Photo by Vortex Farmacy.

If you’re a fan of cannabis, you most likely remember your first time toking up. Maybe you were in a friend’s basement, at a concert, camping—or any number of places.

Whether your first experience was good or bad, we are all familiar with the dreaded “I had a terrible time and will never do it again!” story.

Now back up—why was it so terrible? Did the person get anxious or sick? Were they in an uncomfortable place surrounded by people they didn’t know and listening to some sort of hard-core metal rap? Regardless of what the scenario was, the negative episode could have potentially been avoided.

If you want to invite your friend to meet herb for the first time, follow these five steps in order to create a positive and fun experience.

Set the Stage

Having a comfortable and relaxing spot to enjoy all that cannabis has to offer is key—especially for a newbie. Clean up your pad, put out a few interesting magazines or books, and have Rick and Morty queued up just in case. Lighting an apple cinnamon candle or two is a nice touch; even better, have some sort of treat in the oven. Just don’t forget to set a timer to take them out! By creating a warm and inviting ambience, your friend will be able to sit back and take everything in.

Cater to Your Guest

If you are honored with the role of cannabis spirit guide, do not take it take it lightly.

Encourage question-asking and open dialogue. Don’t forget to think about what your friend’s preferred delivery method may be; you may enjoy taking a big dab from a glass rig, but a newbie may do better with a simple hit off a joint or a pull from an oil pen. The strain of cannabis you choose is also important. Does your friend want to discuss metaphysical ethics or zone out and listen to some smooth music? Pick a sativa for the former or an indica for the latter.

Start Slow

When meeting herb for the first time, it’s imperative to tread lightly.

Keep this in mind when passing your product to your pal. It can take a few minutes for people to feel the effects of THC, and overdoing it is an unfortunate mistake that many newcomers experience. Have your friend take a couple of light puffs and then wait. If after 10 minutes they want more, offer another hit or two. This will ensure your guest stays in control of their high and may help put their mind at ease.

Don’t forget this rule when it comes to edibles. It can take an hour or two for cannabis-infused treats to kick in. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying edibles for the first time is getting impatient and eating more, which often turns into a disaster. Do not let this happen.

Observe and Report

If you’re introducing someone to cannabis, it can be assumed that you’re probably decently close friends. Therefore, you should know their personality well enough to be able to tell whether they are having a good time.

Stay tuned in to your guest’s vibes and monitor their body language. Ask them how they’re doing. Make sure they have plenty of water and maybe some snacks on the side. If it seems like your friend is agitated or uncomfortable, ask if they want to step outside or play a game. It’s not uncommon for people who are high to think other people are judging them, so remember to be extra kind and thank your friend for coming over.

Educate

The most important thing to remember when smoking someone out for their first time is that you are their first point of contact in this wonderful world of weed.

Educate your friend on the current cannabis laws where you live, what the difference between CBD and THC is, and answer any other questions they may have. If you don’t know the answer yourself, point them to a reputable website or visit a dispensary together.

There is still a lot of misinformation and stigma out there regarding cannabis, and the only way to erase it is to spread the truth.

RELATED: Edibles 101—How to Maximize Your Experience Without a Meltdown
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