Smoking Marijuana: What you need to know

If you’ve never smoked marijuana before and don’t know what to expect, it can be a daunting experience. But there are some things to know first, so you can be sure your first time is memorable for all the right reasons.

What are the Benefits of Smoking Marijuana? smoking marijuana

There’s a great deal of controversy surrounding “smoking” as an administration route for medical marijuana. Inhaling smoke (whether it’s from cannabis, tobacco, or any other burning material) exposes the respiratory system to harmful chemicals (such as ammonia, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide). The detrimental effects of smoking cigarettes are well established, we only have to look at the soaring rates of lung, mouth, and throat cancers to understand their devasting long-term impact.

However, the link between smoking cannabis and respiratory health is not so clear, primarily due to decades of restrictions on marijuana research. Recent research indicates that smoking is associated with various adverse respiratory outcomes (including bronchitis and lung disease). Whereas vaporizing natural cannabis and ingesting edibles appears to reduce respiratory-related problems. smoking marijuana

While patients should be cautious about smoking marijuana, sometimes the benefits can outweigh the risks. For example, patients who suffer from debilitating chronic pain that arises suddenly will benefit from the faster delivery that smoking provides. When you inhale, marijuana smoke fills your lungs and is instantly absorbed by millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli, which have an enormous surface area, and enable the active compounds to enter your bloodstream within seconds.

How to Smoke Medical Marijuana: Methods of Consumption

There are a few different ways to smoke medical marijuana. Here are some of the most common delivery options to consider: smoking marijuana

Pre-rolls: Pre-rolls (also called paper joints or cones) are widely available and a familiar way for patients to consume medical marijuana. Typically rolled-in house at a dispensary, they are ready-to-smoke, portable, and require no additional paraphernalia. If you’re a beginner, pre-rolls are a convenient option as it can be very challenging and time-consuming to roll on your own. You also don’t have to worry about it falling apart or not burning properly. However, you need to be wary that some pre-rolls contain more than one dose, depending on the dispensary. They also produce a strong aroma, so they may not be suitable if you’re looking to reduce the cannabis smell.

Hand Pipes: Hand pipes are another popular delivery method usually favored for their convenience: being relatively small, portable, and easy-to-use. While hand pipes come in many different shapes and sizes, they’re typically made from glass and encompass an airtight tube, with a bowl at one end (to hold the finely ground cannabis leaves) and a mouthpiece at the other. The device works by the trapping the smoke from the burning cannabis, which can then be inhaled through the mouthpiece. smoking marijuana

Water Pipes: More commonly known as a bong or blubber, water pieces operate in a similar way to hand pipes, water is incorporated to help cool the smoke, which some argue reduces the production of harmful chemicals. However, this is still up for debate. Like hand pipes, water pipes come in a variety of styles, designs, and materials, including glass, plastic, ceramic, metal, and even bamboo. However, water pipes should be used with caution as they tend to deliver rapid and potent effects.

What Happens when you smoke Marijuana for the first time? smoking marijuana

Smoking marijuana has an extremely fast absorption rate as the effects are commonly felt within a few minutes. This is significantly different to other delivery methods, such as edibles, which can take between 1-3 hours, as food is absorbed into the bloodstream through the liver.

You can also expect the effects to last about 4-12 hours in total, with peak effects occurring within 10-30 minutes. We recommend using a pre-roll if it’s your first time, as it’s much easier to control the dosage.

Do you get high the first time you smoke marijuana? smoking marijuana

It’s important to recognize that every cannabis strain is different and delivers different effects to varying degrees. For example, some strains are known to produce an intense psychoactive high, while other strains simply relax the body without altering your mental state. So, even if you inhale correctly, whether or not you get high the first time you smoke weed, depends on the strain.

(Note: In the world of Cannabis, the term “strain” refers to the plant’s particular variety. Most cannabis users define a strain by some combination of factors including botanical lineage, appearance, chemical profile, and accompanying effects. The term itself is essentially a slang term for a variety of the cannabis plant, as well as its derivative products.)

All marijuana strains, recreational or medical, come from the same cannabis plant. However, there are different varieties of the plant. To keep things simple, we’ll say there are two main varieties–Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa.

Indica strains are generally considered to have higher concentrations of CBD, the major non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis, which is shown to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and help with anxiety.

Sativa strains, on the other hand, typically have more THC content (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which is a psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the “high” you can experience and might associate cannabis with. THC is a strong sedative and appetite stimulant, which is why getting “high” is often accompanied with feelings of drowsiness and hunger (or the “munchies”).

If you’re considering using marijuana, it is always recommended to speak with a qualified medical marijuana physician who can identify the most effective cannabinoids and concentration based on your individual needs.

Tips for first-time medical marijuana patients

If you’ve opted for a THC-strain to manage chronic pain or alleviate anxiety-related insomnia, you might be worried about potential psychological effects. Below are some tips for new marijuana patients looking for a carefree first experience:

  • Know your limits before consuming: Beginners will have a lower tolerance level than seasoned cannabis consumers. It’s best to start with a low dose of 10mg, or even 5mg, and wait at least an hour before having another or before increasing your dosage.
  • Hydrate appropriately: Many people experience “dry mouth” when smoking marijuana. To combat any unpleasant sensations, be sure to drink plenty of water. Do not consume alcohol while medicating with cannabis as it can increase THC blood concentrations.
  • Have light/healthy snacks on hand: If you’ve opted for a THC strain, there’s a high chance that you’re going to get hungry. Be prepared with some of your favorite, preferably healthy snacks.
  • Try black peppercorns: Are you prone to anxiety? If a particular strain or dosage exacerbates your symptoms, you’ll be pleased to know that this common household item can help combat cannabis-induced paranoia. Simple sniff or chew a few black peppercorns, and you should experience immediate relief.
  • Clear your schedule: When you get high for the first time, you’ll probably pass out into a peaceful, and deep sleep, at some point. And even if you don’t, you’ll likely feel very heavy-body and relaxed. Find a comfortable environment and make sure you don’t have anything important planned.
  • Smoke with people you know: Whether you’re smoking for the first time, or you’re a seasoned user, you should always do so with friends you can trust. If you’re medicating at home, make sure a family member or friend knows.
  • Try CBD Oil: The cannabinoid, known as cannabidiol or CBD, is shown to reduce symptoms of several anxiety-related disorders and even counteract the sometimes-unpleasant side effects of THC. Check out our other articles to learn more about the potent anti-anxiety properties of CBD and the best strains for anxiety.

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