10 Reasons to Stay Away from Weed
People who support marijuana over other drugs often point to a number of different arguments that they believe prove it to be safe or at least less harmful. Many of these center on the fact that marijuana is a naturally occurring substance, hence its names including “herb,” “grass” or “weed.” While it may be true that cannabis can be found in nature, this does not by any means make it safe. There are many “natural” substances and plants that are also toxic. There are, in fact, many different reasons why you should avoid using marijuana:
1. Marijuana Smoke Contains Carcinogens
Smoking is not the only way in which marijuana users consume the drug, but it is certainly the most common. Whether it is in joints or a bong, the smoke released by marijuana contains many of the same carcinogens — chemical substances that cause cancer — as cigarette smoke.
2. Marijuana Can Cause Lung Damage
People who smoke weed are more at risk of suffering lung damage. In fact, a study conducted in New Zealand demonstrated that the respiratory system damage caused by smoking cannabis is actually equivalent to the damage associated with smoking as many as five cigarettes. There are also many other long-term effects of weed that a lot of people are not aware of:
3. You Might Get Hooked
The issue of addiction is one of the reasons that many advocates of marijuana argue that it is safer since it is not necessarily as addictive as certain other drugs like heroin. Many people, however, do get hooked on marijuana, with estimates commonly stating that the number is around one in six pot smokers ending up addicted to the drug.
4. Weed Can Destroy Your Ambition
Smoking pot one time tends to make a person feel “hazed” or “baked,” and the high associated with cannabis is typically described as being relaxing, rather than stimulating. People who consume marijuana on a regular basis naturally experience these sensations far more often, and with prolonged usage, most pot smokers end up failing to pursue their life goals.
5. Marijuana Destroys Your Body’s Natural Reserves
The human body naturally responds to the dietary mineral magnesium as though it were a tranquilizer, a nutrient that serves to help one stay relaxed and to avoid feeling frayed at the edges. Using marijuana tends to deplete the body’s stores of magnesium, with the result that the person feels more on-edge after coming down from the high. As is to be expected, most people turn back to the drug to feel good again, thereby locking themselves into a downward spiral of physical dependence in addition to any emotional addiction they may develop.
6. A Pot Habit Can Be Expensive
From a purely practical standpoint, you have to keep in mind the financial implications of using marijuana. According to a report from the United Nations, marijuana costs anywhere from $150 to $400 per ounce, with price variations based on the quality of the drug and the region where it is being purchased. In addition to the price tag for a joint, there are also the long-term costs associated with reduced earning power due to poor job performance and being passed over for promotions at work, which can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the years.
7. Cannabis Is Still Illegal in Many States in the US and Countries Around the World
Marijuana is still illegal in the majority of states in the nation. Under federal law, cannabis is a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that it is in the category of the most tightly regulated drugs on the market. Consequently, an arrest for marijuana possession and sales can result in driver’s license suspension, steep fines and time in jail or prison, as well as a criminal record that can destroy your career.
8. Using Weed Can Retard Your Development
Studies have demonstrated that people who begin engaging in heavy marijuana consumption during their teenage years tend to reach adulthood with lower levels of IQ than their peers. This has to do with the fact that the brain has not finished maturing until the mid-20s, and using a mind-altering substance such as THC can impair its growth and development.
9. Pot Smokers Tend to Become Reclusive
Because marijuana is illegal in most areas, people who use the drug on a regular basis will more often use it in the privacy of their own homes. The nature of the high tends to leave them looking inward rather than out in the environment so often results in a user sitting for hours not doing much of anything. As they start smoking on a daily basis, rather than only at parties or with friends on the weekend, they tend to spend more time alone in order to facilitate their habit. They stop spending as much time with friends and family who do not use drugs and will start making choices about new friends based on who does and doesn’t get high. They may feel self-conscious about their drug use, or may simply prefer the company of other stoners. Either way, they often end up living more reclusive lives.
10. Marijuana Can Change Your Personality
As mentioned above, regular consumption of marijuana tends to deplete the body’s stores of vital nutrients, thereby making one feel edgier without the drug. Cannabis is also notorious for causing users to suffer from conditions such as paranoia and anxiety, particularly with the high potency weed that is on the market today. Some of this anxiety is practical since you never know if the knock at the door might be a police officer who could arrest you for drug possession, while some of it is purely physiological given the ways that the drug affects the brain. Furthermore, the lack of motivation and fuzzy-headedness displayed by many marijuana users often represent significant alterations in the person’s behavior. The bottom line is that pot smokers often undergo personality changes, and they are usually not for the better.
While it may be true that cannabis can be found in nature, this does not by any means make it safe. There are many “natural” substances that are also toxic. There are, in fact, many different reasons why you should avoid using marijuana.
