Some cannabis strains will get you into a creative mood, while others will leave you glued to the couch for the rest of the afternoon. Each strain or type of cannabinoid can give you a slightly different high.
There are two primary types of highs one can experience – a cerebral high and a body high. Knowing the difference between these two types can help you get the most out of your cannabis experience by putting you in control of shaping it.
This article will cover the differences between a cerebral high vs. a body high, the factors that affect each high, and how you can use those factors to choose which high you wish to experience at any given moment.
What is a cerebral high?
A cerebral high, also known as a mind or head high, is associated with mood alterations. Typically, a cerebral high leads to an uplifted mood, and higher creativity, energy, and motivation levels.
Cerebral highs are perfect for day use. You can typically still go on about your day with a cerebral high. You may still get projects done at home, exercise, or participate in fun activities. You will feel an altered mindset – elated and alert. This type of high is also great for when you are in a social situation as it can help ease social anxiety and get you in a talking mood.
Many people prefer a cerebral high when they’re with a group of friends. Or, some people opt for this type of high when they need to get creative or come up with good ideas.
What is a body high?
On the other hand, a body high is great for relaxing. This is the type of high people talk about when they say they’ve been glued to the couch. Many feel the high in their body as a tingling sensation that soothes their muscles.
Depending on how much you take, you may feel very heavy and sluggish. While some people can still be productive with a mild body high, certain strains (and tolerance levels) may cause others to simply lay around lazily until the effects wear off.
Body highs are best for ending the day or for the days when you don’t have anything important to accomplish. Maybe you just want to chill at home, binge-watch nature documentaries and eat a whole bag of Cheetos. Body highs are great for that.
Don’t expect to be highly functioning during those times. Let your roommates know that little to no chores will be completed during those hours.
Body highs are also great for promoting restfulness and an overall calming aura. If you need help dozing off or want to feel more relaxed overall, using a strain that supports a body high is best.
Factors influencing your high
Being aware of these factors can help you control the type of “high journey” you want to embark on. This way, you’ll know which strain to reach for to get in a productive mood – and not accidentally smoke a strain that will do the opposite. Or if the latter is the high you’re chasing, then it’s good to know how you can make it happen.
Here are a few of the biggest factors influencing the high you experience:
The type of strain you consume
The “strain” refers to the big Sativa vs. Indica discussion. There’s also the third category of hybrid strains. However, hybrids are usually either Indica-dominant or Sativa-dominant.
As a quick recap, cannabis Indica and cannabis Sativa are two species of the cannabis plant. Besides the slight differences in plant appearance, these strains also have specific properties that affect the type of high you experience.
The cerebral high is primarily attributed to Sativa strains. Sativas are energizing and stimulating – leading to a cerebral high. When one thinks of Sativa strains, one would think of the popular ones like Super Silver Haze, Sour Diesel, or Tangie.
Although we need more research before we know for sure, many speculate that the ratio of CBD to THC may influence whether a strain is Indica or Sativa.
Sativa typically has a higher concentration of THC than CBD. This may cause more stimulating effects.
Indicas, on the other hand, are known for their relaxing properties, which induce a full-body high. Popular and potent Indica strains are Purple Kush, Skywalker OG, and Green Gelato.
Cannabis Indica strains typically have more CBD present than Sativas. The ratio of CBD to THC is usually around 1:1.
While many factors work together to produce the effects of cannabis, the difference between Sativas and Indicas is usually what causes a different type of high. Knowing which strain to try can help you control the experience you have.
The type of THC you consume
Long gone are the days when there was only one type of THC everyone used – the “OG” Delta-9 THC.
Delta-9 THC is the main psychoactive component in marijuana. This cannabinoid is what causes both head and body highs. And as we discussed earlier, the ratio of THC to CBD may be a factor in the effects you feel as well.
Nowadays, as cannabis science is moving forward, there are different types and derivatives of THC in the market. The most popular cannabinoids include Delta-8 THC, HHC, and THC-O. Each of these compounds produces an entirely different type of high.
For instance, Delta–9 THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid known for producing intense feelings of intoxication. But did you know that THC-O is even more potent?
Many report that THC-O is around three times stronger than Delta-9 THC! Because THC-O is so new, there has not been much research on its effects yet. With more research in the future, we will know exactly how potent THC-O truly is. For now, we have anecdotal reports.
THC-O is known as the psychedelic cannabinoid. Many say that it delivers a mix of a powerful cerebral high (accompanied by increased self-awareness and creativity) and a relaxed body high.
Meanwhile, Delta-8 THC and HHC are on the more mellow side of the spectrum.
Many report that these cannabinoids are not as potent. A Delta-8 THC high is described as an uplifting, clear-headed feeling that affects your mood and promotes tranquility. Therefore, most people classify it as a cerebral high.
HHC, on the other hand, is slightly more potent than Delta-8 THC but less intense than Delta-9. People describe the HHC high as a happy medium between the two. Similar to Delta-9 THC in terms of euphoria, yet with more of the relaxing qualities of Delta-8.
Moreover, all these different types of THC are also available in different strains. So, their strain profile, whether it is a Sativa or an Indica, also affects the kind of high you’ll experience.
How much you consume
How much cannabis you consume also greatly impacts the type of high you end up experiencing.
In general, the more cannabis you consume, the more effects you will feel. Suppose you smoke a lot of a Sativa strain. In that case, you may end up experiencing some anxiety, and you may even experience some sedative effects as well.
Even though Sativa is typically more energizing, smoking too much of this strain may cause you to feel more tired, similar to a body high.
At the end of the day, one high is not necessarily better than the other. The cannabis strain or type of THC you opt for will influence the high you experience. Knowing what type to go for depends on your preferences and what experience you want.
Knowing the difference between the cerebral and body high and the factors that can lead to each will give you better control over choosing which high you experience.
Whether you opt for a cerebral or body high, always consume cannabis responsibly. Do not drive when you’re intoxicated. Cannabis use is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always pay attention to how you’re feeling and adjust the amount you use accordingly.