Given that smoking weed is now considered legal in most U.S. states (and all eventually), it is inevitable that you will get to try marijuana at some point. If it is your first time smoking it, you have to understand how it affects your body and your consciousness so you know what to expect.

The experience is different per person and not everybody will feel light-headed immediately and start tripping. Others fall asleep and some feel cravings for certain types of food. Here are some important pieces of advice that all first-time marijuana smokers should know.

1. Don’t smoke alone

The effect of weed will not immediately manifest and the buzz can take a while for some people. If they don’t make you feel too calm and sleepy, they might alter your behavior and disable you from giving a proper assessment of the things around you. Don’t try it alone, especially if it’s your first time because you never know what its effects are going to be on your body.

2. Drink water before starting

Pot can make your mouth extremely dry, especially if it’s your first time or you’re not used to smoking. Most people drink several glasses of water after taking puffs.

3. Remember to inhale

The “high” won’t happen if you don’t breathe the smoke in. When you smoke marijuana the right way, you can get its benefits fully, which is the point of trying it out in the first place.

4. Prepare to not get high

Again, the effects differ per person, so don’t expect to get that euphoric and heady feeling on your first time right away. It might take a few tries for your body to appreciate its effects and for you to start reaping its goodness.

5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Hydrate before, during and after. We cannot stress enough how important water is to the entire process. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking dry and wilted after a solid session.

6. Clear your schedule

Be sure you have no appointments after or don’t have to go anywhere else. Clear your schedule and make a point to stay home after a puff session.

7. Have a food delivery service’s contact details on hand

Food cravings are a common side effect or marijuana smoking, so better to have a delivery service or app that you can access right away. Don’t try to get out of the house and buy the food yourself. The effects of marijuana smoking are lasting, and you don’t want to risk getting into an accident by stepping out.

8. Never smoke with questionable people

This applies to anything you do, actually, not just smoking marijuana. But if you’re going to try it out for the first time, best to have people you trust around you and whom you are confident will know what to do in case of an emergency. Also, the general rule is if you don’t see the weed packed or rolled, you better not take the risk of smoking it.

Woman Smoking Weed
Smoking marijuana has become more widespread after its legalization in a number of states. Getty Images/Lars Hagberg/AFP