Daily Wellness Routine

How to Transform Your Daily Wellness Routine with Colorado Cannabis

Give your daily wellness program a healthy boost with cannabis from a Colorado dispensary.

You’re a wellness fanatic, and you don’t smoke weed (at least not since college). But cannabis keeps coming up in conversations, so you’re intrigued. You ask, “is cannabis right for me?” And you’re not alone; many people have the same question because marijuana doesn’t seem approachable.

And that’s by design.

The War on Drugs made weed scary. And the plant is stigmatized today despite its legalization in Colorado.

But cannabis is only a plant. And it’s a safe alternative to toxic products masquerading as healthful self-care solutions. It’s also ancient.

People have consumed cannabis across cultures for thousands of years to heal their minds and bodies. It’s self-care with roots in antiquity. Cannabis can improve your daily wellness routine, and you don’t have to get high.

From relaxing after a stupidly long workday to workout recovery, here are a few simple ways to incorporate weed into your daily life.

Keef Drinks - Sparkling Cannabis Infused Water - Lightshade Colorado

Swap your daily glass of wine for something that won’t give you a hangover.

Many of us reach for a glass of wine to relax after work. But wine can cause sleep issues and hangovers. Cannabis is just as effective at helping you chill out, but without the adverse side effects.

We’re fans of a low-dose edible (Wana’s Yuzu gummies are a favorite), or if we’re craving a drink, there’s nothing better than a cannabeverage (Keef Cola, for example).

Start your day with a microdose.

Get your daily microdose of CBD and THC in a cannabis tincture. It’s just like your daily multivitamin, but better, cause it’s weed. And here’s the best part – you don’t have to get high. The beauty of a microdose is that it’s just enough THC to help your body receive the benefits of CBD and other plant compounds, without feeling high.

ReCreate’s Everday Tincture is our current go-to for a daily dose of endocannabinoid support. It’s the perfect combo of CBD and low-dose THC to help you get plant-derived cannabinoids as nature intended.

Stanley Brothers - ReCreate Everyday Tincture
Escape Artist relief creams

Sooth minor aches with cannabis topicals.

Taking care of your body post-workout is arguably more important than the workout itself. Cannabis topicals, also known as salves, are another way to improve recovery beyond hydration, healthy meals, stretching, and sleep.

Cannabis topicals can significantly reduce inflammation. So when your muscles need help, reach for a soothing salve that blends CBD and THC with medicinal herbs. For example, Relief Cream from Escape Artists. Relief Cream is made with THC, CBD, and helpful herbs to provide soothing benefits within ten minutes. Slather it on, chill out, sleep, wake up and crush your next workout (or workday) – rinse and repeat.

Take a bath.

Every person loves a relaxing bath. But if you could take your average and already relaxing bath, and make it better, you would, wouldn’t you?

Coda Signature’s cannabis-infused bath bombs are “handcrafted with care for luxury relief.” Coda blends cannabis with medicinal herbs and essential oils to create a bath bomb that dissolves in water for the ultimate self-care experience. Take an infused bath before bedtime (we also suggest you take a THC sleep tincture), and enjoy uninterrupted sleep.

Coda Signature Products - Lightshade Dispensary Denver

Cannabis is a useful tool for your daily wellness routine.

We’re here to crush stigmas and help you live your best life.

If that sounds lofty, it is – but that’s okay because we see the power of cannabis every day in our Colorado dispensaries. Drop by your favorite Lightshade location and ask our budtender’s for their product recommendations.

Cannabis Joint

The Top 10 Colorado Dispensary Products for Relaxation and Mental Health

Chill out, and put yourself on the path to improved mental health with the ten products in this blog.

2020 is a challenging year (to put it lightly).

Between the global pandemic, social unrest, a divisive political climate, and a significant presidential election, it’s not easy to find peace. And mental health issues among Americans are skyrocketing.

Here are two staggering 2020 mental health statistics:

18.57% of adults are experiencing mental health issues (roughly 45 million Americans).

And 4.38% are experiencing severe mental health illnesses. (Mental Health in America Prevalence Data 2020, Mental Health America)

We’re witnessing spikes in anxiety, depression, and loneliness because humans are social creatures, and social distancing has us feeling down (among other things).

But the ten products from a Colorado dispensary (preferably ours) featured in this blog can help you find peace.

Wedding Cake Strain

01. Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake doesn’t taste like the creamy, buttery frosting its name implies. It’s an earthy, slightly sour (in the best way) flower strain with a mellow hit of sweetness. What Wedding Cake lacks in cake-like flavor, it makes up for in effects. It’s a potent strain that’ll help you sleep off stress so you can tackle the morning with an athlete’s energy.

Crescendo Marijuana Strain

02. Crescendo

Crescendo is a powerful and complex indica-dominant cannabis strain. Like Wedding Cake, it’ll put you to sleep so you can approach mornings with renewed vigor. We suggest that new consumers cautiously consume Crescendo – it’s a heavy hitter with THC levels topping out at 30%.

Bubba Fett

03. Bubba Fett

Bubba Fett is a certified classic (we dedicated an entire blog to the strain). It’s an indica-dominant hybrid known for its relatively high CBD percentage. But, don’t kid yourself, Bubba Fett leans heavily toward its indica profile, giving the strain noticeable sedating effects.

