Busting the Myths Between Sativa Highs VS Indica Highs

It used to be that when selecting for particular cannabis strains, one would look to either a Sativa or Indica to achieve 1 of 2 outcomes. Either a head high or body high. This delineation, however, is no longer applicable in this rapidly changing industry. Legalization has resulted in hybridization, or a blending of various strains. Which is not to mention Ruderalis and Afghanica, with the former growing particularly popular amongst breeders. In other words, as will be discussed below, the proliferation (right, bad pun—we know!) of numerous hybrid strains of cannabis no longer means that Sativa highs correlate to energetic, body highs. Or that Indica highs lead to a sedated, chilled-out head high. That said, the below guide will get you up to speed on the latest findings within the scientific community for classifying cannabis highs. And, more importantly, it should help you select (with confidence!) the best strain for all your needs based strictly on cannabinoid content.  


What is a Body High?

For the uninitiated, let’s first begin by describing the physiological experience of a body high. This used to be associated with Indica strains. A body high is akin to being ‘stoned’ or having that chilled-out, couch lock feeling that is probably best left to be savored at the end of a long day. That is, of course, unless you need to go grocery shopping on account of your wanting to eat crunchy snacks morning, noon, and night. This is pretty normal if you’re ‘under the influence of’ munchie-esque cravings. In all seriousness, however, a strong body high will feel like a buzz throughout your entire body and leave you feeling a bit lethargic or tired. This is great in edible form and just before bed. Just ensure that you take into account the delayed response if consuming CBD-rich brownies or gummies. They must first pass through the liver and so will have a time-release sort of response that could, er, have you waking up on that couch!   head-high-vs-body-high                                                   

Types of Indica Strains

Some of the more popular Indica strains associated with a body high include Granddaddy Purple, Afghan Kush, and Querkle, just to name a few. It’s important to note, again, on account of hybridization, some users may experience stronger or more effective body highs. Especially when using a hybrid strain such as Tahoe OG Kush or Ogre. In order to figure out which works best for you, then we strongly recommend partnering with your local bud-tailer or budtender. Explain what your symptoms are as well as what type of body high you would like to achieve. You’re likely going to want to stay away from high-THC strains and look, instead, for aged cannabis versus fresh flower varieties. Taxonomy used to be very important when selecting for a body high versus head high. But it’s becoming increasingly important to look at the ratio of THC to CBD and the delivery method. As mentioned, edibles will provide a sort of time-released buzz that could have you snoring until the wee hours of the morning. Or smoking could leave you edgy and anxious, so take these 2 factors as food for thought.  

What’s a Head High?

Following this line of though, your next logical question is probably something along the lines of, great, but what’s a head high then? When compared to the above body high, a head high is more of the psychedelic, 1960s-esque experience of taking a long, strange trip. This, of course, is not for everyone, especially should the individual already be predisposed to some anxiety or paranoia. The physiological effects, therefore, can be either overwhelming or underwhelming. The effects depend on whether you are aiming to boost your creativity, focus or just have a ‘balla’ time with friends. The bottom-line with achieving a head high versus a body high is, of course, to do so in a safe place. And for dosage, start low and go slow with those potent, fresh-flower varieties of Sativa.   body-high-versus-head-high                                                  

Types of Sativa Strains

Looking to juice the ol’ creative thought process or just have fun? Then you may want to consider some of the more popular Sativa strains like Jack Herer, Hawaiian Snow, or Green Crack, again, among just a few! We’ll now take a moment to provide you with a bit more (historical) context. That is, for when it comes to breaking down the Sativa strain versus Indica strain controversy. So, and historically speaking, way back in the 1700s, 2 naturalists (seriously, these ‘dudes’ weren’t even scientists!) created the term Sativa. This term was used to describe hemp plants found in Europe and Indica to describe its more off-beat (read:  psychedelic) cousin from India. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, drop the geographic distinctions, and suddenly there’s a reclassification. Sativa now means tall, narrow-leaf varieties of cannabis. And Indica is described as a stouter plant. In summary, Sativa is now the tall (up to 25 feet!) plan with serrated green leaves that adorn oh-so many t-shirts and other cannabis-related products. That means the Indica strain is the shorter (still, up to 19 feet), stouter cousin with bushier, dark-green leaves. Taxonomy aside, you should really be looking for higher content THC-strains as well as considering a rapid ‘deployment’ method. Meaning that you probably want to bypass the liver in favour of passing the bowel. In other words, vaping or smoking will get the right cannabis products right into your bloodstream and straight to your, er, head!   body-high-vs-head-high                                   

Pursuing a Head High Versus a Body High is as Easy as 1-2-3!

1. Should you want to get creative or get stoopid, then forgo the cookies and CBD-laden hummus in favor or the more classic puff-and-pass approach. 2. Don’t get wrapped up in distinguishing between Indica strains versus Sativa strains. Instead, look at and shop for those hybrids or juicy, fresh flower products that you can enjoy as a tincture or dab. 3. There are numerous strains that ‘claim’ to be high in THC or high in CBD (no pun intended, get it?). But it often comes down to doing the math. So, first select for a greater THC to CBD ratio and multiply that percentage by your total amount of product (normally 1000mg or 1g).  You will be able to approximate just how much THC is traveling to your creativity-starved noggin. When you smoke this cannabis you do lose some of the product vis-à-vis smoke.  Take care, of course, not to go too overboard trying to compensate since you’ll still, on average, get to enjoy 11 to 13mg of THC when sharing with a friend.

Final Thoughts on a Sativa Head High VS Indica Body High

So, as if it wasn’t already clear, ditch the dichotomy between Sativa high versus Indica high and go back to basics. Look for THC and CBD in differing proportions and don’t feel as though you need to select one or the other.     All Photos from Shutterstock

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