Dear Old Hippie: Can you clarify what people mean by a “body high”? I’ve been high a bunch of times, but I’ve only experienced an intense “body high” that one time I smoked White Widow, and have yet to match it. Every time I’d do an action like swing my arm or touch something, I would see it before I felt it. It was like a two second delay from what I was seeing myself do to the actual feeling of it. It was a neat experience.

A: This had me confused for a few minutes until I realized what you were actually describing. White Widow has a lot of THC and is very sativa. Those factors give it very mind-oriented effects. Even though it seemed to be centered around your body, if you think about it what you were experiencing was heavy mind effects — classic time dilation — not a “body high” per se.

A body high is anything that you feel in the physical realm. For instance: couch lock (physical lassitude), awkwardness walking/standing, tingling head or skin, physical sensitivity (whether more or less), and heightened sexual awareness all would qualify as actual body-based sensations and therefore a “body high”. It’s usually associated with indica strains or indica hybrids, but this is a plant and effects will always vary.

A body high, if you get high enough, is often accompanied by a noticeable slowdown of mental processes or a mental “fog”. This is the opposite of sativa effects and a bit like feeling drunk. I will sometimes use indicas for pain relief or reduction of anxiety. But then I generally feel too stoned to do my usual mental activities like writing or even web surfing, and just end up listening to music or watching a movie, both of which are passive mentally.

And that, my friend, is where the stoner stereotype comes from.

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