1906 Midnight

04. Midnight from 1906

There’s a sleep-related theme to our list, and for a good reason. CDC studies show that a third of American adults report getting much less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. And sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind. 1906’s Midnight is an all-natural sleep aid formulated with cannabis and corydalis – an ancient Chinese medicinal herb known for helping people sleep without side effects. Midnight promotes deep and restful sleep – sounds nice, do you agree?

Stratos Relax Tablets

05. Stratos Relax

Stratos Relax tablets are a 50/50 indica/sativa hybrid giving you balanced and relaxing physical and mental relief. Cannabis oil is the only active ingredient, so the relaxing effects are derived from the whole plant and extracted with CO2 oil. The tablets help you find peace within 30-minutes because they maximize the absorption of beneficial cannabinoids. It’s a lot healthier than popping a Xanax when you’re feeling the heaviness of life.

Shift Skywalker OG Cartridge

06. Shift Skywalker OG Cartridges

Shift’s Skywalker OG carts provide a mellow and heady high. When we’ve had enough news and social media, we lock our doors and hit the stratosphere with Skywalker OG. Sometimes we also hit the pantry – if you’re munchies prone, beware, Shift’s Skywalker OG cartridges are, in a Proper High’s words, “a decent choice for loading up at the buffet.”

Shift Medicine Bow Cartridge

07. Shift Medicine Bow Cartridges

Shift’s Medicine Bow carts are excellent for immediate pain relief. Medicine Bow is also ideal for a quick high. It’s the cure when the stress of life tightens muscles and makes relaxation impossible.

Stillwater Ripple Quick Sticks

08. Stillwater Ripple Quicksticks

We’ve stocked Stillwater’s Ripple in our Colorado Dispensaries since its introduction. And the newest Ripple family member, Quicksticks, is our current go-to for fast-acting stress relief. Rip into a package and dissolve the cannabis powder on your tongue for immediate relaxation (it’s another helpful sleep aid).

Escape Artist relief creams

09. Escape Artist Relief Cream

Physical activity is an antidote for anxiety and depression. But workouts (and stress) tighten muscles. Escape Artist’s relief creams are concentrated and highly bioavailable to deliver a blend of pure cannabinoids to sore muscles quickly. Rub the cream all over; we dare you.


10. Mary’s Medicinals “The Remedy”

The Remedy is Mary’s best-selling tincture, containing 500mg of CBD, cinnamon oil, myrrh, and sweet almond oil. One bottle packs 250 servings, and one dropper-full beneath the tongue is all you need for relief from pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

Take your mental health seriously.

It’s okay if you’re not okay. Mental health isn’t a taboo topic anymore, and we’re all better off when we don’t hide from our emotions and struggles. If you or anyone you know needs someone to talk to, please contact the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.

Please note, the information included in this blog is not medical or mental health advice. Contact your healthcare professional with questions related to your physical or mental health. And reach out to our partners at Leaf411 if you’d like to chat with a registered cannabis nurse. 



Lightshade Endocannabinoid System

Everything Colorado Dispensary Shoppers Need to Understand About the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the secrets to your cannabis experience.

Much of our cannabis knowledge comes from discoveries made in the last forty years – we’ve barely scratched the surface of understanding the ancient plant’s full potential and benefits. Still, there’s enough information out there to help Colorado dispensary shoppers optimize their cannabis experience. 

The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is tied directly to the effects cannabis can have on your mental and physical state; we’ll get you up to speed on what the ECS does and why you should care. 

First thing’s first – guess what, you have an endocannabinoid system.

Researchers identified the endocannabinoid system after decades of scientific exploration. Their discovery arrived only a few years after scientists found the CB1 and CB2 receptors (the two primary endocannabinoid system receptors). In uncovering the endocannabinoid system, scientists unearthed a network of enzymes, receptors, and biochemical pathways connected to the naturally occurring cannabinoids in our bodies (yes, our bodies produce cannabinoids). 

The CB1 and CB2 receptors allow us to receive the benefits of cannabis when cannabinoids like THC bind to them. Connecting the ECS discovery to its corresponding receptors led to most of what we understand today when it comes to cannabis’ effect on our bodies and minds. 

(The discovery of terpenes also plays into our current understanding, but we’ll leave that topic for another day.)

Endocannabinoid System - Lightshade Dispensary

Let’s talk a little more about the CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

Most of your CB1 receptors are in the central nervous system; however, they exist elsewhere but in lower quantities. Activating the CB1 receptors produces behavioral and cerebral effects, explaining why the receptor plays a direct role in emotion, motor control, appetite stimulation, pain perception, cognition, and memory. 

THC likes to interact with our CB1 receptors – that’s one reason you’ll experience euphoria (among other effects) when consuming high-THC strains. 

CB2 receptors are commonly found in our immune system cells, where they moderate pathogen response and ease inflammation. Stimulating the CB2 receptors won’t produce a heady and euphoric high, but it can help you relax and provides general pain relief without impairing cognition. Strains high in the peppery terpene Beta-caryophyllene easily bind to the CB2 receptors and are thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits (just follow your nose). 

