January 25, 2022

The Lowdown on Body Highs vs Head Highs

Different kinds of cannabis taken in different ways by different people can produce a range of effects. Each combination of product, person, and other factors can lead to a unique set of sensations.

This includes the type of high you may get.

So, in this post, we’ll hit on:

  • What body highs and head (or mind) highs are
  • Differences between body highs and head highs
  • How to decide which kind of high (if any) is best for you
  • How to achieve your desired high

What’s A High?

In relation to cannabis, a high is any feeling of euphoria, intoxication, or altered state caused by our leafy green friend.

The actual sensations of a high will vary from person to person — maybe even each time cannabis is used. The nature of your cannabis — marijuana- vs hemp-sourced, low THC vs low CBD, inhaled vs ingested — will also weigh heavily in how a high manifests itself.

Why Do We Get High?

When cannabis enters your body, it plays tag with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS is a friendly team of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors that leverages cannabis compounds to support your physical and mental health. And possibly get ya some shape of high.

The substances in cannabis influence the regulation of brain chemicals and processes, your nervous system, and more. In this capacity, cannabis may alter your mental state, tweak your mood, etc.

High Times With CBD, THC & Delta-8

This is a super important point: Not all forms of cannabis will result in a high. The strain of cannabis plant — as well as each individual cannabinoid — is a pivotal factor.

For example, here’s what can you expect from CBD, THC, and D8:

  • CBD alone will not intoxicate you. It lacks the chemical components necessary to create psychoactive responses in your body. Full- and broad-spectrum CBD may produce some level of high due to the THC they contain. (Read: It’s the THC that’s causing the intoxication, not the CBD.) HOWEVER, CBD can affect your mind and body — we’ll come back to this.
  • THC may get you high.THC is a psychoactive compound. If you consume enough of it, it will likely get you buzzin’.
  • Delta-8 could get you highish, too.This cannabinoid is similar in many ways to its kin, THC (aka delta-9). But, D8 is known for yielding a much mellower euphoria than THC.

A few other tidbits to chew on…

  • Most compounds in cannabis — besides THC — are non-psychotropic and won’t get you soaring above any treetops or melding into your sofa.
  • Marijuana cultivars are generally high-THC, low-CBD. Hemp cultivars are usually high-CBD, low-THC. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, though, as there are plenty of strains that buck these trends.
  • The substances in cannabis are thought to complement each other, producing an entourage effect. This synergy of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals may intensify or change the sensations created by your chosen cannabis product.

On top of this are the infinite variables of product formulation, method of consuming the cannabis, and the vagaries of people’s individual bodies. Each little piece nudges the outcome of your cannabis experience in its own direction.

Different Kinds Of Highs

There are two types of high: head high and body high. Three types if you count head+body high. The high you get is a matter of your personal biology and your cannabis routine.

It’s All In Your Mind: What’s A Head High?

This is one of those times when the name matches what the thing is. A head high (aka mind high) is when the buzzy feelings are in your…you guessed it…head.

Head High Symptoms

Head highs are described in a host of ways. People commonly say that their head highs make them feel:

  • Talkative
  • Creative
  • Energized
  • Sociable
  • Giggly

Basically, head highs are often associated with elevating your mood, stimulating you, and sort of freeing your mind.(1) Many folks mention feeling alert and prefer this sort of high during the daytime when they’ve got to get stuff done.

One thing to watch out for, though, is that some people get a sense of anxiety or paranoia with their head highs.

How To Get A Head High

You’re more likely to get a mind high if you:(2)

  • Consume products that contain higher amounts of THC or delta-8-THC
  • Use cannabis strains that are more “sativa-like”
  • Smoke, vape, use sublingual drops, or otherwise introduce the cannabis into your body directly into the bloodstream

CBD & Head Highs

What about CBD? CBD can alter your mood and mindset, too. While it does bring on the calm, it’s not producing a high. The effects, which are very real, are non-psychoactive mental and emotional responses. If you’re consuming full- or broad-spectrum CBD, however, you may feel the psychoactive zing of the THC.

Figuring It Out: What’s A Body High?

