The History of 420
With legalization efforts picking up speed across the country, this year’s 4/20 and 7/10 celebrations are bound to look a little greener and burn a little brighter than years past. To get prepared, be sure to buy your supplies before the big day. Like most holidays, shopping on the day of can mean spending a lot of time standing in line.
Before you kick off this year’s celebrations, take a deep dive into the history of 420, the origins of 710, and the best ways to celebrate all the plant has to offer.
What Is 4/20?
4/20 is flower’s international holiday. It’s a celebration of the plant, and while historically it has celebrated the plant’s recreational use, it’s starting to expand to incorporate its other medicinal and industrial uses as well.
The term “420” is slang for anything and everything relating to the plant, from referencing the plant itself to the many ways you can consume it.
How Did 420 Start?
There are plenty of rumors and theories about the roots of the term “420” and how it blossomed into the celebration it is today. It’s not the number of chemical compounds in “flower”. It’s also not Bob Marley’s birthday, the day he died, or police code for possession or smoking in progress. The real story of how 420 started goes back to a group of high schoolers in San Rafael, California and their search for lost treasure.
The Waldos Search for Treasure
In the early 1970s, a group of teens known as the Waldos heard about a Coast Guard member with a plot of psychoactive plants he could no longer take care of. They knew the plot was somewhere around the nearby Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station, so they decided to search for it. Since they were all athletes, the search had to happen after practice, and the best time for everyone to meet up was 4:20 pm.
They didn’t find the plants after that first search, so they decided to keep looking and maintained the meet-up time of 4:20. The time eventually evolved into a code for the group to remind each other of their after-school plans, and from there, it grew into a code for anything related to the plant.
The Grateful Dead Spread the Word
From there, 420 only gets more interesting. The Grateful Dead moved into the same area as the Waldos, and they eventually started hanging out. One of the Waldos’ dads handled real estate for the band, and one of their brothers was good friends with the Dead’s bassist and managed a Dead sideband.
The Waldos would go to the band’s practices and backstage with them after shows. With plenty of flower being passed around, the term started to spread from the Waldos to The Grateful Dead underground.
High Times Takes 420 Higher
The term traveled with the band and its underground culture for years. Then, in the early ‘90s, a journalist from High Times was attending a Dead concert in Oakland when he was handed a flyer with the invitation to “...meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.”
He decided to publish the flyer in the May 1991 issue of High Times, and from there, the term went global.1
How to Celebrate 4/20
There are as many ways to celebrate 4/20 as there are to consume the plant, and it’s entirely up to you how you choose to partake. There are often large 4/20 celebrations in big cities like Denver or San Francisco, but there’s also plenty of ways to celebrate at home.
You can light up and wind down with a couch-locked day full of Netflix and snacks. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you can celebrate by making your own edibles. And these don’t have to be just cookies or brownies—with 420-friendly kitchen gadgets like the LEVO II, you can plan out entire infused meals and drinks to enjoy throughout the day. It is a celebration, after all!
What Is 7/10?
7/10 is kind of a spin-off of 4/20, but it’s oil specific, hence the date—710 upside down spells “OIL.”
Though its history isn’t quite as fascinating or random as 4/20’s, it’s definitely gained momentum over the last decade as legalization has expanded and concentrates have gained popularity.
How Did 7/10 Start?
The origins of 7/10 are a little foggier than 4/20’s. Some rumors contribute its roots to Urban Dictionary where the term surfaced in 2010, though it wasn’t associated with psychoactive oil until 2011.
Other sources give credit to TaskRok of Highly Educated. In an interview, he talked about coming up with the term in a group chat with other industry folks from Beehive Oil Clothing and Healthstone. He also released an album on 7/10/11 that included songs named “Boil That Oil” and “7:10.”
Either way, 7/10 is a more recently established term and celebration than 4/20, but it’s gaining momentum as more and more people turn to concentrates instead of traditional smoking. The day and term were solidified in the mainstream in 2013, the year LA Weekly published an article titled “710 is the new 420” and the first 710 Cup was held.2
How to Celebrate 7/10
Technically, 7/10 is a concentrate-specific holiday, but we say as long as you’re celebrating the plant, enjoy it how you like.
If you want to keep it traditional, the most common way to consume on 7/10 is by dabbing oil. But, you can also explore other concentrates through vaporizers or edibles. Although edibles impart different effects than vaping or dabbing, they are infused with concentrates from the plant.
If you’re feeling ambitious, elevate your 7/10 celebration by infusing your own cooking oil at home with the LEVO II. You can also use your LEVO to create infused candles and even infused bath bombs for the ultimate relaxing 7/10 celebration.
Although 420 has been around since the early ‘70s and 710 is only a decade old, both have become a big part of the culture and industry steadily growing around psychoactive flower. And as more people become interested in the plant and its recreational and medicinal benefits, the celebrations are only going to get bigger.
As you prep for your own 4/20 or 7/10 celebration, make sure you remember to stock up on snacks and clean your glass before the big day. And if edibles are on your list of party favors, get yourself a LEVO II. Not only can you use it to make everything from infused foods to candles to bath bombs, you can use it to keep the celebration going all year long. Talk about flower power.