Lightshade Cultivation Expert standing inside a cannabis grow facility

Five Strains Lightshade’s Cultivation Team is Excited About Right Now

As breeders continue to experiment and legalization expands, there are now thousands of cannabis strains available. These five have Lightshade riding high.

Cultivators are always on the hunt for the next big green—the cannabis strain sure to spark a chilled-out frenzy among mellow-minded pot purists. It’s a search that transforms cultivation teams into a band of botanists and explorers, with the noble goal of blazing a trail for all seekers to follow. 

The cannabis industry’s pace of ingenuity and innovation, a far cry from the stoner stereotype of slow-witted stagnation, has seen the germination of strains that are in a constant state of growth, diversification, and country-wide proliferation. Exactly how many strains are there? Well, it could be hundreds, but it could just as easily be thousands. There are so many strains being developed at any given moment that any estimation is hazy at best. It’s what we in the cannabis business call, “a good problem to have!”

Thankfully, we’re not here to provide you with an exhausting list of every strain ever to be packed, rolled, eaten, or vaporized. Instead, our cultivation team clears the smoke with five hand-picked strains—of varying potency, texture, and character—that we believe should be on your list of puff, puff, pass-worthy weed.

Keebler Cookies

An ultra-rare and ultra-dope hybrid strain sprouting from a cross between Platinum Cookie and Locktite, Keebler Cookies features large flowers, a trait that sets it apart from the similarly grown Girl Scout Cookies strain. Deep purple hues highlight the finished buds, which waft a sweet OG nose reminiscent of baked confectionaries. Toking this strain results in a super relaxing high with a relatively high potency that easily quells high-tension situations and the typical rigors of everyday stress.

Garlic Breath

Cannabis cultivators love a unique nose, and Garlic Breath delivers with a punch that speaks to its namesake pungency. An indica-dominant hybrid strain (a mix of GMO and Mendo Breath), it fills the olfactory with notes of freshly peeled garlic and unmistakably spicy undertones. Garlic Breath leaves you with a relaxed high that gradually becomes more sedative, making it the perfect bedtime bud. Speaking of buds, Garlic Breath’s are gorgeous, dense, and bright with a zesty funk that belies its sleepy potential.

Cannabis Plants inside of Cultivation Facility

Ice Cream Cake

Like the fever dream of a mad genius cultivator, Ice Cream Cake billows with large, dense buds, some serious weight, and a full structure that stands tall and proud. Vivid purple buds give off a rich, floral scent that transforms into a flavor profile of creamy vanilla and sugary dough. Relatively new to the strain gang, the indica-leaning Ice Cream Cake crosses Wedding Cake with Gelato #33 and offers a sedating effect that relaxes body and mind and relieves gnarly discomfort.

Grease Monkey

A real funky monkey of pot, if there ever was one, Grease Monkey grapples you into sweet submission with a high potency that occasionally hits more than 30 percent total THC. This indica-dominant hybrid strain crosses classic Gorilla Glue #4 with Cookies & Cream, forming a rich inhale of nutty vanilla and sweet, skunky diesel, with an earthy, pungent aroma. The Grease Monkey high is a real creeper, starting in the eyes and spreading to the rest of the body in a relaxed, calming euphoria.

Mandarin Sunset

An indica with an uplifting, sativa-like high, Mandarin Sunset’s unique terpene profile squeezes a citrus-rich candy aroma with subtle notes of Chinese five-spice powder. While the strain is a cross of Herojuana and Orange Skunk, the flavor is supremely singular in the cannabis world. As for the high, Mandarin Sunset ushers in a surprising numbness that quiets physical frustrations and pushes a positive take to the forefront of the mind. Body soothing and mind-melting, Mandarin Sunset is a facility staple at Lightshade.

Upl Close shot of Lightshade Mandarin Sunset Cannabis Strain

Be Your Own Strain Conductor

The search for your preferred strain is a magical ride of sights, smells, tastes, and textures. So whether you’re a first-timer or a cannabis connoisseur, always keep an open mind and stand at the ready to expand your green horizons to a new crop of strains.

