ginger bread ouse with cannabis gummie

The Best Weed Strains to Help You Celebrate the Holidays

The holiday season has us reaching for potent, high-quality cannabis strains. So if it puts you in the same mood, this blog is for you.

Whether we’re elevating the hall-decking experience or taking the edge off stressful family gatherings, the holiday season puts us in the mood for high-quality cannabis. 

You’d be surprised how often folks like you ask for our recommendations for products that take the edge off creepy uncles or make gift shopping less, well, like gift shopping. 

So, read on for our top holiday strain picks–and visit your favorite Lightshade location for personalized strain suggestions.

Strains to Get You Through The Holidays

The best strains for the holiday gathering of your dreams.

Energetic Strains

Energizing and activating, these strains are perfect for when you need an extra dose of energy to get you through a busy day. Here are our top five picks for spirit boosting strains:

Photo of black woman happy positive smile have fun dance decoration present box christmas time indoors

A stimulating, euphoric daytime strain, Red Headed Stranger’s relatively low THC percentage means it’s an excellent boost for a family gathering or that holiday party you’re dreading but need to attend.

This potent and stimulating daytime strain creates focused energy. Perfect for icing a gigantic stack of cookies or dreaming up a series of perfect gifts on an all-day browsing session IRL or online.

A popular component in many hybrid cookie-themed strains, The White provides an even head and body high that pairs perfectly with its sweet, spicy aroma. Our favorite Christmas strain for wrapping presents.

Euphoric and appetite-stimulating, Durban Poison is the perfect companion for long holiday dinners. Grandma’s famous gelatin molds will suddenly seem a whole lot more appealing!

Although the name might suggest the opposite of ideal holiday behavior, Sour Joker creates a clear-headed full-body buzz. It pairs perfectly with sledding with your little cousins or a day on the Colorado slopes.

Creativity-Inspiring Strains

The best part of the holidays is the sense of wonder they create. Tap into your imagination with our top five picks for creativity-inspiring Christmas weed strains:

Creating instantly uplifting exhilaration, Blue Dream is great for creative play. The sweet blueberry flavor summons up nostalgic memories, perfect for illustrating a memorable holiday card or creating DIY decor.

Perfect for hiking and exploration, Orange Herijuana is the ideal Christmas tree strain for decorating with greenery. Enjoy the sweet, spicy flavor before strolling through a local trail collecting pine cones for a centerpiece or making a DIY wreath.

A joyful strain designed to lift your mood while keeping the nerves calm and the mind steady, Lavender Jones has a spice cabinet complexity that fills it with the holiday spirit. The perfect pairing for decking out a gingerbread house.

With a delightful sweet n sour taste, Pineapple Express creates a jubilant head high. Enjoy the cerebral, energetic, and euphoric experience–which pairs perfectly with caroling or an impromptu snowball fight.

White 99 Medical Ounces

With a tropical aroma reminiscent of an island breeze, White 99 is the strain for when the holiday drama gets to be a little overwhelming. So allow yourself a moment of escape with this relaxing strain, which eases sadness and anxiety while supporting the creative flow.

Calming Strains

Sometimes you just need to take a breath. These calming strains can help you center yourself and find ease amid the holiday madness. Here are our top five favorites:

Lightshade Christmas Tree

With a name that makes it the ultimate Christmas OG strain, this euphoria-boosting strain’s notes of lemony pine remind us of strolling through the heights of Rocky Mountain National Park. Perfect for getting away while staying put.

Perfect for sinking relaxedly into a more creative headspace, Mother’s Milk has a lush, fruity, creamy taste that feels like pure indulgence—an excellent strain for snatching a moment of self-care amidst the holiday madness.

Coated with a glittering layer of starlike sparkling crystal trichomes, there’s something about Star Dawd that just feels special. Aromas of sour citrus and earthy pine help create an uplifting, stress-relieving effect, perfect for a holiday game night.

With a light green flower accented with deep red strands that lend White Dawg a fruity, sour flavor, White Dawg just looks like pure holiday spirit in flower form. Enjoy the combined stress-eliminating power of combined CBD and THC.

As a non-psychoactive strain, Lightshade CBD is perfect for those seemingly endless holiday afternoons when you want to unwind while still staying present—guaranteed to help you get genuinely excited about that gift of cozy holiday socks.

Restful Strains

Once the busy day is over, you need kush to unwind with visions of flower dancing in your head. So here are our top restful strains to enjoy at the end of the day:

When your holiday stress is at its apex, creating a relaxing and sedating high, Dalae OG is the strain to turn to. This sweet, tension-relieving strain helps make even the most overwhelming family drama seem like a problem for future you.

Fruity Pebbles is pure nostalgia in flower form. Its aroma–a blend of fruity terpenes with a creamy undertone–is so evocative of the sugary cereals of our childhood you’ll look in the baggie for a prize. Perfect for dreamy trips down memory lane.

We love indulging in a little Skunkberry at the end of a long day for the way it takes you on a cannabis journey. Start with euphoria and creativity, journaling or drawing to ease your transition to sleep. Then sink into dreamland with lush, complete body relaxation.

As sticky, dense, and indulgent as a holiday morning cinnamon roll, Bubba Fett creates a long-lasting, relaxing trip down the lazy river of the mind. It pairs well with falling asleep on the couch to the dulcet tones of the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Lightshade - Grandaddy Purps Strain

With a super sweet palette of berry and grape aromas, Grandaddy Purps feels like an indulgent treat at the end of a stressful, overbooked holiday day. So enjoy the dreamy buzz as you sink into a restful sleep.

BONUS: Strains with Holiday Names

While none of them cracked our top five favorites in any categories, there are a few strains whose Christmas-themed names have earned them a place in the 12 strains of Christmas. Here are some of the most festively named strains around:

cannabis flower with miniature sunglass on leaning next to a holiday hat with holiday decorations in the background

  1. Christmas tree strain
  2. Jesus OG
  3. Permafrost
  4. Three kings bud
  5. Foggy pines strain
  6. Sweet cookies strain
  7. Wookie cookie strain
  8. Jack frost kush
  9. Silver kush strain
  10. Snow blaze strain
  11. Grinch weed strain
  12. Sugarplum fairy

Are you interested in checking out one of these strains? Then, stop by your local Lightshade to discover the perfect merry Christmas weed of your stoner Christmas dreams.

old weed on wooden table

Old Weed! What’s it Good For? (Absolutely a Few Things!)

