What is the Origin of 420?

Apr, 2021
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It’s almost that time of the year again. The local dispensaries are stocking up on new products, while patients are anxiously awaiting what kind of incredible deals their favorite shops are offering. On April 20th, just about every cannabis-lover in the country will be doing the same thing: sparking up their special green plant. But, what is the origin of 420, and what does it mean? Why do we choose this day out of the year to celebrate?

Don’t worry: if you have some questions about this cannabis-themed holiday, you’re not the only one. Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the history of 420, where the number came from, and how you can celebrate, too. Let’s get started.  

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The Origin of 420

What We Know: The Origin of 420

When talking about the weed holiday, many people wonder what 420 is and how it came to be. The exact origin is a little muddy, and we can only truly rely on word-of-mouth to discover these roots. But, from what we know, the source of this smokey holiday dates back to the 70s on a small high school campus in San Rafael, California.

Legend has it that a group of five teenage boys, who called themselves The Waldos, would meet every day after their school day ended to toke. Each day, the smoke sesh happened on campus at the same time: 4:20 pm. 

For years, this was the boys’ code for smoking. 4:20 became a staple time in the teenagers’ lives, and it did not stop after high school.

Eventually, one of the group members became a roadie for the famous rock band The Grateful Dead. As he traveled with the band, he spread the idea of 4:20, getting band members on board with smoking at this time each day. Soon, Deadheads were spreading the word across the cannabis community. 

In the early 90s, Deadheads passed out fliers inviting others to partake in their collaborative smoke sesh at 4:20 on April 20 or 4/20. One of these fliers ended up in the hands of High Times magazine reporter Steve Bloom. Bloom loved this idea of 420 being the designated “smoking time,” and he went on to publish this flier in the coveted cannabis magazine. With this, using the term “420” for marijuana went viral, and it is still one we associate with cannabis even today. (We might even argue that it’s more popular today than back then!)

The Annual April Celebration

Of course, you’ve probably heard your own version of how 420 came to be. With some claiming it comes from police codes and others from different musical artists, the most validated story is those of The Waldos, lighting up on their high school campus like so many of us did (or attempted to). 

Today, die-hard smokers will see 4:20 on the clock as a signal to get a bowl packed. However, on April 20th itself, the celebration is even more extravagant. For legalized states, licensed dispensaries see more significant sales on April 20th than any other day of the year— even Black Friday or Green Wednesday

People from all over the state flock from dispensary to dispensary, indulging in the once-in-a-lifetime deals they offer on this memorable holiday. During this stinky April celebration, 420 brings customers of all walks of life to your local shop, helping you see just how diverse the benefits of cannabis genuinely are. 

Best Ways to Celebrate 420

Cannabis-lovers choose to celebrate 420 in so many different ways. For some, this is simply an excuse to stock up on some high-quality weed. For others, this is a day full of grand celebration, relaxation, and probably a bit of coughing. 

You’ll find that many 420-lovers will spend the holiday outdoors. Cannabis and outdoor time mix wonderfully, especially when you have the right strain. If you have time off or simply a sunshine-filled spot in the backyard, try celebrating 420 by connecting with nature. After all, you’re smoking something Mother Nature handcrafted! 

Of course, you don’t even have to get high on 420 to celebrate the holiday. Cannabis encompasses so much more than just THC (which is excellent for more than getting high, too). On 420, feel free to pick some CBD products you’ve wanted to try. Things like CBD bath bombs, pre-rolls, tinctures, and gummies are incredibly popular and offer unique consumption methods. 

Indeed, 420 is a great day to try something new in the cannabis community. Whether you’re curious about a specific strain, a type of product, or even a new cannabinoid, April 20th is the day to try it out! And, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask your local budtender for some answers. They’ll be happy to help.

Learning About the Origin of 420 With Elevate

Elevate Holistics wants to help you have the best 420 possible. On our site, we offer myriad resources to assist in you finding the perfect dispensary near you, especially on a day like April 20th. Not to mention, if you have any questions about the dispensary experience or just medical marijuana in general, we’re here to help. After all, we want you to be able to enjoy 420 to its fullest— whether it is your first 420 or your 100th.