Up close of Headband Haze Sugar Concentrate

The Colorado Dispensary Guide to Cannabis Concentrates

7/10 might be in our rearview, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating.

With 710 behind us, we bet you’ve heard a lot more about cannabis concentrates lately. Still, these potent doses of THC are less familiar to many cannabis consumers than more traditional forms like flower or edibles.

So what is a concentrate? How does it differ from more familiar forms of cannabis? Let’s take a closer look at the beautiful and ever-expanding world of cannabis concentrates.

What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

The fundamental nature of cannabis concentrates is made pretty clear by the name: cannabis concentrates are concentrated, and thus more potent, forms of our favorite plant.

When making a cannabis concentrate of any type, processors begin with plant matter, like the flower you might have smoked or vaped in the past. They then use a process called extraction to remove all the inessential biological matter, leaving only the active components of the cannabis plant behind.

What’s left? Cannabinoids and terpenes; the chemicals that give the cannabis plant its flavor and power. Concentrates often have high levels of THC, the psychoactive component that produces the sensation of a high. However, there are blended CBD/THC concentrates and even CBD-only variants available on the market.


How Are Cannabis Concentrates Made?

The history of cannabis concentration began in the 12th century when smoking hashish became popular throughout the Middle East. Back in the olden days, cannabis concentrate was produced by hand by rubbing flower between your fingers. Processors would scrape the trichomes they collected into a dense block, creating an old school, but still highly potent, cannabis concentrate. 

While there are still some parts of the world where this processing method remains common, today, concentrates are typically produced with chemical rather than physical distillation processes. 

The most common chemical methods include hydrocarbon and CO2 extraction, each of which creates a specific array of cannabis concentrates. But whatever chemical method they use, cannabis concentrate producers use these solvents to separate the plant’s active components from the excess greenery, leaving the roughage behind.

guy wearing shades vaping a weed pen

What Does Using Cannabis Concentrates Feel Like?

Because of their concentrated nature, cannabis concentrates provide a more intense sensation than traditional flower. 

The potency of raw flower is generally between 10 to 25% THC content. On the other hand, a concentrate generally has a THC potency of between 50 to 80%, with some getting as high as 90%! 

The TLDR is that concentrates provide an amped-up version of the traditional cannabis high. As a result, concentrate fans appreciate their potency and power–and their ability to take a familiar cannabis experience to a whole new level.

Lightshade Cannabis Shatter Concentrates

What Are The Different Types of Concentrates?


One of the purest forms of cannabis concentrate, shatter, gets its name from its tendency to shatter into shards when broken apart. Shatters are made using butane extraction and undergo a second round of filtration for a pure, heavy-hitting high. Our latest favorite shatter is Chronic Creations’ Sundae Driver, a terpene-rich, flavorful extraction with a smooth, glass-like finish.


Made without solvents, 710 Lab’s Bruce Banner #5 is produced with a potent combination of heat and pressure to create an oily golden sap of pure THC power. Bruce Banner, and other rosins, contain an extra high concentration of terpenes, making this a more flavorful choice for the concentrate connoisseur.


Sesh’s Cake Breath Rozay is a perfect example of wax – a smooth, crumbly substance with the texture of creamed honey. Waxes come in various consistencies, from honeycomb brittle to goey moisture-rich budders—smoke with a vape or rig for a next-level experience.


If you want to keep things old school, there’s no better throwback than The Greenery’s line of Lebanese Hash. Crafted from dry-aged Kief, this hash is produced by compressing crumbled resins into a brick using a top-secret process that creates a seriously potent blend of terpenes and THC.

Lightshade Cannabis Wax Concentrates

How Can I Start Consuming Cannabis Concentrates?

There are several ways to consume cannabis concentrates. The most old-school solution to cannabis concentrate consumption is dabbing, although, with specialized tools required, it can take a few times for newbies to get the hang of the technique. 

