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First time smoking pot? These are the things you need


Everything you need to get high fun and safely.

With all but a few dozen decidedly nerdy states embracing legal cannabis, it looks as though we’re heading into a cultural renaissance with a big old dank nug at the helm. 

As the stigma trailing weed continues to dissipate, a whole new generation of cannabis consumers is getting ready to acquaint themselves with a drug most grew up being told was pure evil by groups like D.A.R.E., the U.S. government, and those meddling kids from Bayside High. For the budding stoners, medical cardholders, and recreational users alike, this gear should help you master this misunderstood drug called cannabis. 

Pardon the trite expression, but what you’re shopping around for these days “ain’t your grandpa’s weed.” We’ve entered a whole new phase in cannabis cultivation, extraction, and infusion technology that is totally changing the way we get high. Let’s worry about that stuff later and stick to the methodology that has satisfied the human species for something like 2,500 years. 

Let’s start with the basics

Theoretically, the only tools you need to roll a great joint are your hands, some flower, and rolling ZIG-ZAGS. Grinding your weed into a uniform and even consistency not only improves the airflow within your joint (or bong or bowl) but promotes an overall cleaner smoking experience. Sackville’s 4-Tier Signature Grinder ($40) features diamond-sharp teeth that transform your bud into fluffy fresh cannabis while a mesh kief screen & bowl gives you something to stick into your bowl when you’ve run out of product. 

A nice rolling tray keeps all your odds, ends, and stems in one place and can generally be found at any headshop across the country… except maybe Utah? I get the impression they don’t like weed. Z’s Life Pearl ZTray ($100)  is a bit pricier than the stuff you’d find on Etsy, but it’s a lot more enticing than the infinite amount of Bob Marley-branded trays you see for a fraction of the price. LEUNE’s bougie velvet toiletry bag ($18) and ceramic ashtray ($14) are a must-have if you’re trying to escape that cringe-y 90s weed culture in lieu of one that has a bit more class. 

Any indoor smoker can tell you that the smell of burning flower is hard to get rid of once you start puffing away. I keep this Cannabolish Cannabis Odor Removing Wintergreen Spray ($11.99) on hand so my wife doesn’t think I’m a cellar creature living in a den of smoke and gluttony.  

Skip Motsenbocker is the CEO of California cannabis company, Pacific Stone, which uses a large-scale greenhouse facility to cultivate more than a million square feet of marijuana for flower, pre-rolls, and cartridges. When it comes to dipping your toe into the vast green pond of pot, Skip thinks joints are a great way for newbies to test the waters. 

“Pre-rolled flower — it’s the original way to consume cannabis,” says Skip, “but the strain choice can be intimidating. Most dispensaries offer pre-rolls; joints that are pre-rolled for you that come ready to light up and puff.  For those curious about the original experience, this is a great place to start, since you can consume a small amount, the effects are realized fairly quickly within minutes and the lasting effects tend to dissipate within an hour or so.  Obviously, when you smoke more, the effects last, and you can safely choose your dosing and control the experience better.” 

Pacific Stone offers classic pre-rolls in both a two-pack tube and their best-selling 14-packs rolled from their greenhouse-grown flower. 

If you’ve got the type of DIY or die mentality that accepts help from household appliances, I’d highly recommend this old-school Powermatic Mini Manual Cigarette Injector ($22) or an all-in-one grinder/rolling machine Electric Smart Herb and Spice Grinder by Banana Bros for $149. 

Next-level smoking and vaping

As we venture into the world of concentrates where terms like “dab”, “shatter’, and “wax” dominate the conversation, getting to know your own preferences can really help you customize your experience.

I like to vape cannabis oils (as a distillate or live resin) because it’s smoother on the throat and all-around easier to do while going about my day. Kandypens’ slim, discrete, and freaking beautiful Special-K pen ($99.95) is compatible with most run-of-the-mill vape cartridges and won’t make you look like some mall punk jerkoff with its compact size. 

If you’re not one to limit yourself to one type of high, I highly recommend the dual-use PAX 3 ($250) which works with both herbs and concentrates. 


“Vapes dose more consistently than flower with a rapid onset,” continues Skip Motsenbocker, “Think of this as an on-demand battery-operated joint; the difference is, this device is going to last quite a while and will be able to be used on many occasions.” For beginners, Skip suggests an all-in-one battery/vape unit (like this Ooze pen) for easy, breezy, on-the-go vaping. 

“When you’re just getting started,” adds Skip, “lean-in with moderation, check your tolerance and proceed at your own comfort level.  There are many companies offering a wide range of devices, with different strengths and strain choices. As with most things in life, moderation is key, so as you start your cannabis journey, moderate and enjoy!

People love Dr. Dabber because, well, they make it easy. I recently got my hands on their Stella Vape Pen ($99.95) which I then loaded up with some local Maine-cultivated "badder" for a high that’s as strong as it is satisfying. A temperature range of 460 - 775° F heats that concentrate to the point of vaporization, which produces a highly potent product that’s actually easier on the lungs than flower. 

Omura, on the other hand, uses heat-not-burn technology with a dual-heat source oven inside that acts as the middle ground between smoking and vaping for a steady high that’s easy to enjoy. 

"Omura is designed to create a buildable buzz where you’re elevated but present,” explains VP of Marketing at Omura, Shannon Reed.

“Each Omura Flowerstick is thoughtfully dosed to contain 150mg and lasts approximately three minutes per session. 

With Omura, the risk of getting too stoned is replaced by the comfort of a carefully controlled buzz.” Reed goes on to explain how the device’s precision for a more controlled, consistent intake.

“We suggest you start low and go slow,” adds Reed, “by starting with one Flowerstick and fine-tuning till it feels good."

Edibles & more! 

Everyone either knows someone or is someone who, at one point or another, has had a bad time with edibles. Let me assure you that the edibles being sold these days are a completely different ballgame than the pot brownies your friends from high school ate. Valhalla, KIVA Confections, Kin Slips, Hervé, and Dosist are just some of the companies producing delicious, interesting, and consistent products in the form of gummies, tinctures, chocolate, and sublingual strips that deliver a high you can play your day around. 

“Proper dose control and targeted formulas are essential for using cannabis as a powerful tool,” says President and Chief Marketing Officer at dosist, Anne-Marie Dacyshyn.

“Pay attention to how your body responds when you opt for THC. Or, you can also start with the non-psycho-active cannabinoids, like CBD, CBG, and CBN, and work your way up to THC.” 

For first-timers anxious about trying edibles, Anne-Marie suggests dosist’s Sleep gummies made with THC and CBN. 

“The formula is all-natural and helps you fall asleep and stay asleep longer, which makes everything better,” says Anne-Marie. 

You could always infuse your own oil, butter, or honey, with this LEVO ($289.99) for that extra bit of control over what you put in your body. 

 “I think it’s important to first ask yourself what you want out of your cannabis experience,” adds Anne-Marie, “maybe you want to enjoy it recreationally or as a way to enhance overall health and wellness. If you’re just starting out and have never consumed before, you absolutely should start low and go slow, which is one of the reasons I came to work at dosist. We pioneered a dose pen that vibrates and shuts off every time, after one microdose is released, to prevent over-inhaling, using formulas that target exactly how you want to feel.” 

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