10 Tips for First-Time Cannabis Smokers to Keep in Mind: What to Expect When You Get High for the First Time
Congratulations, you’ve decided that you’re finally ready to take that leap towards trying cannabis. Perfect. Beautiful. Let me be the first to welcome you to the family. But before you take that first toke, I’d like to offer you a few pieces of advice so you know what you’re getting into. Why? Because there are a number of things you should know about before you smoke weed for the first time.
Be Prepared to Not Get High
Can you get high your first time smoking weed? Absolutely. But you should be prepared for the fact that you might not.
The first time I smoked, I didn’t get high. Maybe I didn’t do it right. Maybe I was all wrong. But I didn’t. And I’ve heard this as the case for so many people, so just know it’s a possibility. But don’t let it deter you from getting to where you’re going. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. Yes, I did just quote Aaliyah.
Make Sure to Inhale
You can’t get high if you aren’t inhaling. I still remember the first time I properly did it. Ooooohweeee. My eyes got low, lights got bright, and my soul left my body. It was epic—no, scratch that—it was euphoric. Everything and everyone made me soooo happy and my body felt soooo good.
If you don’t feel like you’re getting high, maybe you just aren’t inhaling properly. Let that smoke fill your lungs and carry you to infinity and beyond.
Hydrate Like an Athlete
If I had a nickel for every morning I woke up completely dehydrated from getting stoned out of my mind the night before, well, I’d have a lot of nickels. Probably enough to buy 17 gallons of water, which is the exact amount you’ll need after a solid smoke sesh unless you want to end up looking like Spongebob when he visited Sandy’s house for the first time. If you’re going to indulge in the arts of cannabis, make sure to chug a bunch of water before the occasion like you’re about to play in a high school state championship game.
Choose Your Piece Wisely
I’ve been smoking blunts since Day One so that’s just how I get down. But if it’s your first time, I suggest easing into it. You don’t run a marathon without first doing a one mile test, and the same principle applies to smoking. Don’t jump into heavy bong rips, dabs, and things of that nature until you take a few baby steps.
For beginners, I suggest smoking with a little bowl and working your way up that ladder until you’re ready to take on more advanced consumption methods like the dab rip, also known as the M. Bison of the cannabis world. Also: beware of the gravity bong. They’re little, but boyyyy do they pack a punch. My first time hitting one resulted in hours of paranoia and discomfort. Don’t do that. You’ve been warned.
Download a Food Courier App
The worst thing possible when high is having to go somewhere and do something, even if the task is just getting food. When I delivered food for Postmates, 95% of the houses I delivered to reeked of cannabis. Coincidence? I think not. It’s because those people were smart enough to make the experience convenient for them. You are, too.
Preparation is key for first time weed smokers looking to head off the munchies. Make sure to download your preferred courier app (Postmates, DoorDash, Favor, etc.) beforehand so you won’t entertain the possibility of going out and driving under the influence (or wandering around outside when you’re not feeling particularly social or comfortable).
Clear Your Schedule
If you’re about to get high for the first time, you’ll probably pass out at some point. Don’t even say “No I won’t,” because you’ll be forced to come apologize to me once you wake up eight hours after taking your first bong hit. It’s like a rollercoaster: you go alllll the way to the top just to drop alllll the way to the bottom.
Even if you don’t fall asleep (which you probably will), you may end up feeling heavy-bodied, so if you’re about to smoke weed for the first time, make sure you’re in a comfortable environment that encourages absolute relaxation. I suggest a living room with a 65” flat screen and a sectional couch (the crease of the L is the sweet spot).
Never Smoke With Sketchy People
This pretty much applies to anything in life, but especially when it comes to cannabis consumption. If you’re smoking for the first time, it should be with some friends you trust. But on the off chance that it’s with some sketchy-ass strangers, make sure to abide by Rule #1 of the Bruh, I’m Just Tryna Get High code of conduct: If you didn’t see it rolled or packed, don’t smoke it. You do not want to get hit with a case of the shenanigans around people you don’t know in an unfamiliar environment.
Know (or Learn) Your Limits
If you’re stoned out of your mind after one hit, feel free to pass on the joint in rotation. Your mission was to get high for the first time, not melt your entire face off. Know your limits and act accordingly.
Develop a Tribe
Once you start smoking, you’ll want to have a group of friends that you can smoke with. I like to call this my tribe. These are the people that you hit up for a group sesh. You also want to have a tribe because, if I can keep it funky, smoking solo can get extremely boring. But when you have friends, who knows what type of adventures y’all might get high enough to go on? Or even if it’s not an adventure, you might end up having a dope/deep-ass conversation, which may turn out to be a therapeutic experience. So make sure to find friends who enjoy the same activity then build with them.
Be Prepared to Fall in Love
For me, cannabis was love at first pipe. When I took that first hit and felt that buzz in my eyelids I instantly knew that I was smitten. You might be, too. Prepare to embark on a new, groundbreaking relationship. (But much like any relationship, things can get expensive. So before you go into this, just know this love may leave your pockets taxed.)
Before you smoke marijuana for the first time, here's some advice so you know what you’re getting into and can plan for a comfortable first experience.