or worse.

On that note, creating a good atmosphere is everything. Play some good music or put on an entertaining movie, or just hang out with your friends without doing anything much. Play a board game or a video game, or do whatever else you consider fun.

It’s Better to Avoid Alcohol

If you don’t want to regret your first experience with weed, better avoid drinking alcohol. Alcohol enhances the absorption of THC, leading to more pronounced effects, and not to mention side effects and a hangover. Plus, it can make you feel crappy the next day and ruin the whole day. So better to just smoke pure green and drink some tea or another non-alcoholic drink.

Try to Avoid Tobacco, Too

Tobacco is not as bad as alcohol when combined with weed, but if you’re unsure of how your body is going to react, it’s better to avoid it too. Plus, isn’t it better to experience just the weed during your first weed experience?

Inhale Deeply, Don’t Puff

Here’s the thing – you have to inhale deeply in order to get high. You don’t have to hold the smoke like you sometimes see in movies, but do try to inhale deeply as comfortably as you can. Don’t force yourself, of course, you don’t want to scorch your throat. Just take a hearty inhale and exhale normally. 

Pace Yourself and Mind Your Dose

You might not get high the first time you smoke weed. Some users have reported not being able to feel the effects when they first smoked cannabis, so it might happen. However, that’s not a reason to smoke a whole joint the first time. 

You need to pace yourself and not rush. Take one puff. Wait 10 minutes and see how you feel. If you feel nothing, take another puff. Wait for it again. If you start to feel something, great, and if not, stop. You don’t want to risk it the first time. Your body may take some time to start reacting to weed, so the next time you decide to get high, you’re probably going to.

Remember to always mind your dose and at the beginning, until you build up some tolerance, always aim to be “not as high” instead of “too high,” because being too high (too soon) will only result in side effects.

Enjoy Your First High 

Finally, enjoy yourself. Weed has the ability to relax you, so why not let it. As long as you remember to not push yourself and slowly increase your tolerance, you will always hit the sweet spot.

Final Thoughts on Smoking Weed for the First Time

Cannabis is a mind-altering plant that produces some effects that will be very unfamiliar the first time you experience them, and indeed, they’re better experienced than depicted. The most important things to remember when smoking weed for the first time is to choose your company and your strain well, and to pace yourself while you’re toking. And last but not the least – enjoy yourself!

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.