Do you have a jar of old weed stashed in a forgotten corner? Don’t toss it yet; your old weed might be helpful.

Old, stale weed is sad. Stashed in a forgotten cabinet or left lingering in a backpack, your top-shelf flower is now nothing more than a dehydrated disgrace. 

But don’t despair! 

It turns out that you can put your (now) lousy weed to good use. Our expert budtenders know a thing or two about how you can make the most of your old weed. So, keep reading.

Does Weed Go Bad?

Let’s start with the basics. Does weed expire? 

The answer to the question, “can weed go bad?” depends on your definition of bad. In general, old weed won’t get you sick the way other “expired” things might, like a moldy cheese rind or a questionable packet of discounted ground beef (yikes). 

However, if you live in a particularly damp or humid area (not likely in Colorado), mold loves weed almost as much as we do, so you might want to give your ancient nugs a close inspection before grabbing that torch.

Still, there remains the question, can weed expire?
In short, the answer is no.

If your dusty stash is fuzzy with mold, toss it. But otherwise, you should be good to go, no matter how ancient it may appear. 

moldy cannabis

Does Weed Lose Potency Over Time?

Old cannabis probably won’t hurt you, but will it still get you high? Of course, it will. But it won’t send you into the stratosphere the way it would have when your stash was fluffy and fresh. 

It’s hard to say precisely how much potency weed loses over time, but some research suggests that cannabis loses about a quarter of its THC potency every two years.

Does Weed Get Stale?

Now that you’ve determined your stash is less than eight years old and probably still has some THC to offer let’s talk quality.

Can weed go stale? It definitely can.

And while stale weed won’t impact your health, it will taste different (gross) and won’t be as enjoyable to consume. 

Here’s how to check if your stash is beyond its prime. Give it the sniff test. If your rediscovered stash smells dry and dusty, you’ve got stale weed on your hands. 

cannabis flower in a open zip lock bag

And how long does the smell of fresh weed last?

The timeline is accelerated compared to THC, declining after about six months if stored properly (emphasis on “stored properly”).

How Long is Weed Good For?

When you combine the considerations of potency, smell, and quality, how long does weed stay fresh?

Like most cannabis-related things, the answer is hazy. Depending on your desired experience, most experts say you have about a year from purchase before your weed’s quality diminishes significantly. But, of course, fresh is always best. 

Does Old Weed Get You High?

We’ve determined cannabis can age, become stale, and grow mold if the conditions are right. But does old weed get you high? Yes, old weed can still produce psychoactivity. 

Your aging cannabis still contains THC, the cannabinoid responsible for much of cannabis characteristic effects, but it won’t pack the same punch. Old weed is weak weed. 

What Happens if You Smoke Old Weed?

It might not be the tastiest or the most effective, but is it wrong to smoke old weed? 

Smoking old weed isn’t bad for you at all, and as we’ve already established, it will probably still get you high. However, it also tastes genuinely awful! 

Depending on the age of the weed, it can develop strange off-flavors that make smoking less than ideal.

So if you’re in a pinch or just curious, it won’t hurt you, but it also won’t be a lot of fun. 

Instead, transform your old weed with our budtenders’ suggestions.

grayscale picture of a man smoking a joint looking out a window

What Can I Use Old Weed For? 

Buying fresh is always better than suffering through an ancient bowl. But you can put that old weed to good use with these creative ideas:


Making edibles from old weed is a genius-level move because you can extract the THC from your cannabis without suffering through the stale weed taste.

To make edibles from old weed, quickly bake your stash in the oven for decarboxylation before infusing in butter or coconut oil. Then, use your fat in the baked good of your choice, or slather a little weed butter on a toaster waffle–whatever works!


Dry sifting and infusing oils are the most common ways to create cannabis concentrates, but you can try other methods, too.

You can buy a bubble bag extraction kit to make bubble hash with your aging cannabis, use dry ice to make dry ice hash, or create a tincture by infusing plain alcohol like Everclear or vodka with your old weed.


Last but not least, your go-to vaporizer may work better with old weed because it’s dryer. It will allow you to get dense clouds of vapor without choking on harsh old weed smoke.

However, our warning about taste still applies! Old weed doesn’t taste any better in vaped form than smoked, so you might be better off with another method if you have a sensitive palette. 

red measuring cup with cannabis flower next to a stick of butter and a metal mixing bowl with a wood spoon on a table

Dry Sift 

You can extract high terpene and cannabinoid concentrations from your aging bud’s trichomes (the crystalline structures coating flower that gives it much of its characteristic effects) through dry sifting. 

Here’s the easiest way to get the job done. 

Run your aging weed through a grinder and collect the powder (called kief) accumulated at the bottom of the grinder, also called a “keif catcher.” Sprinkle your sifted kief atop a fresh bowl to give it an extra potency boost. 

How to Store Weed for Future Consumption

No matter how creative you get with old weed, smart cannabis storage is essential for preventing future waste. But, can you freeze marijuana for longer shelf life? Not if you want to preserve its quality. Your freezer could cause a decline in the quality of your cannabis.  

So it’s room temperature or bust, but how long can you store marijuana? And what’s the best weed container?

The best way to store cannabis is inside a glass jar, like the jars with dehumidifying packets you might see in your local dispensary. Under the proper conditions, these jars will keep your cannabis tasty and fresh!

Cannabis Flower in Glass Jars on Shelfs

Still, the best solution to old weed is, you guessed it, new weed. 

Refresh your stash this week with Lightshade. 

woman standing in front of a painted wall exhaling smoke

What Happens to Your Body When You Consume Cannabis?

Have you ever wondered what your body does after you consume cannabis? It’s fascinating. Here’s what you need to know.

Whether you’re intimately familiar with cannabis or you’re just beginning your journey with this historically misunderstood plant, the interaction between weed and the human body might still be a mystery to you.

