A guide for first-time marijuana users

As more states approve legalization, more people are interested in trying it out. But what do you REALLY need to know?

Although cannabis has been used for over a thousand years, it can be confusing for those new to cannabis or cannabis use. Delaware and Ohio are the last states to pass laws legalizing marijuana. Now, over 50% of the US population has access to legal weed, as does Canada and parts of Europe. And if there's a reorganization, it'll become even more accessible. Add to that the fact that over 85% think it should be legal, and it's become mainstream, so more and more people are taking the first step and trying it out.

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But for beginners, it can be a little intimidating. Things have changed and there are a variety of options. For beginners, you can do it the old way with smoking, but with today's younger generation and new users, gummies and vaping are popular. And there are even more options.

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The basics

Unlike alcohol, marijuana can be used for fun and as a medicine. Some people use it to increase creativity, reduce social anxiety, relax, exercise, sleep, and more. The trend of replacing alcohol with marijuana on certain days or for all days is called “California Sober,” and it's a big hit, especially among those under 30. Marijuana can also be used as a substitute for harmful substances like smoking nicotine and taking opiates and sleeping pills. It has clear medical benefits, but nothing is perfect. No one has ever died from an overdose, and most people doze off when they have too much.

If you limit your dose to 5 mg or more, the intense part of the high will last the first 30 minutes and then may last for a few hours. The more you consume, the longer it will last and the high may be stronger.

Types of Marijuana

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There are different strains of marijuana and different compounds found in the plant. Sativa, indica and hybrid strains are a category that is limited to the physical appearance of the plant, although many cannabis users swear by their effects and how different they are. CBD is a cannabis compound, but many people consider it a type of marijuana.

Cannabis stimulates the mind and senses and works best when combined with an activity such as physical exercise, a pleasant conversation, or another invigorating activity. Indica are at the other end of the spectrum and produce a relaxing and anti-anxiety effect. Hybrid The strains are a mix of sativa and indica and produce mixed results.

CBD is a cannabis compound, like CBD. In contrast to the psychoactive effects of THC, CBD has primarily medicinal effects. It does not produce a “high” feeling and provides long-lasting relief from muscle pain, pain and anxiety.

How to participate

There are many different ways to consume cannabis. The traditional way of smoking marijuana (pipes, joints and bongs) is popular among the over 50s and is perfect for relaxing and enjoying a good chill session. Vapes, gummies, other edibles and sublinguals are also popular methods for those new to cannabis. Dabbing is for experienced users.


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Discreet and convenient, filled with cartridges that vaporize marijuana instead of burning it like joints and pipes. With a vape pen, you don't need to learn how to roll a joint or fill a pipe. They produce instant effects that last in your body for a few hours. Start with a first hit and slowly increase the amount you can enjoy.

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Edible Weed BrowniesPhoto by Sarah Pender/Getty Images

Gummies are by far the most popular form of edibles, followed by chocolate. Edibles purchased from dispensaries are convenient and discreet, and dosing is easy to manage. The only downside is that it takes a while to feel the high because the THC is absorbed differently. For beginners, it's a good way to start because you can manage the dosage and start with 5 mg or less.

Sublingual and topical agents

Sublingual oils allow you to slip them under your tongue and put something else in and absorb them. Quick and with a little kick, you control your dosage for a good high. This is another good option for those who don't want to smoke. Topicals are creams and lotions, they can help with pain or intimacy.

As with alcohol, it can take a while to get going and find the perfect high or relaxation. Take your time, don't overdo it, try to avoid cravings and have fun.

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