A Guide to Getting High

I've been smoking, vaping, eating, dabbing and occasionally growing cannabis for over 15 years.

I've spent countless hours reading perspectives, trip reports, guides, and science journals about cannabis, getting high, and the body. I've talked to everyone from original era hippies to modern dispensary owners, and I've lit up with some wonderful and weird folk all along the western coast. Along the way, I've picked up, tested, and refined a small collection of tips I consider a crash course in stoner survival.

1 and Done is Plenty Fun

As best as you can, resist the urge to light up more than once a day. It's much better if you keep it to only once or twice a week (or less), but once you start dosing twice or more a day, your tolerance shoots up, you feel all your highs less, and you start to feel like you want bigger, stronger doses. But they won't bring back the magic of your early sessions. The only way to hold on to that is to actively keep your tolerance low.


Hopefully all your sessions go great. But eventually, it's probable that you have a Bad Time. A bad trip on cannabis isn't nearly as intense as other drugs, but that doesn't mean much to someone going through one. Do yourself a favor, and give a name to the feeling of "discomfort caused by drugs". I call it "feeling wiggy". The benefit of having a name is that you don't leave yourself wondering what's going on. If you don't know you're wiggy, you might legit turn paranoid and start thinking yourself into a problem. But with a name, you can say "Oh, I'm feeling wiggy, but that's because I'm high." Wiggy will fade, just acknowledge it, make a change to your environment if needed (put on music, get a snack, go to a different area), and it will subside pretty quick.

Strain Names are Marketing

Historically, street dealers used strain names to market their products. Some growers pay close attention, keep their strains separate, and try their best to be honest about what they've grown. Many growers picked the names that sold the best. There is no governing body of any kind that enforced strain names, nor is their a clear way to identify any given strain. The ratios of cannabinoids (THC / CBD / CBG etc.) and terpenes are much more reliable indicators of how a particular harvest will taste and how it will feel.

That doesn't mean strain names are useless. They just have a very, very narrow use. If you like a particular strain, you could probably get more, from the same grower, around the same time, maybe. That's it. Now, if you're using cannabis for pain relief, and you find a particular "Purple Haze" that really does the trick, you can go back to the dispensary tomorrow and stock up. Come back a month later? It's probably gone, and there's no guarantee that the "Purple Haze" in stock is the same thing until you try it. Head to a different dispensary? No guarantee their Purple Haze is the same as what you bought before.

Sativa vs Indica is even less useful.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no clear genetic difference between a "sativa" and an "indica". The common knowledge that one makes you excited and one makes you relaxed just doesn't hold up in practice.

Fancy bongs are a pain to clean

Super complex percolators look cool. For a week or so. Then they get gunked up, and take a LOT of effort to clean. Do yourself a favor, stick to a simple piece that you can keep clean. It will make your tokes taste a lot better than a gunked up triple perc.

You should clean your bong every time.

It's very common to skip this step, but.. don't. It takes like 30 seconds to dump the bong water, rinse it with some new water, and stash it somewhere. This will keep it from smelling, keep it from building up gross gunk or even mildew, and keep your bong looking nice when your friends visit.

It's fine to veg. But there's more fun too.

It's totally fine to lose a night stoned on the couch watching TV eating junk food. But this shouldn't be your only cannabis experience. You're missing out on the fun if you don't try things like music, art, hiking, exercise, cleaning, cooking, reading, and playing games while high. Try to make a point to use getting high as a reason to do something more often than you use it as a reason to do nothing.

Don't Buy Weed Online

It won't come, you will get scammed. There are easier ways, and they are all around you.

The Problem with Stoned Epiphanies.

Cannabis lowers your threshold for emotional reactions to your own thoughts, which is wonderful when it helps you see things from a new perspective. But it can also leave you feeling like you've come up with a life-changing idea, a million dollar invention, or a solution to a giant social problem. And who knows? Maybe you have. But you'll be a better judge of that sober. If it is a good idea, it will still feel like a good idea after you sober up. If not, you can giggle about it. But the one thing you should always be careful not to do:

Don't make life-changing decisions while high.

Enjoy the epiphanies, explore them, have fun with them. But don't make commitments of money, time, or personality to something that you haven't had time to think clearly about.

Most of all, try to have fun with it.

Other Guides

How to Fight the Urge to Get High All The Time

A Guide to Taking a Break

The Universe is Content With You

Finding Purpose in Any Reality

The Rollercoaster of Letting Go

Down Isn't as Bad as it Looks

How to Grow Additional Brains

Applied Metaphysics

The Most Important Lesson

If You Only Learn One Thing From Me

It Keeps Me Up at Night

Reality is Complicated


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