It’s understandable. After all, America’s War on Drugs made cannabis a hazy proposition for most folks, and it seriously limited researchers’ ability (and willingness) to study its effects. 

Fortunately, there’s enough information out there to at least give us a cursory idea of what happens to our bodies after consuming cannabis. So, let’s take a closer look – starting with some basics.

Why does pot make your eyes red?

Let’s start with one of marijuana’s most visible effects–the classic red-hued eyes. 

Why does weed make your eyes red? Contrary to popular belief, eye redness isn’t from smoke. Instead, the interactions between cannabis’ active ingredients, including THC, and your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has receptors throughout the body, including your eyes, causes “weed eyes.” 

THC widens blood vessels, increasing blood flow throughout the body. So, that’s what causes your classic bloodshot eyes. 

And if you’re wondering if edibles produce the same effect, the answer is yes. 

But what about the other cannabinoids? Does CBD make your eyes red too? Nope! CBD-only products, or even some with a lower THC content, won’t interact with the endocannabinoid system in the same way.

guy with red eyes

What does weed do to your body?

Let’s take a closer look at the rest of your endocannabinoid system. How does marijuana affect your body overall? Well, as it turns out, there’s a lot that happens when you consume cannabis! Here’s a shortlist of what cannabis does to our bodies:

  • Promotes proper immune function
  • Supports cartilage and joint function
  • It might help relieve occasional constipation
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Soothes or calms the skin
  • Keeps a typical, healthy attitude during PMS

Because the endocannabinoid system exists throughout the body, the effects of marijuana’s active compounds can vary considerably based on your physiology, tolerance, and what symptoms of pain or dysfunction you experience in ordinary life. So what does weed do to your body in general? It depends!

How does weed impact your mind?

We’ve covered the body, but what does weed do mentally? The effects of weed on the brain are as variable as the effects of cannabis on the body. 

So, what does weed do to your brain? Again it depends, but here are some mental health conditions people support with cannabis:

  • Increases mental acuity
  • Promotes general productivity
  • Improves absent-mindedness
  • Supports normal mental function
  • Promotes emotional well-being
  • It can assist in elevating your mood
  • Helps alleviate occasional blue feelings everyone gets from time to time
  • For a relaxed feeling
  • Helps improve your mood

Due to negative stereotypes, people often fear side effects, like feeling out of control mentally or intense paranoia. But, in reality, many people have found that cannabis helps them mentally, providing stability and support.

happy lady smoking from bong

What are the effects of weed on pain?

People often choose to consume cannabis to treat general pain. Even people who ask, “is weed dangerous,” are now looking at the plant as a pain management alternative. 

Because, unlike conventional painkillers, cannabis isn’t physically addictive, so it’s a safer choice than habit-forming prescriptions, and it’s stronger than over-the-counter ibuprofen. 

Here are a few common ways people implement cannabis for pain relief:

  • Workout recovery
  • Occasional headache relief
  • Generally soothes 
  • Reduced soreness from daily activities 
  • Diminished menstrual pain 

So how does this work? Well, again, it comes back to your endocannabinoid system. THC binds with your CB1 and CB2 receptors, the ECS’ primary system for receiving messages. The cannabinoid tells the receptors to reduce pain perception for temporary relief.

What are the effects of weed on anxiety?

Thanks to early 20th-century anti-cannabis propaganda, many people think cannabis causes paranoia. On the contrary, countless people consume cannabis to help them cope with anxious, stressed, or paranoid feelings. Here’s a list of other maladies folks treat with cannabis: 

  • Relief of occasional anxiety
  • Stress and frustration relief
  • Providing clarity
  • Mood stabilization 

If cannabis leaves you feeling anxious or paranoid, it’s a sign you’re consuming too much THC. So, ask your budtender to recommend a less intense strain (or a strain balanced with CBD), and try, try again. 

man sitting in a ball

How can weed impact weight loss?

Does smoking weed help you lose weight? Officially, the jury’s out. However, anecdotally, evidence suggests that cannabis might support healthy weight management by bolstering our body’s natural digestive mechanisms like:

  • Blood sugar
  • Digestion
  • Gut discomfort 
  • Reduced intestinal flora
  • Restored intestinal flora

Most people reading this blog are familiar with the classic munchies-prone stoner stereotype. So learning that cannabis might support healthy weight management probably comes as a shock. But for many people, cannabis can help support a more beneficial, more sustainable approach to weight management. 

Still, some strains will have you clearing your pantry. But our budtenders are here to help you find the right products. We’ll get you there. 

Knowledge is power. 

Now you should have a basic understanding of cannabis’ effects on your body. And since knowledge truly is power, your next Colorado dispensary shopping trip will be somewhat different. You’ll have enough information to start an educated conversation with your budtender to find the best products for you. 


It’s time to start your cannabis journey. Place an online order with Lightshade today.

apple, banana, pear, peach, pineapple, and pumpkin with holes cut out and weed put in

How to Make Hilariously DIY Cannabis Smoking Accessories From Apples (and Other Fruits)

They say that cannabis boosts creativity–and there’s no better proof of that than the many ways the stoners of the world have found to create a DIY smoking pipe with ingredients sourced from the fruit bowl.

Maybe you’re here because you just dropped your favorite glass pipe (bummer) and you’re scratching your chin, thinking, “what can I smoke out of around the house?” Or maybe you’re looking for homemade bong ideas for a weekend afternoon. 

Whatever your situation, we’re here to show you our favorite DIY pot pipe solutions–and yes, that includes learning how to smoke weed from an apple.

Foods You Can Smoke Weed Out Of

When it comes to discovering new things to smoke weed out of, the sky’s the limit. Here are a few possibilities we tested out just for you, plus instructions for making easy homemade weed pipes and bongs from basic grocery store supplies.

How to Smoke Out of an Apple

There’s a reason learning how to make an apple pipe is baby stoner 101. It’s one of the easiest and tastiest ways to transform fruit into a homemade piece for weed.

To make an apple pipe, simply poke a few holes using a pen or pencil. One, running from the top to the center, will be your homemade weed bowl, where the herb will sit. Now, create a second hole from the side, running into the hole descending from the bowl chamber. Your last hole will be the carb, a channel to the side of the mouthpiece. Johnny Appleseed would be proud!

