More states are legalizing recreational cannabis, and more recreational dispensaries are opening every day. As cannabis laws change, the public perception of cannabis consumption is also seeing a swing — which means more people are open to trying weed and experiencing its effects than ever before.
If you are a cannabis beginner, you should recognize that not all cannabis products are perfect for you. Newbies to cannabis tend to have much lower tolerance to the compounds that make users high; what’s more, many products require some finesse that comes with patients and practice that newbies usually lack. Fortunately, there are plenty of products that are well-suited to your starting level of cannabis knowledge. Whether you visit a Rockville dispensary in Maryland or a retail cannabis shop in San Francisco, you should look for the following items:
Believe it or not, THC overdose is a real issue — though it hasn’t ever directly resulted in death or serious injury. Instead, if you take in too much THC for your body to handle, you will experience severe and negative effects of being high, such as paranoia and panic, nausea and vomiting and low blood pressure and rapid heart rate.
Unfortunately, many cannabis breeders working today are trying to increase the THC content of their strains to meet the high tolerance level of experienced stoners — and those strains will likely send you, a beginner, over the edge of overdose. Instead, when you visit a Rockville dispensary, you should look for the following strains, which have THC levels more appropriate for your starting tolerance level:
- Sour Tsunami. Sour-Tsu is CBD-dominant with only trace levels of THC, meaning it might not make you feel high at all but will offer beneficial physical effects.
- Blue Dream. One of the most popular strains of all time, Blue Dream is THC-dominant and tastes like mixed berries.
- Pennywise. Though often lumped in with high-CBD strains, Pennywise is actually a balanced strain with enough THC for beginners.
- God’s Gift. Patient beginners can take small amounts of this strain to feel effects, but this is a good strain for building tolerance slowly over time thanks to high THC content.
If you don’t see any of these strains at the dispensary you visit, you can ask budtenders for recommendations of beginner-friendly strains in their store. You might clarify that you want a moderate amount of THC, to feel high but not overwhelmed, and you might also consider telling them your favorite flavors, like citrus, berry or mint, so you can find a pleasing terpene profile.
You can meticulously gather all the accoutrements required for smoking flower — or you can pick up a cannabis starter kit. Different cannabis brands offer different kinds of starter kits with different products inside, but often you can find kits with beginner-friendly items, like paper cones that make it easier to roll joints, a rudimentary grinder, a one-hitter for convenient smoking on-the-go and maybe a small storage container for your herb. In truth, a stoner doesn’t need much more than these practical tools, but eventually you might want to expand your equipment if you get hooked on cannabis culture.
Rolling a joint is equal parts art and science, and it can take months or years before beginners truly feel confident rolling up a good-sized, well-packed joint from scratch. Plenty of experienced stoners never gain the knack, and pack a pipe bowl, instead — but pipes demand their own sort of skill to prepare and use.
Fortunately, you don’t have to devote hours upon hours of practice rolling or packing bowls before you can enjoy weed. Once you have found the right strain of flower at the dispensary, you should ask your budtender for a few prerolls of that strain. Prerolls are like cannabis cigarettes; they contain weed that is already expertly perfectly packaged in rolling papers, ready for immediate consumption. Though prerolls do cost more than loose bud, they are often worth the fuss for beginners who don’t know how to prepare nugs for smoking.
Transdermals and Topicals
Finally, if you aren’t terribly interested in getting high, but you do want to take advantage of the health benefits of cannabis, you might be more interested in picking up a cannabis topical or transdermal. Transdermals are patches that sit on the skin and provide a low, continuous dose of cannabinoids to the bloodstream. In contrast, topicals are products like lotions and salves, which can dose the skin and surrounding tissues with cannabis compounds but certainly won’t give you any all-over feelings or healing. Often, you can buy cannabis topicals or transdermals online because their THC content is low or non-existent.
There is no shame in being a cannabis beginner — unless you insist you know better than the experts. By purchasing products appropriate for your tolerance level and listening to those with more experience than you, you can have a positive first high, and even better highs to come.