Adult-use cannabis is finally legal in Canada, so if you’ve been holding out on giving this green goodness a try for fear of legal repercussions, put your paranoia to rest.
As long as you’re of age, consuming legal product, don’t carry more than allowed (30 grams in public), and are in one of the very few spots where consumption is legal (thanks YVR!) then you should be on your way to enjoying a good trip.
1. Get good product
As a newbie to herb, you don’t have a baseline for what counts as good weed but it can definitely enhance or detract from your overall experience.
Healthy buds should be green and may have hints of colour like orange or purple. Check for a healthy coating of trichomes (gives cannabis that crystal-y look), and an absence of seeds, insects and mould.
Clean weed should also burn a nice, white ash.
2. Choose the right product
Indica and Sativa, although not the correct nomenclature, are an easy classification system for product effects.
Traditionally, Indica is known for having sedating effects and produce more of a body buzz. Sativa is typically energetic and mentally-stimulating. Some licensed producers (LPs) are listing the plant’s terpene profile, which a more accurate way to classify the potential effects of consumption. For example, myrcene leans towards Indica effects, whereas pinene would be more how we describe a Sativa.
3. Buy legal product
Depending on who you ask, this point may run counter to the first one, but there are some legal producers growing some great stuff. Do some research and check reviews while making your selection. If you’re purchasing in-store, ask the budtender for a recommendation. Many retail outlets will also have a smell jar so you can get an idea of what you’re purchasing.
Due to shortages, shipping difficulties, and lack of access to retail stores in some provinces, buying legal weed isn’t exactly the easiest task. There are still alternative online and retail options available, but they will be unregulated. Make sure to educate yourself on the potential legal ramifications.
4. Start low, go slow
This is great advice for almost any new endeavour. Consuming cannabis does not mean you have to get as high as possible. If you’re smoking a joint or using a vaporizer, start with one toke (the act of inhaling) and see how you feel. It’s a lot easier to get more stoned than less.
You can also look for strains that have a lower THC concentration, and even one with a higher CBD percentage to help balance things out.
If you’re trying edibles, start with 5 mg or less. Wait an hour, even up to two hours to see how you feel before consuming more.
5. Be careful with edibles
Picking up on the last point, edibles can be a bit tricky when it comes to dosing.
Currently not available on the legal market, your options are to either purchase them from an unregulated source or to make them yourself (or have a trusted baker friend make them for you).
Depending on where you buy your product, dosage may not be properly labelled, and DIY methods involve some trial and error. Start with a low dose or a small bite and give your body time to process before going in for more.
An edible high will typically last longer than smoking a joint or vaporizing, so be considerate of the time commitment.
6. Get a babysitter
If you’re getting high for your first time as an adult or returning to weed after a period of abstinence, chances are there is someone in your circle who has more experience and can really be an asset in walking you through the process.
Choose a responsible and trusted friend or group you feel comfortable with to support your journey and assist in any way, whether that be procuring snacks, rolling joints, making sure you have safe transportation if you’re not a home, and providing reassurance if you feel a bit overwhelmed under the influence.
7. Know the risks
Before you consume any intoxicant or medication, do some research and learn the risks.
Yes, cannabis is a plant and is seemingly innocuous compared to other drugs but it is not without its risks.
Cannabis is fighting against nearly 100 years of prohibition and propaganda, most of which is false, but if you weed out the bullshit, there are still some things to be cautious about.
For example, if you have a history of psychosis in your family, proceed with caution when consuming cannabis. While it won’t cause schizophrenia, there might be a correlation between cannabis consumption and the expression of psychoses in predisposed populations.
8. Find a safe space
Being out in public can be a bit intense even for a seasoned smoker.
The best place to be is somewhere you feel safe, can lie down and sleep if need be, and can consume legally.
The latter point is a bit tricky and legal consumption sites vary from province-to-province as well as between buildings. Make sure you inform yourself so you don’t have narc-y neighbours harshing your buzz.
9. Give in to the stereotypes
But good food, funny movies, and any sort of mindless entertainment can usually make for a good smoke-sesh. Surround yourself with the things you might want so that you can have easy access to them if the mood strikes and avoid the urge to hop in the car for a snack run.
10. Manage your expectations
It’s possible that you’ll try weed and life will suddenly be better, or maybe you’ll have a toke and receive divine clarity that will truly change you. And if so, awesome. Let us know what strain you smoked.
It’s important to know that cannabis is not a cure-all and it isn’t for everyone. If you are consuming it recreationally do so with the intention that it’s for your personal enjoyment and just have fun with it!