Education & Wellness

March 23, 2018

Back to Basics

3 essential tips for cannabis beginners

From enhancing creativity and elevating sensory experiences to relieving pain and promoting relaxation, Canadians consume cannabis for all sorts of reasons. But, what if you’re an absolute beginner, or haven’t touched the plant in years?

With the legalization of cannabis on the horizon, your mind is likely buzzing with questions. Is the herb right for you? What’s the best way to consume it? How can you create a positive experience, while avoiding any negative side effects?

We get it—the prospect of trying something new can be a little overwhelming. But, not to worry, we’ve compiled our top tips and advice for a carefree, relaxed first time with cannabis.

Note: Be sure to only consume recreational cannabis once the federal government deems it legal. You must be over the age of majority in your province and purchase cannabis from a licensed retailer.

1. Start simple

Unsurprisingly, the way you ingest cannabis affects how your mind and body reacts to it. For your first foray, you’ll want to keep your consumption method as uncomplicated and foolproof as possible.

In 2018, the Canadian government will only permit the sale of cannabis plants and oils, with edibles and concentrates becoming legal in 2019. So, your options essentially are smoking, vaporizing, consuming oil or making your own edibles.

Of course, smoking joints is the most well-known and arguably straightforward method of consumption. Follow these simple steps to get you started:

  1. Instead of fumbling around with rolling papers, purchase a pre-rolled joint, or ask a friend to roll it for you.
  2. When lighting the joint, rotate it evenly in the flame to create the perfect cherry (the red ember that burns bright on the end).
  3. Inhale evenly and gently, and then exhale the smoke smoothly.

Another easy option is purchasing a one-hitter—a sleek, discreet pipe meant for a single inhalation at a time.

  1. To shred the plant thin enough to fit in the pipe, you’ll need a grinder and a small container. Push the bud through the grinder and let the container catch it.
  2. Dip your one-hitter into the container, and twist it a few times to pick up the shredded cannabis.
  3. After fully packing the one-hitter, slowly light and inhale it at the same time. You’ll form a cherry, which will allow you to smoke the remainder of the bud without the lighter.
  4. When you’re done smoking, clean out the one-hitter with a poker or toothpick.

2. Study your strains

The beauty of cannabis legalization: products will be more well-crafted, controlled and safe than ever before. But, don’t just smoke any old plant that your friend hands you. Research which strain is best for you, so that you can create the elevated experience that you’re after.

Here’s a quick rundown on the different between cannabis strains:

THC-dominant

Choosing a strain that’s THC-dominant will give you the intoxicating “high” that’s commonly paraded in pop culture. The psychoactive effect is balanced and damped by the level of CBD in the strain.

  • Alters consciousness and perspectives
  • Produces feelings of euphoria
  • Relieves pain and nausea

CBD-dominant

Choosing a strain that’s CBD-dominant will give you a grounded “body” experience. This cannabinoid is non-psychoactive, making it desirable to those with THC sensitivities.

  • Little to no psychoactive effects
  • Reduces inflammation and pain
  • Relieves anxiety and insomnia

THC/CBD balanced

Choosing a strain with a balance of THC and CBD will harmonize the overall effects of each cannabinoid. CBD cushions the CB1 adaptor in the brain, softening the psychoactive effects of THC.

Once our stores are open, be sure to chat with our savvy, approachable staff to find out which strain is right for you.

3. Everything in moderation

As with anything enjoyable in life, a little bit goes a long way. If it’s your first time trying cannabis, we recommend starting small to understand your tolerance.

Especially if you’re smoking with a more experienced friend, he or she might finish half a joint, but you may feel the effects after one inhalation. Take it slow, listen to your body and don’t feel pressured to keep up.

Some people may not feel the effects of cannabis immediately, and fall into the trap of consuming more and more to speed up the process. Be kind to yourself and avoid over-consuming—it’s a recipe for dizziness, anxiety and nausea.

If you don’t immediately feel anything after one or two inhalations, wait at least an hour before trying more. Cannabis affects everyone differently, so give your body time to metabolize and circulate it.

For your first time, we recommend trying a cannabis product with less than 10% THC to create a mild but pleasurable buzz.


So, there you have it—our essential advice for your first taste of cannabis. Kick back and roll with the experience, while noting what works for you and what doesn’t.

As far as cannabis lifestyle, culture and knowledge goes, we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to keep following our blog and social media to stay in the know with everything Canadian cannabis.