For an easy boost of potency power, try topping your flower with a bit of additional concentrate. This DIY method requires no other tools and is an easy way to try concentrates to see if they suit your cannabis needs. Simply add a little cannabis concentrate, in whatever your chosen form to your bowl, and enjoy the bonus terpenes and THC! 

When using any new cannabis product, we tend to adhere to the same standard advice: start low and go slow. This is especially true for our favorite cannabis concentrates, which are as powerful as they are delicious.

So what are you waiting for? Get concentrating!

Up Close Shot of Lightshade Durban Poison Cannabis Strain

Classic Cannabis Strains: Durban Poison, Pineapple Express, and Lavender Jones

Get to know three of our favorite classic summertime cannabis strains – and learn how to pair them with your special summer activities expertly. 

Sometimes you can’t beat the classics. Especially during summer when school’s out-style nostalgia sends us hurtling into the arms of familiar favorites. Those perfectly broken in cutoffs. The scoop of vanilla soft serve. Watching 80s movies on the lawn. Summer is the ultimate nostalgic season.

And this is certainly true when it comes to cannabis! While there are days when you want the biggest, baddest, newest strain on the market, sometimes you feel like hanging with a familiar friend. Summer and classic weed strains go together like PB&J – or like sunscreen and the beach.

To celebrate the spirit of summer, we’re highlighting three classic strains, perfect for pairing with your favorite summer activities.

Up Close Shot of Lightshade Durban Poison Cannabis Strain

Durban Poison

Durban Poison is a pure sativa (or as pure as a sativa can get these days) from Durban, a South African port city (hence the name). The strain is a certified classic with a history dating back to the late 1970s! People say High Times columnist Ed Rosenthal first discovered Durban Poison, but like most things in cannabis, the truth is somewhat hazy. Still, we know that Rosenthal was in South Africa in the 1970s looking for new cannabis genetics, so it’s possible he located Durban seeds and started cultivating them. 

Because Durban Poison is a “landrace strain,” it doesn’t have a complicated history of cross-breeding or mixing and matching with other strains. Instead, its genetics go back to an era when cannabis strains were closer to nature and experienced little human intervention. As a result, it’s a true cannabis classic! 

It’s a sweet, aromatic, uplifting, and energetic strain which is why we think Durban Poison is perfect for your summertime Colorado activities.

Up Close Shot of Lightshade Pineapple Express Cannabis Strain

Pineapple Express

Most likely named after the classic 2008 stoner film of the same name (for which Seth Rogan claims he and co-writer Evan Goldberg rolled over 100 cross-shaped joints), Pineapple Express was an early breakout hit of California’s legal dispensary scene. 

This sativa-dominant hybrid is a blend of Hawaiian and Trainwreck. It includes a touch of CBD that gives it an extra potent power to relieve generalized aches, pain, and minor anxiety. 

The pineapple isn’t just in the name, either! Fans say pineapple express has a distinctively fruity aroma, with notes of mango, green apple, and, you guessed it, pineapple. In addition, pineapple Express’s terpene profile includes caryophyllene, which gives it a spicy, clovey bite, and humulene, which lends a herbal scent.

Like Red Headed Stranger, Pineapple Express is an energy-stimulating strain that boosts creativity and mood while creating a relaxing, energetic full-body high that lasts all day long. It has a higher and more variable THC content, meaning it’s ideal for laid-back lounging on a pool floaty, or relaxing with your favorite classic summer flick. Do you have to smoke Pineapple Express while watching Pineapple Express? Nah, but we bet it’s a lot of fun!

Up Close Shot of Lightshade Lavender Jones Cannabis Strain

Lavender Jones

Unlike the pop culture inspiration behind our first two classic weed strain lineages, Lavender Jones got its name the same way that kid in your elementary school with the hyphenated spot on the seating chart did – by taking one each from its parents.

