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What to Expect from Your First Joint and Why It’s Not such a Big Deal


Will you be as cool as your stoner bros, or will you go reefer mad? You can count on one thing; your first experience with marijuana is not what you expect.

Some people get nauseous and/or cough until they’re embarrassed. Most are surprised that the effect isn’t a portal into a fantasy world. Just what should you expect from your first joint?

It’s not all in your head.

You can expect some physical response. If you are a regular cigarette smoker, your throat, lungs, and sinuses have some experience with the passage of smoke into lungs and out through nose. You have some immunity.

But, for nonsmokers, inhaling anything foreign will disturb your routine. The exact response varies from person to person and with one cannabis strain or another. If your friends are the providers, they should ease you into the event by suggesting the best strains for newcomers.

They should also teach and show you the best protocol for inhaling deeply into your lungs, holding the breath, and exhaling. Still, you are likely to feel some irritation on exhaling. There is no reason to resist the cough that may come with it.

You might start with a pipe; then, take small puffs and wait between puffs. You can do the same with a joint. There’s no requirement to finish a joint quickly. You can wait your turn if it is being passed around or relight it when you are ready for the next small puff.

It’s largely in the chemistry.


There’s a lot at work in the chemical makeup of cannabis. Cannabinoids match with or rebalance the mammalian natural Endocannabinoid System.

Out of 100-plus cannabinoids, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are the main components. To simplify it, the higher the THC, the stronger the psychoactive response, and the higher the CBD, the stronger the curative response.

So, if you’re looking for the mind-altering experience, you choose the high THC strains. If you are looking for medical treatment, high CBD and its derivatives make the most sense.

Sativa strains are high in THC, and Indica contains the CBD. The strongest Sativa will leave you tripping, and the strongest Indica will sedate you. But, most people looking for a social experience rely on hybrids of Sativa and Indica to balance their smoke.

Given the large number of cannabis strains, these simple distinctions should open a discussion among friends and fellow users. No one objects if you acknowledge being a novice, and you will find them willing and helpful in choosing what’s best for you.

It also makes sense to discuss your reaction with them. If they know what you have liked or disliked, they can and will coach you.

It’s a head and body experience.

Regular smokers fall into habits, smoking certain times of the day, smoking certain strains on different occasions, and smoking for different purposes. But, such choices come with individual experience.

You start by taking a puff. Then, you inhale deeply through your mouth to push the smoke down into your lungs. After holding it for a count of five, you exhale through mouth and nose.

You should feel some effects quickly as the cannabinoids move through the lungs to the bloodstream and on to the brain. So, you do not take next puff until you have enjoyed and processed that effect.

The cannabinoids introduced to your systems take only milliseconds to affect your central nervous, circulatory, and respiration systems. Those effects can sedate, relax, and induce sleep. Improving relaxation also reduces stress and anxiety. This is the chill, laid back quality you might be after.

The brain has a natural state of bliss, a desired status where things are balanced, steady, and secure. This bliss is not constant, so people seek ways to restore that balance in real or perceived ways.

Physical exercise, muscular massage, meditation, and other holistic efforts can restore the balance for some. Others seek self-medication in alcohol, prescription drugs, gambling, and other social vices.

Some time ago, research discovered value in Serotonin Reuptake Receptor Inhibitors (SRRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft to repair, calm, and rejuvenate the biochemistry that operates between synapses in nervous system.

But, research has also found that the cannabinoids released in smoking marijuana interact with the human’s endocannabinoid system in much the same way as the SRRIs. Since the endocannabinoid system is present in all organs and tissues, the brain’s reaction serves the rest of the body’s functions.

It’s a psychological experience, too.


Those looking for the big trip effect should first understand how that works. The THC will produce psychoactive results as a function of its strength. The higher the percentage, the higher the potency.

The effects might include an increase in anxiety, confused sensory perception, weakened motor coordination, and mood swings. You may not be fully aware of it, but even on a first experience, but you may become more talkative and giggly. But, if you are expecting a full-blown LSD sort of experience, you will be disappointed.

There is some truth to the argument that anyone who can report their marijuana experience is probably lying. This is because, at its best, the psychoactive experience is hard describe, let alone remember.

If it is working well, you will experience focus and concentration. Plus, as your pulse accelerates, the sense of time slows. That allows many perceptions and ideas to fill your head at the same time.

For many users, there is a lift and happy feeling nearing euphoria. And, that enhanced state of mind invites creative and engaging perceptions. That release and relaxation may increase senses of touch and reduce inhibitions to improve perceptions of sexual experience.

Some novice smokers expect and many experience discomfort with psychological experiences of increased anxiety verging on paranoia. They may feel a sense of physical and emotional tightness creating claustrophobia and panic.

Fresh air and something sweet should bring that experience down, but it can be scary. So, new tokers should take it slow, do some research, and take some advice.

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