When you get into smoking for the first time, it’s pretty understandable how overwhelming the experience can be. Even if the journey does call to you, embarking on it can be difficult without the right folks in your corner to guide you. But anyone who’s spent time in the cannabis community knows there can be a surplus of tips and tricks to enhance your high or even stop the intensity of an anxious one. Regardless of how subjective or objective the information can be, the insights gathered when you have experience under your belt are priceless. And while there’s plenty of knowledge and information on health sites, cannabis dispensaries, or online forums on tips for weed, there’s still so much to be shared.
For today’s article, I decided to take a more informal approach and asked the lovely staff here at Cannabis of Worcester the tips and tricks they use to help make cannabis a more pleasant experience. I asked them two straightforward questions: “What tips can you share for first-time smokers?” And, “What tricks do you use that help your high?” The responses shared were equally hilarious as it was insightful – really highlighting the ingenuity and innovation of the cannabis community. As someone still adjusting to the cannabis scene, I found the relatability from their time grappling with beginner blunders and unexpected scenarios to be as refreshing as it was comforting. Much of what was shared fell into one of three categories: advice, smoking techniques, and cleaning techniques. Keep reading to see for yourself what they had to say!
SET AND SETTING
Trust. Trust is a sacred thing. Trusting the right people can make a massive difference in one’s life. The same can be true for smoking. “The safest spot to smoke is always gonna be in front of the po-po (police),” Scotty, our fulfillment agent, jokes. “No, no it’s not. But seriously, mind your set and setting and smoke with people you trust. Close family. Close friends – doesn’t matter. As long as it’s folks you trust. And smoke in a safe environment. So you don’t get caught by the po-po… or the random homeless person asking for a hit from your J.” Luis, one of our salesfloor agents, added, “Be considerate of the ‘where.’ If where you’re smoking isn’t your space –be mindful. Don’t be obnoxious.”
All excellent points to make, as who you’re with and where you are can alter the entire experience of your high. Surrounding yourself with untrustworthy people and sus places can bring on a sense of paranoia. If you’re surrounded by individuals you don’t trust and keep you on edge or in an unfamiliar setting, it’s probably not the best time to light up.
Anyone who’s had an anxious high knows it is NEVER a fun time. It can last for hours and send new or even more experienced smokers to full-blown panic attacks. For some, it can get so bad they feel as if they’re dying or having a heart attack which can often lead to an unnecessary 911 call for an ambulance ride to the ER.
If you’re ever experiencing an anxious high, our floor supervisor, Abbie, recommends having CBD on hand. “That way, if you get a little too high, CBD can help calm you down, bringing you back from that jittery edge.” And when it comes down to the unwanted field trip to the ER, Abbie adds, “Honestly, don’t go to the hospital. It’s going to be fine, I promise. You aren’t going to die, and it will pass. Just get somewhere comfy, and it’ll be okay. Going in an ambulance would just be a waste of a trip and money.”
This makes sense to me, and if I had to guess, I’d say the act of getting lost in an activity you’re body associates as routine and mundane can help engage the part of your nervous system that focuses on resting and relaxing, counteracting that uneasy, paranoid energy. Arty, our floor supervisor, adds, “One great way to handle anxiety attacks from a high – just eat. Eating helps. The heartier and more filling it is, the better. Also, peppercorns. Peppercorns are a great source of caryophyllene.”
And he’s not wrong! Peppercorns contain pinene and caryophyllene, and if you’ve been with us since Day 1, you’ll remember our Terpenes article, which discusses the effects of these two different terps. Pinene and caryophyllene are excellent in providing a calming and therapeutic effect and are known to help counteract the paranoia of an anxious high.
While cannabis consumption on the clock is naturally frowned upon, there are very real and very valid mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety, or trauma) and physical health (e.g., cancer, MS, or IBS) conditions where smoking a J or hitting your pen in your car on your halfie is a must. If this is you, Casey, our General Manager, advises, “If you smoke on a break, at least put eyedrops in your eyes.”
“Oh, and on that note,” Scotty adds, “Put your eyedrops in the fridge. There’s nothing like that refreshing eye drop to wake you up in the morning. It’s like an energy shot to your eyes. I don’t know if it’s safe (editor’s note: it is), but it definitely helps. Also, don’t drink it. Definitely not safe.”
SMOKING TECHNIQUES: TIPS AND TRICKS FOR A SMOOTH SMOKE
When lighting J’s for the first time, I really struggled with having them canoe –or when your J burns more on one side than the other. Canoeing can happen from time to time, but when it happens back to back to each J you light and smoke, it can be frustrating. Our salesfloor agent (editor’s note: and very talented editor) Laura recommends not lighting your joint like a cigarette, which can be a rookie mistake. Instead, “Hold the joint in your hand and turn it as it’s being lit so that it’s even all around and, outside of how the bud is packed, it shouldn’t canoe from user error.” Juan, another salesfloor agent, added, “It’s usually best to go slow, too. Rub the J between your hands before you light it to loosen the bud. You don’t want it packed-pack, and it’ll make for a smoother smoke.”
