If you’re familiar with cannabis culture, you’ve probably heard of the famous ganja holiday known as “420,” held on, well, April 20th. (If you’re not familiar, check out our coverage of San Francisco’s First Recreational Cannabis Event held on 4/20.)
In a nutshell, the term “420” refers to the consumption of cannabis, especially around the time 4:20 p.m—and even more especially on 4/20. But as much as you love and toast to this term, celebrating the beauty that is marijuana, how much do you really know about its history?
Here’s a short history lesson on the origin of 420, plus, reviews of some of our favorite strains to get you in the holiday spirit.
The Origin of 420
Some believe the term “420” came about because it was a police code to alert officers that there was marijuana smoking in progress. But in fact, it was actually started by a few high school students in the 70s in San Rafael, California.
In 1971, a group of high school students learned that a man who had planted a cannabis plant was unable to continue taking care of it. The kids got a hold of a treasure map—which is believe to be from the plant’s owner—that led to the plant (awesome). The students would meet at least once a week at, you guessed it, 4:20 pm to conduct their search. One of the original members of the group, Steve Capper, told Huffington Post, “We would remind each other in the hallways we were supposed to meet up at 4:20. It originally started out 4:20-Louis, and we eventually dropped the Louis.”
While they never found the elusive plant, they did coin the term “420,” which they used to talk about weed so their parents wouldn’t find out.
The reason the term “420” got famous, though, was thanks to the Grateful Dead and High Times magazine. Some of the students had connections to the band, and when they were backstage, they used the phrase, and it spread within the Grateful Dead community.
While at Grateful Dead concert in the 90s, Steven Bloom, who was then a reporter for High Times, was given a flyer that read: “We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.” The flyer told the history of 420, including the tale of the kids from San Rafael. Once High Times wrote the story, it launched the term globally.
Item 9’s Favorite Strains
Cherry Cheesecake | INDICA | by Gold Seal SF
Cherry Cheesecake is a blend of Cheese, Black Cherry Soda and Super Silver Haze.
“I can see where they got the name Cherry Cheesecake. It tastes sweet, kinda buttery.” — Annie
“I feel nice and relaxed from that first hit.” — Michael
“It’s a mellow high, but not tiring. This is a chill body high, but also a bit energizing too.” — Annie
Super Lemon Haze | SATIVA | by Keepers of the Craft
Super Lemon Haze is a natural wonder and a sativa cannabis godsend. Exuding a zingy combination of sour citrus and sweet lemon candy, this award winning strain shines with trichs and bright green calyxes. 1st place SFPC 2015 and 2nd place NORCAL 2016!
THC: 21.7 %
“It’s a little like having a Meyer lemon peel on your mouth.” — Nara
“The taste really comes through, it tastes like it smells which isn’t that common.” — Tahaj
“Every hit is just like a punch of lemon.” — Amber
Sunset Sherbert | HYBRID | by Gold Seal SF
Sunset Sherbet (or Sunset Sherbert), the offspring of Girl Scout Cookies, is an indica-leaning hybrid with intoxicatingly potent effects. Sunset Sherbert’s ancestors are the famed OG Kush, Cherry Pie, and Durban Poison.
THC: 21.2 %
"Plenty of good hairs, plenty of crystals. Very piney, little bit of fruit with the sherbet. Plenty of good aromas.” — Rob
"First you taste the sweetness, then it’s a smokey flavor, then it’s the tickling spiciness of the Durban hit.” — Camila
“This would be really great for nighttime, just getting ready for bed; help with insomnia, possibly.” — Eddie
Skywalker OG | HYBRID | by Keepers of the Craft
Skywalker OG is a classic indica leaning OG pheno (Blueberry x Mazar x OG Kush).
THC: 20.4 %
CBD: 0.1 %
“I said I’d share, but I might reconsider. This is really good.” — Tony
“May immediate happy place is the fact that it’s smooth.” — Sadira
“I don’t feel mentally slow. I don’t think I would be antisocial with this weed at all.” — Tony