Lightshade Budtenders

The First-Timers Guide to Visiting a Colorado Dispensary (2024 Edition)

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, visiting a legal Colorado dispensary for the first time can feel overwhelming! So what questions should you ask at a dispensary? How should you find the best dispensary in Denver for tourists?

Keep reading to learn the answers to questions like these (and more) directly from the mouths of our expert budtenders.

How do dispensaries work in Denver?

So now you know how Colorado dispensaries work, you might be wondering how to get weed in Denver during your visit.

The best policy is to find a dispensary that caters to tourists, go prepared with cash and your ID, and ask lots of questions. 

Pro tip: Lightshade’s Peoria location is just minutes from Denver International Airport (DIA). If you’re smart, you’ll plan a stop after landing to grab provisions for your trip. Click here for location details.

Interior Waiting Area Shot of Lightshade Sheridan

What do I need to know before walking into a dispensary?

As long as you have your ID, medical cannabis card (to make medical cannabis purchases), and bank card (or cash), you’re all set. Tourists love visiting Colorado’s dispensaries, so budtenders are accustomed to interacting with out-of-towners, many of whom have little to no dispensary experience. 

Trust your budtender! They’re passionate cannabis experts who love to make product recommendations. We suggest you tell your Lightshade budtender your plans for the day (or week) and how you want to feel. They’ll take care of the rest. Come as you are, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! 

What do I need to bring to purchase cannabis from a Colorado dispensary?

Here’s what you need to know before your first Colorado dispensary experience. First, bring your state-issued ID, your good vibes, and possibly cash; banking is still challenging in our industry, and many dispensaries accept cash only (Lightshade accepts debit cards and cash). 

Can I use credit cards at Colorado dispensaries?

Right now, the answer is no, or at least, not yet.

Because cannabis is still federally illegal, most credit card companies will not process payments taken by dispensaries. So instead, you can get cash from onsite ATMs or use a debit card. But we anticipate that things will change soon.

Interior Shot of Lightshade Dayton

Do you need an ID to enter a dispensary?

Yes. You must present a valid state-issued photo ID to enter a Colorado dispensary. Dispensaries are no different than bars or liquor stores. You can’t order a drink without an ID, so why would it be any different in a dispensary? It’s not! 

So if you’re wondering, “can I go to a dispensary without identification? The answer is no. 

Still, every law has its nuisances! For example, 18+ Coloradoans with a valid medical cannabis card can legally purchase medical cannabis from a Colorado dispensary. 

Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • 18+ Coloradoans CAN purchase medical cannabis with a Colorado MMJ card. 
  • 21+ Coloradoans (and tourists) can legally purchase recreational cannabis in Colorado with a state-issued ID.

Why do they take your ID at dispensaries?

Dispensaries take your ID for the simple reason that they need to verify your age. Acceptable forms of ID for colorado dispensaries include:

  • A state-issued driver’s license
  • A passport book
  • A passport card 
  • Active military valid ID (with picture and birthdate)
  • Colorado Native-American Tribe Card
  • Colorado Temporary Driver’s License paperwork with voided Driver’s License

Lightshade Dispensary Denver - 6th Avenue

Why do Colorado dispensaries scan your ID?

People often ask if Colorado dispensaries scan customer IDs, and the answer is yes! Again, similar to your local watering hole serving cocktails to 21+ patrons, Colorado dispensaries scan IDs to verify their validity. After all, a Colorado dispensary can lose its license if it accepts a fake ID. 

Do dispensaries accept temporary paper IDs? It depends on the dispensary. But generally, if you have a secondary form of ID matching the name on the temporary ID at the dispensary, Colorado laws will allow the dispensary to admit you. Likewise, an expired license with the same name and information will do the trick.

Can I use my out-of-state license at Colorado Dispensary?

But can you use a passport at a dispensary? What if you want to visit a Colorado dispensary with your out-of-state ID? 

It’s no problem. Not only do dispensaries take passports, but they can also process valid driver’s licenses from any state in the US. So just like you can still use your ID at bars when traveling to another state, you can use your license at any dispensary in Colorado.

How much weed can I buy at dispensaries in Colorado?

For individuals making their first visit to a dispensary, Denver, Colorado, laws are different depending on the type of cannabis user you are. 

  • Medical cannabis patients: can purchase up to two ounces of cannabis per day. 
  • Recreational consumers: can purchase up to 28 grams (or 1 ounce) per day.

Cannabis Flower in Glass Jars on Shelfs

How much does an ounce of weed cost in Denver? 

Now that you’re ready to buy let’s talk pricing. How much is an ounce of weed?

We crunched the numbers, and while the price varies considerably between dispensaries, the average cost for an ounce of cannabis in Denver is $150. 

But, of course, you can get cannabis for more or less than that, depending on what you’re looking for, so your best bet is to check in with your budtender and see what you can try within your budget. 

5 cannabis joints

Will the budtenders explain the difference between products & strains?

Yes! You should always turn to your budtender for expert purchasing advice. They’ll explain the differences between products and strains and help you find the perfect fit for your desired cannabis experience. 

Can I take photos inside the store?

Denver marijuana dispensaries have different policies, but most won’t let you take photos inside their stores.

It’s mostly a privacy issue. After all, would you want someone taking your photo on a cannabis shopping spree? So if you’re going to take a picture of just you and your friends, ask your friendly budtender. We bet they’ll be willing to accommodate you!

What’s the best Denver dispensary for tourists? 

There are so many marijuana dispensaries in Colorado that tourists can find it challenging to know where to start. Many places claim to be the best dispensary in Denver–but which holds the title? 

We might be biased, but we think that Lightshade’s vast selection, many locations, and friendly staff of budtenders make it the perfect dispensary for any first-time consumer. So visit us, and see if you agree!

Ready to place your first Colorado dispensary order?

Order Online from Lightshade

people raising their glass

Easy Tips to Help You Celebrate the New Year Without Alcohol

Yes, you can have an alcohol-free New Year. It’ll be a blast, and you won’t start 2024 with a headache.

As the “sober curious” movement gains steam, many of us are looking forward to celebrating our first New Year without alcohol. 

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our top 15 celebratory activities to do instead of drinking, plus where to stock up on cannabis before the big night!

lady in sparkly dress dancing

How Can I Celebrate the New Year Without Alcohol?

Of course, you can have fun without alcohol on New Year’s Eve. So, whether you’re avoiding a booze-soaked party or you’re planning alcohol-free activities, we’ve got the perfect suggestions. So, let’s dive in.

1. Break Out the Dance Moves

For social drinkers, it can be hard to imagine hitting the dance floor booze-free! But not only will your moves be much more coordinated, but dancing also provides a lovely endorphin high that’s certified hangover free.

2. Attend an Alcohol-Free Event

If the idea of being the only non-drinker at a party stresses you out, seek an alcohol-free hangout. Check Meetup or your local sober living Facebook group for leads.

3. Karaoke

There are few better things than belting out Total Eclipse of The Heart to a room full of friends and strangers. And without alcohol, you might be organized enough to hit those high notes while staying on beat.

4. Try a Midnight Meditation

A midnight meditation is a fantastic way to come into 2024 centered, relaxed, and activated. Join an existing event, or invite your friends to join you in following a pre recorded guided meditation.

5. Hit the Rink

Roller skating is back in a big way, and you’ve gotta be sober on skates! So hit up your local roller rink for an old school skating party, complete with nostalgic jams and that one weird, overly patterned carpet they all have for some reason.

6. Host Game Night

Whether in person or online, game nights are an excellent way to bond with friends booze-free. So bring your games to a party to set up an alternative hang-out zone for the cannabis-consuming folks.

7. Watch Movies

Get your friends together for a slumber party style movie night! Break out the streaming passwords and pass the popcorn for an alcohol-free night that’s sure to delight.

Pro Tip: We have many flower strains perfect for a chill puff, puff, pass New Year’s movie marathon. Click here to order online.

