Differentiating Between a Head High and Body High

In the past, cannabis connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike had a very limited selection of cannabis to choose from. Thanks to advancements of breeding and horticulture technology and the consumer driven need for variety, there are now hundreds, if not thousands of Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains available.

Each of these strains have their unique flavors, effects, and aromas. The strain you choose will depend on your intended results; do you want to relax or a boost in moods and energy levels or a little bit of both?

With cannabis, users experience two types of highs: head and body. The head high is characterized by elevated moods, energy boost, creativity, happiness, and feelings of being uplifted. The body high is focused on the body and the user experiences full-body relaxations, less to zero tension, slight to extreme sedation, and sleepiness.

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What causes the different types of highs?

There are three types of strains:

Indica: these cannabis plants have short and bushy leaves and they are sought for their ability to offer users a sedative effect that is generally termed as a ‘body high’.

They can cause whole-body relaxation, trigger sleepiness, and provide relief- from tension, pain, and stress. Some may cause drowsiness and couch-lock.

Sativa: the leaves of Sativa plants are thin and tall and most people turn to these strains for the ‘head high’ experience.

The plants can improve alertness, boost moods, heighten creativity, cause happiness, and elevate energy levels.

Hybrids: these cannabis strains are the most popular and they are a blend of Indica and Sativas in varying degrees.  Each is unique depending on the dominant genetics (Indica or Sativa), flavonoids, terpenes, and essential oils.

Hybrids are normally labelled as either Indica or Sativa dominant, but sometimes, you may find strains with 50-50 genes. They offer head and body highs concurrently but in varying degrees depending on the dominating genes.


What determines the type of high one will experience?

The cannabis plants contain more than 100 cannabinoids, with the two most dominant being Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and Cannabidiol or CBD. These two are responsible for the type of high a consumer will experience.

THC – This cannabinoid is commonly found in abundance in Sativa plants. It is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. It causes euphoria, happiness, energy boost, good moods, Upliftedness, and creativity. When taken in excess, it can cause dizziness, paranoia, and anxiety.

CBD – this cannabinoid is mostly found in high quantities in Indica plants. It has no psychoactive properties and research has indicated that it is capable of countering the psychotropic effects of THC.  CBD is responsible for the body-high that keeps users relaxed, tension-free, stress-free, and pain-free. In high quantities, the cannabinoid can cause drowsiness, sedation, and sleepiness.


What does a head high feel like?

A head high is a thrilling experience that some users have described as ‘fun, glorious, and exhilarating.’ The senses are heightened and mental and physical functioning is improved. One is able to perform at their peak and produce outstanding results.


What does a body high feel like?

A body-high is characterized by whole-body melting and the flowing away of all tension, both physical and mental. The high is felt from head to toe and the user is unable to do much in most cases. They may experience mild or extreme couch lock and sedation. Eventually, the high ends in a deep sleep.


Which one is for you?

The type of high you choose will depend on your preference and the type of effect you plan to achieve. For a head high, choose a strain with more THC than CBD and for a body high, pick strains with high CBD. You can pick hybrids if you want to experience both highs.


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