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What Are the Differences Between a Cerebral High vs. Body High?

cerebral high

According to a recent Gallup report, more Americans are trying marijuana than ever before. In fact, nearly half of all U.S. adults claim they’ve tried weed in the past. Only 50 years ago, that number was just 4%.

While there are many different cannabis strains to consider, there’s one unifying reason why most of us are curious about them: the high they produce!

Whether you want to feel relaxed or energized, there’s a certain experience you’re looking for when you take Delta-8, Delta-9, HHC, THC-O, or any other type of cannabinoid. Yet, did you know that a cerebral high will feel different from a bodily one?

Today, we’re breaking down the differences so you’ll know what to expect the next time you smoke, vape, take an edible, or enjoy a tincture of your favorite product.

What Is a Cerebral High?

The word “cerebral” means something that relates to the brain or your intellectual capacity. To tap into your cerebral function, you have to use mental energy and careful thinking, rather than your instinct or your feelings.

What does that have to do with marijuana?

When you experience a cerebral high, it affects your mind and your mental space. More specifically, it catalyzes changes in your mood and affects the way you reason, focus, think, and perform. For instance, you may feel more uplifted and inspired, with a surge in creativity, energy, and motivation.

You may also feel a sense of euphoria, noting that your mind feels elated and more alert.

When to Enjoy

Due to their energizing nature, it’s understandable that drugs that create cerebral highs are best suited for use during the daytime. Whether you’re feeling creatively stuck or you’re simply getting ready for a night out, look to these when you need a jolt of vitality.

When taken relatively early in the morning, they can give you the push you need to concentrate and reason throughout the day. You may find that they make it easier complete projects on time, exercise with more vigor, or simply participate in activities with your friends in a more engaging, fun way.

If you suffer from any type of social anxiety disorder, you might find that cerebral highs make these situations more bearable, and even enjoyable. They can even help ease your tension and make you more talkative.

In most cases, users can still go about their daily activities after initiating a cerebral high. That said, it’s important to listen to your body! If you feel as though the substance has altered your mental state in an incapacitating way, remember to practice caution and stay safe.

What Is a Body High?

While a cerebral high might improve your mood, a body high will change the way you physically feel. If you’re in the throes of chronic pain and looking for relief, these compounds can offer support.

Have you ever heard of someone describing the feeling of getting high as being glued to the couch? If so, they were most likely talking about a body high. Drugs that induce this type of high tend to relax your muscles and dissolve some pain, leaving you feeling sleepy, sedated, and physically calm.

While this can be an extremely enjoyable experience for some, it can leave others feeling uncomfortably sluggish and tired. You may also get the perception that your body weight has increased, which can cause you to feel heavy and make even small movements difficult.

When to Enjoy

As you might expect, it’s best to experience a body high later in the day, when you can relax into the evening or nighttime hours. However, you can enjoy it earlier, but just make sure you do so on a day when you don’t have too much to accomplish! If you’ve been saving your favorite series to binge-watch or you just want to take a “me” day and be a little lazy, a body high is ideal.

Although some people can still manage to work and stay productive when under the effects of a mild to moderate body high, this isn’t a common response. Rather, most people simply choose to sit there and let the high take hold, rather than try to do too many things at once.

Of course, this depends on the specific marijuana strain you try. In addition, your tolerance level also affects your ability to multi-task during a body high. The higher your tolerance is, the less intense the effects will be, and the more active you can stay.

Either way, no one should expect a body high to turn into Power Hour. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to do much of anything while you’re under those effects. From working out to typing a report for work, all of your important tasks will need to wait.

What Influences Your High?

By now, you should know that cannabis strains are too nuanced and complex for us to group into two neat categories: cerebral and body.

Instead, there are many different factors that determine exactly how each strain will take hold once it’s in your body. When you know what to look for, you’ll be able to choose the right strain for your mood and intentions that day.

For instance, you don’t want to reach for a strain that produces a body high when you need to be laser-focused and on task. Likewise, you don’t want a strain that will mentally stimulate you when all you want to do is lie around and listen to your favorite albums.

Let’s take a look at a few of the different elements that will influence your high.

The Specific Marijuana Strain

Have you heard marijuana users report on the differences between Sativa and Indica strains? What about hybrid strains? These are all species of the cannabis plant.

Though they look a little different from one another, the real difference in these strains is the effect they have on your mind and body. Some researchers speculate that these varying effects are due to the concentration of CBD to THC that each strain contains, which can help dictate whether it’s Sativa or Indica.