3 friends watching a movie

8. Have a Dinner Party

Ring in the new year with a bountiful feast with friends. Try a buffet of good luck new year’s dishes from around the world, or prepare a comfort food bonanza for everyone to tuck into as they try not to fall asleep before midnight.

Pro Tip: Hit our Instagram page and navigate our how-to cooking series videos with Denver cannabis chef Dave Hadley.

9. Sip a Mocktail

Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean you can’t have a cocktail in hand! An alcohol-free mocktail brings the same fancy fun as a boozier alternative without the risk of overindulging. And unless you choose to share, no one has to know what’s in your cup.

10. Have an Art Party

Get in touch with your creative side by hosting an art party. Paint, draw, or sculpt with friends to create meaningful mementos you can cherish for the next year and beyond. By the way, if you haven’t made pottery while high, you’re missing out on an excellent sensory experience.

11. Indulge in Cannabis

Cannabis is becoming an increasingly popular alternative for those avoiding alcohol. Cannabis fans love how it offers a healthier-feeling, hangover-free experience while still creating a transportive effect. You can even sip a cannabis-infused drink or add a THC tincture to your mocktail!

Pro Tip: Try Stillwater’s Ripple! It’s a flavorless THC powder that you can dissolve in any liquid for an elevated mocktail.

group of nicely dressed people smoking cannabis

12. Take a Trip

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all and reset. Taking a new years trip is a great way to remove yourself from the potential pressure of the big night while making new traditions of your own.

13. Do a New Year’s Hike

You don’t have to climb to the top of the highest local peak, but a new years hike is an amazing way to kick off 2024 feeling energized and in touch with your body. Take a mindful walk with friends, or venture out for a centering solo stroll.

14. Try a Non-Alcoholic Champagne Toast

There’s nothing quite like the magic of a champagne toast at midnight, and thanks to a growing number of booze-free champagne alternatives on the market, you won’t have to miss out if you’re staying sober this year.

You can toast with a blunt or a Made in Xiaolin Cannagar, too, just saying.

15. Be the Sober Friend

Last but not least, let’s not forget the party saving power of the sober friend. Like the superhero you are, you’ll be there to save your drinking friends’ days–from acting as the designated driver to convincing them that, no, they really don’t need to call their ex right now. We promise they’ll be thanking you all year long.

friends clinking glasses and laughing

What Can I Do Instead of Drinking at a Party?

If you want to attend a party without drinking, it’s best to come prepared. Here are some of our favorite mocktails and cocktail alternatives for celebrating with friends.

Which is the Best Mocktail?

First off–what is a mocktail? It’s a portmanteau of mock and cocktail–basically a booze-free fancy drink. 

But what are the best mocktails? And how to make mocktail concoctions your friends will enjoy? Let’s go over some classics:

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Easy to find in fancy grocery stores, sparkling strawberry lemonade is sweet, tasty, and very festive. Add in a sprig of mint if you’re feeling fancy!

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

Cranberry is the perfect holiday flavor, an excellent way to ring out the festive season and welcome the New Year. 

Sparkling Ginger Lemon Mocktail

Sipped from a champagne coupe, a sparkling ginger lemon mocktail makes the perfect visual swap for alcoholic sparkling wine.

Hot Mulled Cider

Keep things cozy with a pot of homemade hot mulled cider bubbling on the stove. Drinkers can spike the brew with their booze of choice, while the sober can enjoy it alcohol-free.

Non-Alcoholic Champagne

Thanks to the sober curious movement, there’s a growing number of alcohol-free champagne alternatives on the market that make perfect new years eve virgin drinks. Move over Martineli’s! 

St Regis Sparkling Brut Non Alcoholic Wine

Fresh, crisp, and fruity, this chardonnay-based non-alcoholic drink is as sophisticated as the real deal.

Chateau De Fleur Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine

This sparkling wine is like apple cider’s more sophisticated cousin with a refreshing flavor profile of apples and peaches.

Sutter Home Fre Brut Non-Alcoholic Champagne Wine

Easy to find in most stores, this faux champagne boasts pear, strawberry, and crisp green apple notes.


Cannabis or alcohol? It’s an endless choice, but one you won’t have to make this year! Here are some of our favorite ways to consume cannabis on alcohol free evenings:

group of people smoking and eating cannabis cupcakes

Edibles (cookies, brownies, or candy)

The perfect festive party food, cannabis edibles are delicious and fun to consume. Pick up a box of premade treats from your local dispensary, or DIY it with some homemade cannabutter.


Take a break from the party to enjoy your weed while stargazing, or help boost the alcohol free party energy by sharing the bounty with friends.


There’s nothing more fun than a gummy, which provides a dose of targeted, perfectly calibrated cannabis relief. So bring gummies with you when you venture out into the night for an extra canna boost to your sober evening.


A cannabis tincture is the perfect companion to any mocktail. Drop in a dose or two to take your non drinking experience to the next level.

Elevate Your Alcohol-Free New Year With Colorado’s Premier Cannabis Products.

Two images of Lightshade’s Director of Inventory and Purchasing, Zach York, holding cannabis products over an illustrated cannabis background

The New Program Turning Industry Pros into Cannabis Sommeliers

Introducing Colorado’s first certified “Ganjier.”

Like fine wines, high-quality cannabis has unique flavors and aromas. 

But until recently, defining those flavors and aromas was subjective, with each brand inventing proprietary descriptions and tasting notes. 

Where most wine drinkers have a rough idea of what to expect from a Portuguese Aragonez versus a Croatian Plavac, cannabis connoisseurs were left mainly to their own devices. 

That is, they were until the launch of The Ganjier, a rigorous, first-of-its-kind, multi-step cannabis sommelier certification program. 

Lightshade’s Director of Inventory and Purchasing, Zach York, recently became the first officially certified Ganjier working in Colorado’s legal market. We’re thrilled to share his experience and knowledge with you, first with this blog and soon in our stores.

Blending Passion and Rigor

Zach’s deep love of the plant inspired him to undertake a more serious course of cannabis studies. “After being a passionate cannabis consumer for over 15 years, it felt meaningful to have an official certification from a governing body with indisputable qualifications,” he said.

The program’s focus on consumers’ and patients’ needs and preferences is a detail that drew Zach’s interest. “There’s an appropriate product for every consumer,” he said. “This program trains you to be a personal cannabis advisor, consulting with customers on their favorite products—from flower to edibles and anything else they might be looking for.”

He wanted to build on his personal experience with cannabis as a tool for joy and wellness by undertaking training that would help him inspire others. 

“Living under prohibition as a second-class citizen was humiliating, disheartening, and painful for every cannabis consumer,” he said, describing the era before Colorado legalized cannabis. Interestingly, Zach explained many of his fellow students come from states without legal medical or adult-use cannabis. 

Living in Colorado, Zach said cannabis consumers often forget how lucky we are to have access to a safe, legal, and high-quality consumption experience on our terms. 

He hopes as legalization spreads, programs like The Ganjier will bring mainstream acceptance of the plant as an excellent wellness resource and a non-toxic recreational alternative.

Ganjier Graduate Zach York wearing a cannabis themed graduation cap

A Cannabis Scholar

Zach describes himself as a lifelong learner, so the rigorous nature of his Ganjier studies was immediately enthralling.  

“The Ganjier program was created to emulate the wine Somm program, a notoriously rigorous course in wine mastery memorably covered by the 2012 documentary Somm,” he says. “It’s designed to provide a foundation of expert knowledge in a space where it’s historically been lacking.” 

The Ganjier scoring system is based on the scale used by the Master Sommelier exam, with a 100-point system used to give products a numerical grade called a “Systematic Assessment Protocol,” or SAP. 

Certified Ganjiers evaluate the appearance, aroma, flavor, and experience of consuming cannabis products, assigning them a numerical grade. 

But it’s not just math! The SAP system includes a notes section. 

Ganjiers can include descriptive and subjective details, like what the product reminds them of or experiences and activities that might pair well with them—for example, pairing your charcuterie board with Bubba Fett or watching a sunset while enjoying Miracle Alien Cookies.

