Safety First: How to Smoke Weed and Stay Safe

Everyone’s personal high cycle is unique, so once you get comfortable with yours, it’s perfectly natural to want to try a lot of your favorite activities high, just to see what they’re like. Some things,—snacking, writing, watching movies,—are undeniably better when you’re stoned, but there are others that can end up being dangerous. Here are some things to keep in mind so you and the people you’re with can have a good time without having to worry about causing any problems. Keep in mind the four stages of being high so you don’t find yourself in a bind, unprepared.

If this is your first time puffing ganja, read our article about what first time users should know. It’ll help you know what to expect, and that can make a huge difference in your experience. Also, remember that most people don’t smoke weed at all,—like literally 80% of Americans,—so you should feel no pressure to try it if you don’t want to.

Avoid “Important” Stuff

What do we mean by “important”? Anything that directly affects your personal safety, livelihood, or the livelihood and personal safety of other individuals. Things like driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery, going to work, and taking care of children should all be considered “important,” and you want to be at the top of your game when you do them.

Marijuana can slow down your reaction time and interfere with your short-term memory. This leads to disorientation, forgetfulness, distractibility, and high levels of excitement. A lot of these sensations can be pretty intense, especially if you’re new to using cannabis. Cannabis can also interfere with your short-term memory. This is why you should try to avoid getting high before you need to do something important.

For the same reason, you want to avoid taking on any such obligations if you’re already high. If work calls and asks you to pick up an extra shift, tell them today doesn’t work. Does your brother or sister want to see if you can look after the kids for a couple of hours? Better say you’re busy. If something goes wrong or there’s an accident, sober you will have no problem assessing the situation and coming up with a solution. Sober you will generally be in a much better position to evaluate what needs to be done and make the right choices quickly.

Don’t Drive

It’s so important to avoid driving while stoned or operating any other motor vehicle or heavy machinery. Your reaction time just isn’t fast enough to deal with surprise merges, unaware pedestrians, or sudden mechanical malfunctions. If you’re driving fifty miles per hour, and you look away from the road for as few as five seconds, that’s a hundred yards of driving blind—the length of a regulation football field.

Now, a lot of you are probably thinking, “I’m a totally safe driver, I’ve never had an accident or anything!” You’re probably right, but safety is not the absence of accidents, it’s the presence of safeguards. Even if you do not cause any accidents by virtue of being high, it will likely interfere with your ability to prevent them. Nothing can harsh your buzz more than injuring someone or getting injured yourself.

Don’t Buy Stuff

This is less of a physical safety concern, but spending money on stuff you don’t need is definitely one of the risks of being high. As cool as that tie-dye blacklight-responsive velvet Cheshire Cat poster looks at Spencer’s, you can still appreciate it without dropping $25. One way to avoid unnecessary spending is to write down whatever seems appealing and look at the list again once you come down to see if you still want to buy it.

Also be wary of fast-food restaurants. All too often, they are specifically targeting you, a high person, with too-good-to-be-true deals on mountains of food. The truth is, most dollar menus are only designed to get you in the door. Once you’re inside, or staring at the drive through menu, you’ll quickly up-sell yourself to a meal deal with extra fries or—god help you—an entire tray of chicken nuggets.

Phone a Friend

Safety doesn’t have to be a bummer: it’s the presence of safeguards not the absence of accidents, after all. We have some suggestions for making sure you don’t have a bad time and can adequately respond to any unforeseen circumstances.

The safest thing you can do is to have a sober friend with you or who you can call if something doesn’t seem right. It’s a great relief to have a clear-minded friend or family member to talk you through anything you might need help with. They can contact emergency services for you if it’s actually necessary. You can put your friend’s name and phone number on a note to keep with you, just in case.

Keep Your Phone With You

Make sure you always have your phone on you, in case of emergency. Having your phone makes the difference between being able to reach out to your support network if you need help and being forced to manage everything by yourself—which can be tough when you’re high! You need to be able to reach out to people you trust so you can either delegate some of your newfound responsibilities or get some help figuring out how to tackle them.

Don’t have any friends? Don’t worry! You can make new ones by striking up a conversation with other shoppers at your local dispensary, search for “cannabis” on Meetup, or try apps like Puffy to find some like-minded people. The cannabis community is a friendly, welcoming place.

Conclusion: Dos and Don’ts

To recap, here some Pot Mates Dos and Don’ts to stay safe when you’re enjoying cannabis:


  • Drink water. Lots of water.
  • Stay in touch with a sober friend.
  • Keep your phone charged and nearby.


  • Do anything that could risk your livelihood or personal safety, or the safety of others.
  • Operate a motor vehicle.
  • Make significant purchasing decisions.
  • Order anything “family size” at a restaurant. What are you doing at a restaurant anyway? Take a look at the best foods for when you have the munchies instead.