Do you remember the first time you smoked weed? For many, that initial experience can be a mix of excitement and nervousness. Perhaps you had a friend by your side, guiding you through your first leafy adventure, or maybe it was a solo mission into the weeds. Regardless of your first time, one thing is certain: the nature of your cannabis journey can be greatly influenced by who you’re with, your surroundings, and the type of cannabis you choose.

It’s perfectly normal to be a little bit apprehensive about cannabis if you’re new to it. The landscape has evolved, with an abundance of strains, products, and information available both online and in stores. At Highland Cannabis, your friendly neighbourhood mom-and-pop cannabis shop nestled in the heart of Kitchener, we’re here to make your experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Count on us to guide you through all things cannabis especially if you’re a first-timer.

Jump To…

The (Unwritten) Rules of Cannabis 

Some seasoned cannabis enthusiasts might tell you that there are unspoken rules when it comes to consuming marijuana. Rather than leaving you to decipher these guidelines on your own, we’ve created a handy guide to cannabis etiquette for first-time users. In the following sections, we’ll walk you through the do’s and don’ts, share best practices, help you know what to expect, and even offer advice on what to do if you find yourself a little higher than you bargained for.

Whether you’re here to explore cannabis for relaxation, relief, or recreation, we want to ensure that your first steps into this exciting time are filled with knowledge, comfort, and, most importantly, a whole lot of fun.

First-Time Cannabis Users: How to Consume 

So, you’ve decided to give cannabis a try. Before you light ‘er up, let’s equip you with some key knowledge. One of the first considerations you’ll encounter is selecting the method of consumption that best suits you. As mentioned earlier, there’s a wide array of options beyond inhalation and smoking, which can be gentler on your overall health.

Of course, there are traditional methods like joints and bongs, but if you’re concerned about the impact on your lungs, there are alternatives that allow you to experience cannabis more safely. Think about cannabis concentrates; including food-based cannabis, cannabis chocolates, weed gummies, and infused beverages as excellent starting points. They offer a different and often milder way to explore the world of cannabis. Especially now, since the legal market has controlled dosing which makes edibles a lot less scary than the types of edibles you would get when your friends made them. 

However, if you’re leaning towards the classic joint or bong route, there are specific details to consider. You might wonder about the proper technique for smoking a bong, the art of rolling a joint, or even the age-old debate of whether to pass a joint to the right or left in a group setting. (Spoiler alert: It might not matter as much as it used to but it’s usually always to the left!)

Additionally, when it comes to smoking cannabis in public, discretion is key. It’s important to be mindful of where and when you spark up a joint. Even though cannabis is legal in Ontario (and the rest of Canada) if you’re the legal age, it doesn’t mean you should be smoking anywhere and everywhere. For example, it goes without saying that lighting up near a playground or around children is generally not appropriate. Ok, let’s get into the details about what cannabis is, and isn’t. Starting with cannabinoids. 

THC and CBD: What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabis is a complex plant with a fascinating array of compounds, the two most popular and most referenced are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These compounds, known as cannabinoids, are the driving forces behind cannabis’s well-known psychoactive and therapeutic properties. They are responsible for much of what makes cannabis so intriguing. 

THC is renowned for its psychoactive effects, which can lead to feelings of euphoria and altered perception. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and is valued for its potential therapeutic benefits, such as reducing anxiety and relieving pain.

But here’s the fascinating part: cannabis doesn’t stop with just these two cannabinoids. Many other cannabinoids are working in harmony, creating what’s known as the entourage effect. Each cannabinoid contributes to a distinct set of effects or a unique “high.” It’s like a symphony of compounds coming together, and the result can be as diverse as the individuals using cannabis. 

If you’re new to cannabis, you might have various reasons for trying it. For instance, some individuals use cannabinol (CBN) in their nighttime routines, while others turn to cannabigerol (CBG), a popular cannabinoid among women who partake in cannabis, to alleviate menstrual cramps and associated symptoms. Regardless of your specific needs, there’s a wide range of cannabinoids, including rare cannabinoids, to explore.

Every Body is Different 

It’s crucial to recognize that no two people will have the same reaction to cannabinoids. Why? Because each of us has a unique endocannabinoid system, a complex network in our bodies that interacts with these compounds. This means that your response to cannabis will differ from that of your friends, family, or colleagues. It’s a testament to the beauty of our individuality. With that being said, always use cannabis at your own pace and use your discretion! 

What to Do and Not to Do as a First-Timer 

We have come a long way with cannabis, so if you’re finding yourself in a situation where you’re trying the good ol’ plant out for the first time, here are some do’s and don’ts for first-time cannabis users to keep in mind when it comes to cannabis etiquette:


Educate Yourself

Learn about the different strains, consumption methods, and their potential effects. Take a look at our online cannabis shop to explore different strains and brands. Knowledge is your best friend. 

Start Low + Slow 

If you’re smoking or vaping, take it easy. Begin with a small amount and wait to feel the effects before considering more. The same thing goes for edibles, a little is usually a lot. It’s easy to overdo it, especially for beginners.Alternatively, anecdotal accounts suggest that CBD can also help relieve some of the negative effects that THC may produce. 