Many cannabinoids (the chemical compounds in cannabis) bind to both receptor types, but CBD has a different relationship with CB1 and CB2. Instead of triggering the receptors, CBD modifies their ability to bind with cannabinoids like THC, which explains why CBD mellows some of THCs psychoactive effects. 

Here’s a pro tip: if you’ve overconsumed, reach for a CBD-heavy product – a tincture, for example – it’ll help you return to earth.

Let’s get back to the ECS.

Your endocannabinoid system is a complex web of receptors, biochemical pathways, and enzymes (we said this above, but it’s worth repeating). 

The ECS is the central regulatory bodily system responsible for maintaining homeostasis (internal balance). It’s your body’s thermostat, so-to-speak, and keeps you comfortable, among other things. Through this complex system, cannabinoids interact with your body, triggering its beneficial effects. Despite the ECS’s vital role in how our bodies function, it was discovered relatively recently, and we’ve only begun to fully understand its significance. 

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a vital role in the human body for our survival. This is due to its ability to play a critical part in maintaining the human body’s homeostasis, which encompasses the brain, endocrine, and immune system, to name a few.”—The Endocannabinoid System, Our Universal Regulator, Chad A. Sallabaryy and Laurie Astern, 2018

You need to take care of your endocannabinoid system.

Because you have to care for it, you must understand a few endocannabinoid system basics. 

It’s easy to throw your ECS out of balance. Diet, stress, and exercise (or a lack thereof) influence the endocannabinoid system. Unfortunately, modern life is taking its toll on this influential bodily network (especially this year). 

Fortunately, cannabis purchased from a legal Colorado dispensary can help if you’re trying to counteract an internal imbalance. There are hundreds of cannabis cannabinoids, and each uniquely interacts with your CB receptors in a way that helps to support homeostasis. Cannabis can help ensure that your body is working with enough cannabinoids, and it’ll be your friend as we try to get through the stressors of 2020. 

Cannabis is complicated, but we’ll simplify the plant for you.

It’s been our mission to simplify the cannabis purchasing experience for Denver dispensary customers since our founding. We’re here to help you find the best products for your lifestyle. Drop by your favorite (or nearest) Lightshade Colorado dispensary and let our budtenders be your guide.

Lightshade Dispensary's Women's Guide to Cannabis

Women, Weed, and Wellness

Cannabis might be the secret to helping women live healthier and more relaxed lives.

Cannabis is forging a path to the center of Colorado’s growing wellness community. And while this comes as a surprise to new consumers approaching the plant from the lense of past stigmatization to us, it’s no surprise. We’ll explain. 

Most Denver dispensary shoppers are familiar with the basics of what cannabis can do:

  • treat general pain and anxiety
  • help people get a good night’s sleep
  • have fun
  • relax after work
  • inspire focus and creativity

But many people are still in the dark when it comes to the therapeutic value our favorite plant provides to women. We don’t intend to ruffle men’s feathers, but, like many aspects of society, even though cannabis is an ancient herbal remedy, it tends to be associated with men more than women. 

However, when it comes to enjoying and benefiting from our favorite plant, women might have the upper hand. 

If you don’t believe us, keep reading.

Here are three ways cannabis can help women unwind and lead healthier lives.

Cannabis is a natural aphrodisiac.

There are hundreds of articles discussing the connection between cannabis and better sex. Now, because of a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, we know that marijuana not only improves sexual experiences but cannabis consumers on average, have 20% more sex than those who abstain. 

Cannabis opens the door to a new world of sensations, confidence, and feelings of sexual liberation for female consumers, and our industry has taken notice. That’s why more sex-focused cannabis products are emerging for women.

Cannabis can help women suffering from postpartum depression.

Nearly 600,000 American women suffer from postpartum depression (PPD) each year. It’s a debilitating condition that’s difficult to diagnose and can include extreme sadness and depression, anger, anxiety, stress, and difficulty sleeping and eating. Fortunately, evidence suggests that high-CBD cannabis strains can help relieve its most common symptoms like loss of appetite, depression, and anxiety.

Cannabis Overconsumption
Cannabis Wellness for Women - Lightshade Dispensary Denver

Cannabis can help alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Women in the throes of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), can experience symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to crippling pain, and cannabis is an ideal natural remedy. Studies show that THC contains more than twenty times the anti-inflammatory properties of Aspirin. And cannabis doesn’t come with the unfortunate gastrointestinal side-effects of a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) like Aspirin. 

“Four out of ten surveyed female cannabis consumers turn to marijuana as a natural alternative to manage mood swings caused by menstruation, menopause, or mental health conditions. Relief from premenstrual pain and cramps also registered as major drivers, with 39% of menopausal consumers choosing cannabis

Women get high faster than men.

According to a Washington State University study, women feel the effects of THC in cannabis faster than men. Researchers looked at the effects of cannabis on female and male rats over ten days. Their results showed a lower tolerance to THC in female rats than their male counterparts, indicating that women have a more significant sensitivity to psychoactive cannabis cannabinoids.

Women represent an emerging and growing cannabis consumer market.

