It's my first time. What should I smoke?

It's my first time. What should I smoke?

Dear Jane, I began my weed journey with edibles. Yes I know, mistake number one. I’ve never liked it much because of the unpredictability of the high, but recently I learned that I could have a lot more control over my high with smoking, so I’m about to give that a try for the first time. What do you recommend for the perfect (kind of first) high experience? Should I smoke a joint, a bowl, a bong? Should I be alone or with friends? Should I be at home or outside? Basically, looking for your recommendation for the perfect date with my weed. —Daborah


Dear Daborah,

Picture it: it’s 2004, and I’m wearing jeans that most likely show my butt crack when I bend over. I probably have Victoria’s Secret Love Spell sprayed on my body. I’m with a new friend and she brings me to her boyfriend’s apartment. (I’d like to add here that my parents would faint if they knew that I was not, in fact, studying at her house.)

When we get to the apartment, I’m surprised to find myself walking through a thick, skunky cloud. There are a lot more people than I was expecting. We all sit around in a circle and everyone tries to explain a bong to me at the same time. It’s loud and smoky and very, very confusing.

The bong is eventually handed to me and they talk me through it—every single person, loudly, at the exact same time. Communication is key, after all.

Someone lights the green for me because apparently it’s too much for me to light the bong AND inhale at the same time. Multitasking? Never heard of it. I breathe in deep and everyone keeps telling me to hold it. I swear, I’m trying. After a couple seconds I cough out a cloud of smoke (and a whole lot of spit). I cough and cough and—did I mention—cough?

I remember being embarrassed by the drool from my coughing fit that stained the front of my shirt. I remember everyone laughing like I’d just put on the best show they’d ever seen. Then I guess that was it? That is literally all I remember from being in that apartment. Being very uncomfortable, and kind of learning how to hit a bong.

If I could go back and do things differently, I would. I definitely would have started with something less aggressive than a bong. 

So firstly Daborah, start with a joint or a bowl. The bong can feel very all-or-nothing, just like the edibles, and we know that’s not what you’re going for here.

I would have also preferred to not be surrounded by strangers that laughed at me when I was coughing and gagging. So maybe try it without a large audience. Be around people who you trust. Be around people who give you a heads up that you may feel like your chest is caving in and like you’re never going to be able to breathe again. Or that you might cough so hard that you feel like you’re gonna yack.

I realize I’m making this smoking thing sound pretty awful. When you do it right, and honestly, even when you don’t, there’s some real magic about a smoking high. Let’s circle back to that night, after the horrible coughing fit.

We get into my friend’s Saturn to head home. I recline my seat because I’m starting to feel carsick. I don’t know if it’s because of the huge bong rip or actually being carsick. That’s when I see them. These glorious lights, mystically out of focus. Lying back in the seat, I’m perfectly propped to count each and every one as we drive past. They’re just street lights, but in my high mind, they are magical, mesmerizing orbs. I count hundreds of them. The ride seems to last days, when in reality it’s only about 20 minutes.

That, I would do again. And I do. There’s nothing quite like sitting outside, smoking a joint, and letting myself become absolutely fascinated by the tiniest shit, like a lamp, or better yet, by really cool shit, like a sky full of stars. Letting myself get lost so that 20 minutes feels like several magical days. 

So, next Daborah, I recommend placing yourself somewhere safe and comfortable, where you can let your mind wander and become blown away by simple things. As much as I loved those zooming streetlights, I could have gone without the car sickness. So maybe kick back on your porch or lay in your grass.

To break it down, here’s what I recommend:

  1. Ease in with a joint or a bowl.

  2. Smoke the joint or bowl around a couple of experienced smokers who are good people, who destigmatize smoking weed, who support you and don’t make this feel like a dark secret that needs to be hidden.

  3. Get comfortable somewhere safe, especially outside, and let yourself bask in the instant wonder that only a good toke can bring on.

Have fun and don’t be dumb.

Jane Blunt