Mastering His Craft

Once Zach had a handle on the SAP system, he began fine-tuning his taste and aroma palates using techniques laid out in Ganjier course material created by Ganjier Council Member, Kimberly Hooks, also known as Madame Cannoli. 

While not required for initial certification, The Ganjier encourages students to undertake a blind cannabis product evaluation the same way wine sommeliers taste their way through a series of unlabeled glasses, determining the varietal, region, vintage, and producer using only their senses. 

With this method, students can further develop their vocabulary of flavor descriptions and decide if they have what it takes to proceed to higher certification levels.

Zach assembled sample jars to use as a study aid to prepare for the exam before leaving for the testing in Humboldt County, California. 

Placing a different herb, such as basil, cinnamon, or oregano, in each jar, he challenged himself to learn how to identify them by aroma alone, training what he called his “aroma lexicon.” 

He employed the same process to identify blindly labeled cannabis strains, becoming intimately familiar with their distinctive aromas.

He needed to understand how to consciously utilize “sensory evaluation” by activating both “mouth smelling” and “nose-smelling,” terms taken from traditional food and beverage analysis science that Ganjiers use to describe the process of simultaneously employing olfactory and gustatory senses to take in the product’s full complexity.

“I was interested in developing a solid grasp on the general impacts of cannabis terpenes, identifying them by their flavor notes and understanding how those notes correspond to their effects. For example, cannabis strains with lemony, fruit-forward notes will traditionally be more uplifting and activating, making them better suited to daytime consumption. In contrast, cannabis with earthy fuel notes might be more relaxing and sedating.”

By understanding how terpene profiles impact the cannabis consumption experience, Zach can tailor his recommendations to meet customers’ specific needs.

In the end, individual body chemistry dictates each consumer’s preferences. Picking your favorite cannabis is like picking your favorite dish at a restaurant – only you will know your favorite. Still, expert opinions can guide you to popular options. This is why the Ganjiers perspective is so important.

“Zach’s deep experience and background in cannabis, coupled with his easy-going demeanor and instinctive skills at assessing quality, seamlessly combine to make him uniquely qualified for his role at Lightshade.  We’re genuinely proud to include him among the ranks of Certified Ganjiers and as an ambassador of our mission to elevate the service and quality standards within our burgeoning industry.” –Derek Gilman, Managing Director, Ganjier

A Bright Future for Budtenders

Zach believes that the growing popularity of the Ganjier certification program will help Budtenders better serve cannabis consumers. 

“The cannabis industry needs Ganjiers because there are a lot of myths and misinformation out there,” he said. “Many customers and patients don’t know how to discern quality, they don’t know what they’re looking for, and those who do might be purchasing based on incorrect info they previously absorbed.”

Currently, most consumers purchase cannabis flower-based purely on THC percentage, opting for higher percentages for a more immersive experience, which Zach says is “a scientifically inaccurate way to proceed with that goal.” 

He believes expanding consumers’ knowledge of cannabis terpenes and minor cannabinoids will help them understand what they actually like.

Lightshade is one of the first Colorado dispensaries to stock brands like Artsy, which puts its terpene notes on each product label. “Very few people go to the liquor store for Everclear,” says Zach. “THC should be seen as the gas in the car—terpenes are the driver.”

With an exponentially growing number of brands, products, and strains on the market, Zach hopes that The Ganjier program will inspire producers to create higher quality products on which consumers can depend. 

 “Ganjiers can sift through the noise to identify true quality on every level.”

Zach York, first officially certified Ganjier holding a plate of cannabis flower

cannabis grow with wavy 420s overlay

The Long, Strange, Trip to 4/20: The History of Our Community’s Favorite Holiday

Do you think you know the history of the greenest holiday? Test your knowledge with our blog.

April 20th has long been known as the 420 holiday. It’s when the cannabis community gathers to celebrate their favorite herb. 

But 420 isn’t only important in April. 

Throughout the year, cannabis consumers seek like-minded companions by marking themselves as 420-friendly in dating ads and apartment searches and cracking 420 jokes when the afternoon rolls around. 

So what does 420 mean? And where did this mythic number come from? Let’s take a deep dive into the lore and legend of this legendary number.

What does 420 mean?

So what is the significance of 420? Put simply, it’s an easy shorthand for flagging your appreciation of all things cannabis.

Of course, 420’s meaning changes depending on context.

In some instances, it can refer to cannabis itself or the act of consuming it. It can signal a willingness to meet up and smoke up or merely an appreciation for cannabis as an art form.

No matter how it appears, 420 means cannabis—and it signals that cannabis lovers are in for a good time!

Where did 420 originate?

We know the meaning of the number, but why is 420 associated with weed?

There are a few theories, but the truth behind the link between 420 and cannabis is shrouded in mystery. 

Some people claim that 420 was California law enforcement’s way to flag crimes associated with marijuana before it was legal in the state. Still, no evidence has emerged to support that theory. 

But if it’s not the cops, where did 420 come from? While the origins of 420 are officially unconfirmed, we have a pretty good idea of where it came from. 

According to cannabis lore, 420 got started back in the 1970s in San Rafael High School in Marin, California. 

Every afternoon, when school let out at 4:20, a group of students calling themselves the Waldos would gather at the flagpole in front of their school to smoke up and search for a field of cannabis one of the student’s older brothers claimed to have planted before he left for Vietnam. 

While they never did find the field, the students would signal their intent to keep searching by whispering “420” to each other in the hallways, marking the first recorded use of the term.

Who popularized 420?

Starting out in a small-town high school, the originators of the term 420 would never have guessed that their inside joke would achieve national and even international fame.

But that’s what happened, as the significance of 420 spread through an event that would go down in cannabis history.

The reason? The patron saint of 70s pot enthusiasts was the Grateful Dead, who had recently moved into town. 

One of the kid’s older brothers was a manager for the Dead’s bassist, and they quickly became integrated into their social scene. 

After graduation, one of the Waldos reportedly went on tour with the Dead as a roadie, where he introduced the band and their followers to the top-secret 420 code.

The band’s dedicated following of Deadheads picked up on the code, and as the lore spread, 420 became a code word for smoking cannabis. 

The term’s fame was cemented on the national stage when High Times Magazine created an event to explain the code, calling for cannabis fans to meet up at a Marin County overlook and light up their joints at 4:20 PM, kicking off the first official April celebration.

Every year when April rolled around, 4/20 became the perfect excuse to indulge in cannabis with friends and loved ones.

What is 420-friendly?

Aside from the date itself, you might see 420 mentioned in ads where people are looking for friends, roommates, or dates identifying as 420-friendly. So what does 420-friendly mean?

As you might have guessed, the answer to what is 420-friendly is subjective, but it generally implies a permissive attitude towards cannabis consumption. 

Someone who is 420-friendly might not smoke every day, but they’re cool with living, hanging with, and dating those who do!

Where is the biggest 420 celebration?

Once you find your 420 friends by posting a 420-friendly ad (or two), it’s time to get down with the many 420 festivities April has to offer!

When is 420? April 20th, of course! Here are some of the biggest and best places to say happy 420:


  • The Mile High 420 Festival in Denver is the largest free 420 event in the world
  • The Hash Bash in Michigan is a fun yet political push for legalization
  • 420 on Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is a great way to honor the holiday’s origins 
  • The National Cannabis Festival is a massive 420 party in DC, featuring live music, swag, and even weed weddings
  • SweetWater420 in Atlanta is a weed-themed music festival
  • Outside of the US, 420 Hyde Park is the UK’s biggest smoke out
  • 420 Vancouver celebrates the city’s cannabis culture on Sunset Beach

420 & Cannabis Plants art

420 Jokes

Lest you show up at the smoke out empty-handed, we wanted to supply you with some of our favorite 420 jokes!

What do you call a stoner with two spliffs?


A cop asks a stoner, “How high are you?”

The stoner says, “No, officer. It’s ‘Hi, how are you.’

How do fish get high?

On seaweed.

What do you call a potato that smokes weed?

A baked potato.

