Not Everyone Gets High The First Time They Try Pot — Here's Why

Photographed by Rachel Cabitt.
As stoner milestones go, not getting high is almost as important as the moment you finally get it right. Yep, as you may have heard, it's surprisingly common to not actually get high the first time you try marijuana (though this isn't the case for every newbie stoner). Even more surprising is that no one's quite sure why.
There are theories, of course: For starters, you probably didn't totally know what you were doing the first time. Even if you think you know exactly how to roll a joint, light it, and inhale just right, it still takes some practice to get it down. So it's understandable that your first try wouldn't exactly be all that mind-blowing.
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But those beginner's mistakes don't necessarily account for everything. Some experts also think there's a "sensitization period" during which you won't feel high. That's because THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, can cause your brain to increase its amount of cannabinoid receptors. You'll have to wait for your body to create enough receptors in order to feel high, which might take a couple of tries.
Finally, it's always possible that you were a little high, but the effects were subtle, or you just didn't know what to expect. If you've never been high before, it's kind of impossible to know what it'll feel like, so even if you were slightly high, you might not have noticed, or maybe you just wrote it off as being hungry, tired, or drunk.
In reality, it's probably combination of all three factors — your inexperience, your biology, and your unawareness — that makes it so hard to get high your first time. The good news is: It only gets easier from there.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws.
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