Cannabis is used for both recreational and medicinal purposes and has a wide range of effects on the human body, which are often categorized as either a “head high” or “body high”. Depending on the type of strain and the individual’s reaction to its effects, a person using cannabis can experience a variety of sensations. Here we look at everything you need to know to understand the differences.
Cannabis is used for both recreational and medicinal purposes, and has a wide range of effects on the human body which are often categorized as either a “head high” or “body high”. Among them are mental stimulation, a sense of relaxation, or an increase in creativity. Depending on the type of strain and the individual’s reaction to its effects, a person using cannabis can experience a variety of sensations.
“Head” effects are related to mental sensations, such as euphoria, concentration, or creativity, while “body” effects are primarily concerned with physical sensations, such as muscle relaxation, pain relief, or feelings of tranquility. In this article, we will discuss the differences between the two types of effects, as well as their medical uses, examples of strains that induce specific feelings, and how the method of cannabis consumption affects the type of effect.
What Is a Head High?
The “head” effect is a mental state of euphoria and/or creativity characterized by feelings of clarity, energy, and focus. It occurs when you feel the effects of cannabis on a mental level – that is, only in your head or mind, not in your body. Most often, this effect is produced by Sativa-dominant strains, which are known for their stimulating and motivating effects. Here are some of the most common “head high” effects:
A head high is a feeling of strong emotional excitement that can produce a sense of euphoria. The person experiencing this effect may feel intense joy, optimism, and satisfaction with life.
The effects of cannabis on the brain can lead to mental stimulation, which manifests as increased energy, focus, and readiness to take on new challenges. Stimulation can also affect increased motivation for action and feelings of enthusiasm.
Head high is often associated with a boost in creativity. With this effect, users can perceive new ideas, concepts, and solutions and combine the information in unusual ways, which can lead to innovation and original thoughts.
The effects of cannabis on the senses can lead to an increased perception of the environment. People experiencing head highs may notice more intense colors, sounds, tastes, or smells, as well as increased sensitivity to external stimuli. This effect can make the cannabis user more aware of their surroundings and more responsive to changing conditions.
Medical Properties of Sativa Varieties
Medical Cannabis Sativa varieties have a number of medical properties that contribute to their popularity among patients who experience certain health problems. Here are some of them:
- Appetite stimulation: Sativa can help stimulate appetite in people with loss of appetite due to diseases such as cancer or HIV/AIDS.
- Anti-fatigue: Sativa can counteract fatigue and chronic fatigue, which can be particularly useful for people suffering from chronic fatigue, narcolepsy, or other sleep disorders.
- Treatment of depression: Sativa can help alleviate symptoms of depression by increasing energy levels, improving mood, and stimulating creativity.
- Anxiety reduction: Sativa can help reduce anxiety in some people, although it can also cause anxiety in others. Sativa’s anti-anxiety properties are linked to the presence of terpenes such as limonene and pinene.
- Improved concentration and creativity: Sativa can stimulate the mind, which can lead to improved concentration, creativity, and reasoning abilities.
- Treating migraines and headaches: Sativa can help relieve headaches and migraines thanks to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Treating ADHD and ADD: Sativa can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD and ADD by increasing concentration, reducing impulsivity, and improving time management skills.
- Counteracting nausea: Sativa can help counteract nausea, which can be particularly useful for patients undergoing chemotherapy or other treatments that cause nausea.
It’s worth noting that Sativa’s therapeutic effects may vary depending on the strain, THC and CBD content, and the individual sensitivity of the patient.
What Is a Body High?
The “body” effect occurs when a certain strain of cannabis or food product with THC is consumed. It is described as a physical state of relaxation and sedation that accompanies feelings of peace, calm, and tranquility. The “body” effect makes you feel like lying down on the couch or bed and getting a good night’s sleep.
This type of high is usually associated with Indica cannabis strains such as Hindu Kush, Afghan Kush, and Granddaddy Purple. Indica strains are known for their relaxing and calming effects, which can be helpful for those seeking a sense of peace and tranquility. Here are some of the most common “body high” effects:
The “body high” effect associated with Indica cannabis strains can lead to deep muscle relaxation. This sensation can help combat muscle tension, spasms, and discomfort associated with chronic muscle inflammation or injury.
It acts as an analgesic, helping to relieve various types of pain, such as chronic pain, neuropathic pain, arthritis pain, menstrual pain, or muscle pain. The analgesic properties of Indica varieties are often used in medicine, especially for patients suffering from chronic pain.
Calming and relaxing
A body high often leads to feelings of inner calm, relaxation, and repose. This tranquility can help alleviate anxiety, stress, and restlessness while helping to achieve a state of emotional balance. People who have trouble relaxing can benefit from the calming effects of the Indica strains.
The properties of Indica strains can lead to feelings of drowsiness, which can be particularly beneficial for people with sleep problems such as insomnia. The sleeping properties of Indica cannabis are used in medicine as a natural remedy for sleep problems, helping patients fall asleep faster and achieve deeper, more restorative sleep.
Medical Properties of Indica Varieties
Indica cannabis strains have many medical properties that contribute to their popularity among medical cannabis patients. Here are some of them:
- Pain relief: Indica can be effective in relieving chronic pain, headaches, migraines, joint pain, or muscle aches, thanks to its powerful analgesic properties.
- Muscle relaxation: Indica strains can help relax tense muscles, which can be especially beneficial for those suffering from muscle spasms, muscle tremors, or inflammation.
- Anxiety reduction: Indica can help reduce anxiety and stress, helping patients achieve a state of calm and relaxation.
- Improving sleep: Due to its sedative and calming properties, Indica strains are often used by people with sleep problems such as insomnia.