Lightshade’s 420 Deals

Lightshade has some special 420 deals just for you to celebrate the holiest day of the stoner calendar. Check ‘em out on the specials section of our website, or ask your friendly neighborhood budtender for the inside scoop!

Get those deals!

Clean Your Dab Rig: Image of hand holding a q-tip cleaning a Dab rig

Dab Rig Cleaning 101 - Everything You Need to Know

Here’s everything you need to know to keep your dab rig fresh and clean.

Dab rig maintenance is often a barrier for folks who want to try the more potent side of cannabis (dabs). But just like changing your cars’ oil, tidying your dab rig (and associated tools) is essential. 

Even enthusiastic dabbers often struggle when dealing with a dirty dab rig. So, we’re here to help. 

Keep reading for our complete dab rig cleaning guide. You’ll be a certified professional in no time (no chazzed bangers allowed).

Why is it important to keep a clean dab rig? 

Firstly, clean dab rigs are better for your health. 

Over time, dab rig pieces – the bowl, in particular – become coated with charred layers of burnt crust. And like other burnt materials, this buildup is carcinogenic. 

When you heat your machinery in preparation for a fresh dab, you’ll release harmful materials into your lungs, where they can be absorbed into your body unless your rig is clean. Cleaning a dab rig removes this buildup and protects you. 

A clean dab rig is the key to a successful dabbing experience. Learning how to clean the buildup safely and effectively will mean your hits taste smoother and fuller, and your lungs stay happier. It also helps keep your equipment in good shape so it will last (it’s an investment, after all).

What are the parts of the dab rig?

Here are the basic building blocks of a dab rig:

  • Dab Rig (it’s similar to a bong, but with minor differences)

Glass dab rigs include chambers that cool the heated vapor as it passes through them. Water filtration also cools and cleanses the vapor before it hits your lungs.

  • Nail/banger

The part of the dab rig where you apply your heat source, vaporizing the concentrate. 

  • Torch

This is what gets things steamy. Heat your banger with a torch or an electric heat source to get the party started.

  • Dab tool

Constructed from small pieces of metal, consumers use dab tools to load and maneuver the concentrate as they smoke.

Every part of your dab kit will eventually become dirty. Your eyes will tell you when it’s time for a thorough cleaning. 

person about to take a dab

How often should I clean my dab rig and bowl?

You should regularly clean your dab rig. Experts recommend you wash your banger and bowl after every dab. However, you can trust your judgment for the rest of the rig. If you’re a heavy consumer, we suggest weekly cleaning (don’t roll your eyes – clean after you take a rip, and the time will pass quickly). 

Do you have to clean your banger after every dab?

We know, cleaning your banger and bowl after every dab sounds like an immense pain. But once you get in the rhythm of it, it’s surprisingly easy and faster than you might expect. 

Simply use a cotton swab or Q Tip to wipe down your banger and bowl, so you’ll be ready for the next dab; you’ll have a much better experience if you use fresh glass for your dab!

How do I get the dab residue out of my rig?

It’s surprisingly easy to remove dab residue. But like the other basic maintenance tasks you need to do every day—from washing dishes to showering—having the right tools is essential to getting it done.

But fortunately, you only need a few basic supplies.

What should I use for dab rig cleaning?

A good cleaning job is all about the tools. Here’s what you need for a squeaky clean dab rig:


  • Cotton swabs or Q Tips
  • Isopropyl alcohol 
  • A clean cloth for wiping

Those are the basics! And yes, it is that simple.

isopropyl alcohol on shelf next to jars of cotton balls and q-tips

What are the steps to cleaning a dab rig?

Now that your supplies are assembled, it’s time to get cleaning! According to experts, here’s the best way to clean a dab rig.

  • Step One: dump the dirty water
  • Step Two: run warm water through the rig to loosen the residue
  • Step Three: pour a little isopropyl alcohol into the chamber
  • Step Four: plug the holes and shake the alcohol around
  • Step Five: rinse thoroughly with water
  • Step Six: clean up any remnants with q tips or your dab tool
  • Step Seven: lay out on a towel to dry

It only takes a few minutes to clean out your rig, and your smoking experience will be better (and safer) every time you do.

Are there different methods to clean a dab rig?

Variety is the spice of life! If you want to mix things up, there are a few primary methods for dab rig cleaning.

You can skip the alcohol and only use hot water.

You can add alcohol to get things extra clean.

You can add alcohol plus coarse rock salt for even more cleaning power.

You can clean the rig using heat. Slightly heat up your isopropyl alcohol (not too much, or it’ll explode!) for a deeper clean.

How do you clean a dab rig without alcohol?

While you need alcohol to get things properly squeaky, perhaps you don’t have any on hand. Don’t panic! Here’s how to clean a dab rig without alcohol:

Simply eliminate the alcohol and use warmer water to wash out the rig. If you have rock salt on hand, you can add that into the mix to get out some of the gunk. 

This is an excellent temporary solution, but make sure to stock up on isopropyl alcohol next time you’re at the drugstore. It’s dirt cheap, and will last for months, making it an essential investment for any tidy dabber.

Can I use reclaim?

Whether or not to use reclaim is largely based on budget and personal taste. Using reclaim is a good way to get more bang for your dabbing buck, but some people don’t like the taste.

When dabbing with reclaim, you’ll notice that the taste is not as smooth as it was the first time. However, it’s still perfectly safe. But if the taste doesn’t appeal to you, you can always eat it! The heating process used in dabbing means that your reclaim is already decarboxylated, so you can use it in edibles and experience the psychoactive effects.

How do I collect reclaim?

Collecting reclaim efficiently is a two step process.

Step One: pour the liquid out of your rig through a fine-mesh strainer to collect the little golden hued clumps that remain behind.

Step Two: melt it out. You’ll need wax paper and a torch. Let your dab fully dry, then remove the nail and hold the connector over the wax paper, holding a touch to the reclaim until it melts and drips down. You can then collect the reclaim and use it as you see fit.

If this sounds complicated, you can always use your dabbing tool to scrape out the banger and reclaim catcher before starting the cleaning process. Then proceed from step three in our guide. You’ll have a clean dab in no time!

woman surrounded by edibles with an edible in her mouth

Everything You Never Thought to Ask About Edibles

Edibles have taken our cannabis world by storm. But have you ever really thought to explore how they’re made? It’s time for you to learn precisely what a cannabis edible is (even if you think it’s obvious) and how they work.

Cannabis edibles consist of any food or drink that has been infused with THC. Weed edibles range from THC gummies and chocolate edibles to THC-infused drinks and hard candies. Since edibles must travel through your digestive system, it takes longer to feel the effects than it does when you smoke or vape marijuana. 

These days, cannabis edibles are much more than “special brownies.” 

The edibles varieties available today could fill a convenience store snack section with cannabis-elevated goodies like weed gummies, chocolate edibles, THC candy, infused mints, and THC drinks, stocking shelves and enlightening consumers. 

Recreational and medicinal dispensaries make these products readily available, meeting the many needs of patrons in search of indica edibles, sativa edibles, and hybrid combinations of both. 

It’s a dizzying and exciting marketplace that’s so fresh, you’re bound to have a ton of questions. Luckily, we’re here to cover the colorful spectrum of cannabis edibles.

Here’s everything you never thought to ask about edibles!

First, What’s An Edible?

Let’s start at the root question. Edibles consist of an array of THC-infused food and drink products. They take on a multitude of forms, including gummies and chocolates. There are typically four categories of THC edible:

  • Sativa-only
  • Indica-only
  • Hybrid (sativa and indica mashup)
  • Pure CBD

However, even within each category, not all edibles are created equal …

whole cookie and half eaten cookie on yellow background next to cannabis leafs

What’s A Good Edible?

Making the right choice at the point of purchase is crucial to getting the edible experience you want. But with so much to choose from, what makes one edible better than another? After all, they’re all so similar, right? Well, not exactly. There are two main factors to consider while perusing the THC edibles at your local dispensary: ingredients and price. Those two factors are the twin guiding lights you need to follow. 

