Learning to smoke pot is sometimes intimidating; often, your first time is around people who clearly already know what they’re doing. You want to look calm. Or you want to look cool. Or you want to make sure they’ll sit with you at lunch the next day. But, smoking, like anything, is a learning experience. And it takes a while to get used to. Still, there are common mistakes newbies to the doobies (and even those more experienced) tend to make. And these include:

Mistake 1: Assuming it’s Your First Time so you Won’t Get High

Yep, and the first time you have sex, you won’t get pregnant, either! The myth that you can’t get high is perplexing; you’re introducing THC into your bloodstream, so why wouldn’t you get high?

This rumor is more likely perpetuated by incorrect smoking. If you smoke Smoking Pot: 7 Common Mistakes of New Smokerswith the wrong technique, you don’t really consume the cannabis. Ergo, you don’t feel high because you aren’t.

There are theories that disagree with this. Some people argue that a certain level of THC must build up in your system before you feel the effects; others argue that the cannabinoid receptors don’t know how to react upon the initial inhale. But many, many people get high the first time they smoke. So never make an assumption that you won’t.

Mistake 2: Not Knowing the Type of Strain You’re Smoking

If you bum a toke from a stranger at a party, odds are you’re not going to know a lot about that strain beforehand. When someone passes you a joint, it’s not cool to demand the strain’s name, origin, list of side effects, and terpene profile before you accept. We’ve all been in situations where we were smoking pot and had no idea if it was an indica or a potent sativa that guaranteed we’d be singing karaoke in three, two, one……Journey song.

If you’re buying your own pot, you should make sure you’re getting something you desire

If you’re wanting a strain to help you stay awake at work, a heavy indica probably won’t do you any favors. Though it might get you fired from your job….then you can go get one that isn’t quite as boring. Thanks, Hindu Kush!

Mistake 3: Smoking Pot Like a Cigar

While first-timers tend to smoke pot like they’re puffing on a cigar, they should smoke it like they’re puffing on a cigarette. Draw, deep breath, exhale. Some people believe that holding the smoke in longer makes for a better high. Science has said this isn’t really true (seriously, I just talked to science on the phone). The reason is that we absorb the THC almost immediately, so holding it in doesn’t offer any extra benefit.

However, just as sugar pills can cure headaches, it’s always possible that some psychosomatic effect exists and does indeed make smokers feel higher, even if they technically aren’t. 

Mistake 4: Putting Too much Credence on the Internet

An internet article that tells you not to believe everything you read; oh the irony! The internet is filled with information – some of it good, some of it bad, but most of it entirely unverifiable. Not only that, but one person’s experience with a certain strain does not guarantee that you’ll have the Smoking Pot: 7 Common Mistakes of New Smokerssame.

How cannabis reacts inside your body is complicated. It involves many factors like weight and gender, what you’ve eaten, if you’re drunk, etc. The internet is fine as a guide, but it’s not a sure thing. An indica not known for the munchies can still leave you eating the M&M buttons off of your child’s paper snowman.

Mistake 5: Grinding With Your Fingers

Fingers are awesome (especially the middle one!), but they can’t replace a grinder. Even if you have tiny fingers that can really grind the herb (or perhaps long nails with which to chop and dice), there’s no replacement for a grinder. Using a grinder allows for a consistent burn and, as an extra perk, it also creates kief.

Mistake 6: Not using a vaporizer

Sure, blunts, joints, and pipes are fine, but if you don’t want to “feel the burn,” it’s a vaporizer to the rescue. A bong works too, but it’s like Robin to a vaporizer’s Batman. Vaporizers are the easiest on the throat and lungs.

They’re also better for your health

If you’re going to smoke the old-fashioned way, at least use a good lighter. Using a lighter that contains butane can make your weed taste like, wait for it, butane! Matches can alter flavor too.

Mistake 7: Not Knowing the Small Differences in Smoking Devices

Bongs tend to allow you to get higher; you’re able to inhale more smoke, which allows you to get higher faster. But bongs tend to use up a lot of your stash, too. Sometimes, you have the weigh the good with the bad and decide what’s more important: a loftier high or a stash that lasts.

Jenn Keeler

About the author: Jenn Keeler is a freelance writer and illustrator specializing in humorous lifestyle articles. She is one of the few people on earth actually using an English degree. Her heart belongs to the Denver Broncos and her husband. In that order.