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The Differences of a Head High vs Body High

Hand holding a weed joint

Weed consumers often report experiencing two types of sensations: a head high or a body high. This article will discuss the difference between the two types of highs and how each manifests.

What Is a Head High and What Does It Feel Like?

As the name suggests, a head mainly affects your cognitive and emotional aspects. It typically manifests as an altered state of consciousness that may cause a shift in your perspective, thoughts, and mood.

The interaction of the cannabinoid compounds with the respective receptors in the brain and nervous system causes a head high. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is particularly responsible for causing a head high.

When it enters the body, it binds to CB1 cannabinoid receptors primarily found in the brain and the central nervous system. The CB1 receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system in the body, which plays a crucial role in signaling and regulating various physiological functions such as mood, memory, and appetite regulation. THC also activates parts of the brain associated with creativity, cognitive processing, and introspection.

It manifests in different ways for different people, as follows:

  • Euphoria and happiness. Most people report feeling euphoric or heightened happiness when experiencing a head high. Your mood may also improve, leading to increased optimism and a sense of well-being.
  • Increased creativity. Some people report enhanced mental clarity, alertness, and focus which can be advantageous when engaging in certain activities. For example, creative tasks, problem-solving, or stimulating conversations. You may find that ideas flow easily, and your brain might perceive connections and patterns you previously may have noticed.
  • Altered perception of time. While some people become fully immersed in the present moment, others lose a sense of time. As a result, minutes may feel like hours, or hours may feel like just a few minutes.
  • Introspection. You may find yourself going deeper in thought. Some people describe gaining profound insights and a heightened awareness of their thoughts and emotions.
  • Increased sensory perception. Colors may seem more vibrant and brighter, sounds more vivid, and tastes more intense.
  • Increased social interactions. Sometimes, weed users experiencing a head high become extremely sociable and chatty. Even shy people may find it easier to connect with others.
  • Anxiety. While for many people, a head high is enjoyable, for others, it triggers anxiety or paranoia. The psychoactive effect of THC can cause overthinking and racing thoughts.

What Is a Body High and What Does It Feel Like?

A body high affects your physical sensations. It causes a deep sense of relaxation and comfort in the body. As with a head high, the cannabinoids attach to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, causing physical relaxation and sensations.

When consumed, the cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream interacting with CB2 receptors found in the peripheral tissues. Some cannabis strains contain terpene, such as myrcene and linalool, which have sedative and deeply relaxing properties.

Cannabinoids also influence the release of pain regulation and pain-relieving neurotransmitters, causing calming effects associated with a body high. Furthermore, cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation leading to a sense of overall physical well-being.

A body high can manifest in the following ways:

  • Muscle relaxation. One of the most common manifestations of a body high is profound muscle relaxation. Some users describe feeling their muscles becoming loose and at ease. You may feel relief if you are experiencing muscle soreness, tension, and chronic pain.
  • Physical comfort. You may feel soothing sensations and a feeling of tranquility in your body.
  • Sedation. In other instances, users feel immense heaviness on their limbs as if numb and unable to move.
  • Appetite stimulation. Many users report increased appetite when experiencing a body high. This increased appetite is often referred to as munchies.
  • Pain relief. Some people who were in pain reported complete pain relief when experiencing a body high.
  • Sleepiness. The deep relaxation and sedation effects can result in feeling sleepy.

Can You Determine Which Type of High You Will Get or How Intense It Will Be?

Although it is not possible to determine with absolute certainty the type of high you will get, certain factors can help to predict, as discussed below:

Strain of Weed

One of the key determinants of the type of high you will get is the strain of weed. The three main cannabis strains are Indica, Sativa, and hybrid. Indica strains are primarily associated with body highs and relaxation, while sativa strains tend to cause head high. 


As for hybrid strains, the effect depends on the dominant strain. However, most have a balanced cannabinoid profile for optimal effects.

Cannabinoid Profile

The cannabinoid profile also influences the type of high you will get. Higher THC levels cause head highs, while higher levels of CBD typically cause body highs.

Terpene Profile

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in some strains of weed, which enhance effect and flavor. Certain terpenes promote relaxation causing a body high, while others increase alertness leading to a head high.


Cannabis tolerance varies from person to person. Frequent users may be more tolerant, while occasional users are more prone to both highs.


Higher dosage results in more intense highs. You want to start with lower dosages to gauge your tolerance and how the highs manifest.

Consumption Method

The method of consumption influences how high you get. Methods such as inhalation and vaping tend to have a faster onset and stronger effects. On the other hand, edibles take longer to set in and often result in a body-centric high.

Can You Get a Body and Head High Simultaneously?

It is possible to experience both body and head highs simultaneously. It depends on the cannabinoids and terpenes profile in the weed. If it has almost equal levels of CBD and THC, there is a high likelihood of a well-rounded experience. It also depends on your sensitivity, tolerance to cannabis, and the dosage.


Body and head highs are distinct. A head high mainly affects your cognitive and emotional aspects, while a body high affects your physical aspects. The type of high you get depends on the strain of weed and cannabinoid and terpene profiles. Your tolerance, sensitivity, dosage, and consumption method determine the intensity of the high.

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