Thinking About Trying Weed? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Thinking of smoking a joint for the first time, or the first time in years? Read this first.

by
how to smoke weed - a pair of hands are rolling a joint on a pink table

Photo, Erik Putz.

Whether it’s been twenty years since you smoked a joint, or you’ve never smoked at all, there are some key things to consider before dipping your toe into what many are calling “a new world of weed.” Here are some tips to consider if you decide try it.

A little research goes a long way

“Cannabis can do different things for different people,” says Michelle Bilodeau, co-host of the High Tea podcast. “Ask for information about the strain from the dispensary.” Odessa Paloma Parker, head of content for the cannabis company Hiku, also recommends looking at online resources such as Leafly, which offers a directory of the various strains and their intended effects, as well as user reviews. A strain or an oil that’s high in CBD and low in THC is often a good place to start, because it won’t have a strong psychoactive effect.
Why I Traded In My Wine For WeedWhy I Traded In My Wine For Weeds

If you’re going to smoke weed, go slow at the start

Take one or two three-second inhales from a joint or vaporizer and wait for a couple of hours before having any more to see how you feel. “There’s a saying in the industry: low and slow — low doses at slow intervals,” says Bilodeau. If it’s your first time in a while, pick an evening when you’ve got nowhere to be and nothing to do.

Keep a cannabis journal

Individual reactions can vary, so document how different strains affect you. Take note of how you consumed it (joint versus vaporizer, for example), the amount you consumed, your mindset and your surroundings. “It’s a good way to figure out what works for you,” says Parker.

You don’t need to smoke a joint at all

Using cannabis oil with a vaporizer may be more your speed, says Parker, head of content for the cannabis company Hiku. You can choose an oil that’s high in THC (for creativity and socializing) or CBD (for calm and focus). If you don’t mind smoking but would rather not handle the stuff, there are pre-rolled joints or paper cones that you fill and then twist at the end. In fact, there are a whole bunch of different ways to consume cannabis now. Among them:
How To Start Cooking With Weed (Without Getting Way Too High)How To Start Cooking With Weed (Without Getting Way Too High)

how-to-smoke-weed-ConesCones
Pros You don’t have to roll a joint, and it has an almost immediate effect. Plus, cute papers!
Cons Odour and inhaling smoke. Also, it’s not exactly discreet.
(Van der Pop Sticks. $10 for 6, Tokyo Smoke.)how-to-smoke-weed-vape pen

 

Dry-herb vape pen
Pros It’s fairly understated and easy to use in small doses, with no smoke inhalation. And it’s fast-acting.
Con You have to grind the flower first.
(Pax 3. $260, Tokyo Smoke.)

How-to-smoke-weed-dosistPre-filled vaporizer pen
Pros Easy to use and control doses, with no smoke inhalation. The effects can be felt right away.
Con It won’t be legal until sometime after October 17.
(Dosist Sleep pen, dosist.ca.)

How-to-smoke-weed-oilsOils and oil-filled capsules
Pros Precise dosing, fairly unobtrusive and no inhalation required.
Con The effect isn’t immediate.how-to-smoke-weed-green gummyEdibles
Pros Very discreet, no inhalation required and edible!
Cons The effect isn’t immediate, the dosing is tricky, and you’ll have to make them yourself for now (edibles won’t be legal until sometime after Oct. 17).