The Cannabis culture and community is one that is built on a diversity of individuals with its own unique terminologies and slangs. There has always been the need for discretion with cannabis consumers so the obvious code language was a way for them to communicate discreetly while in the midst of non-cannabis supporters also referred to as “Straits”.
These individuals were clueless about the codes used amongst the cannabis community for years. Today we have dank, kind, dro and many other slangs.
The term 420 has to be the greatest example of a covert term used by stoners for decades to signal it is time to blaze. In an essence, it’s kind of like the phrase coined by Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson It’s Five O’clock Somewhere that references having a drink.
The term 420, of course, everybody knows today stands for a universal time when potheads around the world fire up their joints, bowls, and bongs. Some people though, still don’t realize where the term 420 comes from or the meaning behind its representation.
There is some mystery and intrigue surrounding the true origins of the term 420. I’m going to present both sides of the story to you and let you be the one to decide which one you find to hold water. This is a tale of 2 groups. A group of goofy high school stoners called The Waldos and a group of high school athletes called the Bebes. It all started in 1970 or so.
420 is more than just a coined phrase that refers to a special time to get high. 420 is a cultural iconic phrase that has given birth to an endless array of clothing, accessories, stickers, books, festivals, shows, and events.
So just what is 420?
Why did the number 420 end up representing a universal time for everybody to fire up across the country? Well, as with any good story there’s always controversy surrounding it. First, allow me to introduce you to the world of The Waldos.
The 420 Waldos
Back in the early 1970s, there was a group of high school teens that lived in Marin County California. The term 420 is said to have come to be in 1971 while a group of wild-eyed and goofy teenagers called The Waldos attended San Rafael High School. It was said to have been started as the term 420 Loui. The Loui would be dropped eventually leaving just 420.
The Waldos would gather at 4:20 every day to begin searching for a lost legendary reefer crop of legendary proportions. The 420 just stuck and they are not sure who used it first in their group. If you go to the 420 Waldos website, that is the story you will read.
They would meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur in front of the school every day at 4:20. This meant it was time to blaze doobies and search for the elusive lost pot crop. This gave birth to 420 according to the Waldos.
Now that’s one version of this tale. The other is one that paints to a slightly different picture of another teenager who is said to have been the official father of 420. According to this individual and many others that will substantiate this claim, a gentleman by the name of Brad Bann aka The Bebe, is the true father and originator of the term 420.
According to Bebe he ordained Stephen Capper the original “Waldo” and is the one who gave the group of guys their name because they were a goofy bunch. The Bebe and The Waldos are said to still be friends, even to this day. However, The Bebe felt it was time the truth came out.
“Quite simply, the birth of 420 occurred at precisely 4:20 in the afternoon to begin a bedroom bong session at the house of Du and Puff on a Saturday in October of 1970″ said Brad Bann aka The Bebe
The water bongs were packed. When the Bebe glanced at the clock and saw what time it was, he said the iconic term that would circumference the world, “It’s 4:20, time for bong loads.” The rest is history so to say. The phrase 420, caught on like Haze!
710 or OIL
710 is a phrase that you may be hearing quite often lately. Of course, it was just recently July 10th and you may think that had something to do with it. If this is the case, you are partially correct. It’s more than just July 10th. 710 has become what is being dubbed another Stoner holiday just like 420.
The story as to where 710 originated from is not an epic adventure into tails of two sides like that of its cousin 4:20. 710 is merely a term used to refer to dabs or cannabis concentrates. Dabs are also sometimes called RSO or Rick Simpson Oil, Honey Oil, or C02 Oil too.
Some bored child many years ago in school learned that by typing in the numbers 710 to their calculator and turning it upside down it spelled oil. Somewhere along the way, someone made the relation to 710 spelling OIL and cannabis concentrates, being that they come in the form of cannabis oil to start with. Hence the term 710 was born, referring to dabbing.
Shatter, budder, or wax when applied to heat turns into a sticky oil. Oil is something more and more people are enjoying on a consistent basis, whether through a dab rig or a vape pen. Dabs have a much higher potency of THC (60% or better) and other cannabinoids compared to buds (12-28%). Many people believe that this high THC will just turn you into a couch locked zombie. That is not true.
There are many individuals who utilize cannabis concentrates for their medicinal properties, not just a recreational high. These individuals suffer from chronic pain and other illnesses, some that are even life-threatening. They find great relief in cannabis concentrates helping with everything from increased appetite to pain reduction and sleep.
Nobody knows for sure who coined the phrase 710 in reference to dabbing. One thing is for sure. It has caught on. 710 festivals and celebrations have been going on since around 2013 in the public eye. Privately, nobody really knows.
7:10, I’ll be the first to admit, is a much more convenient time than 420 to get high. If you are going to blaze as an adult, it’s much more likely that you will be doing it at 7:10 in the morning and 7:10 in the evening, before and after work, than 4:20 in the morning and 4:20 in the afternoon.
So as you see there are two groups competing to claim the right as the founder of the term 420. There’s no controversy surrounding the story of 710. It is just 710.