Even if you are not totally new to cannabis consumption, getting reacquainted with marijuana can be a surprising process, particularly if you have not imbibed in the last few years. Advances in distillation, extraction and edible production have created a brave new landscape for the aspiring cannaseur, as previously un-imagined options fill the shelves of dispensaries. To help out, we’ve collected some age-old tricks and tips to help elevate the experience for new marijuana users.

Citrus peel can be used to rehydrate weed1: Re-hydrating overly-dried flower

When containers of cannabis are left open, the plant can become over-dry, resulting in a harsh smoke that burns the lungs and causes excess coughing. While there are commercial options available in the form of hydra-packs, taking a small slice of orange or lemon peel and placing it in the closed container will refresh dry weed overnight. Make sure there is no actual fruit on the peel, as the juices will cause too much moisture, potentially leading to mold or mildew.

2: No pipe, no papers? No problem

New marijuana users are often stuck without a way to smoke cannabis. First off, nobody should ever smoke out of an aluminum can. Everybody should, however, make an apple pipe at least once in their lifetime. It is as simple as punching a hole through the apple with a pencil, then widening one end to create a bowl. Yes, you can do this with almost anything, and I have seen some impressive works of engineering using watermelons, pumpkins and even pineapples. Carrots and large strawberries can also be used in a pinch.

3: The strawberry roach holderStrawberries make great improvised joint holders

Using the same pencil through the fruit trick as the apple pipe, doing this with a strawberry and then plugging the hole with a joint is a fun way to add a bit of flavor to a boring old joint. (Personally, we suggest just smoking good cannabis.)

4: DIY Volcano

If you have ever had the opportunity to take a hit from a volcano vaporizer, you know how remarkable vapor can be compared to smoke. If you are into kitchen engineering, you can get the same experience using a skillet, a blender and a paper towel tube. Grind your flower as finely as possible (You can use a grater or zester to aid in this process if you haven’t bought a grinder yet).

Place the ground flower into the skillet then remove the plastic bottom and blade bottom from the blender top. (If you do this with a plastic blender, you will have a bad time) Place the glass upside down over the the flower, cover the top with a plate or glass, then turn your stove on to low heat. (If you do high heat, you will still be combusting the flower).

When the chamber fills with light white mist, remove the glass and use the cardboard tube to inhale the vapor. (Congratulations, you are officially a freshman stoner)

5: Do not smoke after drinking alcohol

Your mileage may vary, but it takes a few beers to get drunk, but only a few big hits to get stoned. A common issue to people who are not familiar with the effects of marijuana is getting the spins from smoking too much. When you have had a few beverages, this can quickly take you from lightly buzzed to absolutely hammered, leading to nausea and disorientation.

6: Do not smoke after eating an edible

The same as with alcohol. Edibles can take a long to time to kick in, so you may be tempted to smoke (or eat more) as you wait. This is a bad idea. As the saying goes, you can always eat more, but you can never eat less. This is particularly true with high potency edibles like the Korova Black Bar or Dr. Raw’s Red Velvet Brownie

7: Salt and alcohol are your friends

Not talking about a salty dog, but rather the best cleaner for glass pipes and other glassware. Using high percentage alcohol (90%+) with salt is a great way to get your glass looking brand new. For pipes and other small pieces, put them in a ziplock bag and let them soak for an hour or so, then shake vigorously, and rinse clean in warm water. The alcohol breaks down the tar inside the pipe, and the salt works as an abrasive to scrub it clean.

8: Get a roller

If you like to smoke joints, spend a few dollars on a “cigarette rolling machine” Aside from producing picture perfect rolls, these machine reduce spillage and waste and produce more even burning joints than regular hand rolling.

9: Try the mango effect

Although the evidence is anecdotal, many marijuana consumers claim that eating mango, or drinking mango juice enhances the effects of cannabis. If this is true, it is likely another example of the entourage effect; where the terpenes and ancillary cannabinoids work in concert to alter the base effects of THC. Since mangoes are known to contain the terpene myrcene, which gives some marijuana strains a fruity aroma, it is understandable that ingesting this terpene can alter and enhance your effect.

10: Keep it locked up, particularly if you have kids

A nice stash box is a great thing to have. In addition to keeping your medicine and gear out of sight, keeping your marijuana from being exposed to light and heat keeps your flower fresher. Your stash box can be a simple pine box from the craft store, an ornately engraved cedar lock box, or one of the expensive but amazing smell proof humidors from companies like Cloud Ten. If you have kids, PLEASE make sure you keep your edibles locked up and out of reach. While you may recognize the label that says that brownie is for medical use only, kids only see a delicious treat. Don’t be that parent!

We hope these tips are helpful. In the coming weeks, we’ll also be providing a guide to identifying and utilizing extracts and a simplified glossary of cannabis terms. Stay tuned!