Edible Ingredients

Look past cutesy packaging and the persuasive charm of your budtender and set your sights on the ingredients of your edible. First, make sure the ingredients are listed. Then, consider what you see. The general rule of thumb is, “if you can’t pronounce it, then you don’t want it in you.”

Edible Prices

This factor relies on another adage: “You get what you pay for.” Anytime you’re presented with a product—any product—that seems unusually affordable, chances are there’s a reason it’s so comparatively cheap. Higher price points typically equal better ingredients and a more enjoyable high with edibles. 

How Do Edibles Work?

As we’ve all learned from our first experience with weed edibles, they just hit differently than cannabis that’s smoked or vaped. The main reason for this is the pathway pot takes to our bloodstream when eaten. Smoking weed sends it to your lungs and immediately to your bloodstream, causing you to feel high almost instantly. But when you eat cannabis, it metabolizes through the liver and travels through your digestive system, where it takes far longer to process than it does in your lungs.

How Fast Do Edibles Kick In?

The journey from eating an edible to getting high can usually take 30 minutes. It’s a delayed reaction that often leads consumers to eat more edibles in one sitting because they think the first serving isn’t working. To that, we say, “hold up!” Give your weed edibles a chance to flourish in your system, and then after 30-40 minutes, gauge your high before going in for a second bite.

woman waiting next to large clock

What Edible Dose Is Right For Me?

Slow down, speed racer! Dosing is essential when engaging with edibles, especially for beginners or anyone nervous about getting too high. Categorized by milligram, edible doses range from reasonably high to radically out there.


Ideal for the wide-eyed innocents, microdoses typically range from 1 milligram to 5 milligrams of THC per serving. With numbers like those, it’s virtually impossible to overeat when following the listed instructions.

Microdosing is the trendy way to consume edibles, with advocates espousing benefits like productive workdays, tolerable family obligations, casual first dates, and stress-free excursions of all kinds. When you microdose edibles, you generally want to start with a low dose, 2.5 to 5 milligrams of THC, and gradually work your way up, adding to the dose every two hours or so.

Medium Dose

Here, we begin to blur the line between wellness and pure recreation. A medium dosage of weed edible generally lands between 5 milligrams and 10 milligrams THC, leaving you comfortably stoned for an extended period. For more experienced, well-rounded partakers, a nice medium-dose enhances a night out with friends, elevates concert experiences, and opens up new windows of perception on nature walks. It’s for those sessions where you want to get high enough to feel high.


Shuttle 420; we have liftoff! Macrodosing is for the serious edible consumer—those professional stoners that are incredibly comfortable getting high, particularly with edibles. Generally, any dose 10 milligrams THC or more, macrodosing makes the most sense when you have no real obligations and instead want a strange spaced-out trip to unfold over a few hours.

What’s the Difference Between Sativa and Indica Edibles?

When consuming sativa or indica edibles, the two primary strains of cannabis follow the same rules as to when they’re smoked or vaped. Sativa induces a “head high” and more uplifting, energetic effects. Indica is more of a bedtime bud, delivering a “body high” that puts you on the couch and keeps you there, feeling relaxed and sedated. A hybrid strain takes both of those characteristics and blends them, resulting in a boost of euphoria that’s more muted and contemplative than goofy and off-the-wall.

How Do You Store Edibles?

Like flower, cannabis edibles require proper storage and protection from heat, sunlight, moisture, and other elements that can harsh the effects. 

First things first, air is the enemy of your edible weed. Edible gummies, hard candies, and baked goods should be stored in an airtight container, which wards off moisture loss, staleness, and poor texture. And if you plan on keeping your edibles for an extended period—you know, instead of eating all of it in one night—there’s nothing wrong with keeping your goodies in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Exposure to heat can destroy edibles, degrading the overall effect and devastating the flavor. When edible chocolate and edible candies melt, they never regain the same taste, texture, and impact when you try to re-solidify them. In general, edibles benefit from cooler temperatures. Whether that’s in a cabinet away from a heat source or in the refrigerator, as long as it’s in an airtight container, you’ll be OK.

women checking the fridge for edibles

What Types of Edibles are at Dispensaries?

It can be a THC-infused edible if you eat it or drink it. Here are some of the most common types of edibles you can find in recreational and medicinal cannabis dispensaries:

  • Gummies: THC gummy bears, drops, and chews of all shapes
  • Candy: Chocolate bars, caramel chews
  • Hard Candy: Lollipops, lozenges, and mints
  • Baked Goods: Brownies, cakes, and cookies
  • Savory Snacks: Peanut butter, cheese crackers, potato chips, popcorn
  • Drinks: Seltzers, soft drinks, shots, beverage enhancers

Lightshade is a super stoner market, a dispensary that serves as a source for an array of edible cannabis products, from light touches to potent punches. So come on to our online shop and check out all the THC edibles we have in stock!

couple holding glass cannabis pipe in bed

Cannabis and Sex: All The Sultry Fu**ing Details

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we thought it was high time to address one of our favorite topics: sex while high.

Cannabis and sex go together like peanut butter and jelly and leather and lace. 

It’s the perfect way to elevate your sensory experience and go deep with your partner—after all, the brain is the largest erotic organ of them all!

So we decided to gather the questions we’re frequently asked about cannabis and sex, like…how does smoking weed impact you sexually? And…does weed make sex better or worse? 

By the end of this piece, you’ll be well-versed in the cannabis-sex connection and ready to get high on the power of love.

How does cannabis influence sexual pleasure?

Let’s start with the big question: is weed good for sex? 

While the marijuana-sex connection has been buzzed about for years until recently, the link between THC and sex has been mostly personal. People love smoking weed and having sex, and it’s hard to argue with personal experience!

However, thanks to the increasing number of states legalizing cannabis, the connections between pot and sex are gaining scientific backing. 

A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine concluded that “Many participants…found that cannabis helped them relax, heightened their sensitivity to touch, and increased intensity of feelings, thus enhancing their sexual experience.” This study, and other scientific research, indicate that cannabis sex can indeed be more pleasurable for people of all genders.

But how does this connection work? What does weed do to you sexually? And why is having sex while high on weed so much dang fun? The answer may lie in your body’s endocannabinoid system.

couple laying down smoking

What role do endocannabinoids play in sex?

It’s no secret that weed functions by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors throughout the brain and body that helps you maintain regular operation and is involved in a variety of the essential functions of your central nervous system.

The research shows that endocannabinoids play an essential role in your body’s sexual responses, explaining marijuana’s effects on sex. So how does weed affect you sexually? By interacting with endocannabinoid receptors within the areas of your brain that control sexual function. 

Using cannabis for sex helps stimulate those receptors within the brain like naturally produced endocannabinoids would. 

THC sex can feel more powerful simply because the cannabinoids interact with the neurotransmitters and hormonal messaging systems linked to the body’s sexual response.

Does weed lower your sex drive?

While the research shows that the cannabis-sex connection is positive, there’s a persistent rumor that overindulging can cause you to be less interested in sex. So what’s the truth? Does weed make you less sexually active?

To answer the question “does weed lower sex drive?” we need to look at another study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine that looked at sexual frequency among people who consumed cannabis and those who abstained.

The study found that there was, in fact, a connection between marijuana and sex drive, but it was positive. People who self-reported as consuming cannabis actually had more sex. 

Let’s take a closer look at why that might be by examining the various ways men and women respond to pot sexual experiences.

couple in bed

How does Cannabis affect women during sex?

Recent research has made the connection between marijuana and female sexuality clear. Yet another study in the JSM showed that women who used cannabis more frequently also reported lower rates of sexual dysfunction and higher rankings for arousal and orgasms.

While the “why” of this relationship isn’t yet clear, the researchers theorized that using cannabis could help women experience less anxiety during sex. 

“It is possible that a reduction in anxiety associated with a sexual encounter could improve experiences and lead to improved satisfaction, orgasm, and desire.” 

They also theorized that the increase in pleasure could be due to the endocannabinoid system kicking into high gear or reduced anxiety about time passing.

