The do's and don'ts of smoking weed for beginners

Published Nov 12, 2019 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / rez-art

When it comes to cannabis enthusiasts, the environment and energy levels are typically pretty laid back, which is an incredible thing to be a part of. Unfortunately, the super friendly and casual approach of most stoners is not so helpful when those you toke with aren’t willing to point out your mistakes.

Now, before you shake your head in disbelief at the idea that you might have been smoking weed all wrong this entire time, you might want to sit back and consider this fascinating list of professional tips for beginners, including a unique twist of both stoner etiquette and rules combined.

1. Add a filter to all cannabis rolls to avoid waste and stinky ‘roaches’

Most who enjoy cannabis know that the taste and the smell changes from the very first moment a joint is lit, which is why it’s always best to finish a bowl or roll rather than putting it out halfway and coming back to stinky roaches later. To avoid this, install a simple cardstock filter, that allows you to smoke all of the herbs, long before the heat gets anywhere near your fingers. This way, you won’t be tempted to sit on a stockpile of roaches that will do nothing but leave the room smelly.

2. Use roach clips

These clips are one of the best accessories for smoking joints, as they help to make the entire process so much smoother. Whether you’re not in the mood to roll a filter, need to set your joint down for a second or need to pass it, roach clips are a cheap and an effective solution. Make sure you grab a pair that locks under pressure, and you will never drop a joint that rolls away again.

3. Clean your bong or pipe between every use

This one is for both the more experienced and anyone new to the cannabis culture. Many people assume that using cannabis with glass is automatically healthier than the alternative, which is inhaling the smoke from rolling papers, but that isn’t always true, however, this theory only works if the device is given the proper cleaning and care that it needs.

It is also important to rinse your bong or pipe and replace water between every session, as leaving the old resin-filled water can lead to bacteria growth, which can be hazardous if the spores are inhaled into the lungs. Besides, no one likes a smelly bong, so for your sake and everyone else’s you smoke weed with, keep your paraphernalia fresh and clean.

4. Keep plenty of snacks and drinks on hand

Even if you are an experienced cannabis connoisseur, there is no way to know for certain how a product might impact you. It might be common to have average THC levels labeled for each strain, but that is no more than an average. Though that might sound strange, it’s a fact, as you could grow and harvest three identical seeds from the same crop, and the results could be three plants with entirely different features, including the potency.

This is a risk that all users face, but it is especially prevalent among black market dispensary of cannabis products as the growers of these kinds of goods do not abide by strict rules or testing to ensure consistency. Food is an excellent tool that can help to lessen the high and reduce some of the more famous side effects of pot, like appetite and cottonmouth.

5. Always pre-grind your flower

If you have been pulling your buds apart by hand all this time, then you probably notice a lot of issues with things like rolling and burning, no matter how you toke. While many enthusiasts spend years to do this, it’s much more time saving and effective to invest in a low-cost weed grinder that will break the cannabis apart into a small, fine ground that is ready to be rolled or packed.

6. Research marijuana strains before you use them

As we mentioned a little bit earlier, marijuana plants are a tricky product with results and effects that can vary from uplifting and energetic to sedating and euphoric. Most consumers have at least some idea of the different sensations they’d like, yet they still blindly buy strains based on the latest top ten list rather than truly getting to know the species genetics.

Learning about some of the most popular cannabis strains can help you to take less time at the dispensary and achieve the intensity of high that you are most comfortable with, or in the very least, greatly improve your chances of doing so.

7. Mind your neighbors

The delightful smell that cannabis emits as it burns is often pungent and lingering, which is great for those who enjoy the natural aroma of marijuana, but not everyone enjoys it as much. That is why it is so important to keep in mind that everyone has personal preferences, and some of them are different than you’d expect.

Anytime that you are around others it is best to be considerate by minimizing the amount of smell they are exposed to, especially if know that they don’t like it. Buy a smoke buddy, invest in a vape, smoke outdoors. Whatever you have to do to keep your love for stinky marijuana on the down-low is going to make the lives of those around you so much more enjoyable.

8. Always BYOW

Smoking weed is often a social activity with consumers offering to share, by sending their joints around a circle. This can be a connecting and social skill-boosting environment and experience, but the openness and willingness to offer up such an expensive product so freely should not be taken advantage of. If you are heading out of the house and away from your stash, then roll one or two joints to take on the road so that you never find yourself in this awkward situation with no solution. Otherwise, you might eventually find that the joints are no longer offered, and your invitations start getting “lost in the mail.”

9. Only consume where it is legal to do so

The legalization of marijuana is an incredible feat and one that we don’t want to go backwards with, based on a select few unsavory individuals. Right now, Canada allows consumers to toke freely in public spaces as long as they abide by the same restrictions as tobacco smokers, which means that in many cases, smoking openly while walking down the sidewalk is no longer an offence.

Unfortunately, a lot of unknowledgeable voices against legalization are trying to change this legislation to completely ban smoking cannabis in public, which would set back both the industry and consumers. What we need to do is show the world that weed is not an intoxicating substance that will leave you stumbling home from a night out at 2 am, and it can be enjoyed in public without interference with most others who happen to be in the vicinity.

10. The joint is not a microphone so don’t use it like one
As you join in with a smoking session you will probably notice that the group’s attention shifts towards the person who is holding the joint or bong, because everyone is ready and waiting for their turn in line. For some people, this is actually an uncomfortable feeling that makes them pass faster or exit the situation entirely, but a joint should never ever be used to garner a group’s attention in this way holding onto the weed will waste it as you chat away and it burns into the air, so never ever forget the oldest and wisest of cannabis rules, puff, puff, pass!

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