Women today hold more spending power than ever. According to Forbes, women are responsible for 70-80 percent of all consumer spending through a mixture of influence and buying power. As the legal cannabis market grows, it’s easy to see why female consumers continue to shape it with their acceptance of marijuana as a product for self-care and health.

Drop into your favorite Lightshade location and ask our female budtenders about their favorite products. And if you want to know more about the impact of cannabis on women, click here to check out our complete cannabis guide for women.

Social Equity Partner Highlight: Sarah Woodson and the Color of Cannabis

Social Equity Partner Highlight: Sarah Woodson and the Color of Cannabis

Sarah Woodson and the Color of Cannabis are creating cannabis industry opportunities for People of Color.

Cannabis is medicine. It’s also fun. But the cannabis industry has a long way to go before it’s fair, equitable, and diverse. 

Our nation and the world are experiencing a civil rights awakening, as uncomfortable conversations occur at dinner tables, on the streets, and in (virtual) workplaces globally. 

The cannabis industry is taking center stage as people realize there are more Black men imprisoned today than before the Civil War. And a significant percentage of the Black and Brown men and women serving sentences in America’s prisons are there as the result of the War on Drugs. 

Here is a handful of facts assembled by the Center for American Progress to demonstrate our point:

  • Black Americans are four times more likely to face arrest for cannabis charges than their white peers. And Black Americans make up almost 30 percent of all drug-related arrests, despite accounting for only 12.5 percent of all substance users. 
  • Black Americans are almost six times more likely to face incarceration for drug-related offenses than their white counterparts, despite equal substance usage rates. Nearly 80 percent of people serving time for a federal drug offense are Black or Latino. And in state prisons, People of Color are 60 percent of those serving time for drug charges. 
  • In the federal system, the average Black defendant convicted on a drug charge will serve nearly the same amount of time as a white defendant would for a violent crime. 
  • People of Color account for 70 percent of all defendants convicted of charges with a mandatory minimum sentence. Prosecutors are twice as likely to pursue a mandatory minimum sentence for a Black defendant than a white defendant charged with the same offense, and Black defendants are less likely to receive relief from mandatory minimums. Defendants subject to mandatory minimums, on average, spend five times longer in prison than those convicted of other charges.

We’ve talked about the connected history of cannabis and Black and Brown people in America before (here and here). But we haven’t addressed the 400 years of policy-driven oppression that’s taken us to this moment in 2020, a moment in which the global pandemic and public death of a Black man at the hands of police have collided in a perfect storm of social awakening. It’s time for a change, and Sarah Woodson and the Color of Cannabis are leading the way in Colorado.

Black Americans are four times more likely to face arrest for cannabis charges than their white peers

Sarah Woodson has entrepreneurship ingrained in her.

The daughter of entrepreneurs, Sarah, is driven to succeed on her terms. But after earning her Associate’s Degree and two Paralegal certificates, and founding what would become Colorado’s largest Pro-Se Bankruptcy business (including a social equity program for Women of Color), she experienced professional burnout.

Sarah’s husband was interested in cultivation and encouraged her to find a place in Colorado’s then-new cannabis industry with him – as dispensary owners. Unlike her husband, however, Sarah wasn’t a cannabis consumer. In fact, at the time, to Sarah, cannabis didn’t represent positivity and opportunity. When we spoke with her, she said, “My husband was negatively impacted by cannabis despite his interest in cultivation, so initially, it didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.” 

But by 2015, Colorado’s cannabis industry started to mature, and Sarah’s opinions shifted. Her entrepreneurial DNA had her looking for a way into the burgeoning industry. 

Sarah entered our industry through hospitality, by-way-of her business, Kush and Canvases – an upscale consumption-friendly forum for cannabis-fueled art. She also continued to look for new opportunities. As fate would have it, an encounter at Denver Startup Week with Cannabis Global Initiative founder, Wanda James, who said, “if you’re not in politics, you’re not in cannabis,” changed the direction of her career. 

Realizing thousands of people are still imprisoned for cannabis offenses in a state that ended its prohibition, Sarah looked at ways to give back. She started volunteering with Denver’s Turn Over a New Leaf program to help expunge the records of Coloradoans with low-level cannabis convictions. 

Through her work with Turn Over a New Leaf, Woodson found a mentor in Kristi Kelly of the Marijuana Industry Group; she also found a job with MIG. And with her experiences, education, and cannabis industry connections, the die for the Color of Cannabis was cast.

Sarah Woodson - The Color of Cannabis

In Sarah’s words: 

“Through my work at Marijuana Industry Group, I understood what Wanda meant when she said if you’re not in politics, you’re not in cannabis. And once I wrapped my head around my experiences and connections, the call was there. And the call was, you need to make sure you help other Black and Brown people enter the industry because if they don’t have these connections and opportunities, they’re not going to be successful – that’s how the Color of Cannabis started.” 

Sarah answered the call. She and the Color of Cannabis are focused on transforming people’s lives impacted negatively by cannabis prohibition and changing the concept of who social equity candidates are. For her, all roads lead back to entrepreneurship, because social equity specifically, is excellent for the Black and Brown entrepreneur. And becoming successful in America, as a Person of Color, can be an act of civil disobedience. 

