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First time use can be spooky

By Kelly Anne Ferraro

With many states legalizing over the past decade, many people who previously did not want to try an illegal substance are now curious. There’s a natural fear in trying a product that has been negatively spoken about for many generations. Luckily, states that legalized cannabis have also introduced regulations and testing… but walking into a store for the first time can still be really spooky. Below are 5 ways to prepare yourself for this new experience.


1. Location

Finding the right place to shop is critical. Ask people you know who visit shops where they recommend. Don’t be scared to start an internet search and rabbit hole into some reviews. Fair warning, if you walk into the first place you see, it may or may not be the encounter you were hoping for. Shopping for cannabis can come in a variety of different experiences, so be sure to pick one that may seem like a good fit for you.


2. Disclose

I know it feels weird to tell anyone “it’s my first time”, but trust me, tell your budtender you’re new. If there’s anything to know about people who love cannabis, it’s that they really LOVE it, and are excited to share and teach others about it. Usually telling someone you’re new leads to a big smile and a lot of chatter. There is no judgment. People working in the store want to send you home with a product that you will love. Shopping for cannabis isn’t like shopping for jeans, so take a deep breath and let that fear of being the new “kid” GO.


3. Ask

If there are so many questions running through your head right now, don’t be afraid to ask them. You can make a list ahead of time to bring with you to the store to reference, in case you get nervous and forget. When trying something for the first time you can never ask too many questions. If you’re nervous about holding up the line, you can ask if “it’s OK you take your time”. Most likely the answer will be yes, and you can relax and move at a pace you need to make the right decision.


4. Prepare

I don’t suggest taking home the heavy hitters on day one. The age old saying in the cannabis community is start low and go slow. This is usually referring to edible intake, but the same can be true for all modern cannabis products. No matter how little you think you purchased, you can always choose to take half or a fraction of the recommended dose. If you want to add more, go slow. Wait a few hours (I’m talking 3-4 hours for first timers). It sounds like a lot, but trying something new can be scary especially when you feel you do “too much” at once.


5. Commit

When the time is right for you, make sure to pick the right environment… usually at home in the evening, where you can end with sleep is a good move. I definitely do not recommend trying edibles for the first time on the same night you are taking the family out trick or treating. Many times people do not try cannabis for the first time in the right environment, and can assume that first experience is what it is always like. If you set yourself up right, it will feel less like a haunted house and more like a fun house.


Although it is natural to feel a little bit of fear when trying something new, don’t worry. There are people working around the product that can’t wait to teach and help you find what fits best for your needs. We can rest assured that products we buy from legitimate cannabis stores are regulated and tested. The fear of not knowing what you're ingesting is gone. So now when you’re ready, find the right place, tell them you’re new, ask questions, start low, and make sure to settle down in the right place to partake. Good luck to any first timers out there, and if it’s not for you, don’t worry… we love you anyway! One love.


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