A Beginner’s Guide To Smoking Cannabis

The expanding legalization and social acceptance of cannabis across different states continue to attract people interested in trying it for the first time. More convenient access to cannabis dispensaries and enhanced public awareness have also contributed to increased medical and recreational use of cannabis.  

If you’re one of those ready to begin your cannabis journey, there are a few tips to help you achieve your desired experience and enjoy your first smoking session.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to smoking cannabis.

Choosing Your Preferred Cannabis Strain

When you’re ready to shop for cannabis, choosing the right strain for you can be confusing due to the wide variety. These can be classified under the sativa, indica, or hybrid categories and contain different levels and contents of cannabinoids, flavors, terpenes, aromas, and effects. They also come in various forms, such as flowers and extracts.

The best way to find your preferred strain is to choose according to your desired effect, potency, and flavor. If you’re smoking cannabis to relax, fall asleep, and feel calm, go for indica strains. On the other hand, sativa can help you feel more energetic, creative, and mentally stimulated.

A recommended cannabis concentrate for beginners is shatter, one of the most popular and easiest to find. Dr Dabber defines shatter as a potent cannabis extract that looks like stained glass and is yellowish in color. It quickly breaks or shatters, as the name implies. Typically consumed via dabbing or vaping, shatter can bring on a relaxed sensation.

Choosing A Smoking Method

Finding a suitable smoking method involves experimenting and deciding what you prefer. While there are many ways to consume cannabis, the main smoking methods are smoking a joint or a blunt and using a pipe or bong.

The more beginner-friendly options are the joint, blunt, and pipe. You can buy pre-rolled joints or blunts. Alternatively, you may grind the cannabis before inserting it into rolling paper. As for the pipe, you need to grind the cannabis and insert it into the bowl to light up and smoke.

A bong needs more preparation but is still straightforward with some practice. Due to its water filtration technique, it requires grinding cannabis, adding water, pulling steam up into a chamber, and removing a bowl from the stem before you can start smoking it.

Getting Prepared

Preparing to smoke cannabis is the key to getting the enjoyable experience you aim for as a first-time user. In cannabis culture, frequent smokers live by a concept known as set and setting. It establishes the optimal conditions for a good smoking session and allows them to learn about their habits and preferences.

The ‘set’ is about analyzing your thoughts, feelings, and mindset. Smoking cannabis can amplify your emotions, so you want to ensure you’re in a positive mood to handle the psychoactive effects. The ‘setting’ is placing yourself in a comfortable and familiar space. This can be relaxing at home or lounging on your couch. If you smoke in a social setting, surround yourself with people and friends you trust and feel safe with.

Setting Up Your Supplies

rolling rollies

After choosing your method, you can start gathering your cannabis smoking supplies and setting them up. The standard equipment used includes a cannabis grinder, a lighter or a hemp wick, and your chosen smoking device. You’ll need rolling paper for smoking the joint and blunt, while the bong needs clean water. However, if you choose to cultivate cannabis at home, you’ll require additional equipment, such as a tent, lighting, and a ventilation system, among other things. While this may seem like a significant investment, the benefits are substantial in the long run. Growing cannabis is not necessarily difficult, particularly with the availability of auto-flowering cannabis seeds that do not necessitate changes in lighting schedules and are, therefore, simpler to cultivate.

Make sure your setup is on a clean and even surface, such as a table, to prevent spilling the water or cannabis grinds and to practice fire safety when using ignition devices. Assemble your supplies step by step, so you can put them all together to create the perfect smoking experience. This is essential when rolling a joint as a beginner, as arranging, twisting, and sealing the cannabis may take a few turns to get right.

Igniting, Inhaling, And Exhaling

When you’re ready to try smoking, many veterans recommend igniting the bowl or end tip until you’re satisfied with the smoke produced. Then, take a slow and steady inhale for a full breath before gradually exhaling. As a beginner, it’s essential to exhale the smoke and not hold it in to prevent coughing and irritating your throat and lungs.

Additionally, doing so won’t enhance its effect, potency, or flavor as the popular myth suggests. Once you’ve exhaled for the first time, wait about a minute before taking in your next draw. This allows your lungs to recover and gives you time to monitor the effects it has on you. 


Smoking cannabis as a beginner is all about preparing for your first session so that you can get the best experience. This includes choosing your cannabis strain by its effect, your preferred smoking method, and setting up in a comfortable environment when you’re in a good mood.

Then, you can set up your smoking station and smoke slowly to allow the effects to take place gradually, and you can evaluate how it makes you feel. You can keep experimenting with different strains and smoking methods until you find the one that suits you.




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