Lavender Jones is a dreamy blend of Purple Urkle (hence, Lavender) and Casey Jones. This balanced hybrid is rumored to be a Colorado original, and its unique, floral flavor and perfectly balanced effects give us some serious hometown pride.

This classic strain comes on like a Sativa, elevating mood, relieving tension, and boosting creative inspiration. After the initial upswing comes the Indica kick, a seriously relaxing sensation that washes warmly through the body for the perfect full-body high.

We love indulging in Lavender Jones on weekend afternoons when we’re in the mood to meditate and unwind. This happy strain will lift your spirit while keeping nerves calm and the mind at ease, making it the perfect companion for an afternoon in the sunshine.

What’s your favorite classic cannabis strain? And what are your favorite summertime activities? Drop by and tell us; we’d love to know.

bubbles in amber colored distillate

Lightshade’s Guide to 7/10 (aka Oil Day or Dab Day)

Is 7/10 the new 4/20? Let’s find out. 

Even the most casual cannabis fans are familiar with 4/20. The iconic stoner celebration is so mainstream that even people who have never seen so much as a single leaf of cannabis are familiar with its meaning! 

But as legalization spreads across the US, cannabis fans are reluctant to limit their celebrations to a single day of the year. And thus, 710 Day (otherwise known as Dab Day, or Oil Day) was born, celebrating the potent side of cannabis–in the form of resins, oils, and wax.

What the heck is 710 Day?

So why 7/10? We don’t want to speculate about the mental state of this noble holiday’s inventor, whose identity has never been confirmed. 

What we can say, though, is that they must have been feeling loose enough to look at their calendar upside down. If you squint, 710 looks a little bit like the word OIL turned on its head!

Whoever this innovator was, they wanted to set a day to celebrate the world of cannabis beyond 420s celebration of flower power. OIL day is all about indulging in concentrates in its many delightful forms.

Dabbing Away

Concentrated oils are one of the most ancient ways of consuming cannabis, second only to the flower itself. The history of medicinal cannabis oils goes back to ancient Chinese herbalism, where it was used for its restorative powers. Basically, people have been using concentrates as long as they’ve been consuming cannabis, so in a sense, dabbing has been a common practice for a long, long time.

In the dark days before legalization, dabbing was considered one of the riskier ways of consuming cannabis. Since there were no safety regulations in place pre-legalization (after all, how can you regulate something that’s against the law?), creating cannabis oil was a highly combustible, often dangerous process. The fact that dabbing remained as popular as it was is a testament to the enthusiasm its fan base has for the dab experience.

Up close of Headband Haze Sugar Concentrate

These days, consumers coming to the world of dabbing and concentrates will find a higher quality, safer, and more potent product. Legalization has brought a new atmosphere of regulatory oversight, eliminating the use of flammable or hazardous solvents in the creation of concentrated cannabis oils and leading to a rise in rigorously tested high-quality cannabis concentrates. It’s the perfect time to celebrate your first 710 in safety and style!

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate on 7/10

It’s official–concentrates are a safe, powerful, and generally delightful way to enjoy 7/10. So what’s the best way to indulge in this exploration of the power of cannabis? Here are a few of our favorites:

This high potency oil packs a serious punch–with delightful flavors available in various targeted strains. We love these cartridges for their ease of use, which makes them perfect for beginners. Simply attach to your go-to vape pen and puff away. But go easy, especially the first time! Select doesn’t mess around. 

These infused joints are the dream product for those who appreciate the classic flower experience but long for a little extra oil kick. Full bud flower is infused with live resin and wax to create a powerfully perfect smoking experience. It’s everything you’ve always wanted a joint to be!

Dedicated to increasing minority participation in the cannabis industry, Viola’s products are as powerful as their mission. Both the Badder and the Live Resin showcase their expertise in whole plant extraction to create BHO (Butane Hash Oil), making the purest concentrates that provide an elevated experience every time. 