Whereas a head high is in the head, a body high is in the body. Bet ya didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Instead of the sensations being above the neck and between the ears, it’s felt elsewhere in your system. You may experience it widespread or in isolated zones — like your limbs or back. Again, to each his or her own.

Body High Symptoms

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is a body high like?” or “Why does my body feel high when I’m not?” — you aren’t alone. Sometimes people describe body highs as a sort of curious feeling in which the body has zenned out while the head is totally clear.

Body highs are frequently depicted as:(1,3)

  • All-over relaxation, like tension has fled the corporeal premises
  • A heightening bodily sensations and awareness
  • Feeling less inhibited
  • Having a sense of quiet contentment
  • Feeling weightless

Keep in mind that body highs may impede a person’s ability to function optimally. Like plopping on the couch and catching up on your shows is just the right speed. Yah, it can be that chill.

This brand of high can be a great release for those who deal with chronic pain or physical issues related to stress.

How To Get A Body High

The probability of a body high goes up if you:(2)

  • Opt for cannabis strains that are more “indica-like”
  • Eat, drink, or otherwise introduce the cannabis into your body through the digestive system

CBD & Body Highs

Again, as CBD isn’t psychoactive, it technically can’t give you a body high. That said, CBD can help your body unclench. This feeling of muscles relaxing, the pinchedness of stress melting away, and so on can feel like a body high. (And loads of people actually refer to it as a body high.) CBD’s just working with your ECS in a different way to get these outcomes.

Remember, though, that the THC in full- and broad-spectrum CBD products may cause a body high.

Mind-Body High

Maybe you’re the sort who doesn’t like to choose. You’re a “Can’t I have it all?” kinda person. That’s cool.

If this sounds like you and carries over to your cannabis inclinations, you can have both head and body highs. Your best bets for accomplishing this include:

  • Opting for hybrid cannabis strains that have characteristics of both sativa and indica
  • Choosing products with multiple cannabinoids — like THC and CBD — and terpenes
  • Experimenting with layering your cannabis products (e.g., taking a daily CBD softgel in the morning and eating a delta-8 gummy after work)

How To Choose: Mind High Or Body High

To make it simple, we propose this little decision-tree-esque process for you….

1. Safety First

First and most importantly — determine if getting high is safe for you to do.

We always advise people to consume cannabis in healthful ways. And given that not all cannabis is appropriate for all people, it’s valid to assume that getting high is not the right path for everyone.

If you currently have medical conditions or are taking medications or supplements, discuss with your doctor whether or not using cannabis is OK for you. Together you can map out a suitable cannabis plan.

2. Whatcha Want

Next, decide if getting high is something you want to do. (Tons of cannabis users go to great lengths to avoid getting high, you know. It’s a thing.)

You may find that you want a high sometimes but not all the time. That’s legit, too.

3. Mind, Body, Or Both

If you’ve settled on, “Yes, I do want to get high.” — and it’s safe for you to do so — your next step is to pick which kind of high you’d like. This will be based on your needs, preferences, and what you’re hoping to achieve by using cannabis and getting high.

Do your research and select cannabis products that are most likely to give you your desired high.

Cannabis On High

Highs occur when cannabis creates an intoxicated or euphoric feeling.

  • Head highs are in your head. They’re known for elevating mood, focus, alertness, and creativity.
  • Body highs are in the non-head parts of the body. This sort of high is frequently described as supreme relaxation — muscles relaxing, tension dissolving, etc.

Different types of cannabis produce different highs. So, selecting cannabis products that prominently feature the cannabinoids and terpenes known to generate the outcomes you seek is key. How you consume — e.g., sublingually vs ingested — your cannabis will impact your high as well.

All in, you’ve got a lot to think about when it comes to cannabis highs!



  1. Loreto, M. (2021). How to tell the difference between a mind and a body high. Healthing. https://www.healthing.ca/cannabis/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-a-mind-and-a-body-high
  2. ‌Yang, L.(2017). The Real Difference Between Body Highs and Head Highs. Vice. https://www.vice.com/en/article/7xzb7z/science-of-head-and-body-highs-weedweek2017
  3. (2019). Marijuana: What Happens during a Body High? Oxford Treatment Center. https://oxfordtreatment.com/substance-abuse/marijuana/body-high

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