Step 1: Poke a hole that runs from the apple’s top to its center for your bowl. 

Step 2: Poke a second hole in the apple’s side that connects to the first hole. This is where you’ll inhale. 

Step 3: Poke a third hole in the side that connects to the original hole you created for the bowl to use as a carb. 

hand holding a DIY apple pipe with cannabis flower
hand holding a DIY peach pipe with cannabis flower

How to Make a Peach Pipe

Select a firmer peach if you want to make a homemade smoking pipe, or you might end up with a handful of mush! 

To turn a peach into a pipe, create a bowl above the seed by carving a hole into the side of the peach. Then, make a second hole connecting to the stem of your bowl from the side, so the two passages meet. Finish it off with a carb for a peachy keen smoking experience.

Step 1: Select a firm peach. 

Step 2: Carve a hole in the peach’s side above the seed to create a bowl. 

Step 3: Create a second hole from which you’ll inhale on the opposite side of the hole you created for the bowl – ensure the holes meet in the center.  

Step 4: Create a third hole to use as your carb, also ensuring the hole meets the others for proper airflow.

How to Make a Pear Pipe

A tasty Bosc is our pear of choice when discovering how to make a weed pipe from this inimitable fruit, both for its easily pierced flesh and the slightly floral taste it lends the smoke.

Simply punch a hole at the wide end of the pear to create your bowl. Then, carve out as much room as you need for what you want to smoke before channeling two smaller tunnels into the side of the chamber, where you’ll place your weed and inhale away.

Step 1: Punch a hole at the pear’s wind end to create a bowl. 

Step 2: Create a second hole from which you’ll inhale at the top of the pear and dig deep enough to meet the first hole you created for the bowl. 

Step 3: Create a third hole to the side of the bowl hole to create the carb (ensure all holes meet in the center for proper airflow). 

hand holding a DIY pear pipe with cannabis flower
hand holding a DIY banana pipe with cannabis flower

How to Make a Pipe Out of a Banana

We’re not trying to make a monkey out of you–bananas make excellent vehicles for smoking cannabis. And no, that’s not because of the weird urban legend that the peels get you high! You’ll need to stick to cannabis for that.

Our banana pipe, step by step, contains two paths; the easy way and the hard way.

The easy way is to simply poke a (clean!) pen through the center of the banana, starting at the end and continuing until you’ve formed a narrow passageway. Then, poke a second hole at the end of that passageway from above, and voila! 

If you want to get fancy, you can cut the bottom of the banana off and hollow it out, perching it atop that secondary hole at the end of your passageway to form a more commodious bowl. This shit is, indeed, bananas.

The Easy Way

Step 1: Using a clean pen, poke a hole through the center of the banana to form a narrow passage starting from the top. This is where you’ll inhale. 

Step 2: Create a second hole at the end of the first passageway to make your bowl. 

The Hard Way

Step 1: Cut the bottom off the banana and use a pen to create a small hole in the cut-off portion – this will be your bowl. 

Step 2: Poke a hole in the top of the banana where you cut off the portion you used for the bowl. Use that hole to create a narrow chamber that runs the length of the banana. 

Step 3: Poke a hole that’s roughly the same size and shape as the piece you cut off to make your bowl, and join the bowl piece to the banana. 

How to Make a Homemade Bubbler Pipe Out of a Pineapple

Maybe there’s a reason SpongeBob was always so cheerful–his pineapple house also makes a fantastic homemade bong.

To recreate the magic of Bikini Bottom, cut off the top of your pineapple and hollow out the center. Next, cut a hole down the side at an angle, filling it with a spare downstem and bowl from another bong before filling the pineapple with water. Inhale, and reflect on how Squidward had it all wrong.

Step 1: Cut the top off your pineapple (but don’t discard it – you’ll need the top later). 

Step 2: Hollow out the center of your pineapple. 

Step 3: Cut a hole at an angle in the side of your pineapple (a little less than halfway between the pineapple’s top and bottom). 

Step 4: Place a spare bowl/stem from another bong in the hole you poked in the pineapple’s side. 

Step 5: Fill your pineapple with water. 

Step 6: Poke a hole in the pineapple top from which you’ll inhale and place the top back on the pineapple. 

Step 7: Load your bowl and smoke. 

hands holding a DIY pineapple bong with cannabis flower
hand holding a DIY pumpkin weed pipe with cannabis flower

How to Make a Pumpkin Weed Bowl

Last but not least, the hero of spooky season; the great pumpkin weed bowl. We’ve all been left with a loose pumpkin or two on our hands after Halloween is over, and what better fate for these noble fruits than to be transformed into a delightful (and seasonally appropriate) pipe?

First, carve a shallow cavity at the top of the pumpkin, with a small hole at the bottom to allow air (but not flower) to pass through. Now punch two holes to serve as the stem and carb, making sure to get to the pumpkin’s hollow center. The last step? Don’t do drugs if you’re a character in a horror movie. The stoners always get knocked off first.

Step 1: Cut a lid on the top of your pumpkin like you’re carving a jack-o-lantern and carve a shallow hole. 

Step 2: Remove the pumpkin’s guts. 

Step 3: Punch a small hole in the pumpkin’s side to use as your bowl. 

Step 4: Punch an additional hole in the pumpkin’s side from which you’ll inhale.

Step 5: Place the bowl/stem from another bong in the hole you punched and fill the bowl with freshly ground cannabis. 

Step 6: Fill your pumpkin halfway with water. 

Step 7: Light, inhale, relax, and repeat. 

Need some weed to drop into your new fruit pipe? Hit our site to place an online order from one of our Colorado dispensaries today.

scrabble letters spell medicine with cannabis leaf surrounding

A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting a Medical Cannabis Card in Colorado

Everything Colorado cannabis fans need to know about getting a Medical Marijuana Card in our state. 

By now, you probably know that cannabis is legal in Colorado–but rules still apply! That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide for how to get a medical marijuana card, with a specific focus on getting a med card in Colorado. Whatever your questions, we’ll try to answer them here:

What Is a Red Card in Colorado?

