This beginners guide on how to smoke cannabis correctly will cover the basics of this popular past time. Smoking cannabis should come naturally, just like breathing, right? For a very select few, it does. But for a majority of new users it is more of an acquired, practiced skill, much like swimming or riding a motor bike. And just like any other worthwhile activity, cannabis smoking has some ground rules and basic standards of etiquette. That is not to say you will be arrested if you do it wrong, but wouldn’t you rather learn how to do it right?
Join us as we take you through all the different aspects of correct marijuana smoking. We will discuss ideal methodology and dosage, down to proper bedside manner and correct breathing technique.
There are many ways to consume cannabis. One might think that simply munching on a cannabis infused cookie or brownie will do the trick, and it may. We however do not recommend this method of ingestion. Not only will the onset of the effects delay, leading to possible over consumption, but the effects are also significantly more intense with a high that could last up to a staggering 8 hours.
Cannabis Consumption Method
For novice users, the most recommended method of consumption is vaporizing or smoking. This is because it is easier to control how much weed one consumes while smoking as the effects do not take too long and one could choose to stop after just a few puffs. Traditional smoking involves heating or burning the buds and inhaling the smoke released by this process. There are various ways to smoke your cannabis bud. You could roll it into a joint, use a “one hitter pipe” or utilize a bong. A bong filters the smoke through water making it the smoothest method of smoking. This filtration also results in quite potent results and therefore if you are new to cannabis smoking, you should proceed with care.
Some newbies might find smoking too intense, in which case one could resort to vaporizing, also known as vaping, which is milder and also great for avoiding the respiratory irritation of smoke. A vaporizer will heat the cannabis concentrates or buds to a lower temperature, releasing the cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) from the trichomes where they’re stored without any actual combustion taking place. Vaporization offers a milder, forgiving and manageable high compared to actual smoking of cannabis.
Cannabis Strain Selection
How do you select your strain? Depending on the effect you are seeking, that is relaxed, focused, upbeat, creative or sedative, relaxing or appetite inducing, you will either select an Indica or Sativa strain. If you are looking for a head high that will stimulate you, a Sativa strain with high THC is the way to go. If you are looking to relax and give your body the break it deserves, an Indica strain is your best bet. A hybrid strain is good if you are in search of a smoke that can be had any time, which is one that combines both indica and sativa plants during breeding, therefore creating a balanced high.
It is possible to get buds/cartridges that may contain multiple strains, though most are strain specific. Because weed is like wine, you might find that some dispensaries blend their own unique flavor profile. However, they should be able to tell you what these blends contain.
If you are a first time smoker, one or two inhalations should have you feeling the effects of the cannabis. We recommend that you wait at least 15-20 minutes to feel the full effects in order for you to decide whether you need additional puffs as the effects become more pronounced with time. With experience, you will be able to graduate to more hits as you will find that you can tolerate the effects better.
Never feel under pressure to finish a joint or bowl, you could always put it out and resume later. If ingested cannabis is the only option you have, we recommend that you start with 5mg and wait at least 2 hours for the effects to hit before you decide to take more. As you get more accustomed to the edibles and their effects on you, you can adjust your dosage accordingly.
If you miscalculate and end up too high, don’t panic. There is help on how you can manage that as well.
How to Light a Joint Properly
The process of lighting a joint is as unique as rolling one. Some people prefer traditional lighters like classic Bic and Hello, while others prefer a natural hemp wick to avoid inhaling fuel. Either way, we will give you some tips to ensure you light it right.
The Do’s: Create the Cherry Slowly
Hasty lighting can ruin even the best joint. To light your joint so that it smokes evenly and slowly, apply the flame to just the tip as you slowly rotate it between your fingers. What you’re trying to do is create a cherry (the actively burning portion of the joint) at the tip and have it burn through the length evenly. Patience is of utmost importance in this process. You will require more time and direct heat to create a cherry without inhalation, which is very unlike smoking a cigarrete.
Once you have your cherry, you can alternately use inhalation and application of additional flame to keep it going. Note not to do both at the same time. After it has caught on, a joint that has been correctly lit will go on burning evenly without much coaxing.
Pro Tip: How to Light a One-Hitter
This is an elongated pipe which has a pretty small bowl and is a great alternative to when you don’t access to a joint or it’s impractical to smoke one. A grinder card can be used to load it, after which you can smoke it like a cigarettes.
