Cannabis Consumption for Beginners

Heady Vermont Staff 21 Nov 2019

With momentum gathering nationwide for cannabis legalization – including the House Judiciary Committee haveing recently approved a bill to end federal cannabis prohibition – many people who haven’t tried weed before are starting to get curious about our happy, helpful herbal friend, and naturally, have a lot of questions about how – and how much – to consume.

As a public service for the Greenhorns Of Ganja, we have a few tips for those taking their first steps down what we hope will be a very happy road…

What’s the best consumption method for beginners?

If you’re new to cannabis, we typically recommend you smoke or vape for your first time, because the effects are instantaneous, and therefore easier to gauge.


Edibles can take 30 minutes to two hours to kick in, which often results in consuming too much. Edibles are also more difficult to measure unless they come in the form of low- or precisely dosed chocolates or gummies. We’d also stay away from bongs and dabs on your first go.

How much should I smoke/eat?

Always, always start low and go slow. See how your body reacts after one hit and wait about half an hour before taking your next puff. Most strains range between 18 and 22 percent THC, but you may want to look for varieties ranging on the lower end with noticeable amounts of CBD. As for edibles, start around 2 to 5mg THC.

The most important thing to know is that pot can’t kill you. Seriously, it can’t. That’s because the receptors that it targets aren’t in your brain stem, which is the part of your brain which controls your autonomic nervous system, including your heart and lungs. 

So, while you might feel very, very weird for a while if you consume too much, and your heart rate might go up a little bit, you won’t stop breathing and your heart won’t stop beating. 

That said, there can be a fine line between being nicely high, being High As Fuck (that’s a technical term), and going way more than a few tokes over the line. 

Being too high can be an unpleasant experience, and sometimes include auditory or visual hallucinations, as well as general weirdness and some existential angst or mild panic.


Fortunately, we have a few tips for dealing with just such a situation:

  • Don’t panic. Remember that you cannot overdose on cannabis. Unless you do something stupid, the pot itself isn’t going to harm you. And if you do do something stupid, that’s really not the pot’s fault.


  • Take some CBD. It’s well documented that CBD can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. Vaping, CBD joints (with hemp flower), or sublingual (under your tongue) tinctures are the quickest ways to get it into your system.
  • Cuddle. Animals – live or stuffed – are both good. Or get with people who won’t tease you for going overboard.
  • Chew a peppercorn. It’s an old folk remedy.
  • Go outside. Nature is nice. Avoid high traffic areas. Do not drive.
  • Take long, slow deep breaths. Slowing down your breathing actually slows down your brain, and helps your body relax.


  • Take a shower or a bath. It’ll feel good and help calm you down. 
  • Watch a funny movie or video. It’ll amuse you and keep you from getting existentially anxious. Pixar films are particularly good. See below for a more complete list of Too High Movie Suggestions.
  • Drink a lot of water. Hydration is always a good idea anyway.
  • Eat something yummy. But don’t go overboard. Do not eat an entire package of Oreos or a whole pint of ice cream. You’ll regret it later.
  • Color in a coloring book. Seriously, it’s very meditative.
  • Take a nap. You’ll fall asleep sooner or later, but give yourself a head start if you can. 

Too High Movie Suggestions (not stoner movies, just very entertaining) (also not a comprehensive list, but should get you going)


  • Monsters, Inc.
  • Finding Nemo 
  • The Incredibles
  • Coco
  • Sing
  • Moana
  • Galaxy Quest
  • The Emperor’s New Groove
  • Robin Williams Live On Broadway
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Dogma
  • Boss Baby
  • Zootopia
  • Groundhog Day
  • Superbad
  • Ghostbusters (either one)
  • Airplane!
  • Rubber
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy
  • The Princess Bride
  • Hairspray
  • Trading Places
  • Groundhog Day
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Dr. Strange
  • The Lion King
  • How To Train Your Dragon

In Conclusion

All that said, if you’re throwing up, have a seriously elevated heart rate, can’t move, or are having hallucinations, and none of the aforementioned remedies are working, there’s no shame in going to the emergency room. Also, if you already have schizophrenia or some other form of psychosis, then you should probably lay off the weed, as there is some concern that it could exacerbate your condition.

This Content (including movie suggestions) is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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