Advice for Trying THC for the First Time

Photo: Marcia Gagliardi. © mymilligram.

Photo: Marcia Gagliardi. © mymilligram.


So you want see how THC feels in your body (and your head)? Is it your first time? Don’t worry, we got this. Maybe you’re returning to cannabis after a long break. (Welcome back.) Or perhaps you’ve had some terrible experiences with paranoia and anxiety in the past with cannabis that was too strong (or too much) and want to explore what this low-dose approach is all about. Good for you for circling around. Let’s make this next time more pleasurable for you.


Great news: it’s 2018, and you can take a small, measured dose of cannabis and not have to worry about consuming too much, feeling out of control, paranoid, or even anxious. At low levels, THC can just give you a little euphoric lift—no need to head up into the clouds (unless that’s where you want to fly, but later, okay?). You can even take a microdose and barely feel any effects at all, but still enjoy the benefits of cannabis. You can add a little more each time (which is called titrating) until you dial in to where you want to be/how you want to be feeling. Here at mymilligram, it’s all about going low and starting slow.


First, how? Well, you could try the delta-8 THC/Soothe Tablingual from Level (read more here), which offers a lighter buzz than their THC/Elevate Tablingual, but even the pure THC Tablingual is relatively light and very manageable. You can easily cut the 3mg tabs in half—they’re scored for convenience.


Psychoactivity (feeling "high") is usually noted around 2mg—everyone is different, with varying levels of sensitivity, but that’s a general rule of thumb. I recommend you start with half of a Level Tablingual (delta-8 THC/Soothe or THC/Elevate) at 1.5mg if you want to stay under and see, or tap the gas pedal (oh so lightly) and try 3mg. Onset is usually in 1–5 minutes, and the results can last for up to a couple of hours. (Read more about the Tablinguals here.)


You can always keep some CBD/Remedy Tablinguals handy, for if you ever want to diminish the effects of THC. Just pop some CBD under your tongue and it can muffle the THC. It’s why all three of these Level Tablinguals are in the mymilligram curated boxes on Sava—they're useful separately and play nicely together too. You can also take a tincture (I’d start with 20mg of CBD if you’re trying to dial things down), and a puff off a CBD vape can help too.


Another mymilligram favorite is Mondo powder. You can just dip a (clean!) finger into the jar of this beautiful and ethereal low-dose product, lick your finger, and try a little bit right on your tongue. Keep in mind one scoop has 5mg of THC, but you should start with 1–2mg, so just try a tiny bit of this fairy dust in the beginning and see how you feel. It could take 20 minutes for you to feel any effects. Come back again for the same amount the next day and titrate (adjust your dosage) from there. Low and slow.


You can also explore THC via tinctures and through different ratios of CBD (which is non-psychoactive) and THC (psychoactive) together and see how that feels. For example, you could try a 3:1 tincture—which would have 3 parts CBD to one part THC (the CBD will mitigate the effects of the THC). Maybe start with a quarter dropper (10 drops) under your tongue and see how you feel with a little THC present. The next day, try it again. Maybe a little more. You can titrate from there.


Do know that some people may have a sensitivity to MCT oil tinctures (upset stomach) and may need to try another kind (like olive oil), while others won't have any issues with it at all. Remember, everyone has their own chemistry and needs to find what works and feels best in their body.


Have some water around. I also like to have a little something in my stomach because I feel the effects of THC more when I’m hungry. But eating something buttery or rich can actually amplify the THC, so don’t chow down on a wedge of triple-crème Brillat-Savarin right before experimenting either.


Also worth mentioning: be in a good headspace. Or at least an even-keeled one. Don’t be stressed or sad or upset when doing these early experiments—better to wait for a time when you’re in a better mind-set. My friends in the psychedelic world (that’s another article!) know all about the importance of set and setting in helping to ensure a positive drug experience.


So, you’ve consumed THC, now what?

Well, you don’t want to just sit there on the couch and wonder “How do I feel?” You could do that sober and make yourself trip out. When trying things for the first time, I always recommend being at home, ideally on a day when you don’t have to be anywhere and don’t have any big responsibilities, like taxes or picking up the kids from your ex-husband. You can also try THC in the evening when you’re home from work (but make sure it's a few hours before you need to go to bed).


For me, music is one of my favorite things to experience while high or buzzing a little. Put on a favorite group or DJ, maybe something dreamy and a little upbeat (this Hi-Fidelity Spotify mix by Say Hi is purr-fect). You could lie down on the floor with some headphones on and really enjoy it, or try a little dancing. Movies are always a good choice, ideally something cinematic. Comedy? Fun. Nature shows, also a fave.


You could also do some light hatha or restorative yoga and really focus on your breathing and body. But save the meditating for another time—we don’t want you just sitting with your thoughts too much these first few times (or trying to empty your mind of them).


Do you have a pet? Lucky you, because animals offer the best kind of entertainment while high. Time to get out Mr. Snuggles’ favorite toy, but it’s you who’s going to be the excited one.


You can also take the time to look at one of those art or photography books gathering dust on your shelves, color, draw, or if you just have to be online, the Messy Nessy site will have plenty to capture your imagination. Again, just don’t sit there. No social media, save that for later.


When you’re a bit more comfortable with things and how THC feels in your body, maybe after a couple of tries, it’s time for the amazing world outside. I love being outside while I’m a little high. I go for walks in Golden Gate Park—the light, and plants, and trees, and funny dogs in the park, it’s all there. On warmer days, I’ll go for a sunset walk at Ocean Beach. Enjoy all the sounds around you, from the happy kids screeching to the music of the waves, with the sun on your body.


People-watching is really great while high, whether you’re just cruising by and observing folks while on a walk, or sitting on a park bench, or outside at a café. No one will know you’re high. (And if you’re in San Francisco, odds are many other folks are too.) Shades on, smile on too. I hope you enjoy your flight. Just no driving, and no bike riding through the park either—you can be too spacey and this city is a jungle. Keep things to walking speed.


In case of turbulence

If you find your mind is racing a bit, or you’re stressing out, or feel like you’re getting a wee bit paranoid (“Everyone knows I’m high!”), it’s time to switch up your setting. Music is a great way to tune into something besides your anxious thoughts—put on a favorite album you know well that brings up nice and fun feelings. You know, like the B-52s. No one’s going to judge. (Roam is a pretty trippy video, btw.) Dance and shake it off to get out of your head. Or chill and listen to something relaxing. Going down a YouTube rabbit hole of music videos would not be the worst thing. Maybe a Wes Anderson movie will be your speed? How about The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou? Bill Murray is here for you.


Just remember, this will pass in due time. All journeys come to an end and you will survive this. THC is not toxic, and you aren’t harming any vital organs. It can be helpful to remind yourself that you took a drug (a natural one!) and that you are experiencing the effects of that drug … remember to relax and release.


Pop that CBD (or puff or drop it). Sniff some black pepper or some lemon zest. Have something light to eat, like a cracker or banana. Drink some water. Chamomile tea is calming too. Call a good friend. And remember, this is only temporary, you just got a little tipsy on THC. You’re going to be fine. Now you know what’s a bit too much for your system (for now)—note it. Lower and slower next time. Or maybe it was the unfamiliar that was too much, but in time, you may want to check it out again. Or not. It’s all good.





Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.