The Etiquette of Smoking a Joint
Yes, there’s a “code of conduct” to smoking a shared joint. Whether you are a seasoned user or a new one, make sure you don’t embarrass yourself by being “that guy”. Master these helpful tips to retain your place at the smoke circle.
Respect Rolling Seniority
The roller with the best skills in the circle should be allowed to roll the joint. If you are still in training, please watch and learn, your day will surely come.
Learn to Use a Crutch
Crutches can be made from any paper-like material. Business cards, paper scraps or even pre-cut crutches apply. The most preferred crutches though are natural cotton and hemp tips. The crutch will keep the joint intact and can also be used as a handle when passing around to avoid crushing the tube of grinded cannabis.
If You’re Not Contributing, Don’t Take a Hit
In order to maintain an open, comfortable invite, don’t be the guy who smokes for free. Always contribute by way of bud, cash or even weed edibles. It is not cool to take without giving back.
He Who Rolled Shall Light
It is cannabis etiquette to let the person who rolled the joint light it and take the first hit. This is mainly to ensure the same standards are kept and also as an honor for the roller’s service. Should the roller decide to give someone else the privilege, this is also considered acceptable.
Puff, Puff, Pass
Unless smoking with friends where other rules apply, make sure to not hog the joint and possibly get shut out of a smoking circle. The rule is always to take a puff and pass the joint around.
Ash Before You Pass
This one is just as simple as it sounds-Ash before you pass. Falling ash may cause damage to your friends furniture or clothing and it is just plain bad manners, so be sure to observe this one.
The Joint is Not a Microphone
Nobody will be happy with you if you hold on to the joint as you’re talking until the cherry goes out. “Puff, puff and pass”.
Stick to the Original Rotation
The joint is usually lit by the roller and passed to the left. This order should be kept until everyone in the circle has taken a hit and then until the joint is over. Passing the joint around in a haphazard way will skip out some people and lead to hogging.
Keep Your Exhale to Yourself
Do not exhale in anyone’s face. As far as Faux Pas’ go, this is one of the biggest while smoking in a circle. Make sure you lean your head upwards or downwards while exhaling to avoid someone else experiencing the full effect of your exhale. Unless in the case of the wind redirecting your smoke, and even then, ensure it doesn’t happen a second time.
Don’t Pass the Roach
Once the joint is over, put it out, and don’t pass it on.
How to Smoke Weed Without Coughing
Though breathing is a natural process that occurs more than 20,000 times a day, it may surprise you that a lot of people do not breathe in the most efficient way. Breathing affects your general well-being and in the case of smoking your cannabis joint, incorrect breathing could cause you to cough and choke which will make for a very ineffective, uncomfortable smoke. Everyone looks forward to a smooth smoke, with potent hits and calm exhales which make you look experienced — which is why we have taken it upon ourselves to outline for you how you should correctly breathe while smoking your joint.
Draw Into Your Mouth First
Diaphragmatic breathing is the more efficient way of taking deep breathes. You could practice diaphragmatic breathing by placing your hand on your belly and breathing slowly or by performing a 4-2-4 count where you breathe in slowly for 4 seconds, hold for 2 and breathe out slowly for another 4. With practice, this becomes your second nature.
Draw the smoke first into your mouth, and then inhale it into your lungs. You can use your cheeks when drawing the smoke into your mouth. In some cases, breathing directly into the lungs applies, especially if you are using a device.
Take it Slow and Steady
It is not necessary to inhale with any aggression, pace or force. Be slow and gentle.
Add Fresh Oxygen
Inject fresh air into your lungs alongside your smoke, this will re-oxygenate your body and cool down your lungs.
Don’t hold it
Do not hold the smoke in. It does not need to sit in the lungs to get absorbed better. Keep taking it in and out and the experience will be better.
Release at the Same Pace
Your exhale should be as gentle as your inhale. If you are not trying to hold the smoke in, this should be easy to do.
People who cough or choke usually hold the smoke without releasing it for too long or they fail to introduce fresh oxygen with each hit. Do not be that person.
Hopefully we have given you enough scoop on how to smoke that joint like a pro. You could even be the go to expert in your smoking circle.