If you are getting ready to introduce a friend or family member to cannabis, don't let your child-like excitement make you overlook a few key points. Because, while many first-time users have a fine ol' time enjoying the first time they got high from consuming cannabis, others have a less than stellar experience, complete with feelings of paranoia, nausea, confusion and anxiety, among other not so great sensations. These “bad trips” can be unpleasant enough for someone to abandon any thoughts of using cannabis again, so it's important to do everything you can to avoid a poor introduction.
Be sure to keep in mind that cannabis affects everyone differently and that different strains are bred to exhibit various effects. Here below, we offer some tips to help you make someone's first experience with pot an enjoyable one.
Why have they decided to consume cannabis? Understand the purpose
You should know whether your friend or family member is interested in cannabis for medical or recreational purposes so you can choose an appropriate strain, if possible. First timers looking for medical relief should try a strain bred to relieve particular symptoms and not one with a high percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that someone seeking the cerebral experience would prefer.
Provide a comfortable setting
It's important that whoever you're introducing cannabis to is in a place he or she feels comfortable and in control. Anyone familiar with cannabis understands how the environment can easily affect your experience for better or worse. For example, some people under the influence of cannabis view a group of strangers as an inviting opportunity to meet new people, while to others that same crown can trigger overwhelming anxiety. Plan to surround your friend with sights and sounds he or she enjoys (friends, music, movies, games etc.) and create a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.
Start Slow. Start Low
Give your friend or family member a small amount of cannabis and slowly increase the amount as he or she sees fit. Consider starting with a low-THC strain and using a joint, pipe or vaporizer as these apparatuses offer better dose control than that hard-hitting three foot bong in your closet. It's best not to start someone off with an edible since they have no idea how they will react to cannabis and edibles are considerably harder to dose. But, if your first-timer insists on a digestible product, the rule to “start low and go slow” applies even more. Also, never peer pressure someone into consuming more cannabis than they are willing to try. After-all, if you want another smoking buddy, you will want them to enjoy their experience.
Hopefully the above has prepared you for the experience ahead. Most cannabis users look back upon their “first-time” fondly and do not hesitate to recall it. If all goes well, you will be immortalized in story each time your friend or family member tells their story of how they came to enjoy cannabis. There's nothing wrong with going above and beyond to ensure your legacy rests easy.