A “Red Card” is the Colorado-specific word for a cannabis card or a medical weed card if you’re keeping things informal. If you have a card, it means your physician has registered you with the Colorado marijuana registry, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana as long as you operate within the Colorado Red Card rules.

How is Medical Weed Different?

Since all Coloradans over 21 can buy recreational cannabis, why bother to get a Colorado mmj card? One of the benefits is that medical marijuana is cheaper to purchase since the taxes on recreational marijuana are higher than on weed designated for medical use. Medical patients are also allowed to buy larger volumes of products.

What Qualifies You For a Med Card in Colorado?

For an adult to qualify for a medical marijuana card, Colorado asks that they be over 18 years old, a state resident, and have a qualifying medical condition.

Can You Get a Medical Card Under 18?

Yes! Colorado minors can get a medical marijuana prescription if they are state residents and have a qualifying medical condition, as long as their legal guardian is also a resident of Colorado. However, please note that all medical cannabis patients under 18 must visit two physicians and submit two physician certifications and a Patient Minor Consent Form

What are Qualifying Medical Conditions for Getting a Med Card?

These are the conditions that the Colorado government considers suitable for treatment with a cannabis prescription:

  • Cancer.
  • Glaucoma.
  • HIV or AIDS.
  • Cachexia.
  • Persistent muscle spasms.
  • Seizures.
  • Severe nausea.
  • Severe pain.

Don’t worry if you’re wondering how to get a medical marijuana card but don’t have any of these conditions. Medical marijuana card requirements also include any chronic mental or physical symptoms that harm your safety, physical, or mental health or limit your ability to live normally.


How to get a Medical Card in Colorado?

  • Gather your documents. This means your doctor’s recommendation, government ID, and social security number.
  • Fill out the online application. Unfortunately, you can’t get a medical marijuana card online, but you can apply without going into an office.

Where To Make a Doctors Appointment?

Technically, under Colorado law, any licensed physician can write you a prescription for medical marijuana. So if you’re wondering how to get a marijuana card and have a good relationship with your primary care provider, you can ask about the possibility of getting a cannabis prescription at your next check-up. 


A List of Licensed Physicians & Clinics

If you’re not sure your doctor is a supporter of medical cannabis, you may want to visit someone from this list of Colorado Red Card doctors:

Where to Get a Medical Card?

Once you’ve got your doctor’s recommendation in hand, you can apply for your medical card online. You’ll then receive an email with your official med card attached. 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Medical Card in Colorado?

Now you’re all registered, but how long does it take to get a medical card? Once you’ve submitted your application, the Colorado government says it should take between 1-3 business days.


How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost?

So how much is a medical marijuana card? Not as expensive as you might think! It costs $25 to apply for a Colorado mmj med card online, plus the cost of your doctor’s appointment, which may be covered by your insurance if you can get a prescription as part of your annual check-up.


Do I Have to Renew my Red Card?

The Colorado mmj registry requires patients to renew their cards once a year. You’ll need to get a new doctor’s recommendation and pay the application fee again through the online portal.

Lightshade Sheridan Worker taking id from customer

Lightshade Locations Offering Medical Cannabis

Here’s a list of all of our Colorado Dispensary locations that offer medical marijuana. 

Lightshade Evans

5885 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO, 80222


Sun – Thurs: 8:00AM – 9:45PM
Fri – Sat: 8:00AM – 10:45PM

Lightshade Peoria

12075 40th Ave.
Denver, CO, 80239


Sun – Thurs: 8:00AM – 9:45PM
Fri – Sat: 8:00AM – 10:45PM

Lightshade Sheridan

1126 S. Sheridan Blvd.
Denver, CO, 80232


Sun – Thurs: 8:00AM – 9:45PM
Fri – Sat: 8:00AM – 10:45PM

Are you ready to place an online medical cannabis order with Lightshade? Click here.

dispensary display case with cannabis products inside

The Ten Best Dispensaries in Colorado (2021 Edition)

Colorado is packed with legal dispensaries (including ours). And while competition is fierce, we’re all in this together, so we want to help you understand what we think are Colorado’s top ten best dispensaries. 

When it comes to dispensaries, Coloradans enjoy a wealth of choices. As of 2021, there are 1,021 dispensaries in Colorado, with 446 dispensaries in Denver alone.

With so many options, how does a cannabis-loving Coloradan select just one? We narrowed it down for you by rounding up our top ten favorite medical and recreational Colorado dispensaries.

The Best Recreational Dispensaries in Colorado

The process of buying recreational cannabis in Colorado is easy. All you need is a government-issued ID, an appropriate payment method (some spots still only take cash), and an idea of where you want to start. Here are our picks for the five best recreational dispensaries in Colorado, perfect for both cannabis connoisseurs and newcomers alike: 



When it comes to naming the best dispensary in Colorado, Lightshade is the GOAT (clearly, we’re biased, but come on, you know we’re the best). With nine locations throughout the state, including six in Denver alone, you might be surprised to find that Lightshade is already your friendly neighborhood dispensary.

From sustainably grown flower to ultra-potent distilled resins, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more (we have it all), Lightshade has the perfect product for your every cannabis need. So, in our humble opinion, when it comes to choosing the best recreational dispensary in Colorado, it doesn’t get better than Lightshade. 


The Giving Tree

Named after the slightly codependent hero of our favorite Shel Silverstein book, this Denver dispensary is a munchies paradise. Try a slice of THC-infused dried pineapple, or indulge in a cannabutter-based peanut butter rice crispy.


The Green Solution

Whatever your problems, you can always count on The Green Solution! A great place to stock up on cannabis accessories, we’re big fans of their impressive selection of kush pouches, pipes, and even cannabis-themed coloring books.


Rocky Mountain High Dispensary

There’s no more iconic ode to The Centennial State than John Denver’s Rocky Mountain high – so of course, we’re fans of the dispensary of the same name. These hometown heroes are proud boosters of Colorado’s cannabis scene, highlighting products from across the state. 


