body high
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More people than ever are looking to cannabis as an alternative treatment for a variety of ailments and conditions. Because of that, even more questions are emerging when it comes to what cannabis does to our bodies.

For example, the cannabis sativa plant is considered to be medicinal. So, we can take the Sativa vs. Indica comparisons as a way to look at navigating toward a regimen that is plant-based. However, we want to know the actual difference between a head high and a body high.

What Is a Body High?

A body high is usually attributed to a strong Indica dominant strain. A couple of examples include Death Bubba and Pink Death. These are both pretty common strains that you might have already experienced. However, it is true that really any strain, whether it is Indica or Sativa, will give you some kind of body high.

That body high is usually designed as a kind of buzz you feel. That buzzing sensation can be felt throughout your entire body.

Body High and Indica Strain

Maybe you’ve already determined that you want to try an Indica strain. What exactly does a body high actually feel like? Let’s look at what you might encounter when you consume cannabis and experience a body high.

Indicas are more widely believed to give you more of a body high. They are also known for creating what is commonly referred to as a “couch-lock” symptom or effect.

This means that if you take a seat on the couch following a heavy Indica smoke, you aren’t likely to get up and do any chores you had in mind. You’ll likely find that Indicas are suggested for night consumption for exactly this reason. The body high is quite intense, and you can ride that buzz right into sleep. You’ll also likely get the best sleep you’ve had in a long time.

If you are looking for a strain that is going to get you a long body high, a strong Indica strain is the way to go. It can help with spasms, chronic pain, sore muscles, and headaches. Consumption of this type of strain will make you feel sleepy, which also makes it a great option for anyone who has sleep issues, including insomnia.

What Affects Your Body High?

There are a few things that will impact your body high and its level of intensity. Smoking marijuana will give you a bit of headier buzz. Edibles are going to give you a much stronger buzz.

The cannabis that gets absorbed through the liver is processed in a different way. The THC is converted into 11 hydroxy metabolites or 11-OH-THC. This processing makes for a stronger effect than if you were to vaporize or smoke cannabis.

What Is a Head High?

Now that we have talked about a body high, let’s look at a head high. The term head high might leave you to believe that this effect just relates to being a little spacey. This isn’t actually the case.

THC is a psychoactive compound. This means that every single strain has the potential to give you a head high. However, it is Sativa strains that are more likely to give you a greater head high.

The Effects of a Head High

The effects of a head high can come in many forms and variations. There are several things that can impact your individual effect. These include your likelihood to experience paranoia and anxiety, as well as how much you smoke, both in frequency and in quantity. Your surroundings can also have an effect on the intensity of your head high.

You can expect only subtle cerebral effects from a microdose of such Sativa strains as the Blue Hawaiian and Jack Herer.  Most users who have had the microdose of these strains have described the experience as uplifting and euphoric. Some have even described it as energetic.

This might make you feel like going out and exercising or getting chores done, which is the opposite of how you’d feel when experiencing a body high. For some, a head high gives them the ability to focus for a longer period, which can lead to accomplishing more tasks more effectively.

A good head high can also give you a boost when it comes to your imagination. Your mind might be filled with stories or daydreaming. It is often a great boost when writers have a block or when artists are looking for inspiration for their next piece. Overall, creativity seems to be heightened, which can help anyone who works in the arts.

beautiful girl sitting on couch and smoking marijuana joint in living room

Body High vs. Head High: Four Ways to Know the Difference

If you are still wondering how to spot the difference between a head high and a body high, we highlight the four key ways below.

1. Immediate Mood Effects

If you experience an immediate impact on your mood, you are likely experiencing a head high.  You can feel this effect after really just one or two hits, depending on your tolerance. The feelings you might experience include pleasure, energy, and euphoria.

This is due in large part to the fact that Sativa strains have a higher content of CBD. CBD is what gives you a highly-stimulating effect, which results in optimism and alertness. This is why so many people choose to use it during the day instead of at night.

In contrast, a body high will give you mostly physical effects. Those effects might include a bit of awkwardness when standing or walking, overall clumsiness, tingling, and overall lethargy.

2. Intense Physical Sensations or Altered Mental Perception

A head high usually precipitates an enhancement of mental processes that are pretty noticeable. These are usually things, such as creativity. You might also experience an increase in visual capacity as well as aural capacity.

Those who use Sativa strains are able to maintain a high functionality when it comes to mental and physical activities, including artistic endeavors as well as exercise.

A body high, on the other hand, makes you less functional overall. This kind of high is known for producing increased laziness, heaviness, and even a sense of paralysis or numbness. Its greatest benefit for some is that it helps you to fall asleep more easily and can even help you stay asleep.

