Losing your Weed Virginity: How to Start Smoking Cannabis

This guide is specifically written for people who are 21 years of age or older. Does that mean it couldn’t be accurately applied to people under 21? No. But for legal purposes this guide is very specifically written with 21+ year olds in mind, who reside in states wherein recreational cannabis is fully legal.

So, you’re finally ready to become a “cool kid” huh? Yeah, you may chuckle, but little did you know, people who smoke weed ARE ACTUALLY COOL. It’s no wives tale, weed is a magical plant and generally speaking people who are fans of that magic are often pretty magical themselves.

losing weed virginity

Reasons Why Not To Smoke Weed & People To Avoid

That said, there are always a few rotten apples that spoil the fun, and so it is within the cannabis community as well. Below are some of the weed smokers that this guide will NOT help you become.

^This isn’t to say you can’t become these things, or that all of these people are bad, it’s just this isn’t what this guide is designed to invite you into is all.

THC Chasers

These people only care about total THC percentages and nothing else, because for them smoking weed isn’t about the flavor or overall experience but instead just another thing they’ve turned into a competition.

Don’t get it twisted, strong weed is great, but there’s so much more that goes into a great strain than just THC. You’ve got the process by which it was grown, the genetics of the strain, the traits that were bred forward, the terpene and cannabinoid profiles, and ultimately, very unique highs that are a product more of the plant’s entire makeup than simply it’s THC content.


Dopeheads are people who make smoking pot their exclusive identity, meaning they drop their friends, family, jobs, and any other healthy passions they had to simply consume weed all day every day.

Sure, once and a while it’s fun to get blazed all day, starting with a wake and bake, and ending with some intense edibles. That said, cannabis should augment your life, not take it over entirely.


These are people who need weed to function and ultimately give the movement a bad name simply because they are kind of proving out the “it’s addictive” narrative in a negative way that although just a small segment of the cannabis using population, draws a disproportionate amount of negative attention, damaging the image of the movement itself.

Peer Pressurer

Consuming cannabis is a personal decision that should be made only by individuals. Therefore smoking weed just to look cool or impress other humans is not a healthy way to develop a relationship with the good plant.

preparing to smoke weed first time

How to Prepare to Smoke Weed

If you are none of the above and are truly interested in understanding cannabis and figuring out why so many people love it so much, then we’re excited to welcome you into this wonderful world of pot.

Pot, marijuana, weed, these are arguably the most commonly used terms to describe cannabis in pop culture but going forward, at least so we have a baseline let’s align on a unified terminology.

Budtenders, growers, scientists, researchers; they all refer to the plant by it’s scientific name, cannabis, so shall we.

To make learning about cannabis a smoother process we highly recommend checking out our glossary of cannabis terms to familiarize yourself with acronyms and speech that are commonplace in dispensaries and amongst smoker groups.

Choosing a Time & Location

Similar to psychedelics, the type of experience you have when smoking weed will largely be impacted by what’s around you at the time of getting high.

Are you smoking somewhere you shouldn’t? Are you getting high at a party full of people you don’t know? Speaking from experience, these are the types of scenarios more likely to lead to paranoia and generally not having the best time possible.

For your first time smoking weed it’s best to be in a calm and familiar space, like you’re own house or apartment, or out in nature. It also helps to be with someone who has smoked weed before to help answer any questions, guide you through the journey, and generally to share some of the amazingly wonky ideas you’re going to have.

Choosing the Right Tool

If you are just trying “le marijuana” for the first time you’re going to want to consume it with a tool that allows for small and incremental hits, that is, measured inhalation.

Some things, like water bongs for example, while marvelous devices, aren’t ideal for first time smokers simply because they essentially have one mode only; beast mode.

For a body that has never been exposed to cannabis you want to first dip your toes in the water, then wade up to your knees, and if you like it, then you can start doing fun dives off the diving board into the deep end of dabs.

Smart first time smoking options include joints and hand pipes, as the total quantity of burning cannabis will be less and it’s also kind of a “smoke as much as you like” and when you’ve reached your limit you just let the joint or bowl go out.

how to smoke weed

The best option with the softest most gentle entry into the world of “being high” would be a vaporizer like the Pax. These vaporizers can be set to relatively low temperatures so you get just the juicy flavor and light high vs burning the flower, which is more of a direct, intense high.

We recommend avoiding edibles as your very first experience to the world of weed simply because they’re generally dosed around 10mg per serving, which for a seasoned stoner is nothing, but which may be a bit too intense for a noob.

The most important thing is that you find a way to consume cannabis in a very slow, incremental, easily modulated format that won’t result in getting way too high, freaking out, and ruining what should be an amazingly fun experience.

Choosing the a Strain

Yes, there are a dazzling, sometimes even intimidating variety of strains when it comes to cannabis. First, yes, these strains ARE all different, some more subtly than others. The difference between a very “gassy” sativa and a heavy cheesy indica kush are very noticeable, from appearance to flavor to the sensation and effects of the high.

Armed with this knowledge, it’s best to go to a reputable local dispensary that has high quality, ideally organic cannabis flower to find your first strain. If you explain the type of sensation or the setting you’ll be in the budtender should be able to recommend something appropriate.

The cannabis world isn’t really one of braggarts and assholes, so don’t feel nervous about being forthright regarding your lack of experience. This way the budtender will be able to recommend something that is most likely to result in you having a fun time vs a paranoid not fun time.