Let’s break these down a little more.

Sativa Strains: Cerebral High

While the categories aren’t always clear-cut, Sativa strains tend to be more energizing and uplifting. These are the strains that are most likely to give you a cerebral high.

Due to these characteristics, Sativa strains are often used to treat conditions such as depression and fatigue. They’re mental pick-me-ups and can put you in a better headspace if you’ve been feeling down or in a funk.

In most strains, Sativa has a higher concentration of THC than CBD. This might help explain its stimulating effects.

Indica Strains: Body High

On the other hand, Indica strains are mostly sedative and relaxing in nature. These are the strains that are most likely to give you a full-body high. Specialists often use Indica strains to help soothe symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain.

Most Indica strains tend to have higher concentrations of CBD than Sativa strains do, which explains their physically relaxing characteristics. In Indica strains, the ratio of CBD to THC is usually 1:1.

Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains combine the best features of both Sativa and Indica. They offer a balance of each of these benefits, being neither too sedative nor too energizing in nature. Despite their name, most hybrids are not equally split.

In fact, most hybrid strains today are either dominant in either Sativa or Indica. The exact one you choose will determine whether you feel the high mostly in your mind or your body.

The Kind of THC You Take

Years ago, when you said you were taking marijuana, everyone knew what you meant: Delta-9 THC.

While that might have been the original THC, it’s far from the only type. Yet, it remains the most common. That’s because Delta-9 is the main psychoactive component present in marijuana.

Today, you can also find other kinds of THC on the market. We’ve discussed many of those right here on the blog, including Delta-8 THC, HHC, and THC-O.

Those three cannabinoids above each create their own kind of high. Let’s take a look at the differences in greater detail.


Delta-9 is widely known for creating an intense high that often leads to psychoactive experiences. This cannabinoid is responsible for causing both cerebral highs and body highs. While this can lead to some pretty enjoyable times, too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing.

If your Delta-9 dosage is off or you’re new to the compound, it can leave you feeling paranoid and jittery. This is one of the reasons why people have started looking beyond Delta-9 THC when they want to enjoy a high.


Those seeking an even more powerful high can look into THC-O, which is known to be up to three times as heightened, though more research is required before we understand the full depths of its effects. In terms of a high, THC-O is said to deliver both a cerebral high and a sedating body high. Mentally, users say it sharpens their self-awarness and leads to more inspired bouts of creativity.

Not ready for quite as wild of a ride? You may want to try Delta-8!

Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 produces a slightly milder and more manageable high than what most people experience with Delta-9 THC and THC-O.

When people take it, most report feeling a cerebral high that leaves them clear-headed and tranquil. This is especially true if you vape Delta-8, which delivers the substance in a highly bioavailable form.

To make it a little more confusing, all of the THC types described above are available in different strains, including Satvia and Indica. The type of strain you choose will influence whether you experience more of a cerebral high or a body high. As you can see, you can truly customize your experience!

The Amount of THC You Consume

The kind of high you feel will also depend on the amount of THC that you consume.

As you might expect, you’ll have a more intense experience if you consume a higher amount. Instead of launching right into that approach, think about what an elevated version of that particular high might feel like. For instance, if you take a large amount of a Sativa strain, you’re likely to feel an intense cerebral high.

While that might be enjoyable at first, it could trigger feelings of anxiety for someone who’s unused to taking such a high dosage. It could even cause the high to transform into more of a body high, generating sedative effects even though those are most often associated with Indica.

Conversely, this can also happen with Indica strains. Though you might feel the body high at first, it could transform into more of a cerebral high at higher doses.

Before you begin amplifying your amount, we always suggest starting with a small dose, first. This is especially true if you’re new to taking THC.

Once you’ve taken the cannabis, wait about 30 minutes for the effects to take hold before you make any changes. If you find that the high is very comfortable and manageable and you want to increase it, then you can slowly work your way upward.

Cerebral High or Body High: Which Will You Choose?

Now that you know the difference between a cerebral high and a body high, where will you start? The good news is that you don’t have to choose one over the other!

The more experience you have with THC, the more you can try different products that deliver all kinds of effects.

The key to choosing the right product is understanding how they work. The more you educate yourself on the different strains and their compositions, the more informed decisions you can make.

Interested in starting with Delta-8? Shop with us for all of the disposable vape products you need!