Trying cannabis for the first time? Not sure where to start?
At the Grove, we have pretty much the entire gamut of cannabis products in stock; flower, vaporizer cartridges, edibles, extracts, concentrates, topicals, and tinctures.
Because folks who are new to cannabis generally have their first exposure to the plant through inhaling (smoking and vaporizing) or taking edibles, we wrote up a little guide with best practices for inhaling and ingesting your first cannabis products.
For most people who are completely new to cannabis and have no tolerance to the plant’s effects, starting out with a dose of 2.5 mg of THC is a solid place to start. Take 2.5 mg, then wait 2 hours before taking another 2.5 mg.
Depending on the product you buy, 2.5mg might seem like a very, very small piece. You might feel like that seems like too small of an amount, and you may wonder whether it will be enough. The reality is that if you’re new to cannabis, there’s really no way to predict how THC edibles will affect you until you try them out. 2.5 mg might be too little for many people, but it’s better to do too little than too much for your first time– trust us.
Everyone’s body chemistry is unique and reacts to the effects of edibles differently. And the tolerance window for cannabis edibles is enormous: some folks feel high from 2.5 mg of THC and other people don’t feel high until they’re taken upwards of 100mg of THC. Finding your “sweet spot” may take some trial and error, but for the majority of folks out there, a dose of somewhere between 5-10mg of THC seems to be the most common.
So when you come by the dispensary, ask one of our budtenders for a single-dose (10 mg/THC) edible– you won’t be needing a 100mg pack unless you’re sharing with friends (who are above the age of 21).
If you tend to have a fast metabolism, you might be able to predict that your onset of effects will be on the lower end of the 45 min-1.5 hour window, and the effects may not last as long as they will for someone whose metabolism is slower.
Planning around mealtime
It’s best to take your edibles in-between meals, or about 2 hours after your last meal. Since edibles have to pass through your digestive system before they are metabolized and circulated in the bloodstream, a full stomach can delay the onset of effects by as much as 3- 4 hours.
A common mistake people make is taking an edible on a full stomach, and “doubling down” a few hours later when they don’t feel anything. Once the food is digested, the double-dose that person took will hit them all at once, and can potentially result in an uncomfortable experience.
If you must take an edible on a full stomach, it’s best to play it safe and wait at least 4 hours before determining whether or not you need to eat more.
If you’re a person who tends to get anxious, it can be helpful to try an edible that has a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio. CBD will help to soften the effects of THC and prevent overstimulation. Ask one of our budtenders on staff and they will help guide you to the right product.
These guidelines apply the same whether you are smoking a pre-roll joint, a bowl of flower, or a vaporizer cartridge.
For starters, take one hit, wait 5-10 minutes and see how you feel. If after 5-10 minutes you feel like you need another hit, take one more. Then wait 5-10 minutes again and repeat until you’re in a comfortable place. Trust us, when the feeling is right, you’ll know.
Generally speaking, for folks new to cannabis, one to two hits is enough to feel sufficiently “high,” although that will depend on a few factors that we go over down below.
Inhaling cannabis tends to be much more predictable than edibles are. The effects are almost instantaneous, and the duration of effects is relatively short as far as cannabis products go. The effects will linger, however, if you smoke too much. Only you can determine what “one hit” means for you, and likewise only you can determine how much “too much” is for yourself.
No matter how experienced a smoker you are, measuring hit size can be a challenge. 3 main factors will determine your hit size: the potency of the flower or vaporizer you’re smoking, what you’re smoking out of (joint vs. vaporizer vs. bowl-based vessel), and the grinding method all play into how high you will get off of “one hit”.
It’s helpful to conceptualize the strength of a flower variety in terms of alcohol. If you’re drinking whiskey on the rocks, one sip will be likely much smaller than a sip of a beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail. Be mindful of the THC label on whatever product you’re getting and adjust your hit size accordingly.
Smoking out a bowl can be tricky. The bigger the bowl size, the better chance that you’ll take a larger hit than you intended. Make sure to be mindful of the potency of the flower you’re smoking if you’re using a pipe, a water pipe, or any other bowl-based smoking vessel.
Don’t hold it in
The old stoner movies have it wrong: after you inhale, you do not have to hold any smoke in your lungs before exhaling. Lung tissues absorb cannabinoids virtually instantly– and holding in the smoke doesn’t do anything besides irritate your throat and lungs.