Good Chemistry

Using a fun, visual approach to cannabis shopping, Good Chemistry’s budtenders help cannabis newbies figure out what they like. Use their STATS guide to figure out the cannabis experience you like the best, and then shop for the products that suit your needs.

The Best Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Colorado

With recreational cannabis catching all the headlines these days, it’s essential not to overlook the foundations of legalized cannabis in the US; medical marijuana. From inflammatory conditions to anxiety, if your doctor has recommended cannabis to meet your medical needs, a medical dispensary is your pharmacy. Find what feels good with our picks for the five best medical dispensaries in Colorado: 


Native Roots

A straightforward referral system for new patients makes Native Roots an excellent choice for new cannabis consumers dipping their toes into the world of medical marijuana. In addition, a light-filled, spacious storefront makes for easy browsing. 


Medicine Man

What’s the primary feature that makes some fans call Medicine Man the best medical dispensary in Denver? Its proximity to the airport. Stop off after landing to stock up for your adventure through the Colorado wilderness (but, better yet, shop at our Peoria location near DIA for the ultimate canna-tourism experience).


Terrapin Care Station

This laid-back dispensary serves both medical and recreational patients and uses a portion of its profits to support local and international nonprofits. Not only is it a qualifier for one of the best dispensaries in Denver – their local partnerships also make them a force for community good (like us – learn about Lightshade’s social equity efforts here).



Specializing in house-grown cannabis, LivWell is the best Denver dispensary for cannabis connoisseurs interested in exploring what LivWell calls “seed-to-sale” marijuana. But, when it comes to medical patients, they take their name seriously!


The Clinic 

Visiting this Colorado dispensary is like taking a trip to your favorite day spa – it’s all blonde wood and soft lighting. Staff at The Clinic are well versed in guiding new medical cannabis patients through their journey of discovery, helping you find the products that suit you best.

With so many great options to choose from, finding your favorite from the list is up to you. That’s the fun part!

Click here to order online from Lightshade today!

wooden figurine holds a pause button

Five Ways to Manage Cannabis Tolerance Like a Pro

There comes a time in every dedicated cannabis consumer’s life when they realize things aren’t working like they used to. If you’re facing the dreaded tolerance break, this blog is for you. 

When it comes to cannabis consumption, it can be tempting to overindulge. A market flooded with highly potent cannabis products means that the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) will quickly grow used to high levels of THC exposure for many people.

While this can be fun in the short term, overindulging in cannabis can lead to your system developing a tolerance–resulting in weaker, less satisfying experiences. So let’s take a closer look at cannabis tolerance; what to look out for, and how to reset if your favorite heavy-hitters just aren’t hitting the same.

What is Cannabis Tolerance?

From caffeine to cannabis, the human body is good at adjusting to altered chemical states. This normalization is excellent for us on an evolutionary level. Still, on the day-to-day, it means it’s easy for our bodies to stop responding to the substances that used to help elevate us beyond our normal resting state–just ask anyone who needs a cup of coffee in the morning to feel normal!

Cannabis tolerance develops when THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, repeatedly binds to CB1 receptors in the brain’s endocannabinoid system. Repeated exposure causes these receptors to have reduced responsiveness to the presence of THC, meaning you won’t experience the same high from using the same product over and over again. When and how your body develops cannabis tolerance depends on a few key factors, including how often you consume cannabis, how potent that cannabis is, and your biological response to the presence of THC.

Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?

The short answer: yes, theoretically. Your body processes CBD like any other chemical and can build up a tolerance to it, especially if you take the same dose every day. 

However, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind directly to the receptors of the endocannabinoid systems. This means that if you experience a CBD tolerance, it’s likely due to other metabolic processes. Your brain won’t stop responding to CBD the way it does to THC, and in fact, some studies show that CBD responses grow stronger over time. So when we’re talking about cannabis tolerance, it’s mostly THC rather than CBD that’s of concern.

How to Tell if You’ve Built up a Cannabis Tolerance?

There are a couple of warning signs to look out for if you suspect you’ve developed a cannabis tolerance. First, like any other compound, the definition of tolerance varies by individual. Some people can use the same products and experience no diminishing effects, while others need to increase their dosages to obtain the same experience. 

The main thing, of course, is your own individual responses to ingesting familiar cannabis products. If a favorite pre-roll or tincture isn’t hitting the way it used to, it might be a sign that you’ve developed a heightened cannabis tolerance.

How Do You Reduce Cannabis Tolerance?

Ok, you’ve developed a tolerance, so what’s a pot-loving person to do? Here are our budtenders’ top ten tricks for reducing cannabis tolerance ASAP.

  • Take a T break

Taking some time away from cannabis is the fastest way to let your endocannabinoid systems reset, so let’s start with the obvious; taking some time away from cannabis is a great way to return, refreshed, with a newly lowered tolerance. 

  • Opt for lower dosages

If a T break isn’t an option, you can reduce the wear and tear on the ol’ receptors by opting for products with lower doses of THC. Using products with the lowest possible amount of THC needed for you to feel an effect has the added benefit of letting your body go for longer without building a tolerance. 

  • Try altering up your ratios.

Ease out of THC tolerance by experimenting with higher ratios of THC and CBD. Starting your way with a THC-heavy product and easing into a higher CBD, lower THC alternative can help your system reset. 

  • Plan a cannabis-friendly snack session

Nothing goes together better than cannabis and a snack sesh, and studies suggest that indulging in foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help boost THC absorption within the bloodstream. 

  • Stretch it out

Cannabis isn’t the only thing that activates the endocannabinoid system! Both Yoga and tai chi have been shown to interact with CB1 receptors potentially. Pairing your cannabis with a stretch sesh could help encourage your receptors to activate.

abstract green lights circle a 3d metallic head

How Long Does it Take for Cannabis Receptors to Return to Normal?

If you’ve decided on a T break, you’re probably wondering how long it will take before you can get back to business as usual. 

There’s no exact data on how long it typically takes for CB1 receptors to reset because so much depends on your biology. Some people report that their sensitivity has returned after just a few days, while others need as long as a month or two.

The best thing to do for your first T break is to take it day by day and see what works for you. Try taking a few days off and then indulge in just a little bit of cannabis, waiting before redosing to see how you feel. If that doesn’t work, give yourself a little more time. Your cannabis tolerance will be back to normal before you know it!

