If you’ve never smoked before, and you’re now entertaining the idea— chances are, you have a lot of questions. First time smokers are typically pretty clueless as to how it all goes— we’ve all been there before. There’s no shame in it. The best thing you can do is ask questions. After all, you’re deciding to put something into you’re body. It’s pretty smart of you to be inquisitive about it all.

Questions Answered: For First Time Smokers

Is marijuana addictive?

From a psychological standpoint— no. To say something is addictive, means that your body is dependent on it. Addiction means that you crave it, and when you don’t have it— your body goes into withdrawal. You must understand that anyone can become dependent anything. Marijuana does not offer those same physical withdrawal symptoms as, say, heroin or meth. Ultimately, it’s all in what you’re using the drug for. If you’re using marijuana as a means of escaping your day to day life, and to dull your senses— sure, you can become dependent on the feeling of it. But, it does not interact with your brain in the same way as ‘hard’ drugs do.

How much am I supposed to smoke?

Everyone’s tolerance is different. The amount I would smoke compared to how much you would— is quite different. So, your best bet is to start small. Try one little hit, then give it some time. Say, thirty minutes or so. Everyone who smokes has a different story about their first time. Some say it does nothing, others say the complete opposite. No matter which way you go, start small and go from there. Don’t let anyone convince you to go overboard.

How do I know that it’s safe, good quality stuff?

First of all, you should never smoke with someone you don’t fully trust. Second of all, it’s your experience— so go to the dispensary yourself. Speak with the budtender, tell them what’s going on, tell them you’re new at this— and take their advice. Their job is to help you pick out something that will be ideal for you.

What are the side effects?

For most, the side effects are typically that of being hungry, sleepy, giggly— the usual things people tell you. Happy, hungry, sleepy? Yep, that generally applies. But, I will say, some report heightened anxiety after smoking cannabis. If you already suffer from anxiety, some will say that it helps— others will say the opposite. Marijuana, just like anything, is not for everyone.

What’s the safest way to do it?

The safest way to consumer marijuana is to eat it. You don’t have to inhale it— it just goes down like any other snack. But, if you don’t want to wait 30 minutes to an hour to feel the effects— I say vaporize it. Also, edibles can be pretty potent and might not be the way to go for your first time. So, again, go vaporizer. It’s a more cerebral high, so you’ll be up and awake and it’s also much healthier than, say, smoking a joint. It burns at a lower temperature, and you don’t have any of the added combustion materials that you get from methods that burn hotter. Those would be smoking a bowl, a joint, or something of the like— ultimately, wherever you can skip the lighter— you’ll be better for it.

What should I bring?

For any first time smokers, I suggest bringing one thing aside from your smoking materials: snacks.