Believe it or not, about 238 million people use cannabis worldwide. Though some people use it for medical reasons, most use it for recreational purposes.

With legal marijuana on the rise, that number will likely increase.

But there’s more to using recreational marijuana than you might think. If you’ve never used it before, you’re likely wondering what to expect.

Here are a few key things you need to know before you start using recreational marijuana.

1. You Can Only Use It Where You Bought It

Recreational marijuana isn’t legal everywhere you go. In fact, the United States federal government still considers marijuana an illegal substance.

This means you can’t cross state lines or cross into Canada with marijuana on your person. It doesn’t matter if you purchased the cannabis legally or are driving into a neighboring state where it’s legal.

If you get caught, you could face serious legal trouble.

Instead of taking the risk, make a plan to use your cannabis in the same city you bought it in. If you’re buying cannabis for recreational purposes while you’re on vacation, only buy what you think you can reasonably use before you leave. Remember, you can always go back to the dispensary and buy more if you run out.

2. Always Start with Small Doses

If you’re using cannabis for the first time or for the first time in a long time, you may not know how it will affect you. You’ll have very little tolerance and you’ll likely feel the effects fairly quickly.

This can make it easy to use too much. When you do, you may experience feelings of paranoia, confusion, or almost uncontrollable fits of giggles.

When first starting out, take the smallest amount possible. Don’t feel pressured into smoking an entire joint on your own or make the mistake of eating an entire cannabis-infused candy bar in one go.

Let the cannabis sit in your system for about 15 minutes and evaluate how you feel. If you’re not as high as you’d like to be, take another small dose.

3. It’s Okay If You Don’t Feel Anything

Most people feel at least some kind of reaction after using even small doses of cannabis. But this doesn’t mean everyone will.

Think of it this way: every person metabolizes substances, like marijuana, differently. What makes one person feel incredibly high might not make you feel any different.

Often, the issue is with the dose you take. If you don’t feel anything, take a little more. But if you’ve smoked several joints over the course of the day and still can’t tell a difference in the way you feel, take a break.

Head to the dispensary and try a different type of cannabis. If you’re not sure which one is best, ask the budtender behind the counter for advice. It’s likely that they’ve helped many others in your situation before and can help you find a product that will work for your needs.

4. Never Combine Drugs, Even for Recreational Purposes

When you’re using recreational marijuana, make it the ONLY thing you use at that time. Combining drugs, whether they’re prescription or otherwise, is always a bad idea.

You never know how that particular strain of marijuana will interact with those drugs. The effects that you feel may be unpleasant and could leave you wishing you never used recreational marijuana at all.

Even drinking alcohol at the same time can heighten the effects of marijuana, leaving you feeling both the alcohol and the cannabis more intensely. Remember, marijuana is a mind-altering substance. Using it with other substances that alter your motor skills and mental state puts your health and safety at risk.

5. Make Sure You Buy from a Dispensary

The wonderful thing about legal cannabis is that you can buy it in a store. And every product those stores sell is closely monitored for quality and purity.

The products you find from dealers on the street aren’t. Worse, you can still get in trouble with the law by buying from those street dealers!

No matter what type of cannabis you’re interested in, buy it from a licensed dispensary. This way, you’ll be able to get the highest quality products possible.

6. Know that Medical and Recreational Cannabis Is Different

When you’re buying legal marijuana, you’ll likely find two distinct types available at most dispensaries: recreational and medical. Though both types are still cannabis and can get you high, they’re distinctly different.

According to this article, you can only buy medical marijuana with a valid medical prescription from your doctor. But anyone can use recreational marijuana provided they’re over 21 in the US and 18 in Canada.

Before you head to your closest dispensary, do a little research and choose one that provides recreational sales. If you try to buy marijuana at a medical dispensary without a prescription, you’ll get turned away.

7. Never Drive While High

You know that driving drunk can get you in major trouble with the law. But did you know that driving high is just as bad?

If you’re caught, you can get charged with a DUI and may face fines, get your license revoked, or worse, end up serving time in jail.

If you plan on using marijuana for recreational purposes, never get behind the wheel. Remember, you can always call a taxi service or request a ride on a rideshare app to help you get where you need to go.

Ready to Try Recreational Marijuana?

Using marijuana for recreational purposes can be a great option. But you’ll want to ease yourself into using it. Just remember to only use it in a location where cannabis is legal.

Otherwise, you could end up getting into major legal trouble.

Looking for more helpful tips about using cannabis products for the first time? Check out our latest posts.

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