Whether you’re a brand new dabber, or an old hand looking to discover a favorite new product, we hope you have an excellent, enjoyable 710 day. Happy dabbing!

Person holding a cannabis leaf up to the sun

The Summer Solstice and Cannabis: What’s the Connection?

Have you ever wondered if there’s a connection between our favorite plant and the summer solstice? It turns out there is! 

If you’re an astronomy nerd, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of the summer solstice. The longest day of the year, the solstice is central to many of humanity’s oldest spiritual traditions—in fact, Stonehenge is home to one of the world’s largest solstice celebrations – thousands gather to witness the sun rising through the structure. 

But what you might not know is that there’s an equally strong connection between the summer solstice and the cannabis growth cycle. The solstice has traditionally been used to measure out the growing seasons of this ancient plant and is still used today, even in the era of high-tech indoor cannabis farming.

Cannabis plant in a sunny field

Sunshine and the Grow Cycle

To better understand why the summer solstice is so critical to establishing an ideal outdoor growing schedule, we need to take a closer look at the world of traditional agriculture. Before developing traditional weather forecasting technology, people used publications like the famous Farmer’s Almanac to determine when to plant, tend, and harvest all kinds of crops. 

Each plant has its ideal conditions for growth. Understanding the different sun exposure of plants in the northern and southern hemispheres is critical to creating the conditions plants need to thrive. This is especially true for cannabis, which uses a process called photoperiodism to determine when to flower. So even for growers working indoors, recreating the cycles of the natural summer solstice can help produce a superior cannabis flower.

The Sunshine/Cannabis Connection

Like many of the people who indulge in it, cannabis loves the sunshine. Photoperiodism enables cannabis plants to register times when there’s a variation between the daily sunlight and the darkness of night. This ratio changes as the earth tilts in its spin across the sun, causing seasons to change. The hemisphere experiencing warmer weather is tilted towards the sun in the summertime, meaning the people (and cannabis plants!) in that hemisphere experience shorter nights, longer days, and warm, sunshiney weather.

Cannabis plants track light patterns to know when they need to grow and when the time has come to flower. This tracking helps ensure they’re using their resources appropriately, flowering only when they’ll have the environmental reserves to support new growth. Indoor growers who want to encourage their plants to produce new growth use grow lights and other forms of indoor farming technology to simulate the earth’s natural light pattern–mimicking the cycles of the solstice. The plant responds to the long days and short nights of summer (whether simulated or real) to use excess energy from the sun to grow new shoots and leaves before the autumn comes.

When Does Cannabis Flower? 

After storing up the excess energy of the summer sun, cannabis plants enter autumn, ready to flower. The extra leaves grown during the summer solstice help the plant harvest more energy from the shorter sunlit hours, while the vigorous shoots grown during that period can help support the weight of new flowers. As soon as the solstice hits and the nights begin to grow longer and longer as the earth tilts away from the sun, plants receive the signal to start bursting into bloom.

Although the summer solstice marks the official start of cannabis flowering season, the actual time plants produce flowers varies considerably depending on the needs of the particular strain you’ve chosen to grow. September marks the start of harvest season for some indicas, but other sativa strains only become ready to harvest from December onwards. Each variety has its own particular photoperiodic needs–but whatever your strain, the solstice signals the beginning of the flowering season to come.

Celebrating the Solstice with Cannabis 

Since the solstice is such an important day for both ritual celebrations and the cannabis growing cycles, it makes sense that many people like to honor both with a little solstice ritual to celebrate the spirit of summer.

Try lighting up a little flower (we love an enlivening, sativa dominant Blue Dream) to celebrate the coming of the flowering season. Pagans traditionally celebrated the solstice by wearing a garland of protective herbs and flowers designed to chase away evil spirits with their beauty and good smells. Recreate the experience with a scented cannabis and herb balm or beauty product, combining the healing power of topical cannabis with a selection of potent botanicals. Or take your solstice picnic to the next level with a quick-absorbing cannabis tincture paired with traditional herbs for an even more powerful solstice experience! 

