As the legalization of cannabis continues to roll throughout the West and the practice picks up in popularity, many people are wondering if it’s a safe activity in which to indulge. This is a reasonable question – after all, various outlets and agencies have spent decades talking about how “irresponsible” it is to smoke. The truth, however, is that it’s actually quite easy to smoke cannabis responsibly and safely. Here are four tips to help you get started!
- Know the Potential Side Effects
Smoking cannabis can result in some short-term side effects. These aren’t necessarily negatives, mind you – many people enjoy them quite a bit. But it’s a good idea to understand how your behavior might change after smoking in order to plan the rest of your day safely. Some common short-term effects include:
- Diminished Physical Coordination
- Temporary Change in Mood
- Temporary Drop in Blood Pressure
- Temporary Increase in Heart Rate
Please note that there’s no way to determine for sure if you will experience any of these side-effects – cannabis affects everyone a bit differently.
- Start Small
Don’t just jump into smoking cannabis by using a large amount of it. Start small. Instead of spending hours smoking, try just a little bit at a time until you feel as though you have a handle on how it makes you feel. Once you’re more accustomed to the feeling, you can begin to increase the amount you smoke bit by bit. This will help you explore your boundaries responsibly and safely.
- Read the Room
Just as it’s impolite to charge into a room smoking tobacco, it can be impolite and irresponsible to start smoking cannabis out of nowhere. If you’re not at home, ask your host if it’s okay for you to indulge. If you’re at home but have guests over for the first time, ask them the same. While many people are supportive of the legalization of cannabis, that doesn’t mean that they all want to smoke themselves. Additionally, some people might have a sensitivity to smoke in general and you could inadvertently trigger a coughing fit. It’s always a good idea to ask first and to keep your equipment clean just to avoid any potential allergens.
- Don’t Smoke and Drive
Impaired driving is a bad idea, period. It doesn’t matter if your senses are impaired because you’re smoking cannabis or because you’ve had a few too many beers – if you’re unable to give your full attention to driving, then you shouldn’t get behind the wheel. Remember the first tip that talks about understanding how cannabis affects you? One of the most important reasons you need to understand this is to determine when you’re too impaired to drive. Understand when you’ve had enough and remember that while driving while under the influence of cannabis might be less dangerous than driving while intoxicated from alcohol, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe.
Smoking cannabis can be a great way to relax and live a happy, healthy life. It’s important to make sure that you smoke responsibly, however, and have consideration for the people around you. That means understanding how your behavior might change when you’re under the influence, not exposing anyone to smoke without their consent, and never driving while under the influence. Do your best to be a responsible smoker – the people around you will thank you.
This article is written by Hannah Stevens.
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