When it comes to picking from the dazzling variety we suggest you trust your nose. Your nose knows as they say in the industry and finding something that piques your olfactory senses will also likely satisfy your cannabinoid receptors as well.

fist time smoking marijuana

Enjoying the Experience

(how to avoid paranoia, things you may experience that are common for first timers, activities to do like movies or drawing)

If you’ve taken care of the above, meaning you’ve got a place, you’ve got the right people (or zero other people if that’s more your vibe), and you’ve got your cannabis and you’re ready to get into it.

Before you start smoking or vaping, make sure you’ve got time blocked off and you don’t have any responsibilities that you need to manage. If things happen that require immediate clear thought you might not be able to react so spacing out some time is key to having a relaxing experience.

Activities to do for your first high include laying in a field, staring at the stars, drawing/doing art, watching a movie, or just laughing at nothing with a good buddy.

Things to avoid on your firs thigh include: being in crowded spaces, having a time limit, trying to fulfill responsibilities that require a sober mind, getting cold or wet or both, not having water to drink, not having a comfortable space to sit/lay down.

Ultimately if you understand that weed isn’t a psychedelic and that for the most part your senses will remain unhindered, only your perception will be heightened, then you can confidently ride the waves of pleasure that good bud can invoke.

things to do while high

Evaluation & Record Keeping

If you had a good time with your first cannabis experience then we also recommend starting a journal of the various strains you smoke and your impressions of them so that you’ll have a catalogue to refer to as you continue your journey of weed discovery.

One simple way to track your consumption and remember what you smoked (which can get challenging given the sheer variety of strains out there) is to peal off your cannabis jar labels that come from the dispensary and stick them in a book or folder. This way you’ll get all the info you need, from the strain to the grower to the THC and CBD content percentages as well.

As you try more strains you’ll find more things you enjoy and perhaps some flavors or sensations that you don’t enjoy as much and if you constantly refine your selections over time you’ll end up right where you’re supposed to be with cannabis that suits your unique physiology.

Pass is Forward (if you do enjoy it then don’t be pushy or peer pressure people but offer to help introduce if anyone wants, the right way)

HerbCEO Final Thoughts

Herb CEO Summary

Cannabis is a wonderful hobby that you can theoretically keep with you well into old age, a worthy companion and friendly plant. That said, if you start your relationship out on the wrong foot it’s unlikely you’ll reap the harmonious benefits of cannabis.

Harmonious? Yes, that’s no exaggeration. Cannabis has played a wonderful complementary role in my life in Oregon, making adventures more adventure-y and delicious food even more delicious. Weed makes good music great and great music revelatory.

Oh, and unlike drinking alcohol, you get great sleep instead of bad sleep and don’t wake up hungover like you do after a long night with the booze. The cherry on top, at least around Portland is that despite paying premium dispensary prices my total cost on a monthly basis with weed is less than if I were going out and buying drinks.

A great relationship isn’t built all in one night, so if your first cannabis experience didn’t go exactly as planned just understand that it can be amazing and maybe review the above to make sure you fully prepared.

Cannabis naturally may not be for everyone, we each have different physiologies and react differently to different things. My heart goes out to people allergic to peanuts for example, never getting to know the decadent joy that is peanut butter fudge ice cream.

That said, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and who knows, there may be a passionate stoner lurking deep down inside you, waiting for a moment to shine.

Fun Weed Smoking FAQs

What should I expect from my first high?

Cannabis impacts each person slightly different but the general effects that can include excitement at onset, fear on the ride up, uncontrollable laughing, munchies, feeling sleepy, and/or falling asleep entirely.

What are the stages of being high?

There’s the first stage when the sensations become noticeable, within minutes of inhalation or 40-50 minutes after ingesting an edible. Then there is the “high” stage where the THC and cannabinoids are in full effect before the final stage wherein the high wears off and you are generally left a bit sleepy.

What do you do when you’re high for the first time?

Keep your ambitions low and aim to do something more chill and relaxing your first time as to not overwhelm your cannabis-heightened senses with too much external stimuli. Watching movies or chilling in nature are two golden options for first-timers.

How long does it take to recover from weed?

The most noticeable sensations generally dissipate after a few hours. Edibles can be more intense and last potentially over a day depending on the quantity consumed. Either way the come downs are usually very smooth and result in a lot of sleeping, so recovery is pretty easy.

How long does weed paranoia last?

Weed doesn’t cause the paranoia, it just makes you more prone to it. Therefore, your paranoia will last only as long as you are fixated on it. If you can distract yourself or find something else to focus on, like a movie, your paranoia will quickly evaporate.

How long does your first high usually last?

For smoke the high will last a couple (1-2) hours. For extracts and dabbing you get a few more (2-4) hours. For edibles depending on dosage you can get anywhere from 2 all the way up to 12 hours.

What should I know before I smoke weed?

You should know that smoking weed is entirely your own decision and you shouldn’t be doing it for anyone but yourself. Other than that understand that it’s a plant beloved by millions for a reason so try to pay attention to what you experience while high.

How does weed make you feel emotionally?

Cannabis is an emotion-intensifier. So if you’re in a happy mood when you get high you’ll be extra happy. If you’re in an emotional state your emotions will likely be amplified. Therefore it’s best to only smoke weed when you’re already in a positive place and looking to augment it. Cannabis won’t dig you out of sad places all by itself unfortunately.

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