Many people speak of what’s wrong with the cannabis industry, but not enough people are looking at how we make it equitable. The Color of Cannabis is a bridge between our industry and the community. They build pathways for People of Color to enter cannabis at every level, through respectful but progressive conversations, advocacy, and free expungement clinics. Because sealing the records of Black and Brown Coloradoans with cannabis convictions is a pathway to opportunity and success and a way to build generational wealth. 

“A social equity candidate is not a person that’s broke, poor, and unintelligent. It’s a person that needs an opportunity and is worthy of that opportunity.” – Sarah Woodson

The Color of Cannabis represents the equitable interests of Black and Brown people who want to participate in the legal cannabis industry. They do this through criminal justice reform, legislation and public policy, and business education and technical assistance. Through their work, CoC can help restore and repair the people and communities negatively impacted by America’s War on Drugs. 

We can pass bills, create policies, have conversations, and advocate, but if we don’t have widespread participation, the hard work will be in vain. If you’re a Person of Color interested in our industry, reach out to the Color of Cannabis – they’ll get you connected and provide information because Sarah and her team are committed to your inclusion in the cannabis industry.

Please join the Color of Cannabis, Lightshade, and others on Saturday, August 22, from 11 AM to 2 PM, for a free cannabis expungement clinic. Click here for more information and to register.

Expungement Clinic - The Color of Cannabis

Kirileigh Jones - Lightshade Mural Artist

Spotlight | Kirileigh Jones - Artist

“My name is Kirileigh Jones and I’m an artist”

“I grew up in Alameda, California. When I moved to Denver, I just wanted to do anything that was art involved, and then I painted a mural and then I made another mural, and now I just paint a lot of murals.”

“I have been painting murals for four years. I didn’t go to art school. I haven’t taken any art classes in my life, so I don’t really understand a lot of the proper process to do a lot of things. I kind of do things as fast and as easy as I possibly can.”

“The first step when creating the mural is conceptualizing and presenting my idea and ask if you would like to see a sketch. I’ve definitely painted murals where I was like, “I want to do something half flowers, half mandala.” And someone was like, “Great, go paint.” And then I did.”

“I have to do everything by hand. I think probably the most fancy tool I use is a level. I just use string and tape and then yeah, I wear AirPods constantly. AirPods changed my life. Going between like three different podcasts and music. I literally only listen to murder podcasts and true crimes. It’s like this crazy balance of everything.”

“I need a lot of things going on at one time, and that’s probably why I’m also good at being outside and having it be a little performative because I’m like, “Yeah, you, I’ll answer you, but I’m also going to stay over here.” I do art constantly, like all day and a lot of it’s not to relax, it’s just because I have to be doing something.”

“Cannabis plays a role in my creativity because it creates a focus in my brain. It creates a place to filter all the thoughts and it definitely organizes them into one at a time. I definitely like a sativa or a sativa hybrid. I’m also a big CBD person because I have insane anxiety, so I like to kind of be up and mellow. I just like anything that’s going to make me feel what I consider to be normal.”

“I usually have a vape pen in the waistband of my leggings at just about all times, and then as I get home the first thing I’ll do is go to my sister and be like, “I just finished this thing. Let’s roll a blunt.” Because it’s like, that’s how you celebrate.”

“Mandalas represent the connection between everything in the universe. That’s why it’s the circular pattern, it usually has a square pattern too. I like tiny patterns. I like how things connect and how the layers have to go together. Mandalas for me are like everything is connected because the universe made it that way and just accept it and move on.”

“I do think everything happens for a reason, but now I am more focused on why. I really think art has the power to heal people. My Uber driver the other day was dropping me off at my mural and I did those morning glory flowers because they’re beautiful flowers and I just like the moon and I like flowers and I like white flowers, and so I put them in that.”


“My Uber driver saw what kind of flowers they were and she started crying because she was like, “I used to pick those flowers for my mother and pull them right out of the ground, dirt and all, and it was the ugliest bouquet ever made, but my mother thought they were the most beautiful thing in the world.”

“And that just brings me right back to that moment. Was I thinking about that when I went into making the mural? No, but it’s just creating this moment for you to have whatever moment you need.”

“I know it heals people and I know that it creates this sense of calming and belonging. Like you want to leave everywhere a little bit better than you found it, and I really think that’s what I’m doing, and then I just move on to the next thing.”

“My best advice is practice makes permanent. Like constantly practicing because eventually that’s so ingrained in you, you don’t know how to do anything else? This is what I’m supposed to be doing. Absolutely. There’s no if, ands, or buts about it.”

“I love Lightshade. They’re trying to create things for their community and I think that’s important. I think that Lightshade is trying to become something that’s changing the way people view cannabis, and I think they’ve made it a very safe space.”

“I saw a hundred year old lady walking in there and she was having the best day and then I saw a 21 year old kid walk in there and he was also having the best day. And I was like, ‘That’s the kind of energy I want everywhere.'”

“I am most looking forward to painting more walls, just doing more. I just want to create more. Shout out to Lightshade for allowing me to let this vision come to life.”

“My name is Kirileigh Jones and I’m an artist.”

