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A Simple Guide to Imbibe Cannabis Responsibly

A woman trying dabbing for the first time

Cannabis is a beneficial plant with many therapeutic benefits. It is also a recreational activity that creates a very pleasurable experience. 

As tour guides for California’s first cannabis tour companies, our joy and responsibility is to keep our guests safe. Especially if our guests are trying weed for the first time. And we love doing this.

Ready to try it? Great! Here are some things you can expect, side effects you might run into, and how to handle them.

1. Remember that cannabis is safe!

People have enjoyed  marijuana for thousands of years. It may have been one of the very first crops we began cultivating when we made the transition from hunter gatherers to farmers.  The earliest recorded use of cannabis is in the Chinese pharmacopoeia from 5,000 years ago. In all that time, there has never ever been a single death from an overdose of cannabis – not one.  

So you can relax. And that is really the point! 

But note, people can be allergic to grass, just as people are allergic to peanuts, shellfish, cilantro, or anything else. This condition is quite rare and very unlikely. If you find yourself having an allergic reaction when you touch it or smoke it you should stop and consult a MD.

2. Plan for the effects of vasodilation.

Weed opens up your blood vessels (called vasodilation) and increases blood flow in the body.  This is why people get red eyes from smoking pot.  It opens up the fine capillaries in your eyeballs. Increased blood flow is good for the body.  It carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body more efficiently. 

However, opening up the blood vessels causes the heart to race as the blood vessels dilate.  Just like increased blood flow, increased heart rate isn’t a bad thing, but folks under the influence of marijuana for the first time might feel this beneficial effect of cannabis is something else due to another side effect of cannabis.

3. Avoid paranoia happens by pick the right strain.

Occasionally, some cannabis users, when they feel their heart racing believe erroneously  that they are having a heart attack, and may even think that they are dying, as in the case of this police officer.  No, he and his wife weren’t dying, but he did get fired for not being able to handle his high.  You can avoid paranoia if you pick the right strain of pot for your adventure. The cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) counteracts paranoia.  

NOTE: Most strains of cannabis on the market today are grown for high THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)  content, and have little if any CBD at all. If you’re trying marihuanna for the first time, you might want to opt for a CBD strain that has no THC.  This will give you many of the therapeutic effects of weed, like its relaxation and anti inflammatory effects, but it won’t get you high.   

If you want to experience getting high, but want to avoid paranoia, try a one to one strain that has roughly equal amounts of THC and CBD  If you do get paranoid, remember what you read here.  

  • You are not having a heart attack.
  • You are not dying.  
  • You’re fine.  
  • Breathe.  

Remember, in all of human history no one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis.  You won’t be the first. Try to focus on something like music, art, or scenery. If you can get some CBD, that should fix it, but if you can’t, it’s no big deal.  Just change your focus.

4. Cure dry mouth by drinking more water.  

Dry-mouth or cottonmouth is a common side effect of marijuana. We note this because it is a common complaint.  Make sure you have water with you when you ingest, smoke, or vape dope.  We always keep an ample supply of water in our tour bus, and it never hurts to stay hydrated.

5. Take the right amount by picking the best imbibe tool.

There are many ways to consume cannabis, from smoking or vaping flower, kief, extracts or hash, to ingesting it in the form of edibles, drinkables, or capsules, to dabbing..  Some are more beginner friendly than others.  

We recommend smoking or vaping flower or extracts for those trying weed for the first time.  When you smoke or vape cannabis the effects come on, and subside more quickly. The high from smoking is pretty much immediate, and lasts about 1-3 hours in general, though weed affects everyone differently. 

We DO NOT recommend edibles or dabbing for beginners.  Ingesting marijuana is very different. It can take 20 minutes to a full 3 hours to take effect, and many people have assumed their edibles aren’t working, so they consume more, and wind up getting too high.  The high from ingesting cannabis can last up to a whopping 9 hours. Also, when you ingest THC, you’re actually taking a different drug than when you smoke or vape it. When you ingest pot, your liver metabolizes the Delta 9 THC molecule into 11-OH-THC which has a much more intense effect on the body and mind, and many find this form of THC more hallucinogenic than the standard smoked or vaped versions.  Of course, that’s why so many people enjoy edibles.

6. Again! First timers, skip the dabs:

Dabbing is all the rage nowadays with many dispensaries offering the dab bar experience.  Dabs are concentrated extractions of THC, and contain much more of the chemical than you would get by smoking, vaping, or ingesting weed.  Even experienced cannasseurs are often overwhelmed by dabs. So, newbies, stick to doobies!

7. Have an experienced guide:  

When trying weed for the first time, it’s best to have an experienced pot smoker with you.  If they have been enjoying smoke for years, they will probably have direct experience of what you’re feeling, and can guide you through your first time, sharing the joys of weed, and helping you parse your new experience.  That’s why so many people love to go on our cannabis farm tours. We’ve been there, we keep you entertained, and we do the driving! Just like a Napa valley wine tour!

Most importantly, have fun!  

The most important thing to remember is that weed is popular because people like it.  Like this fireman. It makes them feel good, and it’s fun!  Yeah, you’re trying something new, but there’s no need to stress over it.  Remember, one of the things cannabis is prescribed for is stress. You’re in for a new experience, and you’re going to have a blast!  Welcome to the world of weed! Now you know why everyone loves it so much!