However you chose to celebrate, the solstice/cannabis connection is a powerful one. So get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Cannabis Products to Kick Off the Ultimate Colorado Summer

Summer is around the corner, and we want to make sure you’re prepared with some of our favorite Colorado cannabis products and activities. 

It’s nearly summertime in Colorado! The warm weather means it’s the perfect time to kick summer into high gear and catch some sunshine while enjoying Colorado’s natural splendor. 

And, in our humble opinion, there’s no better companion to sunshine and adventure than a targeted THC dose. 

To celebrate the arrival of warm weather, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Colorado summertime activities and the perfect cannabis pairings to take your experience to the next level. Whether you love to stay active or enjoy a more low-key variety of summer bliss, Lightshade has you covered.

A Weekend Hike

With almost 5,000 official trails, Colorado is a dream destination for hikers at all levels. Whether you’re trekking through Rocky Mountain National Park’s emerald lakes or simply enjoying a weekend ramble through a wildflower-strewn park, Wyld’s Pear CBG Gummies are the perfect pairing for all your summertime hiking needs. Enjoy the gummies’ delicious flavor, based on a blend of wild pear extract and a light touch of coconut oil, and the balancing effects of CBG combined with THC to create an uplifting, euphoric high.

*Please note that we don’t condone or recommend hiking or driving while high – a microdose will do the trick. 

Mountain Biking

It’s no secret that Colorado is home to some of the country’s best mountain biking, with trails ranging from a looping pathway through the woods to splashing journeys over accessible flowing streams. Cannabis transforms a leisurely afternoon of biking through a familiar spot into a daring summertime escapade. We love to pair our mountain biking with an energetic flower strain like Cannalope Haze, a pleasantly sweet mix of floral, fruity, and juicy melon flavors. Combat fatigue with this enlivening strain and get an extra boost of cannabis-infused energy to carry you over the next mountain and beyond.

*Please note that we don’t condone or recommend mountain biking or driving while high, and public consumption is illegal. Please ride safely – make intelligent decisions, and again, microdosing is the key to good times without problems.

beautiful mountain lake
a picnic next to a river

Hot Springs Soaking 

If you need a break from all that hiking and biking, Colorado’s abundance of natural hot springs is here to save the day! The same geologic forces that shaped the majestic scenery of the Rocky Mountains created a network of natural soaking spots ideal for warming sore muscles. Combine a stress-relieving soak with an ultra-potent Escape Artists Infused Joint. Try relaxing indica or enlivening sativa for a super tasty sharable experience, ideal for hot water-based socialization. Plus, since they’re infused, each joint lasts a few days–so just pop your joint back into the tube and settle into that soak once you’re at your perfect level of high. 

*Please note, public cannabis consumption is illegal. Be smart, be discrete, and stay out of trouble this summer. 


Picnicking is the ultimate relaxing summertime activity. There’s nothing better than whiling away a summer afternoon surrounded by tasty snacks and good friends, with the sunshine on your face. Take your picnic adventure to the next level with Stillwater Ripple: Pure Dissolvable THC, an innovation in edible cannabis that lets you infuse any food or drink. Stir a pouch of Pure THC into your lemonade for targeted cannabis action, or sprinkle Balanced on top of your scoop of ice cream for a lighter hybrid CBD/THC experience. Relief brings a CBD-rich experience to that slice of watermelon–the ultimate in easy-infused summer bliss.


Kayaking in Colorado is a genuine choose your own adventure situation. There are so many great options–from a picturesque and sunny float through Lake Pueblo to basking in the shade of the trees surrounding Sylvan Lake. That’s why we love bringing Spherex 1gram Distillate Cartridges along on our kayaking adventures. They’re strain-specific and color-coordinated so that you can find your high consistently, every time. Pick the perfect targeted strain for your desired effect, and watch your troubles float away.