TLDR: does smoking affect women’s sex drive? If so, it’s for the better!

How does Cannabis affect men during sex?

We’ve got the ladies covered, but does weed affect male sex drive?

According to the sexual frequency study we cited earlier, yes, and for the better! Men who reported using cannabis regularly also said that they were having more sex than their non-weed-using counterparts in the study. 

As with the ladies, this connection is probably due to various factors, including the good ol’ endocannabinoid system and a reduction in anxiety that makes men less likely to experience sexual dysfunction. One study found that men who consumed cannabis were less likely to have trouble maintaining an erection.

Cannabis also seems to make sex more enjoyable for men and their female counterparts. As one respondent to an informal Psychology Today survey said, “Marijuana engulfs me in sex foam. I’m just pure sex on that stuff. It’s great. I could never feel that way sober or drunk.”

What type of weed should you take before sex?

If you’re already a cannabis lover, the odds are that all this evidence has got you ready to text a “u up?” to that special someone.  But before you do, let’s talk about how to select your weed for sex. What’s the best marijuana for sex? Are there particular strains that work best?

In terms of genre, finding the best pot for sex is usually a question of choosing your favorite edibles for sex. The connection between edibles and sex makes sense—there’s nothing more V-day appropriate than sharing something sweet with your sweety. 

But what are the best edibles for sex? Our pick has got to be the classic cannabis-infused chocolate bar. Not only is it seasonally appropriate, but chocolate is also an aphrodisiac, taking the best weed for sex to the next level.

What are the best cannabis strains for sex? 

We’ve got the delivery down, but what are the best strains for sex? Here are five of our favorite go tos when we’re getting romantic:

Light of Jah

High in calming limonene, this is one of the best strains for sex when you’re in the mood for a relaxing, euphoric chance to unwind with your beloved, feeling super connected and close.

Sour Diesel

Heavy in sensitivity boosting caryophyllene, this sativa-dominant hybrid is one of our favorite strains for sex because it stimulates the appetite, helping you feel exploratory and adventurous.

Keef Kola

While the debate of indica vs. sativa for sex rages on, one study showed that Kush strains were particularly effective at reducing anxiety and producing an enjoyable sexual experience.

White Dawg

The best weed strain for sex if you ever suffer from pain or anxiety, this mild hybrid will leave you feeling relaxed and at ease in your body and help get you out of your head.

Pineapple Express

High in energy-boosting humulene, this classic hybrid is one of the best marijuana strains for sex when you’re looking to get creative between the sheets.

Happy valentines Day: Old Fashioned image of man kissing a women and man's head is a cannabis flower bud

Should you use lube during sex on cannabis?

Like any other sexual encounter, sex after smoking pot is a matter of personal preference. Using or not using lube is up to you and your partner, and there’s no scientific evidence that cannabis will impact you or your partner’s ability to lubricate naturally. However, some people report cases of “cotton vagina,” so check in with your partner and make sure to have lube on hand just in case!

We’ll leave you with a final bonus tip. 

If you’re a cannabis and lube enthusiast, you should probably know there’s weed-infused lube on the market. A very romantic gift for your stoned sweetie! But whatever cannabis product you choose to indulge in this valentine’s day, we hope it’s a great one.

Here’s to true love, great sex, and high-quality Colorado cannabis.

green music app hovers over growing cannabis

Our Ten Favorite Songs About Weed

Cannabis is the preferred subject of many talented songwriters, with musical references to weed ranging from the obvious to the obscure. Here are ten of our favorites.

Cannabis’ ability to expand the creativity of many artists has made it the perfect topic for a diverse array of popular songs. From The Beatles and Bob Marley to Sublime and Cypress Hill, musicians have championed the power of cannabis for a long time. 

Musicians love weed. We know it’s shocking, but it’s true (clearly, we’re kidding). 

Ever since the likes of Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, and other jazz legends first uttered the word “reefer” in musical cadence way back in the early 1900s, getting high has been the subject of countless songs for a genre-spanning collection of musicians.

And with good reason!

Weed and music go hand-in-hand, connected by a psycho-acoustic marriage that heightens perception and expands horizons.

Existing in a Lennon/McCartney dynamic, the presence of the other enhances each one. As such, there are a lot of weed songs on the airwaves.

Now, it’s essential to distinguish between songs with a pot theme and songs to listen to when high. 

Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, for example, is top-tier stoner music. So light up, don a pair of high-quality headphones and sink into your favorite recliner type of music. 

But beyond abstract metaphors, there’s no literal mention of marijuana anywhere on that album. So this list will not include that highly appreciated genre of songs.

Instead, here’s a list of our top 10 favorite canna-centric songs, packed full of weed rhymes and stoner references.

10. “Because I Got High” – Afroman

“Because I Got High” seems to rank high for everyone, but for us, it falls at the bottom of our list. This weed anthem by hip hop artist Afroman starts as a fun, jangly tune about the comical misadventures of a stoner. Still, it quickly devolves with the narrator lamenting that he “lost his wife and kids” and is “sleepin’ on the sidewalk,” all because he got high. Yet, despite that somewhat stigmatized tone, it’s a laid-back track that hits smoothly every time, with a constant hook that’s catchy like a cold.  Back To List

9. “You Don’t Know How It Feels” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

While not explicitly about smoking weed, “You Don’t Know How It Feels” features a lyric in the chorus that alone embodies the spirit of cannabis consumption. The line, “let’s get to the point/let’s roll another joint,” has been screamed in bars, cars, and concert halls by everyone, with even a passing fancy for pot. The tune’s comforting and ever-present harmonica breeze only bolsters the mellow vibe.  Back To List

8. “Hash Pipe” – Weezer

What’s he saying in the opening verse? It doesn’t matter—he’s got his hash pipe. This Weezer song from the 2000’s “green” album attacks the senses with buzzsaw guitars and guttural grunts from Rivers Cuomo, in a hail of tongue-in-cheek rebellion that only a true stoner understands. “Hash Pipe” rides the wave of a killer pop hook and fun-to-decipher lyrics, all while educating the listener about hashish, a potent form of marijuana.  Back To List

7. “Burn One Down” – Ben Harper

Maybe it’s the acoustic guitar or the mere presence of bongos, but “Burn One Down” is the audio equivalent of lighting up a campfire fatty. Somewhat obscure outside a particular circle of listeners, Ben Harper’s 1995 tune is a throwback to the pro-marijuana melodies of ganja forefathers like Bob Marley. The song implores naysayers to “try it first,” reassuring them that they’ll “see it’s a blessing and not a curse.”  Back To List

6. “Sweet Leaf” – Black Sabbath

When the flower children of the late 1960s wanted to rebel against the hippie aesthetic without ditching their stash, many looked to Black Sabbath. Led by legendary madman Ozzy Osborne, Black Sabbath stood out from their contemporaries with tracks like 1971’s “Sweet Leaf.” It is a pot song with attitude, trudging forth like an old diesel engine. Ozzy displays a deep affinity for pot, guaranteeing by the end that “soon the world will love you, sweet leaf.”   Back To List

5. “Got To Get You Into My Life” – The Beatles

In retrospect, a song about weed, “Got To Get You Into My Life” from the Beatles 1966 classic Revolver, gleams like a pop song about a groovy chick. But 30 years after its release, Paul McCartney clarified that the piece is only masquerading as a love song and is “actually an ode to pot.” Hearing the lyrics today and knowing what we know about John, Paul, George, and Ringo, it should have been obvious.   Back To List

4. “Smoke Two Joints” – Sublime

These legends of Long Beach are no strangers to the stoner delights of regular marijuana consumption, as Sublime simply wafts the sweet smell of sensimilla. But nothing in the band’s catalog matches the pure recreational spirit of “Smoke Two Joints,” a cover of early ’80s reggae band, The Toyes. Singer Bradley Nowell makes the song his own, and when he croons, “I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints, and then I smoke two more,” you believe him.  Back To List

