Trying anything for the first time is often a situation that causes mixed feelings of excitement and anticipation, combined with a healthy dose of nervousness and uncertainty.

With a growing level of official acceptance of medical marijuana with legislation passed in Washington and many states, there will doubtless be plenty more anxious first-timers experiencing this mind-altering substance in the near future.

A new experience

Even if you are old enough to have been around in the 70’s and enjoyed the cannabis experience of that era, you will find that today’s version can be far more potent and therefore be just like starting over again.

The first thing to appreciate is that as marijuana is a mind-altering substance, and our minds are very individualistic, it can affect people in a number of different ways. The fact that it is a psychoactive substance means that even your level of expectation as to what it will do for you, can alter the extent of the “high” that you might experience.

Two of the primary chemicals found in marijuana that contribute towards the reaction you feel, are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound which will likely induce feelings of calmness and relaxation, probably more in your body rather than your mind, and this means that CBD is favored strongly in the makeup of medical marijuana, as it offers pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties to the user.

THC is one of the chemical element of marijuana that is likely to provide a more psychological effect, as it manages to mimic a natural neurotransmitter already present in your brain, called anandamide.

The THC works by binding itself to cannabinoid receptors in your brain and interrupts areas of your brain that are responsible for coordination, short-term memory and unconscious muscle movements, along with learning and problem-solving.

The result of THC binding to your cannabinoid receptors is that it temporarily blocks your natural neurotransmitters, which is why you can experience a euphoric feeling, due to the chemical imbalance it has managed to create at the point of taking the substance.

How to consumer medical marijuana

The most important advice to consider when taking marijuana for the very first time, is to take it slowly and review the effect it has on you after about twenty minutes, before continuing.

How you consume the marijuana will have an impact on how soon you feel the effects, and edibles can take up to an hour to take effect, so don’t be tempted to try some more too soon, as you could end up taking too much at once.

Smoking marijuana is a popular method, but it can be painful on your lungs if you are a first-timer, so aim to take very small puffs in the beginning. The reaction can be very quick when you smoke the substance, as it enters your nervous system via your lungs.

If you consume marijuana by eating some in a brownie or a cookie, it will enter your bloodstream through your digestive system, but you should wait up to an hour to feel the effects.

Vaporizing is growing in popularity and the vape high you experience can be noticeably less intense and last a shorter period, which may prove less harsh on your lungs and should allow you to make good use of the medicinal properties.

Follow these simple guidelines and you may well find your first experience of medical marijuana is a positive one.

Andrew Pryce works in the field of medical research. He enjoys writing about his findings in articles for the general public, without the hard to understand medical speak! His articles appear on health/medical and news blogs.