Consuming weed—be it through a joint, a bong, a blunt, or any other form—can be a transformative experience. Weed has the capacity to alter your state of mind, make you feel better, and sometimes alleviate the pains in your body. However, there may be times when your physical, emotional, and mental state is not right for savoring the benefits of weed. And even if you’re healthy and fit, there may be some activities that are best done while not on the drug. Thus, you need to remember a few best practices to maintain your health and safety while consuming the herb.
With that in mind, let’s discuss the things you need to avoid before, during, and after using weed—and some alternatives to the drug if your body is not up for it.
Weed users, first-timers or otherwise, are strongly advised to do a bit of self-assessment and due diligence before consuming weed. Make sure you DO NOT:
Skip the Research
It’s always a good idea to choose your cannabis strains and method of consuming them wisely. Indica strains typically induce calm, while Sativas usually give you an energetic mood boost. If you’re new to weed, consider starting with a small bowl rather than full-on bong rips and dabs until you can properly gauge your tolerance.
Every time you smoke a few puffs or ingest edibles, make sure to monitor your body’s reaction to determine your threshold. And of course, it would be ideal to transact with a reliable dispensary for your pot delivery needs to ensure that you’re using safe, high-quality weed.
Stay in Anxiety-Inducing Settings
Environment plays a big role in how your body will react to weed. Cannabis can also be anxiety-inducing, and adverse effects may result from consuming the drug in environments that might trigger anxiety such as crowded areas and unfamiliar places. Moreover, weed could freak you out and heighten your emotions when you’re irritated, angry, or just in a bad mood. It would be ideal to consume weed in a relaxing area with trustworthy people by your side, preferably while chilled out.
Go for It While Pregnant, a Teen, or Have Mental Health Issues
If are a teenager, it may be a good idea to veer away from marijuana use until you’re a bit older. Our brains only finish developing by the age of 25, and increased marijuana use may impact the cognitive capacity, coordination, memory, attention span, and social life of people with not-yet-fully-formed brains.
Another demographic that should strongly consider avoiding cannabis is pregnant women. Some studies suggest that the chemical compounds in marijuana, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can be absorbed by the baby in your system and potentially hinder their development. These hindrances may come in the form of impaired neurological development, prematurity, or low birth weight. That said, researchers are still working to explore the effects of marijuana on brains that are still undergoing development.
Lastly, it’s generally not recommended to consume weed when you have issues with your mental health. Because of marijuana’s mind-altering effects, consumption of the drug might lead to temporary psychosis, increased schizophrenia, heightened social anxiety, and depressive tendencies. Schizophrenia, in particular, is more likely to occur in people who have used cannabis regularly at an early age.
Consume While Afflicted with Lung or Heart Diseases
Marijuana can impact your blood pressure and heart rate, which may be dangerous for people with a history of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. Similar to cigarette smoke, marijuana smoke contains chemicals that may be harmful to your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Weed smoke contains carcinogens, irritants, and toxins that may damage lung tissues and blood vessels, which may lead to ailments such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, lung cancer, and emphysema.
Scientists are still exploring the link between marijuana and worsened chronic ailments, but it’s still wise to be cautious. If you have existing issues with your heart or lungs, consult your doctor on weed use first and skip the herb for a while.
Once you’ve decided that your body and environment are suitable enough for consuming weed, you need to remember NOT to:
Skip the Water and Snacks
Cannabis can leave you with a dry mouth, which is why it’s important to drink a lot of water. Make sure to stay hydrated at all times to avoid getting “cottonmouth”.
In addition, weed has a tendency to make us hungry. Again, our bodies respond differently to the herb. Some people may have the munchies, but others don’t. Still, it’s best to keep some snacks in hand to satisfy your cravings, prevent cottonmouth, and somehow neutralize the high.
Disregard Those Around You
As previously mentioned, secondhand marijuana smoke can have the same harmful effects as tobacco smoke. As such, you must avoid puffing out secondhand smoke to non-smokers, especially those with lung-related diseases.
In addition, your neighbors may be averse to the smell of weed and not take to your session well. You can be a considerate neighbor by smoking outside or in a more secluded spot. Alternatively, you can invest in a vape or use a sploof to avoid emitting that pungent smoke.
Mix Weed with Medications and Alcohol
Most of us are familiar with the danger of mixing medicines with alcohol. The same goes for cannabis, which may cause drowsiness, nausea, diminished self-control, and reduced cognitive capacity when mixed with alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs. It may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to best approach weed while you’re taking various meds.
Even after smoking or ingesting weed, you still need to be mindful of your actions and activities. After a session, make sure you DO’NT:
Drive or Do Complex Tasks
Activities such as driving require you to be present at all times. And because of weed’s altering effects on your body, it may be dangerous for you to handle tasks that require utmost concentration and cerebral activity. If you’re still under the influence, it’s best to avoid handling heavy equipment and machinery that may pose danger to yourself and others.
Follow a Busy Schedule
Most of us take a day off after a hangover, and the same goes for that post-weed high. Weed can make you fall asleep, slow down your movements, and basically get you stoned out of your wits. If you plan to get high, make sure that your schedule is all cleared out first.
What Are the Alternatives?
If smoking weed is out of the question, you can still explore your choices for potential alternatives. Vapes tend to be more discreet, less pungent, and provide precise measurements so you can avoid overdosing. Edibles, on the other hand, don’t get you high as quickly as smoking and vaping would. For starters, an edible dosage of around 2 milligrams would do. The effects would usually kick in any time between 30 minutes to two hours, so you need to wait a bit after taking an edible.
If getting a kick is all you’re after, you can always count on a cup of coffee to give you a boost. You can also opt for exercise, which releases endorphins that make you feel light. Other alternatives include chocolate, which contains tryptophan for serotonin production, and cheese, which contains casein—a protein that has minimal drug-like effects. All in all, your methods for getting high don’t have to be unsafe and ineffective. With enough awareness and knowledge of best practices when handling weed, you can enjoy another realm of experience while staying safe and healthy.