Do you want answers to your cannabis questions? Our friends a Leaf411, are here to help. Check them out at

Lightshade Dispensary - Peoria and I-70 Denver

The Rules of Cannabis Consumption for Newbies in Colorado

Are you getting into cannabis for the first time? Are you returning to cannabis after a long hiatus? Are you a cannabis tourist traveling to Colorado? Here’s everything you need to know to have a great experience. 

Since 2012, Coloradans have enjoyed recreational cannabis legally without a qualifying medical condition (way to be a cultural trailblazer, Colorado!). 

Because of our early adoption, Colorado has gained a reputation for being an excellent place to (legally) indulge in the world of cannabis. With beautiful natural scenery, a famously laid-back vibe, and legal weed, it’s no wonder our state is a cannabis industry hub.  

But if you’re new to the world of legal cannabis, it can be hard to keep track of the rules and regulations regarding consumption in Colorado. 

Fortunately, Lightshade is here to help with our handy dandy guide to the rules of cannabis consumption in Colorado.

Where can I legally purchase cannabis in Colorado?

You can legally buy cannabis in Colorado from any of the state’s 500 plus retail stores, including one of Lightshade’s many accessible locations. 

We think we’re the best, but whatever location you decide to visit, ensure the state properly licenses them. Otherwise, the cannabis you purchase might actually be a sneaky alternative, like synthetic cannabis or salvia. And when it comes to cannabis, we think there’s nothing like the real deal.

How can I legally purchase cannabis in Colorado? 

Suppose you’re a Colorado native; good news! All adults living in Colorado can legally purchase up to 1 ounce (or 28.35 grams if you’re fancy) of cannabis at any licensed retail store in the state. Nonresidents are still welcome to purchase cannabis, but the limits are slightly lower. Visitors can buy just a quarter ounce (or 7.08 grams) at their licensed dispensary visit.

In both cases, you need to be at least 21 and have a valid government-issued ID to show at the dispensary—passports, driver’s licenses, and even, in a pinch, your birth certificate all count. In addition, you must consume the cannabis you purchase yourself – no gifts allowed! 

So how about paying for your cannabis purchase? While you used to be able to buy cannabis exclusively with cash, due to a complicated network of regulations on the federal level, most Colorado dispensaries will now allow you to use a debit card to pay for your purchase or withdraw the necessary cash from their onsite ATM. Just don’t try to put it on the AmEx–federal laws make it impossible for the major credit companies to handle cannabis transactions.

Inside Lightshade Iliff & Buckley Recreational Cannabis Dispensary

How do I legally consume cannabis in Colorado? 

You’ve got your legal cannabis–now comes the fun part. But how can you consume cannabis legally in Colorado? The answer is, it depends where you want to indulge. 

Public cannabis consumption, whether indoors or out, isn’t allowed. Since cannabis is still a controlled substance on a federal level, you’re also prohibited from consuming on federal land. But there’s good news–indulging in marijuana in any form, smoked, eaten, or vaped, is allowed on private property for any adult over age 21. So if you have a private place to enjoy that cannabis, go wild! 

Lightshade Cannabis Products for Valentine's Day

One thing to note is that property owners are allowed to decide whether or not they’re comfortable with cannabis consumption. So check your lease to make sure your landlord hasn’t explicitly prohibited cannabis if you don’t own your residence, with the same rule of thumb applying if you’re visiting a friend. 

Out of town visitors should check with their hotel or Airbnb host to make sure they’re comfortable with on-site cannabis consumption. If not, Colorado has a few private lounges and event spaces where visitors are invited to indulge in cannabis in a legal, social setting.

How do I consume cannabis in Colorado for the first time? 

You’ve got your cannabis, found the perfect place to unwind, and you’re ready to begin your legal cannabis journey. Congratulations! Let’s talk about the best way to consume legal cannabis for the first time.

For many Colorado residents and visitors, legalization takes a substance that used to feel out of reach and transforms it into a fun, accessible resource for unwinding with friends. If this is your first time, make sure to let your budtender know. They’ll suggest the perfect product for your experience level and desired outcome and help you manage your experience. 

As always, our advice is to start low and go slow, beginning with the smallest amount of cannabis and ramping up slowly as you get a better feel for your tolerance and what kind of cannabis experience you enjoy.

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Lightshade welcomes you to the world of legal cannabis. Enjoy your exploration!

lady smelling lavender in field

What Are Cannabis Terpenes and Why Should You Care?

We’ve only started to scratch the surface of understanding the full potential of cannabis, but there’s one thing we do know for sure: terpenes are essential. 

Most of us know to look at THC and CBD percentages when we’re exploring new cannabis strains. But while those are decent (and traditional) indicators of a strains’ effects, our expert budtenders say there’s an unsung hero that might have more of an impact on your cannabis experience. 

These mysterious compounds are called “terpenes,” which help create the unique smells, shades – and experience – of individual cannabis strains. But what are cannabis terpenes? And why should you care?

Read on to learn how terpenes might be the secret to predicting your next cannabis experience.

What Are Cannabis Terpenes?

When we say cannabis terpenes, what do we mean? Put simply; terpenes are a naturally occurring compound responsible for the flavors, scents, and colors of certain types of vegetation, including cannabis.

Like many other plants, cannabis produces terpenes to repel predators and attract pollinators with their sweet aroma. However, many different factors impact how and why a cannabis plant has terpenes, including the soil type the plant grows in, the weather it experiences, and even the time of day it blooms! So far, researchers have identified over one hundred distinct terpene varieties in cannabis (every strain produces its own unique composition).

What Do Cannabis Terpenes Do?

Terpenes are most known for the flavors they impart to our favorite cannabis strains. For example, a strain like Lightshade’s popular Blueberry Headband is packed with terpinolene and pinene, two terpenes that give the strain its distinctive sweet berry undertones. 

But some researchers believe that cannabis terpenes might interact with THC to produce a distinctive effect. This is one theory about why strains with the same proportions of CBD and THC have unique effects, depending on the terpenes they contain.