Outside of the canoe dilemma, smoking J’s are great. They’re a classic and a staple in the cannabis community for a reason. And, if you want to intensify your smoke sesh with your J, consider our budtender Shannon’s recommendation: “To add potency to your joints, you can always just add dabs or concentrate to the bud.” And, if potency isn’t the issue but the harshness of your J is, then Shannon suggests, “Put it in a smoking stone for a smoother smoke.”
THE STRUGGLE BUS CHRONICLES
Sometimes, we’re down on our luck and gotta go through our stash archives to find bud we can smoke for a decent sesh before bed. But sometimes, that bud has been chillin’ in that bag for a little too long, and now it’s turned all dry and questionable. Of course, there’s a little hack for this dilemma as well.
“If you want to moisten your dry weed,” Shannon says, “grab a little piece of a peel of any citrus fruit (e.g., grapefruit, orange, lime, or lemon) and put it in the same bag as your weed. It adds moisture to the bud and a citrus flavor to your smoke”. This works because citrus peels are naturally moist and work great for transferring moisture to your weed. Place the peel and the dried-out bud inside a resealable jar, and “burp” (i.e., allowing oxygen into the jar by opening then resealing it) the jar once or twice across 24 hours, and viola, your weed is no longer parched. Any longer, though, and the weed might mold.
Nick, our floor supervisor, shared another great budget-friendly tip. “Buy shake in bulk and cut it with the 8th’s or whatever other quality bud you have on hand. It’ll last you longer in the end.”
DABBY, DABBY, DO
If you’re someone who’s into dabbing (i.e., the act of inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrates using a heating tool such as a dab rig, e-rig, or vaporizer), Nick reminds smokers, “For most forms concentrates, you want to smoke it at a range of 450°F – 600°F for your rig temp. Unless it’s hash rosin. For that particular concentrate, you want to smoke it at a lower temp, like in the 420°F range.” He adds, “Hotter dabs get you higher, and lower temp dabs taste better but won’t get you as high.”
If flower or taking fat dabs isn’t really your thing, but edibles are, AND you’re looking to enhance your high, Scotty suggests, “Eat something fatty before you eat your edible. It’ll intensify your high.”
This is because THC is technically a fat-soluble compound (i.e., dissolves in fat) as well as the fact that certain foods can increase the bioavailability (i.e., the extent a substance or drug becomes completely available to its intended biological destination) of THC. So eating fatty foods, like nuts or eggs (which are rich in healthy fats), can actually help enhance the absorption of THC and intensify your high.
Another great food for enhancing your high is mangoes. Arty, our floor supervisor, adds, “Eating mangoes can intensify your high because of all the myrcene content in them.”
CLEANING TECHNIQUES: DON’T WASTE YOUR DINERO
When your cannabis journey starts to include glass or equipment, you’ll find that it can get messy FAST. Tar and resin aren’t the easiest things in the world to clean off without an additional outside agent, chemical, or tool at your disposal. BUT when it comes down to cannabis, cleaning doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. “Don’t waste your money on cleaning products for your glass or equipment,” Abbie says. “Rubbing alcohol [i.e., isopropyl alcohol] and water will absolutely do the trick and are much cheaper.” Shannon added, “Denatured alcohol works better than isopropyl alcohol for cleaning glass, and it comes in a bigger size, so you can fill a whole bong if you need.” Adding salt to the alcohol can also help remove the grime from the glass.
“You can also clean your bangers with your torch. It’s faster and honestly cheaper than alcohol pads.” Casey says. And Luis reminds us, when using water to clean your glass, “Don’t suddenly switch from hot water to cold water when cleaning your bong. It’ll just shatter your bong.” (cue Final Destination –iykyk). Finally, our floor supervisor, Dean, mentioned, “As tedious as it is, clean your rig every time you use it. It’ll last longer and taste better in the end.”
What I love the most about this endeavor is the willingness, excitement, and joy that everyone had while sharing their tips and tricks. Spitfire responses turned into group circles full of laughter and goofy realizations over the fumbles and mistakes made when first entering the scene. Seeing the natural way stoners come together made me realize that no matter where you are in your cannabis journey, when it comes down to it, you’re never alone. Tuning into your local cannabis community can be as simple as walking into your nearest dispensary and saying hello to the budtenders there.
At Cannabis of Worcester, we’re eager to get to know our customers and the local community. If you or any of your friends have questions, comments, or concerns or just want to check out our store, please, come in and say hi! Any one of our employees will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experience and if we don’t have the answer to your inquiry, we’ll be sure to direct you to who does.
And that’s that! If browsing these tips and tricks put you in a smoke-sesh mood, hop on over to our online menu. With our prices and variety, you’ll be sure to find something that works best for you.