Black Lives - Colorado Cannabis

Black Lives and Colorado Cannabis

It’s time for our industry to help absolve Black and Brown Americans of their prohibition-era cannabis convictions.

As the COVID-19 pandemic changes our perceptions and priorities, and social uprisings finally address decades of systemic racism, we’re witnessing a global cultural shift.

Cannabis is deemed essential in legal states like Colorado, and we’re grateful that marijuana is rightly viewed as medicine. And recreationally, cannabis is a healthier, more mellow alternative to alcohol. Today, every functioning adult needs stress relief; we’re happy to serve the community with marijuana, an ancient herbal remedy. 

But our industry needs to have hard conversations like every person needs to right now. Because how we react today reveals much about the spirit and soul of our community.

The war on drugs helped to bring us to this point.

Cannabis businesses (like Lightshade) are in a unique position today because America’s War on Drugs included cannabis prohibition, and its continued prohibition plays into the oppression faced by Black Americans. 

The cannabis industry needs to make racial justice a priority.

We’re obliged to honor and pay our debt to history. The cannabis industry wouldn’t exist without generations of Black Americans – the first people to bring our favorite plant to North America.

Black musicians introduced cannabis to white audiences through Jazz, including venerated Beat generation authors Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. The Beats brought weed (or tea, as they called it) to a generation of white hippies and birthed the countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s.

Cannabis helped the Jazz Agee flourish, serving as a conduit for creativity, music production and performance. The 1920-30s saw the beginnings of cannabis slang and cultural development, specifically in Black communities. Joints were sold outside tea pads or cannabis bars. Musicians would light up on tea, reefer, grass – codes for cannabis since the drug was vilified nationally and on the cusp of criminalization – singing tributes to the substance.” – Daily Trojan

But countless Black Americans have paid the price for giving us the gift of cannabis. Michael Thompson, now 69, was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after selling a few pounds of marijuana in 1994. He’s imprisoned in Michigan – a state with legal cannabis today. Thompson isn’t up for parole until he’s in his 80s. 

There are more than 40,000 Black and Brown American cannabis prisoners with stories similar to Michael’s. Prisoners are watching from behind bars as more states legalize cannabis, and business owners and municipalities profit off a plant and industry without their participation.

This amid the backdrop of a pandemic that’s put prisoners at risk.

“People serving prison time for cannabis offenses will be at increased risk of dying from the virus, as prisons are the perfect confluence of conditions to spread infectious disease, and typically have substandard health care. Whether someone agrees with legalization or not, nearly all of us would agree that a cannabis offense should never be a death sentence.” -Kris Krane, Forbes

Fortunately, individuals and organizations have stepped up to advocate for Black cannabis prisoners and Black participation in the cannabis industry.

Colorado’s Black Cannabis Equity Initiative is focused on building opportunity, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our cannabis industry (we recently sat down with the founder and CEO, John Bailey – check it out here). And organizations and individuals are working toward the expungement of low-level cannabis convictions in Colorado. 

Black and Brown Colorado citizens shouldn’t carry the stigmatization and burden for the past conviction of an “offense” that’s no longer considered a crime. Our industry has a responsibility to work toward racial justice, and it’s never been more urgent to release cannabis prisoners from their cells.

Here’s what Lightshade is doing to help.

Even in Colorado, Black and Brown Americans are unjustly sitting in prison cells for minor cannabis-related offenses. We’re doing our part to help expunge their low-level offenses and find gainful employment. Here’s how:

  • Our government affairs team contributed to the amendment pardoning cannabis prisoners in Colorado post-legalization.
  • We’re continually working to remove low-level cannabis convictions from impacted community member’s records.
  • We’ve partnered with the Color of Cannabis to host free expungement clinics for Colorado cannabis convictions. The clinics help attendees through the application process and include application preparation and review and notary services and legal consultations.

Lightshade Partner Highlight: The Color of Cannabis

The Color of Cannabis provides a pathway to restorative economic and criminal justice for communities negatively impacted by America’s War on Drugs. The organization represents the equitable interests of People of Color who want to participate in the regulated cannabis industry. They advocate for legislation, public safety, business education, and technical assistance to provide sustainable opportunities for People of Color in the cannabis industry. 

The Color of Cannabis is responsible for spearheading Colorado’s first and only Social Equity Cannabis legislation. Click here to learn more.

The Color of Cannabis also offers a ten-week social equity cannabis training program and an ancillary cannabis coworking space. 

There is power in legislation and policy, because, outside of capital (wealth), legislation is the cornerstone of our industry’s racial makeup. Lightshade is proud to partner with the Color of Cannabis and similar organizations committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in the cannabis industry.

Visit the Color of Cannabis to learn more: https://www.thecolorofcannabisco.org/.

Keef Drinks - Sparkling Cannabis Infused Water - Lightshade Colorado

Are Cannabis-Infused Drinks Better Than Edibles?

Colorado dispensary customers love edibles, but are infused drinks better?

It’s no secret that cannabis is a healthy and safe alcohol alternative, which helps explain the recent infused beverage explosion. But a hangover-free morning isn’t the only reason infused drinks are having a moment.

