If you are a first-time smoker of cannabis, the experience can be either amazing or terrible. There are many factors that influence how your smoking session will go, but there is one thing you can do to make it better: smoke indica! In this article, we’ll give you some tips for what to expect from smoking indica and hash for the first time.

If You Don’t Want to Get High at All

Smoking: High CBD products (24:1 or 16:1 CBD)

Edibles: High CBD products (24:1 or 16:1 CBD)

Stick to CBD-heavy products, which will result in a mellow body high without the psychoactive effects that come with THC.

 Let go of the high vs. not high binary

smoking indica

That informal informational network I mentioned earlier changes a bit every time a new state or other municipality legalizes cannabis, which, at this stage in time, is on a near-weekly basis.

One thing legalization has not meaningfully changed, though, is the way society tends to talk about being intoxicated or high.

Smoking: Low THC products (25% or less)

Edibles: Low THC products (25% or more CBD, 25% or less THC)

If you want to get a little buzz going without the full mind-altering effects of being high on cannabis.  You can still enjoy some of the advantages that come with smoking or eating edibles while keeping your thoughts and day-to-day functioning mostly intact.  Particularly if you’re concerned about how it will affect work performance.

*Stick to low doses for first-time smokers.* You never know how your body is going to react when trying something new! There’s no shame in starting small and working up as needed based on what feels comfortable.

Before your first cannabis experience, mentally prepare yourself to explore these gray areas. Let go of any expectations. Be open to a range of possible outcomes (we’ll get into how to handle a not-so-great outcome later).

Understanding how a cannabis high manifests in individual bodies, it will only benefit users and would-be users to get comfortable exploring the gray areas.

You never know how your body is going to react when trying something new! There’s no shame in starting small and working up as needed based on what feels comfortable. Before your first cannabis experience, mentally prepare yourself to explore these gray areas. Let go of any expectations. Be open to a range of possible outcomes (we’ll get into how to handle a not-so*great outcome later). Understanding how a cannabis high manifests in individual bodies, it will only benefit users and would*be users to get comfortable exploring the gray areas.

Take strains with a grain of salt

Speaking of binaries, there’s the issue of cannabis strains (or cultivars). These are often described as being indica or Sativa. *a high, based on the plant’s lineage. However, there are a lot of strains that don’t fall neatly into one category or another and it’s important to experiment with others for those who want something different than what they have been smoking before!

There is also THC/CBD balance which can be helpful for particular symptoms you’re looking to treat. Some people do well with mostly CBD while others need more THC; this changes depending on how often someone uses cannabis as well as their tolerance level.

Start low & go slow

It might feel counterintuitive but starting small will actually help prevent an unpleasant experience during your first time smoking or ingesting cannabis products. You should start with less than half the amount.

Use your nose

smoking indica

If you’d rather be more hands-on in choosing a product, cannabis journalist and author Ellen Holland suggest looking to your nose..

“Smell is a powerful tool, and it can be used to determine the quality of cannabis. Aroma tells you about terpenes which are aromatic compounds that produce flavors found in fruits such as oranges and pineapples; they also have medicinal qualities such as pain relief or help with anxiety, stress, depression etc.”

Breathe deep!

Once you’ve chosen your product make sure that you take a few slow deep breaths before taking your first hit. This will allow for more oxygen to enter into your lungs so that there’s less chance of feeling lightheaded after smoking or ingesting for the first time. It also helps those who are new at this relax their body muscles while waiting for the effects to kick.

Know your dose

Regardless of your consumption method, Dr. Jordan Tishler, president and CEO of inhaleMD, agrees that dose is necessary to nail down.

“It’s a very individualized thing, but the average is three to four milligrams of THC for inhalation,” he says.

So how much should you smoke? This will depend on your tolerance and what feels right to you. You may want more or less depending on where in your experience with cannabis you are. When smoking indica strains, most people start off by smoking one bowl (or inhaling about two hits). For sativa strains it can be anywhere from one hit up to five bowls (around 20-25 hits).

As mentioned above, when consuming marijuana as edibles or tinctures it’s important that beginners consume small doses at first until they know how their body reacts to each dose size.

Mind your set and setting

Chasen also stresses the importance of “set and setting,” which is a popular concept in psychedelic use.

“Make sure you are in a comfortable space with people you feel safe with,” she says. Sometimes, people’s adverse reactions to intoxicating substances can be triggered by happenings outside their own bodies.

Your first cannabis experience isn’t the time to hang out with someone new for the first time. Stick with people you know and trust. Aim to be somewhere that feels safe and comfortable, whether that’s your living room or favorite beach.

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