3. “Kaya” – Bob Marley and the Wailers

A pure, joyful expression of weed love amidst the deeply political period of his career, “Kaya” is the title track to Bob Marley’s 1978 album of the same name. All about needing to get stoned because the weather is rainy and gross, “Kaya” floats along with sentimental praise, bouncing with a reggae beat while Marley “touches the sky” and clears away the rain clouds by sheer force of will—and weed.  Back To List

2. “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die” – Willie Nelson

Released on April 20 (naturally) in 2012, “Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die” twangs as a country-gospel thesis on the merits of marijuana. The world-famous pothead, who once claimed to have smoked a joint on the roof of the White House, proudly tells all of us precisely what we can do with him when his time runs out. The tune is plucky and festive, serving as a rebellious celebration of the cannabis lifestyle.  Back to List

1. “Hits From The Bong” – Cypress Hill 

Before the laid-back groove sets the relaxed tone, the first sound you hear in this track is the telltale percolation of a bong hit. “Hits From The Bong” describes—in great detail—the practice and pleasure of smoking from a bong, praising the method over blunts and cones, and even warning against spilling the stinky water. From the moment of the song’s release, Cypress Hill became the forerunners of early 1990s stoner consciousness—while the pot-smoking public was treated to a soundtrack for getting high, complete with a deep bassline.   Back To List

Honorable Mentions:

“Mary Jane” – Rick James

“Purple Haze” – Jimi Hendrix

“Legalize It” – Peter Tosh

“Reefer Man” – Cab Calloway

“Gin and Juice” – Snoop Dog

“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” – Bob Dylan

“Habits (Stay High)” – Tove Lo

“Pass The Kouchie” – The Mighty Diamonds

“Weed Party” – Band of Horses

“The Next Episode” – Dr. Dre

“Ganja Farmer” – J Boog

“Pass The Dutch” – Missy Elliott

“Let’s Go Get Stoned” – Ray Charles

“Stay Fly” – Three 6 Mafia

man laying down and listening to music

What are your favorite canna-centric songs?

We want to know. 

Swing by and tell your favorite Lightshade budtender. But, before you do, click here to access a Spotify playlist featuring the songs on our list.

Lightshade's Songs about Weed Playlist

bar chart with cannabis on it

What Are The Highest THC Strains?

Cannabis strains with elevated levels of THC equal more pronounced effects, from energy and creativity to relaxation and calmness. Here are some of the highest THC strains you can find today.

While high levels of THC could lead to more profound psychoactive effects, there’s more to it than that. THC, a cannabinoid, works together with other cannabinoids such as CBD, as well as terpenes to induce the desired effects of marijuana. These components all come together in a process known as the Entourage Effect.

The 1970s were a looooong time ago. 

We left a lot of things behind in that decade, including cannabis strains with paltry THC levels.

Back then, most strains barely cracked 1% THC—these days, it’s routine to see strains hovering around 30 times that amount. 

What happened? 

Well, for starters, cannabis legalization spread rapidly. And as legalization propagates, the experimentation that goes into creating new, more potent strains comes out of the shadows and into the mainstream. 

One such experimentation, known as strain selection, is most responsible for the increase in potency. 

In this cultivation practice, strains with high levels of cannabinoids are favored by growers. These strains are developed and then crossbred with other potent strains, resulting in a class of super-hybrid strains with staggering THC levels. 

As for the type of high you get from elevated THC strains, that depends on whether you’re dancing with indica, sativa, or hybrid buds. 

In this blog, we’ll unroll some of Lightshade’s highest THC strains. Then, we’ll take you behind the scenes to talk about the mechanics of “getting high”—touching on terpenes, cannabinoids, and the synergistic Entourage Effect.

The Highest THC Strains At Lightshade

Cultivation efforts made in the name of maximum THC have led to some truly mind-blowing and  body-comforting strains of cannabis. 

Sprouted from the minds of master weed-growers, modern buds are imbued with an abundance of aromas and flavors, with carefully encouraged collections of terpenes and trichomes. 

It’s a recipe resulting in a lush bouquet of exquisite effects.

Depending on the strain, high THC buds help you achieve everything from peak energy and euphoria to complete physical serenity and laser-sharp focus. 

Weed connoisseurs who count potency as a bud’s highest selling point should consider tapping into these strains at Lightshade.

Cannabis Flower in Glass Jars on Shelfs

Lightshade - Mother's Milk Strain

Mother’s Milk 


THC: 24 – 29% 

Derived from a cross between a male strain Appalachia and a Nepali OG female, Mother’s Milk nourishes with relaxation, elevated mood, and general physical discomfort relief. 

While plenty potent, Mother’s Milk delivers its benefits with a soft touch, achieving a delicate balance thanks to its hybrid status. 

This unique characteristic makes it a newbie’s dream bud. The top terpenes in Mother’s Milk, myrcene and limonene, waft forth aromas like mango and citrus slices.

Bubba Fett


THC: 26.20%

A new crossbreed of ’98 Bubba Kush and Stardawg, Bubba Fett gently entices consumers who are on the hunt for a bounty of calmness and deep contemplation. 

A dense bud structure is immediately visually striking, hiding a wealth of tasty trichomes inside. Long-lasting and relaxing, Bubba Fett eases tension and helps the consumer blast off into better sleep. 

Terpenes are expressed as clove stems in caryophyllene and citrus in limonene.

Lightshade Dispensary - Dalae OG Strain

Dalae OG 


THC: 20 – 26%

Another restful bud that’s often used as a night strain, Dalae OG, is an indica-dominant hybrid that layers the consumer with a warm blanket of cozy sedation. 

Tickling the senses with that trademark OG Kush flavor and aroma, this bud balances the scales for anyone in search of the absolute pinnacle of relaxation. 

Much like Mother’s Milk, Dalae OG’s comfort is colored by myrcene and limonene terpenes. 

Lightshade Dispensary - Light of Jah Strain

Light of Jah 


THC: 24 – 26%

Let Jah in with Light of Jah, a sativa-dominant hybrid that brightens the day by singing sweet songs of positive energy. 

A cross of Jack Herer and Disputed Northern California, Light of Jah packs a punch, with robust effects that dance through creativity and euphoria. 

This astounding strain also relieves physical discomfort. Its top terpenes include the citrusy limonene, as well as the lilac-tinged terpinolene.

Primus OG 


THC: 21-27%

Primus OG is a complex hybrid that brings together the best qualities of three-parent strains. 

303 OG gives it a sour yet fruity flavor, while Trainwreck arrives right on time with long-lasting euphoria, and Arcata pivots the high into a creative kick. 

It’s the ultimate perfect storm of lush aroma, dynamic flavor, and long-lasting effects. 

Highly sought after by consumers in recreational and medicinal circles, Primus OG relaxes the mind and body, managing day-to-day stress, physical discomfort, and bouts of gloom. 

Top terpenes include mango-scented myrcene and clove-esque caryophyllene.

Pineapple Express 


THC: 16.3 – 23.5%

Naysayers might think it sold out after going Hollywood, but Pineapple Express is still a favorite among dedicated sativa consumers. 

Initially bred by G13 Labs, Pineapple Express crosses the Trainwreck and Hawaii strains for a sativa-dominant bud that stimulates a cerebral head high for a creative, energetic spark. 

Purple and bright reddish-orange hairs offer a striking visual appearance, while the strain delivers on its name with frosted pineapple that’s mixed with slightly sweet and sour flavors. 

Top terpenes include caryophyllene with its clove stems and seeds, along with the hop-forward humulene. 

More Than THC: The Science of ‘Getting High’

Compounds like THC aren’t solo artists but rather work in concert with other components and processes of cannabis. 

THC is just one of possibly hundreds of compounds in cannabis known as cannabinoids. 

Also including CBD and CBG, cannabinoids as a whole inspire the broad spectrum of effects jostled loose when we smoke or ingest marijuana. 

But cannabinoids don’t only cooperate with other cannabinoids—they also work with terpenes to get you nicely toasted.

What Are Terpenes?

