THC 101: What You Should Know BEFORE Trying Cannabis/Getting High

One thing that we find strange about the current “cannabis revolution” is that no one seems to talk much about the basics. It’s like we’ve gotten so consumed by the hype around having access to cannabis that we’ve forgotten that there are going to be many people who have a lot of questions about all aspects of consumption.

Hence, this small series of articles to talk very plainly and openly about cannabis.

So... what's it like the first time you get high?

It’s really important to note that the sensation of being “high” can vary greatly from person to person. Everyone’s level of sensitivity to THC is different. Other factors that can make a difference are: how the cannabis is consumed, the terpenes in the strain, and the size of the dose.

Many people like to say that sativa strains are a “head” high and indica is a “body” high. But clinical* studies have shown that cannabis use is not the same for everyone. Even two people with similar body composition, who take the same size dose of the same strain, can have very different experiences. Which is why you should always be safe when you consume it.

“Being safe” when consuming cannabis is actually pretty simple. First off, treat cannabis use similar to alcohol: Never drive a motor vehicle or operate any machine/vehicle while high. A good rule to follow is that anything that you shouldn’t be doing while you are drinking, you shouldn’t do while you are high or consuming cannabis.

Similar to the consumption of other substances, you should also pay close attention to how you feel before you dose. For instance, if you are just getting done with a long week and are feeling happy, positive, and ready to relax with friends - coupled with the right strain, these feelings could lead to a euphoric experience. However, if you are stressed out, anxious, or feeling depressed/down before dosing - these feelings might result in a very unpleasant experience… maybe even paranoia.

The most common effects of cannabis use are:

  • Happiness
  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
  • Hunger
  • Pain Relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of concentration/coordination
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea

Be aware that all of these effects can scale. For example, happiness can mean anything from a slightly elevated mood all the way up to euphoria. Hunger can be a simple desire for a taste or flavor, all the way up to wanting to eat an entire buffet.

Some people report feeling very creative after consuming THC, being able to read/comprehend faster, write, edit, or draw/paint for hours. Other people might be having a good time, but their memory doesn’t work well and they can’t really do anything serious.

In a minority of cases, people report altered states of perception while on cannabis as well. This was especially true of people who were under the age of 21 and trying THC for the first time.  They reported that places and objects looked different than normal, sounds (especially music) were bigger, powerful experiences while they were high.

Many people search the web for the answer to what it feels like to be “high”.  The most truthful answer to that question is: no one really knows until they try.  The best thing is always to consume cannabis slowly until you find a good dosage, and make sure that you have trusted friends or family nearby to be able to talk to if you feel something negative.

Your mood, genes, the strain being consumed, the setting you are in and more all contribute to determining the experience.

Bottom line: Treat your experience as something special!  Make sure you aren't in a rush, your mind is free from worry, and you are in the company of good people before you try it (also having a coupon for your favorite food wouldn't hurt).

Until next time, happy smoking!

-TGB

*ref:  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33032307/