Debate rages on regarding whether cannabis laws are spurring changes to public attitude regarding cannabis or whether the opposite is true. Regardless, if you are known as the token toker in your social group, you might be noticing that more of your friends are furnishing you with questions about the sacred herb. Some, even, might want some help choosing cannabis products or planning a positive first weed experience.
If you are endeavoring to introduce a pal to pot, here are a few tips to keep everyone safe, sound and happily high.
Explain Crucial Cannabis Terms
You don’t need a Ph.D. in cannabis to enjoy being high, but having a foundational understanding of the drug can help people feel more comfortable consuming it, especially if they are already well into adulthood. At the very least, you should give them a rundown of important terminology within cannabis culture, so they feel more confident when they first consume or when they dip into deeper cannabis research. Some cannabis basics include:
Cannabis, marijuana and hemp. Technically all members of the cannabis family, these terms are used to describe plants that serve different purposes. Knowing the connotations of these terms is vital as an introduction to the cannabis community.
Indica and sativa. Though science has pretty much debunked these classifications, they are still widely used by stoners and dispensaries, so knowing the vague differences in indica and sativa strains can be useful.
THC and CBD. Recently, more emphasis has been placed on the cannabinoid content within different strains, so comparing and contrasting CBD vs. THC can be useful for beginners. While you’re at it, you might also explain cannabinoids in general as well as terpene profiles, which can also have effects.
Clarify Consumption Methods
Most everyone knows that you can smoke weed, and the recent rise in popularity of CBD has helped cannabis oils reach the public consciousness. However, those interested in sampling cannabis for the first time might not realize that there are many, many more options for consumption than these. You might run through methods of use with your friend, explaining advantages and disadvantages of each, so they can make an informed decision for themselves. Here’s a quick refresher for you:
Smokables. There are paper-rolled smokables, like joints and blunts, as well as various styles of pipe, to include water pipes or bongs. Generally, the benefit of smoking is the low cost of flower and the immediacy of effects, but rolling-your-own or packing a bowl can require some practice to get right. Plus, many people aren’t comfortable inhaling smoke, which feels dangerous despite evidence that cannabis smoke is safe.
Vapes. Vaping provides a similar experience to smoking, but lacks the harsh smoke or the finicky flower. You have more control over the dosage and flavor of cannabis vapor, but vape rigs tend to be on the pricey side.
Edibles. Most often, edibles are associated with food like gummy candies, chocolates or baked goods, but in truth any cannabis product users swallow should be considered an edible. The body isn’t particularly good at absorbing cannabinoids through digestion, so effects tend to come on slower and weaker than they would with inhaling the same dose. Often, newbies consume too much without realizing and have a bad first experience on edibles. However, edibles can be exceedingly fun when dosed properly.
Concentrates. It is possible to buy concentrated cannabis products, which are essentially dry flower (or other cannabis bits) that has been cooked down into different consistencies for more potent hits. Most often, concentrates are consumed via a dab rig, which is a specialized pipe that can reach higher temperatures, but some vapes manage concentrates, too. Concentrates are best reserved for expert stoners with high tolerances. Technically, oils and tinctures are classified as concentrates, but you can find them at beginner-friendly doses.
Proffer a Peaceful Place for Pot
Though some people like to get high and be alone, cannabis is much more enjoyable when consumed in a social setting. You should offer to guide your friend through their first weed experience, giving them a safe, comfortable and welcoming place to get high. Though some might be tempted to consume in the great outdoors, you should try to convince them to use in a more familiar space before they start introducing unknown variables into the cannabis experience.
There is a good chance your friend won’t get pleasurably high their first time using weed — and that’s okay. As long as you set expectations appropriately, provide ample information and emphasize the importance of going slow to avoid bad reactions, you and your friend should develop a lasting bond over bud.