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6 Rookies Mistakes to Avoid When Using Cannabis

by Vanessa Matthews

What kind of mistakes can be made when using weed? This stuff is pretty simple, isn't it? For the most part, yes, but there are some aspects of the process that can make the experience not so great. Or, you may just be missing out on things that can optimize your experience. From using DIY pipes, to bad storage methods, to taking too many edibles, there are surprisingly quite a few rookie mistakes that can be made when using cannabis. Whether you're a total newbie to weed or just want to learn an extra thing or two, keep on reading for some mistakes to steer clear from!


Many cannabis users remember soda cans and drink bottles from their rookie smoking days. Even though it’s easy and we've all got them laying around, that doesn't make it healthy. According to Cancer Research UK, plastic bottles 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) contain unhealthy levels of toxic chemicals. The temperature required to smoke weed greatly exceeds that, showing that this method of smoking may impact your health in the long run. This includes dry plastic bottle pipes, and even homemade gravity bongs!

When it comes to soda cans, aluminum exposure in itself may be harmful, but the verdict is still out on the risks of aluminum exposure in this form. However, cans aren’t made solely from aluminum: They are also lined with polymer, which is essentially a blend of different plastic materials. The outer and inner linings of soda cans containing these are the primary problem. Inhaling plastics comes with a host of risks, as they contain a mixture of tons of chemicals. This includes BPA, which has been found to increase the risk of cancer. Take it from us and DDIY – DON’T do it yourself! If you really need to, go to your kitchen and whip up an apple pipe.


Out of all of these rookie mistakes, this one may be the most crucial one to keep in mind. Especially if you haven’t learned your limits or your “sweet spot” of cannabis intoxication, dosing too high with edibles can be a recipe for disaster.

While smoking too much for your tolerance is less than a good time, edibles can be even more tricky. This is because the effects are very delayed, unlike the nearly immediate effects of smoking. This is due to the fact that ingested THC must be digested and metabolized, while smoking it delivers THC directly to your bloodstream, causing psychoactive effects. Doses of edibles that are too high have a reputation of causing some seriously stressful highs, so it's never a good idea to overdo it, especially if you're new to it. Start with very small amounts, and slowly increase dosage so you have more control over your intoxication levels.


smoking weed pipe

A carb hole is the little hole located on the side or back of hand pipes, bubblers, as well as certain types of bongs and water pipes. Especially when you’re new to smoking, these are very commonly misused. Even though it's small, don’t let that fool you: They’re actually crucial to pulling a hit correctly. If you don't use it, you'll barely pull any smoke.

Closing your finger on the carb hole stops the flow of air, creating more suction or pressure within the pipe. So, while you’re lighting your bowl and starting to inhale, this is when you close it. This allows the smoke to build from burning the herb and directing smoke through the mouthpiece, rather than escaping from the pipe. Once you’ve pulled enough smoke, simply release your finger from the carb and clear the hit. So simple!


cannabis flower

Believe it or not, storage is actually pretty important when it comes to preserving the freshness of your bud. While it’s common for weed to be sold in clear plastic baggies, that’s one of the worst ways to store it.

There are three main important factors for keeping your bud fresh: Coolness, darkness, and dryness. Storing it away from sunlight prevents the damage UV rays can do on weed that degrade terpenes and cannabinoids, which in turn degrades its effectiveness. That can be achieved by either using an opaque container such as the Stash It! Storage Jar, or a clear glass container tucked away from sunlight (and make sure it’s airtight!). Other than that, ensure your stash jar is kept in a place with lower temperatures, and is not humid. Heat and moisture is a pesky combination that can cause weed to mold.


bong with ash catcher

Whether you prefer to use a water bong or a dry hand pipe, every option has a form of screen that can be used. These offer two main benefits: Firstly, it delivers a cleaner hit. Secondly, it keeps up the cleanliness of your piece for longer.

Bongs take ash catchers, which are small attachments that contain a percolator that you submerge in water. When you connect this to your bong, it adds an extra step of cooling water filtration, while also catching the ash inside, keeping your bong cleaner. Screens for hand pipes, on the other hand, are a small circular screen you place over the hole in the bowl, under the weed. This allows smoke to pass through, but no ash or herb. This saves you from getting a gross inhale of ash, as well as keeping the inside of the pipe more clean!


It happens to the best of us. Even if you set yourself up for a great sesh, it’s always possible that depending on the strain, your current mood, or other factors, using weed can create feelings of anxiety or paranoia. This can be a huge buzzkill, to say the least. Before smoking, have some “tools” in your back pocket just in case things go south.

Think about relaxing things you enjoy that will pull you out of your head. Depending on what situation you’re in, a few examples of these activities could be taking a long shower, having a snack and some water, getting fresh air, listening to soothing music, or doing simple art. Whatever calms you down, always remember those things you can do if your high gets a little uncomfortable. For more info on coming down from a high, check out our past blog: “Too High? Here’s What You Can Do”.



When you use cannabis, the most important thing is to stay safe in the consumption process, mentally and physically. Sure, it’s fun to get stoned, but it’s not worth taking a negative toll on you. With just a little knowledge and preparation, your experience with weed will be so much more enjoyable! Before you click off, we want to know – what's the worst weed rookie mistake you've made?

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