In stoner culture, there are a lot of unspoken rules. One of them, which I will speak of now, is that you should never have to pay cash for your first joint. Another is that you always pass the joint around, even if you don't like that person.
Among many things that are unspoken are the rules about what separates weed noobs from weed veterans. As a very seasoned pot smoker, I can tell you that there are a lot of things that tend to tip people off when you're a seasoned pothead versus a newbie.
Wondering where you fall? Here's my list of classic signs.
Noobs will buy tons of tacky cannabis accessories that will get them arrested, while vets will stick with low-key merch.
This is one of the most visible traits that separates weed noobs from weed veterans. Most younger people who get possession charges do so because they wear a bunch of weed-themed stuff and go to the wrong party. A weed veteran, especially one with a clean record, tends to go under the radar.
That's why weed veterans (and very smart newbies) will often go for a more discrete way of dressing—not to mention a more discrete scent-proof bag for carrying their goods, such as the one above.
Weed noobs will often act like potheads just to show they smoke, while weed veterans tend to make a point of flying under the radar.
We've all seen this move on college campuses and high school campuses alike. It's the vibe and way of acting that makes you look like one of the aggravatingly-ubiquitous hackneyed old stoner stereotypes, just because you need people to know you smoke.
Because, you know, it's "cool" to do so.
The problem with this is something veterans of cannabis culture pick up, and often gets them irate. That's what separates weed noobs from weed veterans, particularly when it comes to legalization talk. Veterans are sick of stoners making them look stupid while talking about the need to legalize marijuana, and who can blame them? It's counterproductive as hell.
Noobs don't know how to roll a joint while veterans will find easy workarounds.
Though I will say that there are some veterans who can't roll a joint very well (me, for instance!) most veterans can roll a joint with their eyes closed. For dyspraxic people like myself, being a long-time pothead means that you come up with some pretty need workarounds.
Like, most veterans who are clumsy prefer cones. Just stuff the herb in the cone and twist. You can't mess that up. If you live in an area where medical marijuana is available, using vape pens is also a pretty good option.
If you can't tell weed noobs from weed veterans by their rolling skills, you definitely can by seeing how they handle their lack of knowing how to roll a blunt.
Weed noobs often will get really paranoid when they buy weed, while weed veterans are used to it.
Remember the first time you had to buy some goods? It was scary, wasn't it? Most weed noobs still feel that fear when they get the pot from the dealer, and tend to cause a lot of problems for themselves as a result of said issues.
Veterans of cannabis culture, though, are very used to it and tend to be casual about it. Though they might not be fearless, they are definitely more used to it and are more prepared for bad things to happen. Most of us have it down to a routine.
A lot of people will tell weed noobs from weed veterans by the grinding methods they use.
Finely ground cannabis is a whole 'nother experience, and most weed veterans know this. It's just a fact of life. Herein lies one of the more subtle ways to tell weed noobs from weed veterans.
If you want to have a seriously high quality smoke, then you will grind your herbal goods well and remove the seeds and stems. Veterans know this. They also tend to splurge on grinders, and might even invest in a grinder pen like Herbagrind to do it all for them.
Weed newbies, though? They'll just grab a cheap grinder or just crumble it up and pop it in a pipe regardless of whether they have the time to do otherwise.
Weed novices will freak out the first time they smoke, while weed veterans rarely ever do.
We've all had bad trips, but for a lot of weed noobs, their first couple of trips are the worst. Because they don't know what to expect from cannabis, they tend to freak out and think they're dying the minute that they have a puff of the green stuff.
Veterans typically will only begin to freak out if they're noticing signs their weed is laced. Even then, they tend to keep their cool better than most would—which is why this is one of the easiest ways to tell weed noobs from weed veterans.
Weed newbies tend to be clumsy with lighters and roaches, while veterans tend to light joints with insane things.
Lighters and matches are some of the easiest tools to separate weed noobs from weed veterans. A newbie will often burn their fingers on a lighter, have a hard time keeping their joint lit, or will otherwise fumble with a lighter in one way or another.
Veterans, though? They often will have a go-to Zippo they can refuel themselves. They even might have the magical ability to light a joint off a gas range.
Newbies tend to know nothing about strains, while cannabis veterans will know tons.
If you want to tell weed newbies from weed veterans without having them smoke in front of you, talk to them about it. Most newbies to cannabis don't really know that much about marijuana. They might not even know the difference between sativa and indica.
Veteran potheads, on the other hand, can give you a list of which strains are best for pain relief, what are the most CBD-heavy strains, and what strains to avoid if you have anxiety.
Weed newbies will botch brownies; weed veterans can write a book on how to make a good batch.
Most weed newbies can't bake a batch of Burnie Brownies if it killed them. (Sorry, not sorry.) As a food connoisseur and a pothead, I can tell you that the cannabis cooking skills you have will separate weed noobs from weed veterans.
Also, your ability to eat edibles and not overdo it can do the same. Newbies always make that one mistake when they end up trying edibles for the first time.
A cannabis newbie probably read this list and went, "Oops." A veteran probably just nodded their head slowly in agreement.
There's nothing wrong with being a cannabis newbie. Everyone starts off new at one point or another. Even if you ticked all the signs separating weed noobs from weed veterans and saw yourself as the newbie, that's not a bad thing.
A lot of newbie behavior is cringeworthy, sure, but we've all been there. As long as you learn and grow, you'll eventually smoke with the veterans—and also not make a fool of yourself.