First, let’s answer the question posed in the title of this blog. No – infused drinks aren’t better than edibles – and edibles aren’t better than infused drinks. We’re democratic in our love for cannabis. 

Let’s get back to infused beverages. 

Infused drinks (or drinkables), is a swiftly growing cannabis product category. You can walk into nearly every Denver dispensary and find shelves lined with infused coffee, tea, sparkling water, and sodas. 

(For the record, you shouldn’t walk into any old Colorado dispensary – you should visit us.)

Spherex Disposable Vapes - Lightshade Dispensary Aurora, Colorado

There’s even an industry organization dedicated to infused beverages, the Cannabis Beverage Association. Here is their mission statement:

“The Cannabis Beverage Association (CBA) is a trade association established to represent and advocate on behalf of the producers and consumers of cannabis beverages. By educating policymakers and consumers, establishing standards for operators to uphold, and advocating for common-sense policies, we can ensure that the cannabis beverage industry delivers safe, high-quality, reliable products to the consumers who enjoy them.”

The infused beverage market is ripe for the taking as far as corporate brands and interests go, which explains why infused beverages need an association. 

We digress. 

We’ve seen a surge in infused beverage popularity in our Colorado dispensary locations since stay-at-home orders began. In April, Headset, a cannabis data and analytics platform, released data showing a 14% infused beverage sales spike; edibles experienced a 28% sales bump. Before COVID, drinkables accounted for only 1% of the cannabis market – the post-COVID sales spike is considerable. 

The increased popularity of drinkables (and edibles) makes sense considering the virus is an enemy to our respiratory system. Many people would now prefer to drink or eat cannabis rather than smoke or vape. 

And infused drinks are arguably the most universally appealing new cannabis consumption method; drinkables are easy to consume, relatively discreet, and attractive to people who appreciate the effects of weed more than its flavor. 

Despite the universal appeal of infused beverages, every person should exercise caution when trying new consumption methods. Whether you’re a cannabis expert or a new consumer, we suggest that you take the same approach to infused drinks as you do edibles – start low and go slow. Overconsumption is possible with infused drinks, even at low doses. Start with a 5mg THC dose (or less) and give it an hour before taking another sip.

Lagunitas - Cannabis Hoppy Water - Lightshade Colorado

Here are a handful of infused drinks we love:

Keef Sparkling Water (Blood Orange)

Keef Sparkling H2O provides a naturally flavored, zero-calorie, zero-sugar, infused beverage experience. The blood orange cannabis sparkler is your summer go-to for a low-calorie, sugar-free alternative to alcoholic beverages and sugary cannabis edibles. Each can contains 10mg of THC. 

PHYX 1:1 Lime

PHYX 1:1 Lime is an expertly formulated, deliciously refreshing, THC-infused beverage. It’s your socially distanced summer companion. Every bottle of PHYX sparkling water contains 2.5mg THC and 2.5mg CBD – it’s our most mellow infused drink. 

Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops

Hi-Fi Hops is an IPA-inspired infused sparkling beverage made using everything Lagunitas knows about hops – but with zero alcohol, no calories, and zero carbs. And it’s infused with THC from the finest sun-grown cannabis. 

Keef Mocktail Lemonade

Keef Mocktail Lemonade has a classic lemonade taste with a cannabis twist. It’s a timeless carbonated beverage containing 10, 10mg servings of THC in each bottle (please don’t drink a bottle in one sitting). Each bottle comes with a resealable dosing cap for precise and consistent dosing. 

We’re in the midst of socially distanced summer barbecue season – wouldn’t you prefer a thirst-quenching beverage that won’t leave you with a headache? Ask your Lightshade budtender about their favorite infused drink.

Rolling a joint in the Colorado summer - Lightshade Dispensary

Eight Cannabis Products for a Socially Distanced Summer

Here are eight products curated by our Colorado dispensary budtender’s to help you make the most of a socially distanced summer.

Summer in Colorado this year is going to be unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s tough to celebrate the season of sunshine beneath a mask (it gets hot under there!), and six feet away from friends. But, that doesn’t mean your Colorado summer has to be a drag. 

You can still make the most of summer with the eight hand-picked Colorado dispensary products featured in this blog.

Lightshade Joints

01. Lightshade Joint Packs

Sharing a joint isn’t smart right now (for obvious reasons). But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a relaxing summer toke. Our strain-specific joint packs are the perfect summer companion. Drop a tin in your pocket, find a chill (legal) spot to smoke, and leave your worries behind.

Dixie Bursts

02. Dixie Bursts

Dixie’s line of cannabis-infused taffy is a burst of sunshine in your mouth. Available in indica, sativa, and hybrid strains, each bag includes three flavors: mango, blue raspberry, and strawberry. You can safely consume with friends, and toss a package around a socially distanced circle. Bring hand sanitizer and positivity to the party. 

“Dixie Bursts are an assorted pack of three fruity flavors that are sure to make any situation shine a little brighter. The mango, blue raspberry, and strawberry taffies are bursting with flavor and are the ultimate discreet dosing edible. Individually wrapped, you can take them anywhere your adventure takes you.” – Dixie 

1906 Drops

03. 1906 Drops

1906 has a family of “drops” – pills featuring thoughtful combinations of THC and CBD designed for every part of the day. Drops fit perfectly into your Colorado summer lifestyle, and, considering the anxiety of today’s world, 1906 Drops can help you maintain daily serenity. 

