The Cerebral Head High vs. a Body High: Which is Right for You?

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Cannabinoids

strains for body high

One of the most cliqued Hollywood movie tropes about people who use cannabis is getting a case of “the dumbs” after smoking marijuana. You know the scene; someone is sitting in a group of people, and suddenly, they become incognizant and intellectually impaired.

You don’t really see many depictions of a body high compared to the stereotypical signs of the intense cerebral effects that certain strains of cannabis may cause. Both psychoactive and physiological effects can have profound benefits for patients living with debilitating chronic pain or mental health disorders, such as treatment-resistant depression or anxiety.

The Different Types of Psychoactive Effects Caused by Cannabis

Twenty years ago, before the legalization of medical cannabis, buying cannabis on the black market was like buying a surprise bag; you couldn’t be sure what you were getting. Strains were not labeled accurately, and often, non-dispensary purchases may contain more than one strain with variable potencies.

Today, online resources provide information on different strains. Websites like Weedmaps, for example, provide accurate information about potency, minor cannabinoid content (CBG, CBN, THCA), and the dominant terpenes found in the strain.

While it is true that a cannabis strain can affect individuals differently, the data (supported by online customer reviews) provides baseline information that can help you choose the right strain for your needs. That includes notes about whether the strain is likely to cause a head high (cerebral effects) or a body high (analgesic effects). Then, there are hybrid strains that may cause feelings of emotional, cognitive, and physical relaxation.

The Cerebral Head High vs. a Body High Which is Right for You

What is a Cerebral or Head High?

Life can be stressful at times. However, for people who cope with mental health conditions, such as moderate to severe anxiety or depression, intrusive thoughts, memories, or concerns can compound everyday stressors.

Imagine your brain is like a giant blackboard full of writing. Each word is a worry, concern, a traumatic memory, feelings of emotional loss or grief, and other emotions. Consuming a type of cannabis that provides cerebral effects can wipe that blackboard clean and allow you to unburden yourself from worrisome thoughts for a period of time.

What is interesting about experiencing a cerebral high is that you may still be aware that there are some stressors lurking in the back of your mind. However, cerebral strains can push the pause button, giving your emotional epicenter a short vacation from upsetting or stressful thoughts.

Exploring the Potential Benefits of a Cerebral High

Complex cognitive activities or complicated tasks that require strategic thought or planning will have to wait a little bit. Cerebral cannabis is predominantly sourced from Sativa strains or sativa-dominant hybrid strains, and many provide energizing effects while muting anxiety symptoms.

Researchers have found that the unique characteristics of some Sativa strains make it easier to relax without feeling sedated. However, cerebral cannabis Sativa strains can provide other benefits beyond stress relief for effective symptom management.

Pain Relief

There is an ongoing cannabid Indica debate while comparing Indica strains with Sativa dominant cannabis. Indica strains may be well known for their ability to provide body-numbing effects that can help make chronic pain more manageable. However, cerebral strains can help alleviate chronic pain by reducing pain perception, or how acutely you feel pain and discomfort.

Cerebral highs can help alleviate chronic pain by reducing the perception of pain and increasing pain tolerance. Cannabinoids can slow the release of neurotransmitters that signal pain throughout the body, temporarily desensitize pain receptors, and help reduce inflammation. Strains with moderate THC and CBD content are most effective for addressing inflammation.

Increased Energy and Appetite Stimulation

Potent Indica strains are also effective for symptoms of chronic pain and insomnia. However, Indica strains can be highly sedative, which doesn’t work well for daytime use. Some patients find that cerebral highs provide a boost in energy and motivation, which can be beneficial for managing fatigue associated with certain medical conditions.

Cannabis-induced cerebral highs can stimulate appetite, which is particularly beneficial for patients undergoing treatments that suppress appetite or those dealing with conditions like cancer or HIV/AIDS. When combined, THC and CBD also work to reduce inflammation, which can help relieve symptoms of nausea and gastrointestinal upset.

cannabis strains for head relaxation

Improved Focus and Creativity

Certain strains that induce cerebral highs may enhance focus and concentration, making it easier for patients to engage in tasks or activities despite their medical condition or symptoms. When pain symptoms are well managed, it becomes easier to concentrate on tasks as well.

For patients struggling with mental health conditions or undergoing stressful medical treatments, the creative boost from a cerebral high can offer a welcome distraction and outlet for expression. Many successful visual, music, and performance artists compose with the help of cannabis, which can remove other distractions that can disrupt the creative process.

Mood Elevation and Emotional Regulation

Cerebral highs often lead to feelings of euphoria and uplifted mood, which can be beneficial for patients dealing with depression, anxiety, or mood disorders. It can also support healthy relationships as well, by moderating moods like anger, irritability, and grief.