Get Comfy 

Choose a safe, relaxed, and private setting where you feel comfortable. This can significantly enhance your experience.

Drink Water

Have water on hand. Cannabis can sometimes cause a dry mouth, so staying hydrated is essential.

Respect Local Laws

Ensure that you’re consuming cannabis legally and responsibly according to the laws of your area.

Always Ask 

If you’re sharing cannabis with others, be considerate of their comfort level and preferences. Always ask for consent.

Keep it Clean 

If you’re sharing smoking or vaping devices, ensure they are clean to avoid the spread of germs. It’s general bong etiquette to respect the bong owner, keep it clean, take efficient hits, and pass it smoothly to ensure a pleasant and considerate group or solo cannabis consumption experience. 

Be Mindful 

If you’re smoking in a public place, be considerate of those around you, especially non-smokers or those who might be sensitive to the smell.


Don’t Doob and Drive 

Never drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of cannabis. It impairs cognitive and motor skills.

Don’t Mix 

Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol or other drugs, especially if you’re a first-time user. It can intensify the effects and lead to unpredictable reactions.

Don’t Share with Minors

It’s illegal and ethically wrong to share cannabis with individuals under the legal age. We don’t condone booting for minors, either. 

Don’t Do Too Much 

Avoid trying to “keep up” with more experienced users. Take it at your own pace, and don’t feel pressured to consume more than you’re comfortable with.

Don’t Panic

In rare cases, cannabis can cause anxiety or paranoia, particularly in high doses. If you start feeling this way, find a quiet, comfortable space, and remind yourself that it’s temporary.

Don’t Smoke in Inappropriate Places

Avoid smoking in areas where it’s prohibited, like public buildings, parks, or near schools. Respect the rules and privacy of others.

Don’t Assume 

I was always told that if you assume, it makes an ass out of u and me! Not everyone is open to or comfortable with cannabis use. Respect their choices and boundaries.

Remember, cannabis can affect individuals differently, so always prioritize your well-being and respect the choices and boundaries of others. 

What is Proper Stoner Etiquette? What Else Should You Know?

As mentioned earlier, you might be curious about why the joint is typically passed to the left, the correct bong etiquette, or what steps to take when you’ve consumed too much weed. Here’s what you can expect: 

Bong Etiquette 

Here are some general guidelines to remember when consuming a bong for the first time: 

  • First step is to always ask. If it’s your first time and you’ve been asked to partake in a bong sesh, you’re going to want to respect the owner of the bongs rules. If you haven’t been asked to partake but you’re around, always ask for permission before using someone’s bong. 
  • Once you’re in the bong rotation, always pass to the left—this creates a predictable rotation and everyone gets a turn! 
  • Corner the Bowl—this means when you’re lighting your bowl, don’t fire up the whole bowl, find a corner of fresh green so others have fresh green, too. 
  • Don’t be a jerk and exhale into the middle of the room, always exhale away from the bong and from your friends. 
  • No one wants to share spit with you, so don’t slobber on the mouth piece. Give it a wipe down before passing it along. 
  • Don’t Cough into the Bong— this one is self explanatory. 
  • Pitch in—whether that’s helping with maintenance or bringing some weed to share, be a good guest and contribute to the session! 

Why Do You Always Pass to the Left?

The reason why most people generally pass to the left is because it creates a predictable rotation. 

What is Puff, Puff, Pass?

In a group setting, it’s recommended that you take two puffs and pass on the joint so you don’t hog the joint. This is usually referenced when you’re smoking a blunt or a joint in a group session. 

What Should You Do If You Green Out From Weed? 

Greening out can happen when you’ve consumed too much cannabis, leading to adverse symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and even vomiting. If you ever find yourself in this situation, here’s what you should do:

Stay Calm and Find Comfort

First, stay calm and seek out a comfortable place to sit down. Finding a place to sit down and get comfy may help alleviate some of the discomfort and anxiety.

Hydrate and Snack

Drink water to stay hydrated, and consider having a light snack. Eating something can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and reduce dizziness.

Ride It Out with Support

Sometimes the only way out is going through it. It’s a good idea to call a friend or have someone with you for support. Talking to someone can help ease anxiety.

To prevent a green out from happening, we always recommend to start low and go slow. That means maybe taking a moment to let your edibles kick in before trying some more, or starting with a small dose if you’re trying something new. 

You Always Remember Your First Time 

Your first encounter with cannabis is always a fun time, combined with curiosity and maybe even some nervousness. Highland Cannabis, your friendly mom-and-pop shop in Kitchener, is dedicated to making your experience smooth and informed, whether you’re new to cannabis or a seasoned enthusiast. This guide has introduced the etiquette and essentials; understanding cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBN, and CBG to embrace individual differences in reactions, we’ve covered the basics. Remember, there are no one-size-fits-all rules; your journey is unique. Here’s to your first cannabis adventure, with Highland Cannabis as your trusted companion. Best of luck!