“1906 Drops are a toolkit of six plant-based experiences to optimize every part of your day. These thoughtful formulations combine THC and CBD, plus super-effective adaptogens and herbs for energy, arousal, relaxation, sleep, focus, and a happy mood. Drops are designed to fit perfectly into your life – and your pocket. Each drop is vegan and gluten-free and contains zero calories. Drops activate in 20-minutes or less.” – 1906

Keef Sparkling Drinks

04. KEEF Brands Sparkling H2O

Sparkling water infused with alcohol is all the rage (we see you White Claw). But there’s also sparkling water for Colorado dispensary customers – the perfect solo refresher for a sweltering summer day. KEEF Sparkling H2O, infused with 10mg of THC, is cooling sparkling water with a hint of energizing citrus. They are seriously good and available in three flavors: raspberry, blackberry coconut (1:1), and blood orange. 

“KEEF Sparkling H2O is refreshing sparkling water infused with 10MG THC and just a hint of citrus flavor. Currently available in Arizona and Colorado, KEEF Sparkling comes in Raspberry, Blood Orange, and Blackberry Coconut 1:1.” KEEF

Love's Oven Turtle Brownies

05. Love’s Oven Individually Wrapped Products

Love’s Oven crafts cannabis-infused confections to satisfy your summer evening sweet tooth. And their individually wrapped baked goods are perfect for tossing around a socially distanced backyard party. Their infused product line-up now includes everything from cookies and brownies to caramels and chocolate-covered graham crackers. 

“Love’s Oven was born in 2009 with a promise to its patients to provide great tasting, cleanly extracted, and quality infused products. If you look at the label of our 20+ products, you’ll never find any ingredients that you need to have a chemical engineering degree to pronounce.” – Love’s Oven

Sinsere Peanut Butter Cup

06. Sinsere Peanut Butter Cups and Nougat Fluff Bites

Sinsere (the newest Love’s Oven brand) marries handcrafted Belgian chocolate with cannabis, in an impressive array of flavors and styles (the range includes more than ten infused products). We love every product, but this summer, our budtenders are enjoying their peanut butter cups and nougat fluff bites in particular. 

  • Peanut Butter Cups (10mg THC per package, 5mg THC per piece):
    “Big peanut butter filled cups handmade with a thick Belgian milk chocolate shell. Handcrafted in-house with the finest ingredients and high-quality distillate.” – Sinsere
  • Nougat Fluff Bites (100mg THC per package, 10mg per piece):
    “Simplicity at its finest. Light and fluffy pillows of nougat enveloped in a Belgian milk chocolate shell. Handcrafted in-house with the finest ingredients and high-quality distillate.” – Sinsere

Stillwater Ripple Quick Sticks

07. Ripple Quick Sticks

Stillwater’s QuickSticks are the newest edition to their Ripple line of products. QuickSticks are flavored single-serve packets that you can dissolve directly on your tongue, or include in a refreshing summer mocktail. Ripple QuickSticks are available in three flavors and potencies: 

  • Pure: Blueberry Pom (10mg THC, 0mg CBD)
  • Relief: Mint Chocolate (20mg CBD, 0.5mg THC)
  • Balanced: Gingerberry (5mg THC, 5mg CBD)

“Ripple QuickSticks introduces a brand new consumption method to the Ripple family of products – flavored Ripple intended to dissolve directly on the tongue! QuickSticks is a great product for fast delivery and tasty experience. Use it right before bed or heading into your favorite movie.” – Stillwater

Wyld Gummies

08. Wyld Gummies

Wyld is a relative newcomer to the Colorado cannabis scene, but this Portland, Oregon-based brand is already a hit in our metro-Denver dispensaries. With a vast range of gummy flavors and effects, you can find the perfect taste and vibe for every summer occasion, from socially distanced barbecues to solo cannabis adventures.  

Wyld celebrates what our Pacific Northwest provides by creating treats that coincide with our ambitions and adventurous lifestyles. Climb cliffs and hike trails; explore our rivers, lakes, oceans, and mountains. Enjoy what brings us together and let Wyld keep us coming back.” – Wyld

Don’t let social distancing kill your summer vibe. 

Restrictions and stress don’t have to keep you from enjoying another beautiful Colorado summer. Drop by your favorite Lightshade Colorado dispensary and ask our budtenders to help you assemble the perfect socially distanced summer cannabis kit. 

John Bailey - Black Cannabis Equity Initiative - Lightshade Dispensary Colorado

Spotlight | John Bailey - Black Cannabis Equity Initiative

Bridging the gap between the African American community and the cannabis industry in Colorado.

“My name is John Bailey and I’m the lead convener for the Black Cannabis Equity Initiative, which I started as opportunity to bridge a gap and relationship between the African American community and the cannabis industry and owners and operators in Colorado.”

John Bailey - Black Cannabis Equity Initiative - Lightshade Dispensary Colorado