*Please note that we don’t condone or recommend kayaking or driving while high, and public consumption is illegal. Consume safely – make intelligent decisions, and again, microdosing is the key to good times without problems.

Step Out for Ice Cream

Getting ice cream isn’t the most active activity, but with some of the country’s best independent creameries, stopping for a scoop is practically an official Colorado summer sport. We love to pair our summer ice cream tasting with ice cream-themed cannabis flower to add a little extra dose of creamy indulgence. Our two favorites are Gelato Cake, whose creamy, berry, gassy, and vanilla frosting aromas create a powerful full-body high, and Gelato #33 with sweet citrus and fruity flavors that create an energetic, uplifting high. That cone won’t be the only thing melting in the summer sun!

Scenic Train Rides

While we’re on the subject of relaxing, there are few better ways to kick back in the summer than with a low-key ride on one of Colorado’s historic scenic trains. Sit back and relax as you watch the panoramas of the mountains unfold around you–accompanied, naturally, with a dose of super low-key cannabis. We love pairing a scenic summer train ride with Lavender Jones, the perfect mood-elevating day strain. This easy-breezy strain helps soothe and balance with a complexly sweet flavor and aroma, inducing a mildly meditative state ideal for watching the world go by through the window.

person happily eating ice cream

Make the most of your Colorado summer! Visit your favorite Lightshade location and ask your budtender for their favorite summertime cannabis products and activities. 

Please note that flower availability is subject to change. Please visit our online ordering page to see current inventory, or ask your budtender at the point of purchase

Lightshade Aurora Locations

Lightshade Federal Heights

man smoking a bong near a window

7 Ways Cannabis Can Help Support Your Mental Health

Cannabis is more than a good high. Discover how weed can provide you with much-needed mental health benefits.

Most of us spent the last year stressed and rocked with unpleasant feelings. As a result, many people are leaning on healthier alternatives to prescription medications to manage their mental health.

Research is still woefully lacking when it comes to understanding the full scope of cannabis’ benefits. Still, studies suggest our favorite plant can have a positive effect on your mental health

Let’s explore some of the ways cannabis may have a positive impact on your mental health.

Who can benefit from cannabis?

A large percentage of people suffering from mental health conditions can benefit from cannabis. 

Centuries before the advent of lab-developed medications, people relied on cannabis for easing a wide array of medical and mental health conditions. 

This is because cannabis interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex system responsible for regulating and balancing many processes in your brain and body, including mood, sleep, and memory.

As states legalize medical and recreational cannabis, more people suffering from mental health conditions have started turning to the plant for relief.

Cannabidiol (CBD), in particular, has seen a massive spike in popularity in the health and wellness industry. Today, CBD products line the shelves of dispensaries, organic grocers, and day spas. Even though studies suggest the hype behind CBD has overshot the science, there’s enough anecdotal evidence and public endorsements to understand its genuine health benefits.

But what can cannabis help with? Well, for starters:

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

Cannabis can reduce stress.

Stress is the “silent killer,” and managing stress might be the key to promoting your physical and mental well-being.

From the moment we wake to the time we go to sleep, stress is a part of our daily routines. We head off to our demanding jobs in our busy lives to support our dependent families. Add the weight of the pandemic and social upheaval, and stress can become unbearable.

When we’re stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which in turn produces inflammation as the body begins to mend. Naturally, long-term exposure to stress and inflammation can be detrimental to your health.

A Washington State University (WSU) study suggests “10 or more puffs” of cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can reduce stress. 

Of course, not everyone’s systems are the same, and not everyone will react the same way to cannabis. Micro-dosing is the best practice; start low and go slow.

Cannabis might ease anxiety. 

Many of us experience daily anxiety with symptoms like worry, tension, and unease. And some unfortunate folks experience debilitating panic attacks.

Anxiety is so prevalent among Americans that the disorder has affected over 31% of the population.

All too often, the standard treatment for anxiety is prescription medications like Xanax, and Lexapro, both of which can be habit-forming, and in extreme cases, can cause respiratory failure or death.

