I don’t know about you, but it occurred to me the other day that many of us born in the late 1950’s through the 1980’s tried MJ when it was taboo. We knew nothing about terpenes, Sativa, Indica, or cannabinoids, and we couldn’t have cared less. Many of us had that nasty taste of washing our mouths out with a swish of Budweiser stuck in our throats for hours on any given weekend. That was life.

Today, MMJ and MJ have gone gourmet like craft beers. And ne’er the two shall meet. We have more on that later, but for now, you need to know that as someone new to this

But what about your Aunt Bettany who couldn’t imagine getting high with you just three short years ago, who now sits on her doily-covered couch, and wants to light up with you now that she learned how MMJ can fix her aches and pains. You should help her, but you don’t want to overdo. Today’s medical grade cannabis is much more potent than the 2-3 percent THC we smoked at a house party back when. This is serious medicine. You don’t want to make anyone’s first time go bad.

Here are some tips for the first-timer:

-If you decide to smoke or vape: start with one or two very small hits and the ol’ adage, “you gotta cough to get off” does not apply here. Take a few small hits that do not fill your lungs and make you feel like coughing, hold for a few seconds and release.

-If your first time is with edibles or tinctures, start with HALF the suggested dose and wait ONE HOUR before adding more. Less is better with both of these methods.

-What strains do the experts recommend? Jack Herer is a commonly suggested favorite. It is a Sativa-leaning hybrid that doesn’t make users too couch locked. If Indica effects are the goal, Bubble Kush has been suggested. If you can’t find these two, always hedge your bets with a low THC strain. Most budtenders can suggest gentle strains that won’t send your first timer into the Stratosphere.

-DON’T use dabs if possible. That’s the stuff for the pros. If that’s all you have access to, don’t hold the smoke in your lungs and ONLY DO ONE.

-DON”T use alcohol with MMJ. That’s really something you should know for everyone. They call this ‘crossfading’, where the effects of MMJ and alcohol can increase the effects of the other and make you feel more drunk. If you do this, we suggest you stop. Do one or the other.

-If you have someone who is way too enthusiastic to get high, we suggest you sort out their thinking a bit with calm discussion on why this is not a race to the finish line, but a leisurely stroll through the options until you find what suits them.

-If your newbie has gone a bit overboard, you can bring them back from the paranoia of a ‘Greenout’. Two methods of settling an overdo are: use CBD to counter the effects of the THC or sniffing black peppercorns (it really works).

If you are on your own:

-NEVER BE AFRAID to ask a budtender what to do, how to do it and how much to use. If all the equipment to smoke or vape is daunting, get some edibles. You can’t beat food. Go easy. The amount suggested should be halved to start.

-ASK QUESTIONS UNTIL YOU ARE SATISFIED. You are spending money and have every right to ask questions. If your budtender is not helping you, don’t buy from them. There are enough dispensaries in our state that you should find one that makes you comfortable. This is medicine, you can ask questions for as long as it takes to feel right about it. Take notes if you need to.

-SMOKE, VAPE, OTHER with someone else your first time, especially if you feel nervous. You will not suffer any fatal effects, but if you feel nervous, having someone else around can be a big help.

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