If you’re a first-time toker or if you’ve been off the bud for a bit then you might not be sure how much cannabis you should be smoking to get the right amount of high.
We’ve all heard a story from a friend about that one time they smoked cannabis and spent the rest of the night paranoid on the couch. It’s understandable that hearing something like that might put you off, or at least make you cautious, but the truth is, that person simply smoked too much. Cannabis can be what you want it to be and the key to achieving the right stone is dosing.
Factors that play a role in how much cannabis you’ll need to get high
Potency of the cannabis – The strength (THC content) of the flower you’re going to smoke will play a huge role in how high you can expect to get. Low THC cannabis might contain a THC level of around 10%, while some top-shelf, high THC bud will hit over 20%. Beginners might do better with a weaker strain, which doesn’t mean it’s bad weed, it’s just not as strong. There’s much more to good cannabis than just an off the chart THC percentage.
THC content is even more important when it comes to the types of products you can smoke. Things like dabs and vapes typically involve some form of concentrate like shatter, wax, oil or distillate, which take the THC percentages through the roof. If you’re a beginner, don’t start by hitting a dab rig or other concentrate product before experimenting with dried flower, because as the THC percentage gets higher, so will you.
Your physiological traits – Everyone is different and that makes how your body reacts to cannabis unique as well. Your body weight (and body fat percentage) will affect how much weed you need to get high. As a general rule, the heavier you are the more you’ll need to smoke, but your metabolism, respiratory system health, liver health, and cannabinoid receptor development are all influencing factors as well.
Your tolerance level – It should go without saying that if you’re a seasoned smoker, your tolerance will be higher, and you’ll be able to handle more THC. You’ll also probably already know how much you need to smoke to get high. It’s important to recognize that as you continue to smoke cannabis, your tolerance level will rise, and you’ll be able to smoke more. When it comes to cannabis, one size certainly does not fit all.
Other affecting factors – Not everything is physical, and psychological aspects can affect your high as well. For instance, if you’re tired, stressed out or anxious, cannabis might hit you harder. If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended to only smoke cannabis in places and with people that make you feel comfortable, so you’ll be at ease and more likely to enjoy.
How to start smoking cannabis
First things first, if you’re new to cannabis, you don’t want to jump right in at the deep end with something like edibles, dabs, vape pens, or bongs until you understand how your body reacts to THC. These consumption methods are best left to more experienced users and often involve very high THC percentages.
Everybody is different, as in some of us can smoke all day and be fine, while others take a few small tokes and they’re fried. Figure out which category you fall into before you throw caution to the wind.
Most consumers start smoking cannabis with a joint or a pipe. These allow you to moderate your hit size and how many hits you take. You can also let a joint or pipe go out and relight it a few minutes later if you feel like you can handle some more.
Joints and pipes are also easy to prepare and smoke, especially if you are smoking in a group and somebody else rolls (the joint) or you buy a pre-roll. The effects of smoking cannabis usually come on quickly and you should be able to tell if you’re getting too high within a minute or two of taking a puff.
A hit or two, or three if you’re feeling adventurous, should normally do the trick and inhaled cannabis should hit you pretty much right away. Prolonged onset (especially for the full effects) isn’t uncommon either, so if you feel high, leave it at that and enjoy the stone – you can smoke more next time. If you don’t feel much, take another measured hit and wait for the effects, continuing the process until you feel something you’re comfortable with.
It’s possible that first-time smokers won’t get high, we’re not sure why, but if that’s the case with you then simply try again another day. One of our writers didn’t get high until their third attempt – so don’t feel like there’s something wrong with you.
Dosing recommendations for smoking cannabis
Below is a chart of the basic amounts you should consider smoking as a beginner. Keep in mind that when smoking cannabis, every strain and each individual person is a bit different, meaning that what gets you high might do something completely different to someone else.
As with any type of cannabis consumption, it’s important to begin slowly, taking only a few hits at a time, and increasing your dosage as you see fit. Your tolerance will go up quickly, especially once you understand what to expect and learn how to roll with the high.
Regardless of how much you smoke or how often, once in a while, you might overdo it and ‘green-out’. While it’s more common for beginners, it happens to everyone at some point but it’s not a big deal. You might feel light-headed, dizzy, sweaty (or cold), anxious, or paranoid.
If you’ve smoked too much, it’s important to remember that while it’s uncomfortable at the time, a cannabis overdose is nothing serious. Find a quiet, comfortable place to chill out for a bit, drink some water, sit or lay down, and try to relax. Let the high run its course – you’ll feel fine again soon.