The very same WSU study we mentioned earlier also found that cannabis, in moderation, can lessen the intense feelings of anxiety. This may have something to do with the fact that cannabis, when introduced to the ECS, can release the feel-good endorphins people often associate with the euphoric “runner’s high.”

Cannabis might help insomniacs. 

Sleep is essential for maintaining physical and mental health, but according to the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million of us aren’t getting enough of it.

When you deprive your body of sleep, your cognitive abilities decline, and your risks of depression, exhaustion, and stress can rapidly increase. It’s the perfect recipe for a mental health disaster.

Shut-eye is something cannabis can significantly improve – much like melatonin; it can restore a person’s natural sleep cycle. 

If you need help alleviating insomnia, you should look at high THC strains; THC is a sleep-inducing cannabinoid. As a bonus, people who have PTSD could benefit from higher THC as THC can reduce REM sleep, reducing nightmares.

Cannabis may lessen the symptoms of depression. 

Depression impacts more than 260 million people today. It’s one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Chances are you or someone you know could be one of these people.

While the research of cannabis’s impact on depression is still in its early stages, scientists at the University of Buffalo speculate that depression can directly result from suppressed endocannabinoids in the ECS. 

When introduced to the ECS, cannabis can help restore those endocannabinoid levels and relieve many depression symptoms. 

grayscale photo of a man exhaling smoke

Americans are increasingly embracing CBD as a more natural and holistic approach to treating depression for this very reason.

old man smoking a joint in grayscale

Research suggests cannabis can help with dementia and Alzheimers. 

Our brains go through a degenerative process as we age. Dementia is a heartwrenching decline in cognitive function that can impair memory, language, behavior, and more. Worldwide, 50 million people have dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease contributing to possibly 60% to 70% of these cases.

Recently, a neurologist at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute stated that the studies of medical marijuana’s effects on dementia show promise.

A 2017 study even suggests that CBD combined with THC could be a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease-related behavioral problems. The jury is still out on the reasons, but experts speculate that low cannabis doses might slow the process of memory loss and improve cognitive abilities.

Studies suggest cannabis can improve PTSD symptoms. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could overwhelm the mental health system in the post-pandemic world.

And PTSD isn’t limited to folks in the military. It can plague anyone who has experienced an unpleasant situation that has left a lasting impression on the brain.

PTSD symptoms can include anxiety, nightmares, hypervigilance, withdrawal, and self-destructive behavior. The treatments for this disorder generally involve increasing serotonin levels, something cannabis can do, but most doctors prescribe harmful prescription opioids instead.  

One study has shown the direct correlation between cannabis and the reduction of activity in the part of the brain associated with trauma and fear. Another study shows cannabis can reduce the intensity of memories related to their trauma.

Cannabis might be an alternative therapy for people with schizophrenia. 

Although not as common as other mental disorders, schizophrenia is a severe mental illness characterized by psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, and abnormal behavior.

Most schizophrenia treatments involve prescribed antipsychotic medications like Clozapine combined with psychotherapy. However, cannabis could potentially be an effective and more natural alternative treatment.

While research is ongoing, one study suggests that CBD has antipsychotic properties that can alleviate the psychosis involved with schizophrenia. A similar study suggests cannabis can play a vital role in the treatment of schizophrenia.

This may also have something to do with the fact that the ECS can regulate the part of the brain responsible for reward processing, a function that patients with schizophrenia often lack.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of understanding this beautiful and complex plant. 

Despite the promising research regarding cannabis and mental health, there is still so much work to do. 

The World Health Organization is pushing to have cannabis reclassified, which could open the floodgates to greater recognition and research on the medical and therapeutic benefits of the plant.

Until then, it is essential to consult a physician before starting any cannabis treatments or contact the experts at Leaf411 at 844-LEAF411.

If you’re ready to start responsibly exploring the mental health benefits of cannabis, you can stop by your nearest dispensary.

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