A longstanding urban myth is that people never get high their first time smoking. It’s possible that some gene exists that prevents a grand majority of first-timers from getting baked. But the more likely fact is that people simply don’t know the correct way to smoke and inhale marijuana.
If that’s you, don’t worry; even Bill Clinton admitted he couldn’t figure out the science behind smoking herb his first time around. It’s tough! Here’s some information to get you started.
One of the biggest misconceptions is how to properly take a drag from a joint or the mouthpiece of a pipe. First-time smokers make one of two mistakes that prevent him or her from getting high.
Failure to Drag
First time smokers often keep the smoke in their mouth. Unfortunately, it’s a waste of marijuana, because keeping the smoke in your mouth won’t get your remotely high. You’ve got to finish your inhale by dragging the smoke down with your lungs.
Failure to Inhale
The second and more common problem for newbies is that people often don’t inhale at all. Instead, they suck the end of smoke-delivery vehicle as if it’s a straw. As a result, our natural reflex in this state is simply to gulp it down like food or drink, which means you’re sending the smoke down the wrong pipe! Instead, focus on inhaling versus sucking. Think yoga breath, not soda pop. You’re aiming to bring the smoke down into your lungs, not your gullet.
A common herb lore has been that to get high, you must hold in your hit as long as possible like you have an Iron Lung. While this may be great for a challenge, it’s actually just false factoid. The cannabinoids from smoke are absorbed into your lungs within the first few seconds. What’s most likely happening, and why it may seem that holding in your hit gets you higher, is that coughing deprives your brain temporarily of oxygen. This produces a high in its own right, although definitely not a healthy one. Instead of possibly asphyxiating yourself and inducing a coughing fit from holding smoke in your lungs, you can simply inhale and exhale at peace.
This brings us to a second myth, namely, that “more coughs means more high.” There are some scientific claims floating around to the effect that coughing open up the lungs and therefore can get you more high. But it’s more likely that coughing is a signal of throat irritation by the heat from smoke. Also, similar to holding in your inhales of smoke, coughing deprives you of oxygen, which creates a less healthy high of its own.