I used to smoke weed too and the first time I smoked I got super stoned. The fact was that I used to smoke cigarettes before that and I was able to take in a lot of smoke. I have seen a lot of people smoke weed for the first time and I have noticed that they take very light tokes and do not fully inhale. They also do not hold the smoke. Then they tell me that they did not get high.
I think people who do not get high the first time has to do more with technique than anything else. If you do not take deep tokes and do not hold it for at least 5 seconds the effects are reduced dramatically.
If the strain you are smoking is particularly weak or the weed is old then the THC content will be reduced which will only exasperate the problem.
It could be you were not taking in enough smoke, not holding it long enough or the weed was not particularly strong. Or a combination of all 3.
Sounds like a good explanation to me; however, I’ve never met anyone who claimed to be super-high on their first experience. Then again, the technology was more like using small bongs and pipes, not a powerful ingestion of smoke a la Cheech or Chong.
Not sure about the 5 seconds rule, though – IME, it really doesn’t matter how long you hold the smoke in. It’s been a few weeks, though, so who knows.
First time I smoked I took very deep tokes and held them in, as my peers instructed me to do, and I was in space. I have never been able to replicate that feeling. Probably what made me quit after a few months.
I know a lot of my “research” has been very subjective but I know that if I smoke a joint like I would a cigarette (inhale then exhale immediately) it does not affect me nearly as much. I got to the point where I could make the weed smoke disappear and that would affect me much more.
Another thing I forgot to mention was that sometimes, if you are new to smoking, you inhale but most of the smoke stays in the persons mouth or in the upper larynx since the individual is trying to suppress the strong cough reflex. That could add to the person not getting the THC in their system.
There is no physical reason for someone with THC smoke in their lungs, for a reasonable amount of time, to not get high. If there was then you would also hear stories about people who have never smoked but have consumed THC orally (brownies, cookies) to not get a feeling. People who first experience marijuana with a brownie, that is prepared correctly, get very high.
I’m not blaming you at all – I don’t think there have been many, if any, objective, empirical surveys of delivery of THC, so it’s probably mostly anecdotal on any “side.” (And I’m on the pro-weed side, as I suspect you are too!).
I think I have heard that many of the agents in weed are indeed taken through the oral tissues, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t actually smoke that much now, maybe a few times per month, with a few friends, and it’s only something anecdotal at any rate.
One aspect of this is expectation. People hear about the extreme effects, and expect those to immediately appear, regardless of the dose, of their personal resistance.
The biggest drug user I ever knew claimed that marijuana did nothing for her when she tried it, but just made her fall asleep. I suspected that if she’d been more motivated to stay awake (say, dancing at a party), the effect would have had time to sink in. Instead, she went to sleep, where there’s some chance she remembered nothing at all about her reaction.
This is really interesting – I know everyone laughs when someone has a coughing fit after inhaling weed, but I’ve never heard this actually affects the delivery of the active agents in marijuana.
I bet there are some good studies on delivery of THC and related compounds with the growing acceptance of “medical” marijuana, but, honestly it’s been probably 12-15 years since I smoked anything approaching regularlity, and at that time, it was still a frowned-upon substance, and I probably overstated my own usage above – I often spend half a year without taking any weed, and even when I do, it’s driving around in a car with some pseudo-hippy jazz guitarist giving me and my gear a ride in his van or crashed on somebody’s couch at 5 in the morning just to be sociable and help get to sleep.
I’m preternaturally interested in this topic, for no good reason, but it would be good to know if some good research has emerged since I was a younger man, just for fun.
I don’t smoke anything any more, but I do recall my first time smoking dope very vividly. It was in 1979, and I went to a friend’s house and very nervously had a few tokes of a joint of what was probably very good grass. I should add that I was 18, had been drunk once and never smoked a cigarette.
The rest of the guys started talking hockey, cars and stuff, it seemed boring, so I watched the seagulls flying around outside the window. I watched the clouds.
A few “minutes” later, Mty friend who brought me told me it was time to go. It was 2 hours later. I swear to this day that it was only a few minutes spent watching the birds and weather.
I have had plenty of drug experiences since then, and have never experienced such a time compression effect.
I don’t partake anymore… no smoking, no drinking, no drugging… but I have to say that that first experience was a profound one. I saw nothing particularly “mystical/deep” about the birdcs/clouds… a few hours went by, but I KNOW it was only 5 minutes.
I would argue that you hadn’t yet “oriented” to how MJ affected your consciousness. You didn’t yet have the self-awareness in the context of that orientation in order to step back and say “whoa I’m kind of spacing out… this is an interesting experience.” Instead, you just thought you were bored and watched the seagulls for 2 hours as though that was totally normal for you. You only connected the dots later.
Its not that coughing affects the intake of THC, its the amount of time the smoke is in your lungs. The THC particles need to be absorbed by the alveoli in your lungs to get in to the bloodstream. If you inhale and hold in the smoke for a good amount of time and then cough your lungs out it will not affect the feeling you get, other than a little embarrassment.
Someone mentioned that THC can be absorbed in the mouth. This is not true since THC, unlike nicotine, is not water soluble so it needs to get to the alveoli at the end of your lungs to get the “full” effect.
I didn’t know that – I always thought holding the smoke deep in the lungs was more an urban legend, but since I’m 34 I obviously hung out with a not-very-knowledgeable crew back in the day, b/c the technology was not mature. We didn’t even have vaporizers. I’d really like to see some studies – I’m not asking for a cite because I’m a dick, but just out of curiosity.
The first few times I dropped acid, I didn’t get a full trip, and same with X and mushrooms – maybe it can all be chalked up to differences in body chemistry, although I was very skinny, as in twenty pounds or so underweight, at the time.
Besides the statement I made about the solubility of THC and Nicotine, everything else was based on personal experience. Since in the United States THC is a Schedule I narcotic it does not have any medical purpose, according to the US government. Its on the same level as Heroin, Meth-amphetamine and other dangerous drugs, so funding for research is VERY limited. Just to compare cocaine (a substance that has ruined many lives close to me) is a Schedule II narcotic, which is less restricted.
The way it was once explained to me is that everyone has a number of THC receptors before trying marijuana for the first time. How many varies from person to person. For those with very few there is a kind of reverse tolerance effect the first time or two they try it. There aren’t enough receptors to feel a noticeable effect but it sort of kick starts the development of more receptors. While others who already have more receptors to begin with might feel the full effects or a partial high on the first try. Eventually, with an abundance of THC the brain starts to make fewer receptors again and the tolerance effect goes in the normal direction. While I always accepted this as a reasonable answer I can find only bits and pieces of corroboration to this theory today, some 20 years later, with a few quick online searches.
Accepted – I know THC is fat-soluble, but I was just curious. I like hearing about other people’s experiences as well – when data about a “drug” as innocuous as pot cannot be legally gathered, anecdotes are perhaps the best available source of information. Besides, who doesn’t like to hear war stories?
ETA just saw Crazyhorse’s reply – I don’t know much about neurochemstry, but what you said makes sense compared to what little I have heard and pieced together.
I forgot to mention that National Geographic will be airing a new special called “Drugged” which will investigate into detail the effects of Marijuana and other drugs in subsequent specials. It should be quite informative. Sorry I do not have any cites or references. Soon, hopefully, there will be better studies.
Would you know if these effects are permanent? What I mean is if a person develops more THC receptors due to marijuana usage and then they stop, for an extended period of time, will the receptors stay active or does it go back down to their original levels? This could make for an interesting experiment I might try on some friends of mine.