Even though cannabis use is pretty widespread these days, there are still lots of people who have never tried smoking pot, or consuming it in other ways. For many, the idea seems intimidating and although the jury is out on whether or not cannabis is still considered a gateway drug, some people are just afraid to try it.

As a result, when they do finally take the leap of faith and consume cannabis for the first time, they often make some common mistakes that could have been avoided to make the experience more enjoyable. We’ve outlined five common mistakes first time cannabis users make here so if you are thinking about trying it for the first time, you won’t feel like you are entering a whole new world.  

Mistake Number 1: Assuming You Won’t Get High 

Even if you say to yourself that you are only going to take a few puffs, don’t fool yourself into thinking that the cannabis won’t have any effect on you. The truth is that, depending on the product you are using, it could start to make you feel difference with just a few puffs. If you are using certain products like glass dab rigs, you won’t be smoking a joint, and might have more control over how you ingest the product. But for the most part, you can expect to feel something after using cannabis for the most part.  

Mistake Number 2: Thinking All Cannabis is the Same 

If your friend has a medical marijuana prescription and she offers you some that is a lot different than the cannabis you would buy on the street. If you have been around cannabis use before, you might know this, but since this is rookie mistakes 101, we wanted to remind you that there are variations and different strains of cannabis available. If you use cannabis from a different source than your first experience, you should not expect to feel the same or be impacted the same way. It can take time to find out which strains are right for you.  

Mistake Number 3: Smoking Pot Like a Cigar or Cigarette 

Have you noticed that people physically hold joints differently than the hold a cigar or a cigarette? That’s because they are different. Most people “puff” marijuana, while they take long, slow drags of cigarettes. If you are a cigarette smoker and think that a lifetime of smoking cigarettes has prepared you for your first cannabis experience, think again. You’ll start to feel different in short order after using cannabis for the first time, so brace yourself and enjoy the experience.  

Mistake Number 4: Smoking Vs. Vaping 

If you want to ease yourself into the cannabis experience without worrying about strong taste or effect, consider using a vaporizer for your first time. These handy little contraptions can help take the edge off of the product you are using and it allows for better control of inhalation. People almost always try cannabis with a friend so if they have a vaporizer, ask to use it. Be sure to ask them to show you how to use it. There’s no shame in asking for a little help. Plus, they’ll likely just offer to show you anyway. Cannabis is quickly becoming a social thing and socially accepted, so make the most of that interaction with your group of cannabis lovers and let them help you ease into the experience.  

Mistake Number 5: Not Grinding Properly  

It’s easy to skip the important steps of grinding when you are first starting out with cannabis use, but if you want to make the most of your experience, be sure to invest in – or borrow – a grinder to get the buds prepared for consumption. There are a number of devices on the market that will help you do this, but whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can grind the cannabis with your fingers. It just makes a mess and then you don’t get the full experience of the cannabis as intended. Again, you’ll likely be doing this with a friend, so be sure to ask them to show you how to use the grinder.  

 Happy first time smoking!

So if you are on the fence about trying cannabis because you think there’s too much involved, or you are worried about how it might impact you, hopefully these 5 common mistakes that first timers make will help reduce some of the anxiety you might be feeling related to cannabis use. One final tip is to insert yourself in circles of people who are using cannabis on a regular basis. That way you get a fulsome view of the types of cannabis people use, the kinds of devices they are using, and how they are interacting with the product and preparing it.