Cannabis can have mood-regulating effects, helping patients maintain emotional stability and cope with the psychological challenges associated with their medical condition.

Stress and Anxiety Reduction

When you live with chronic debilitating symptoms, it can magnify normal life stressors. Imagine waking up every day not knowing how bad your symptoms will be and organizing your activities and life around those health uncertainties.

Cannabis-induced cerebral highs may help reduce stress and anxiety levels, promoting relaxation and a sense of calmness. While cannabis does not permanently resolve feelings of stress or anxiety, it can help provide a few hours of relief, which can improve overall quality of life.

Increased Sociability

Sativa strains tend to bring out the social butterfly in many people. Some strains are well known for making you feel happy and talkative, which is ideal for gatherings with family or friends. Cannabis Sativa can also help people who struggle with social anxiety.

When you experience muscle spasms, migraines, arthritis, joint pain, neuropathy, or other chronic symptoms, a lot of energy is spent to attempt to achieve a comfortable state. Most people who live with debilitating symptoms every day experience a sense of loss and frustration because of the ongoing effort to address those symptoms. It’s hard to be social when you are feeling unwell. Cannabis may help.

The euphoric and mentally stimulating effects of a cerebral high can provide a welcome distraction from the symptoms or side effects of medical treatments and therapies. Instead of being acutely focused on the uncomfortable symptoms, cannabis can provide a welcome break from pain-focused behavior.

cannabis strains for pain relief massachusetts

Cannabis Strains That Can Provide Cerebral Psychoactive Effects

You can easily access an abundance of information online to help you narrow down sativa-dominant or hybrid strains that may provide the therapeutic results you are looking for. Some conventional medical cannabis strains that patients use, which can provide cerebral effects, include:

  • Amnesia Haze
  • Blue Dream
  • Durban Poison
  • Ghost Train Haze
  • Golden Goat
  • Grapefruit
  • Sour Diesel
  • Strawberry Cough
  • Super Lemon Haze
  • Trainwreck

Remember that the highest level of potency does not mean medical cannabis will be more effective; look for minor cannabinoids and terpene content as well to find your best strain. However, if these strains are not available in your local area, ask a budtender for guidance. They will be able to suggest comparable strains you can try.

body high cannabis

What Does a Body High Feel Like?

If you are not looking for the mind and mood-altering effects that are provided by products made from cannabis Sativa, you may be aiming for a more body-numbing experience. This is common for a person who has sustained back injuries, been diagnosed with a condition such as multiple sclerosis, or who copes with randomized neuropathic pain.

The first thing a patient with pain symptoms will notice is that the volume or intensity of pain reduces slowly after consuming cannabis. But a body high has not resolved the source of your pain; what it has done is interfere with neurotransmitter messaging, reporting less pain to your brain.

There are three other ways that cannabis strains that cause a ‘body high’ help reduce pain and discomfort from chronic symptoms:

THC Triggers Release of Endorphins

When you consume cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can stimulate the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relief hormone. Endorphins quickly bind to opioid receptors located in the brain and the spinal cord, reducing pain perception and promoting feelings of relaxation.

Vasodilation Effects

After consuming cannabis, THC can also cause vasodilation or the widening of blood vessels in the human body. When that happens, it increases blood flow throughout the body, which helps reduce inflammation and pain.

Muscle Relaxation

Suppose you experience regular or daily pain symptoms. In that case, you may also suffer from chronic muscle tension caused by anxiety or anticipation of future pain (even if you are not experiencing discomfort at the exact moment).

Over time, unresolved muscle tension can lead to the build-up of lactic acid around muscles and joints. Cannabis can cause deep relaxation and temporarily relieve muscle tension. This can help patients enjoy a period of reduced pain or perhaps help them get a good nap or sleep if they suffer from pain-induced insomnia.

Cannabis Strains That Can Provide a Comforting Body High

Typically, people who choose products that provide a body high are looking to rapidly address discomfort and pain. The species of cannabis plant most often chosen for body-numbing physiological effects is Indica.

Here are some strains to consider trying, which are well-known for causing a ‘body high’ or temporary numbing effects:

  • Blue Cheese
  • Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)
  • Ice Cream Cake
  • Grape Ape
  • Hindu Skunk
  • Do-Si-Dos
  • Lemon Kush
  • Master Kush
  • Tahoe OG
  • White Rhino

Indica-dominant hybrids may be less sedative than those with 100% Indica content. A 60:40 ratio is common for people who want symptom relief without excessive grogginess.

When it comes to medical cannabis use, researching different strains can take some time and effort. However, the results are worth it. Think less about Indica and Sativa plants and more about hybrid strains’ complex natural chemical compounds. That includes minor cannabinoids and terpene content.


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