- Nausea reduction and appetite stimulation: Indica can be effective in relieving nausea and vomiting, which can be particularly beneficial for patients undergoing chemotherapy or those suffering from eating disorders.
- Reducing seizures: Indica varieties can help reduce the frequency of seizures in patients suffering from epilepsy or other neurological disorders.
- Relieving symptoms of chronic diseases: Indica can help alleviate the symptoms of many chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and arthritis.
- Reducing inflammation: Some Indica strains exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, which can help treat inflammation-related conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
Differences Between “Head High” and “Body High”
The differences between the “head” and “body” effects go beyond the Sativa versus Indica debate. You can, by the way, read our article on the differences between Sativa and Indica strains.
The main difference between the “head” and “body” effects lies in the type of experience they provide. While the “head” effect is a mental or cerebral experience that is characterized by feelings of euphoria, energy, and creativity, the “body” effect is a physical experience that can range from feelings of relaxation to feelings of drowsiness.
Benefits of the “Head” Effect
Consumers experiencing a “head high” are most likely to experience the following effects:
- Increased focus
- Clarity of mind
These effects are great for those who want to get work done or increase productivity. They can also help those who want to improve their mood or state of mind. However, this thesis requires further research, as everybody is different, and the same strain can produce different effects in different people.
The “head” effect of cannabis can also provide a sense of euphoria and energy, which can be helpful for those who want a break from the daily stresses of life. It can also benefit those who want to explore their creativity or embark on a spiritual journey.
Benefits of the “Body” Effect
Those experiencing the “body” effect are likely to experience any of the following effects:
- Muscle relaxation
This type of high is often helpful for those who want to relax and de-stress after a long day. It can also help those who want to relieve physical pain or discomfort.
The “body” effect can also provide a sense of calm and deep relaxation, which can be helpful for those who want a break from the daily stresses of life. It can also benefit those who have a desire for introspection, exploring their inner self, or going on a spiritual journey and observing the flow of thoughts.
How To Distinguish Between the “Head” Effect and the “Body” Effect
The easiest way to distinguish between the “head” effect and the “body” effect is to pay attention to your own experience. If you feel an intense surge of euphoria and creativity, you are most likely experiencing the “head” effect. On the other hand, if you feel relaxed and sleepy, you are probably experiencing the “body” effect.
It is equally important to pay attention to the type of cannabis being used. Sativa strains are usually associated with the “head” effect, while Indica strains are usually associated with the “body” effect. Paying attention to the type of strain can help you better understand the type of experience you are having.
Note that two strains – one Sativa and the other Indica – with the same concentration of THC can produce different effects. This effect is caused by terpenes or aromatic compounds found in cannabis. Terpenes in cannabis modulate the effects of cannabis, and Indica and Sativa plants have different terpene profiles. Sativas are often rich in more citrusy terpenes, which themselves produce a more energetic experience, while Indica strains are more likely to have a heavy, earthy terpene profile that leads to deep relaxation.
How To Achieve a “Head” and “Body” Effect at the Same Time
The best way to achieve a “head” or “body” effect is to experiment with different strains and dosages. If you are looking for the “head” effect, you should look for Sativa strains with high THC content. If you are looking for the “body” effect, you should look for Indica strains.
It’s hard to find pure Indica or Sativa strains on the market today. Most of them are hybrids or crosses between Indica and Sativa strains. Hybrid cannabis strains dominated by Sativa genes will produce mostly “head high” and, to a lesser extent, “body high.”
Hybrids dominant in Indica genes will cause mainly “body high” and, to a lesser extent, “head high.” Different levels of Indica and Sativa genes will define the final effects, so it’s worth experimenting with different strains to find one that matches your expectations.
It’s also important to pay attention to the potency of the cannabis you use. Stronger cannabis can provide a more intense experience, so start slowly and be aware of your dosage.
Best Strains for “Head High” and “Body High”
The best strains for the “head” effect are predominantly Sativa strains, rich in THC. These include, but are not limited to:
- Amnesia Haze
- Durban Poison
- Green Crack
- Jack Herer
- Sour Diesel
- Strawberry Cough
- Super Lemon Haze
The best strains for the “body” effect are predominantly Indica strains. Popular Indica strains known for causing the “body” effect include, but are not limited to:
- Bubba Kush
- Granddaddy Purple
- Grape Ape
- Ice Cream Cake
- Northern Lights
- Purple Punch
Tips on How To Enjoy the “Head” Effect and the “Body” Effect
When it comes to enjoying the “head” or “body” effect, the most important thing is conscious dosage. Start slowly and pay attention to the type of experience you are experiencing. Once you find the right strain and dose for the desired effect, you can experiment with different strains and doses to find the combination that works best for you.
Also, it is important to find a comfortable and peaceful place to enjoy the effects of cannabis use. Make sure you choose a place free of distractions and stress. This will help you fully enjoy the experience.
If you take too large a dose and encounter unpleasant effects, there’s no need to panic, as they can result from a so-called “cannabis overdose” – not fatal, of course. Here’s an article on everything you need to know about the effects of taking too much cannabis.
Knowing what to expect when experiencing the “head” or “body” effect resulting from cannabis use is very important. It will allow you to choose the right strain, whether you need motivating and stimulating effects or relaxation and drowsiness. It’s also important to remember that the dosage and method of administration – smoking, vaporization, food products, dried concentrates, oils, drinks, transdermal patches, etc. – play an important role in the entire cannabis experience; therefore, it is a good idea to start with small doses and slowly increase the dose until optimal results are achieved.
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First published in Fakty Konopne, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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