Welcome to weed: A guide for newcomers


Collegian | Tri Duong

Cannabis plants in the vegetation room at Seed & Smith in Denver Feb. 26. Growers keep the room at 78 degrees Fahrenheit, 60% relative humidity and with 18 hours of daily light exposure.

Taylor Paumen, Content Managing Editor

Becoming a cannabis connoisseur doesn’t happen overnight. Just like anything else, being an educated stoner takes practice, courage and a personal touch of creativity. While most people learn the angles of alcohol, here’s a beginners’ guide for those of you who are new to the drug or those of you who just need a refresher. 

The basics

When you’re headed to your local dispensary, you’ll have three baseline options: sativa, indica and hybrid. The general vibe of each can be used to your advantage or to achieve your goal of just getting a nice high. 


Sativa is known for its “head high” and upbeat feeling. Unlike its friend indica, you shouldn’t find yourself getting drowsy. However, if a good night’s rest is what you’re looking for, indica will ease the entirety of your body. But let’s say you’re in need of a simple high: A hybrid strand would be an excellent in-between choice.

Blazin’ options

Now, your next choice once you’ve picked your strand is how you want to consume the herb. This is where you get to be creative in the many ways to smoke and decide what fits your needs. 

To quickly acknowledge the diversity cannabis brings, you can either smoke a joint, blunt, one-hitter, pipe, bong, bubbler, vaporizer, dab rig, dab pen or nectar collector or eat an edible. These are your most basic forms of intake in the United States, but they can vary through the cultures of the world. The best way to organize these efficiently is by highness, convenience and price. 

If you’re looking to head to another planet and solely get super high, you’d probably enjoy a dab rig, dab pen or nectar collector. The commonality of these three is they all use wax, which is one of the highest potencies of weed within the options here. While you might cough up a lung, it ranks lower on how smelly the exhale is — though it can also show on the more expensive side. 

A joint, blunt, one-hitter, pipe, bubbler or bong can be a simple choice, depending on the size. The smaller the roll, the more in control. Joints, blunts and a one-hitter can be nice for the convenience of the travel sizes, and they can be easy on the budget. A pipe or bong can be more enjoyable if you’re staying in one spot, and you can pick your own style with what your pipe or bong will look like. 

A vaporizer and edibles are the oddballs of the group, but they’re just as appealing. Vaporizers can be better for your lungs but are the most expensive way to smoke cannabis. However, edibles are their own category since you can ingest them as a sweet, drink, gummy or even make them at home. 

Friendly tips

While smoking cannabis can be an enjoyable thing for most, like alcohol, it’s important to pace yourself. Cannabis is very much a marathon and not a sprint, so start with one edible and not a handful. 

Try to evenly light your joints and blunts so you don’t waste them, along with sectioning your bowls for efficiency and sharing if that’s the environment you find yourself in. 

Wait a few seconds before ripping your dab rig or nectar collector right after you torch it so you can save a layer of skin on the back of your throat, and small hits from your pen can relate to this as well. 

Otherwise, spend what you want and go get high (safely and legally), Rammies.

Reach Taylor Paumen at cannabis@collegian.com or on Twitter @TayTayPau.