3. Heart Rate Increase

If you experience an increase in your heart rate, you likely are experiencing a head high instead of a body high. Smoking weed has the potential of increasing your heart rate by up to two times, and the increase can last for up to three hours.

This obviously leads to an increase in overall blood flow, which can enhance any psychoactive effects that are ordinarily produced by the brain.

Some regular smokers can get quite uncomfortable from these effects, particularly if they are already susceptible to anxiety or panic attacks. For those users, avoiding this is best, especially because it won’t produce any calming or relaxing benefits.

When you are experiencing a body high, on the other hand, you are more likely to have your heart rate slow down. This is what makes Indica strains so helpful for those who already suffer from anxiety. They are naturally calming and can help reduce the feelings of stress.

4. Treatment of Body Ailments

Those who suffer from body ailments will benefit from the use of Indica strains. Mind highs, on the other hand, are best for those who have medical conditions. Several cultures and religions specifically use marijuana as a means to reach a meditative state.

Which Is Better?

Every single person is different, and so this is truly for every individual to decide. What suits your needs may very well be unique to you.  For example, some smokers like to take a handful of hits of a Sativa strain first thing in the morning. Then, try an Indica later on in the day. The opposite may be true for others, including you.

You can really kind of play around with different combinations in order to find the one that best suits you. There are different sensations and unique energies that are felt when experiencing a head high or body high.

You might find that you want a strong strain to help with extreme anxiety or chronic pain. For something like that, you can try Pink Death and see if that works for you.

It really depends on what you need, how you’re feeling, and the effects you hope to experience. Knowing the ailments that impact you most can really help you determine if you want a head high or body high.

Body High and Edibles

Keep in mind that the way in which you ingest your pot can make a significant difference in the effects you feel. It was once thought that you got more psychological effects from smoking pot because it was immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. That means it passed the blood-brain barrier.

That leads most people to think that smoking would give you a stronger high than consuming edibles. However, that isn’t actually true. It is the case that smoking gives you a nearly immediate effect. That effect is fleeting, though.

The effects you feel from smoking marijuana peaks about half an hour to one hour after smoking. After that, it continues to dissipate until it is completely gone just a couple hours after smoking.

Edibles, however, give you a body high that lasts a long time. You can feel the effects for a full four to six hours after consuming the edible.

Why Do Edibles Get You So High?

Edibles get you so high not only because they are metabolized in a different way. Instead, the effects are attributed more to the idea that the digestive system can better absorb the weed.

When you smoke, you get low levels of Delta-9-THC. That then turns into 11-hydroxy-THC. The terpenes in the THC make it oil-soluble. So, it does not break down well when it gets absorbed into the bloodstream. Blood is mostly water, after all.

On the other hand, when you eat your THC, it breaks down as soon as it comes in contact with your saliva. This means that you start off with more Delta-9-THC right at the beginning. The liver then turns that larger amount of Delta-9-THC into 11-hydroxy-TCH, which is actually water-soluble.

All in all, this means that smoking isn’t actually the best way to get high. Instead, edibles are far more effective. Consuming edibles will also make your high last longer overall.

Who Should Use Edibles?

The more intense high that is associated with consuming edibles can be a good option for those who are struggling with significant health issues, such as cancer. This is especially true for those who cannot smoke because of such things as lung issues.

Edibles can also be a great option for anyone who experiences chronic or intense pain. They can also help with a variety of digestive issues since they are absorbed directly into the digestive tract.

Those who suffer from anxiety should pay close attention to the edibles they choose. Avoiding anything that says “intense” might be good to stay away from. In general, edibles provide a prolonged and intense high. If an edible actually denotes that the effect is intense, it may be too much for most people. This can lead to even more heightened panic and anxiety.

You also want to remember that it can take half an hour for the effect of the edible to kick in, which means you want to pace your eating. If you haven’t felt the effects yet, that doesn’t mean you should jump right into eating more. Wait until you know how you’ll feel after eating one before taking any more bites or consuming anything else.


There are benefits to both a mind high and a body high. Really, you’ll want to think about the purpose of your high. You should treat mental conditions differently than you will physical ailments.

You want to be careful of which high you chase. If you already suffer from anxiety, you do not want to make yourself more anxious or excited. Similarly, if you have physical ailments that cause you great pain, you want your high to help you relax.

Both a mind high and body high can be enjoyable for the average person who suffers from no ailments or conditions. If that is you, there isn’t any reason you can’t enjoy smoking or consuming both an Indica strain and Sativa strain.

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