The rate of cannabis consumption is increasing across the U.S., no doubt thanks to improved state regulations that allow adults to procure weed in safe and legal spaces. As research reveals that cannabis is not only relatively harmless but also positively beneficial, more people previously opposed to pot are becoming curious about its effects and actively seeking out flower to enjoy their very first marijuana high.

If you are planning a trip to a legal Colorado dispensary to buy your first-ever bud, you should be proud of your pursuit of new life experiences, especially those with the potential to open your mind and broaden your worldview. However, before you dive head-first into the wild world of weed, you should prepare for your first high by reading and reflecting on the following tips from expert stoners:

You Might Not Get High Your First Time

Though you might suspect that you are the most susceptible to THC during your first exposure to cannabis, the opposite seems to be true. Many first-timers simply fail to experience the effects of cannabis, regardless of how much weed they consume or how they consume it. Experts have a few theories for why this occurs — it might be that the body is as yet unsure how to handle the compounds within cannabis, or it might be that users themselves are bad at comprehending the symptoms of being high. Regardless, you might feel frustrated by a lack of psychoactive effects during your first stoner session.

Still, you should avoid the temptation to overindulge. Some first-timers do experience the effects of cannabis — and because their tolerance is so low, some get much too high their first time. Because experiencing nausea, panic, hallucinations, low blood pressure and other symptoms of overdose are much worse than experiencing nothing at all, you should dose slowly your first few times to acclimate your body to the drug.

You Should Choose Your Method Carefully

Unlike other drugs, cannabis is remarkably malleable. The body can absorb the compounds within cannabis in a variety of ways — inhalation, ingestion, transdermally and more. As a result, you have a range of options of use for your first time.

Generally, inhaling is the best option for brand-new beginners because it offers near-immediate effects and allows precise control over dosage. However, if you have concerns about your respiratory system, you can start with cannabis edibles, but you should be aware of the pros and cons of digesting cannabis, which include a delay between consumption and effects onset and an utter lack of control in dosing.

You Will Want Water and Food on Hand

Most likely, your first stoner session will probably occur on a couch, but even though you won’t be up and about, you should prepare your space with plenty of food and water. A prominent effect of cannabis is the activation of the metabolism, which tends to make users exceedingly hungry — a symptom jokingly referred to as “the munchies.” If you don’t want to waste calories on junk foods like chips and cookies, you can make yourself healthier snacks. However, perhaps more important than having food is having plenty of water. Hydration will keep your high in check, preventing the development of uncomfortable symptoms like dry mouth or paranoia.

It is important to note that it isn’t wise for you to combine intoxicants during your first time using weed. Though you might think alcohol would calm your nerves about this new drug, getting drunk could exacerbate negative effects of cannabis. Other substances, like magic mushrooms or acid, are equally taboo for your first few stoner attempts, and even experienced weed enthusiasts don’t like to mix and match psychoactive drugs.

If Possible, You Should Have a Stoner With You

Whenever you are trying something new, it helps to have someone more experienced nearby to guide you through the process safely and successfully. Though catastrophic failure is all but impossible when it comes to weed, you might still want a stoner guru on hand to help you choose the right products, consume the right dosage and generally set the right scene.

It is possible that you don’t have a true weed expert amongst your group of friends. If that is the case, you might ask any of your other buddies if they are interested in sampling weed with you. In general, you should avoid trying to use cannabis in isolation, as doing so can set a bad precedent for future consumption.

Weed can be wonderful — but you need to try it to find out if it is the drug for you. The above tips should help you enjoy your first pot experience, so you can continue coming back to cannabis and gain more of its benefits.