Some individual terpenes are considered psychoactive like THC and interact with the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors. While they’re not intoxicating alone, these terpenes might help intensify the effects of THC. In addition, some preliminary research suggests that terpene content could help make particular strains more beneficial to specific unique mental health conditions.

Popular Cannabis Terpenes You Should Explore

With such a vast world of terpenes to explore, it can be challenging to know where to start! So to help kick off your terpene adventures, we’ve consulted with our expert budtenders to discover the most popular cannabis terpenes and the effect each one creates.


Sweet with a delicately herbal aroma, Myrcene is also found in mangos, lemongrass, and hops. It creates a soothing, calming effect that promotes a relaxing yet euphoric experience. A myrcene heavy strain like The White creates a potent sensation, perfect for indulging in on a relaxing evening unwinding with friends.

mangos and flowers


The scent of pinene reminds many enthusiasts of a noble fir forest – which makes sense because this terpene is commonly found in many pine species. It also appears in herbs like basil, dill, and rosemary and has a calming, subtle aroma. Blue Dream is one of the best-known pinene strains, offering a perfectly relaxing experience with energetic undertones.

basil, rosemary, and dill


Just as the name suggests, limonene has a deliciously citrusy flavor. Found in citrus fruits and herbs like rosemary, juniper, and peppermint, limonene is a lively terpene that brings a little zest to any cannabis experience. A limonene strain like Mother’s Milk is perfect for kicking back and getting creative – get ready to break out that sketchbook!

citrus fruit: lemons, limes, oranges


This terpene has a peppery, slightly spicy kick, which makes sense, given that it naturally occurs in black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Some caryophyllene fans say the taste reminds them of the perfect cup of chai. A caryophyllene strain like Orange Herijuana is right at the balance of soothing and energizing, making it the ideal companion for a long walk through nature.

Perfecting Your Cannabis Experience 

These four popular varieties are just the beginning of the beautiful world of terpenes – each with its own distinct flavor profile and effect. Once you begin looking out for them, you’ll find terpenes everywhere. And by paying attention to what terpenes create an effect you enjoy, you can mix and match to create your ideal cannabis experience. 

Need help finding your new favorite strain? Drop by any of our Colorado Dispensary locations, and our budtenders will guide you to a product you’ll love! 

people huddled. Putting their hands in the middle

Everything Denver Dispensary Shoppers Need to Know About the Entourage Effect

Everything’s better when you have an entourage – even cannabis. 

It’s no secret that high-quality cannabis often has a sticky, shiny appearance, thanks to the resin coating the bud. Some weed fans consider these visual signs a surefire indicator they’re about to have an enjoyable experience. 

And for cannabis consumers who enjoy getting their THC from a natural source, there’s a scientific explanation behind the power of resin. It might be the source of the “entourage effect,” a process that many believe gives cannabis flowers their unique therapeutic appeal.

What is the entourage effect?

By now, you’re probably familiar with the two heavy hitters of cannabis compounds; THC and CBD. But while each of these compounds is beneficial (and enjoyable!) on its own, something special happens when you consume them together. 

Studies show that medical cannabis patients treated with both compounds simultaneously received more significant relief than those who used just one or the other, an effect called the “entourage effect.” This means that consuming THC and CBD together will generally produce a stronger and more enjoyable experience than enjoying one isolated compound. 

Just like peanut butter and jelly, or bacon and eggs, the entourage effect means that THC and CBD are better together!

How does the entourage effect work?

Like any rockstar, CBD and THC work best when they have their entourages. That means for the optimal cannabis experience, both compounds should be present within your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is why cannabis affects the human brain and body.

Believers in the entourage effect say that these compounds interact within the body to elevate and support the desirable effects of cannabis by making it easier for them to bond with your endocannabinoid receptors.

But fans of flower say it doesn’t stop there. They believe the entourage effect also helps intensify the cannabis experience when you pair THC and CBD with the other organic cannabis materials, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, all of which interact within your body’s endocannabinoid system to create an elevated experience.

It's Inside Us All - Where is the ECS? - Blue Neon Image of human body outlined with a pink neon image of a brain
Mutiple Hands plams up faceng up with a green heart painted on them

What does the entourage effect feel like?

While there’s little formal research on the entourage effect, proponents of its power say that it feels like an intensification of everything they like about cannabis. 

People who use cannabis to relieve short-term inflammation or anxiety say the entourage effect helps suppress undesirable symptoms for longer. In contrast, those who enjoy the psychoactive properties of cannabis say it’s the ultimate shortcut to a long, strange trip.

TLDR: The entourage effect is your favorite cannabis experience, only more so.

Which cannabis products help promote the entourage effect?

So the entourage effect sounds pretty awesome, right? Here are some of Lightshade’s favorite products to help you experience it.


Because it’s sourced directly from the plant, flower contains a wide variety of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that can help you achieve the entourage effect. Look for a flower with a good balance of THC and CBD for maximum results, like the Star Dawg, Fruity Pebbles, or Mother’s Milk strains.

For a more convenient take on the world of flowers, check out Lightshade’s selection of pre-rolls. Kaviar’s Hybrid Joint is the perfect way to carry your entourage in your pocket.

Full Spectrum Cannabis Extracts

If flower isn’t your favorite, never fear! You can still enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect with Lightshade’s library of full-spectrum cannabis extracts designed to supply user’s endocannabinoid systems with the perfect combination of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.  Extracts like fan-favorite Banana Bread create a distilled form of cannabis flower that preserves the power of those aromatic extras. 

Even if your preferred cannabis delivery method doesn’t contain terpenes, you can still benefit from the entourage effect by blending THC and CBD in a single dose. Products like Stratos’ 1:1 Energy Tincture have a perfect balance of THC and CBD, designed to encourage the entourage effect. Or try Midnight’s (1906) 50/50 blend of THC and CBD in delicious dark chocolate form.

Whatever method of consumption you chose, we hope you enjoy the relaxing benefits of the entourage effect! So tell your fans to hold off on the autographs for the time being–you’re chilling with your entourage.

Want more product recommendations? Drop into your favorite Lightshade Colorado Dispensary location and talk to our budtenders – we’re always here for you.