A collection of aromatic molecules found in the same glands that produce cannabinoids, terpenes are responsible for the singular aroma of each cannabis cultivar. 

Citrus, pine, skunk, and everything in between, the utterly sublime scents we associate with weed, are all thanks to terpenes. 

There are well over 200 terpene varieties found in a cannabis plant at various levels, and each strain claims its distinctive flavor from its unique terpene profile. 

As for the process of how cannabinoids and terpenes blend, it comes down to something known as the Entourage Effect.

What Is The Entourage Effect?

To find out how terpenes interact with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, let’s do some science. 

THC and CBD are practically identical on a molecular level, both possessing 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. 

When you intake THC, in any of your preferred methods, it binds with your brain’s cannabinoid receptors within your body’s Endocannabinoid System—where your body naturally processes cannabis. 

When terpenes get together with cannabinoids in the Endocannabinoid System, it initiates the Entourage Effect, a theory describing how cannabinoids like THC and CBD connect with terpenes to kickstart a colorful array of benefits in the mind and body. 

The idea goes that in the Entourage Effect, cannabinoids and terpenes gather and join forces to create a defensive barrier against stressors inside the body, soothing your inner workings and helping you maintain general relaxation, improve your mood, elevate your appetite, support proper immune function, achieve restful sleep, spark your creativity, and more.

Shine On At Lightshade 

Peak THC levels alone aren’t enough to set your high in motion, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to start your session with dank buds. 


Lightshade’s expert budtenders guide you through the forest of juicy nugs, helping you find the ideal high-THC strain without getting lost in the haze. 

family illustration

Weed Personified: The Best Cannabis Strains for How Others See You

If you were a cannabis strain, what strain would you be?

There’s nothing like spending holidays with the family. Nobody knows you quite as well – but that also means your family is uniquely qualified to push your buttons. 

And we bet you know a few tricks to get under their skin too.

So, to help you relieve some of the pre-holiday scaries, we’ve put together a list of the best cannabis strains for our favorite family roles. 

Whether you’re the cool, 420-friendly aunt distributing medicated brownies, or the bad boy cousin sneaking a quick vape sesh in the backyard before dinner, we’ve got you covered.

What strains of weed are there?

Let’s cover the wide world of weed strains to get started. There are a lot, so clearly, we’re not going to cover all – or even most of them. 

In fact, according to some estimates, there are over 700 known weed strains commercially available in the US today. That’s a whole lot of ganja!  

For cannabis newbies, this can lead to many questions about the differences between smoking indica, sativa, or hybrid. For example, what kind of high is indica? Which strain makes you sleepy, indica or sativa? 

So, before we get to the meat of our selected subject, let’s take a closer look.

Do different strains of weed have different effects?

The way cultivators breed different weed strains creates unique effects particular to the strain. Effects can range from indica dominant strains that produce a sedating body high to sativa-dominant strains that can help you tackle your holiday shopping list, to hybrid strains that fall somewhere in the middle. 

The best weed strain for you depends on a host of factors, including your tolerance and personality. You’ll probably find a way to fit both indica and sativa into your rotation, to experience both effects.

To quote the late, great Juice WRLD, “I found your vibe, and I found my high.” So let’s dig into the best marijuana strains for creativity, relaxation, and more, depending on your family role.


The Best Weed Strain for Your Family Personality Type

The Chilled Out Earth Mama

If there’s a loaf of bread rising in your kitchen right now, or you’re knee-deep in a macrame plant holder project, we bet your family sees you as the chilled-out earth mama type.

Whether you’re the mom to kids named after natural features or folk singers, or you radiate loving maternal energy, Blueberry Headband is for you. It is tension relieving and relaxing, and it pairs perfectly with a Buddha Bowl and the new Lorde LP on vinyl.

The Stressed Out Gen X Dad

Frankly, you don’t know how it happened. One day you were chilling out, blasting Nirvana, and the next thing you know, you were forty, surrounded by screaming kids, scheming relatives, and, to be fair, an awe-inspiring record collection.

Take the edge off with a soothing dose of Bubba Fett, which creates a calming, deeply contemplative effect powerful enough that you won’t scream out loud when someone insists on playing All I Want for Christmas is You for the millionth time. Breathe the Bubba in deep. You’ve got DEVO’s Merry Something all cued up.

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The Zen Sister

You drink matcha instead of espresso.

You tell your family you’re on a wellness journey.

You own many pairs of recycled water bottle exercise pants.

You have a favorite YouTube yoga teacher.

And you own a phone with three meditation apps installed!

You’re the zen sister – which means you’re a perfect fit for the Stardawg strain. This indica-dominant hybrid is ideal for leading family stretches, convincing everyone to eat their vegetables, and making it through the holidays with your chill intact.

bold bro

The Bold Brother 

You’re the baby of the family and not afraid to take chances.

Or you’re the oldest, whose every move was applauded by mom and dad.

Either way, you’re the risk-taker of the family, the big dreamer who’s always hopping from one venture to the next.

WOOFing on a Norwegian reindeer farm? Skateboarding in Paris? Wherever you’ve been the past few years, we know your family’s happy to have you home.

Celebrate the return of the prodigal son with the joyful, uplifting White 99 strain, a perfect match for your fearless spirit.

CrossFit Aunt

The CrossFit Aunt

You’ve been trying to get the family to participate in Thanksgiving turkey trots, and Festival of Lights fun runs for at least a decade. A morning jog is your favorite medicine. And yeah, maybe you’re still a little pissed that nobody else wanted to make the holiday dinners fully paleo.

You’re the hardworking, butt-kicking CrossFit Aunt, and you need a strain that matches your energy level.

The euphoria-inducing, creatively stimulating Sour Joker strain fits the bill, the perfect head-clearing day strain for your stamina and drive. And cottonmouth isn’t a problem when you tote around that giant all-day water bottle!

Creative Cousin

The Creative Cousin

You work as an art teacher, graphic designer, writer, or some other creative role in your full-time job.

On the weekends, you paint in your studio, jam out with your band, and go to museums, posting all your adventures on Instagram.

We bet your younger cousins think you’re the ultimate cool grownup – and to be honest, so do we!

Honor your creative self with a toke or two of the Lavender Jones strain, a sativa-dominant hybrid with enlivening, creativity-boosting qualities that make it the ultimate day strain.

An ideal accompaniment to artistically wrapping a mountain of gifts or winning the annual cookie icing contest.

The Fun Uncle

You’re the king of pillow forts and piggyback rides, always ready with a bad joke or a harmless prank.

More than anyone else in the family, you’ve kept your childlike inner joy alive, and they appreciate it, even if you’re less willing than your siblings to talk about real estate and political news with your dad.

Connect with your fun-loving self with the Pineapple Express strain, which creates a creative, happy, and stimulating sense of euphoria guaranteed to bust the grown-up conversation blahs.

Organizing an impromptu post toke caroling party is, of course, optional.

The Cool Aunt

If you can’t think of who the cool aunt is in your family, it’s probably you. 

Maybe you’re a blood relative. 

Maybe you’re a beloved friend of one of the older members, who swans in every other holiday season with a bag full of gifts from your business travels like some bougie Santa Clause.

You’re sophisticated, fearless, and everyone is just a little bit jealous of your jet-setting lifestyle. 

You need a strain that matches your energy like Durban Poison, which is mood-elevating, energizing, and as positive as you. It pairs well with a glass of chilled chardonnay.

grumpy gramp

The Grumpy Grandpa

Let’s face it; we’ve all ended up like the grumpy grandpa at one point or another. Sometimes the holidays just seem like they’re crashing in on you, with all the plans, family drama, and endless events to attend.

Sometimes grandpa just needs a rest!

The long-lasting Primus OG strain is the perfect cannabis strain when you need to unwind after a hectic day. Its relaxing, sedating effects pair perfectly with a glass of warm eggnog (bourbon optional!) and a classic holiday movie on TV.

Kick back and relax, grandpa. You’ve earned it!

Find a strain that perfectly encapsulates your personality. Click here to place an online order for in-store pickup from Lightshade.