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A first-timers guide to legal recreational marijuana | News

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A first-timers guide to legal recreational marijuana
A first-timers guide to legal recreational marijuana

Legal marijuana sales kicked off Tuesday across Washington, including at one of three confirmed stores here in Spokane, with enthusiasts in line hours before opening.

But what about the curious among us who have never taken a puff in our lives, but are ready to give it a try now that it's legal and easily accessible?

“It can be a little alien if it's their first time,” said Green Leaf customer service representative Chad Welsh. “To walk in here and think 'What are these devices?' and 'What is your product all about?'”

A big part of Chad's job is to help guide first-timers through the experience, with tips on the product, how to smoke and what to smoke with. I also spoke with Daniel Wendling, general manager at Piece of Mind and assistant manager at the licensed pot shop Satori just next door, and put together a how-to of sorts for the first time smoker.


Be Somewhere Comfortable

Chad: You're going to want to be in the privacy of your own home. If you want some company, it certainly can be a nice social time and probably turn to some interesting conversations. There's no problem having other people there, but alone is fine too – you're not going to go crazy.

Daniel: Home is a really good environment, or somewhere that you're comfortable. I would ho noestly say that first time smokers never know how it's going to effect you, and I certainly wouldn't be going to the park or someplace like that until after you've experienced it. Once you feel alright you can go out for a walk and enjoy nature, which is always an enjoyable thing to do.


Pick A Mild Strain

Chad: You have two main types – sativa cannabis and indica cannabis. I would say go with sativa as a first timer because it's going to give you less of that “locked down to the chair” feeling. You're going to actually feel a little more euphoric and energized where you maybe want to carry on a conversation. Indica gives you a more lethargic, very “want to lay down” kind of feeling, sort of like taking some NyQuil.

Daniel: There's definitely stuff that's much better for a beginner. Not just lower THC levels, but something with higher CBD and CBN levels will give you more of the medicinal feeling like pain and anxiety relief and less of the paranoid “high” feeling that you get from THC.


Don't Over-complicate It

Chad: A good hand-held glass pipe would be perfect for a first timer. Just a basic pipe or some papers to roll is a great way to start and there are plenty of tutorials online.

Daniel: There's a couple new things on the market these days like vaporizers and discreet pens, and I don't tell people to jump right into that. I normally suggest a more traditional piece at first, something with a little water in it because of the filtration bonuses. The more bubbling the smoke goes through, the more pure it is. Anything that might be coming from your lighter or ignition source, or anything that might be on the product can be filtered out through your water in the pipe, as well as any little chunks of the product itself that would otherwise fly into your mouth.


Start Off Slowly

Chad: You've got to take it easy, don't go crazy with it. Take a puff and give it a few minutes to see what happens. If you're not feeling any different, give it another puff. If you're taking puff after puff after puff in a short period of time you overdo it and you're going to run into complications like being sleepy or lethargic.

Daniel: Just enjoy yourself. It's no different from alcohol or anything else that we consume – even food. Just start out with a light dose and make sure it's what you want and desire and if you don't feel good, why would you continue it? But on the other hand if it makes you feel good and you enjoy it, maybe its something that be part of your recreational lifestyle for the future.


Lastly, both Chad and Daniel say the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and be responsible.

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