With over 850,000 cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, governments are sending their countries into lockdown in attempts to minimize social interactions and limit the spread of the disease. This means that stores are shut down, sporting events are cancelled, and business, as usual, is effectively put on hold until the virus is kept at bay.
Though as some cannabis aficionados may know, many cannabis dispensaries are going to remain open as they are deemed “essential” due to their necessity to medical marijuana patients.
The announcement that dispensaries would remain open has caused a huge spike in weed sales, as people prepared for the indefinitely long lockdown to come, with many dispensaries utilizing online delivery services to minimise the crowding at their stores. According to New Frontier Data, some people stockpiled up to two months of cannabis supplies prior to the lockdowns.
And if all this wasn’t interesting enough, this conglomeration of events, with the forced lockdowns, open weed dispensaries and large stockpiles of cannabis, have all fallen upon one fateful date: 4/20.
Moreover, as we are in the fourth month of 2020, this entire month will be 4/20 — an event which only comes around once a century. And if you factor in that pot prohibition began roughly in the 1920s, and the term 4/20 wasn’t invented until 1971…this may be the longest 4/20 in human history.
The History of 4/20
The birth of 4/20 was conceived by a group of teenage students in Marin County, California named the ‘Waldos’ who would meet regularly at 4:20 pm at a statue of Louis Pasteur at their High school in search of a rumoured cannabis plant that grew within the school grounds.
The Waldos would frequently use the code-word ‘420’ to inform one another when they would be searching for the plant, though much like a game of Chinese whispers, the term quickly evolved into slang for sparking up. Though unbeknownst to the Waldos, their cannabis codeword would one day spread among locals until finally finding its way into ‘High Times,’ the holy book for ganja aficionados.
From that moment forward, 4:20 pm has become the official time to “get high.” Additionally, 4/20, April 20th, has become known as the unofficial Weed Day of the year.
Though for the first time in 4/20 history, we are at a new epoch; the fourth month of the 20th year of the century. For many stoners, this means that they will have to indulge in the sticky icky for an entire month. (Out of respect to the Waldos, obviously.)
So what will this month mean for cannabis consumers? Particularly given that almost all of them will be confined to their homes for the entire month?
4/20 Month in Lockdown
As we mentioned recently, given that coronavirus affects the respiratory passages, it mightn’t be the best idea to smoke weed during this month — though this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of bud. Instead, you can look toward edibles, oils and CBD products to get your fix.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive form of cannabis that gives many of the health benefits without the high that THC brings. If you live in the UK or the U.S., you can access CBD products online, and simply drop some CBD oil under your tongue or in a drink for them to take effect.
Though let’s be real, the Waldo’s weren’t talking about CBD when they came up with 4/20. So if you’re looking for smoke-free, but not high-free alternatives, you might want to look into making edibles.
To do so, you can check out our guide to making cannabutter and cannabis oil, which only requires a cup of raw cannabis plant matter. Once you have your oil or butter, you can add it to cookies, brownies, or pour it on top of popcorn and enter the month in style.
Once you’ve got your smoke-free cannabis product ready to go, here are some of our suggestions to enjoy a 4/20 month in isolation.
Watch Stoner Movies
Let’s face it, you’re eating edibles, forced to stay at home, and it’s 4/20 for the entire month. Not watching some classic stoner films would be straight up disrespectful at this point.
One of the all-time greats, despite being a more recent stoner film, is, of course, Pineapple Express. Even though virtually every film Seth Rogen has made was comedy gold, the filmmaker/actor has himself stated that none have drawn as much fan favouritism as Pineapple Express. The film centres around Dale, played by Rogen, who is a process server, and his weed dealer Saul, played by James Franco, who both get embroiled into a murderous drug war. This is a film you simply can’t miss.
Then there are classics like Half Baked, Friday, The Big Lebowski, Harold and Kumar, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Tropic Thunder. (Tropic Thunder has very little to do with drug use, and nothing to do with cannabis use, however, this film remains hilarious after the 100th time.)
Have a Virtual Sesh
Unfortunately, during this period, you will be unable to puff puff pass with your friends, as sharing joints is a quick way to potentially share COVID-19. In fact, having your friends over is advised against, as gatherings of more than 2 people are being discouraged by governments globally while the crisis rages on.
In some ways, social distancing laws came at the worst time for the global cannabis industry which was just trying to find its feet. 4/20 events for the past two years have seen enormous spikes in weed sales, and have also served as a public reminder that cannabis isn’t just a fad, but something that people are genuinely passionate about. This year, unfortunately, most 4/20 events have been indefinitely postponed to reduce the likelihood of crowds gathering.
However, having social distancing laws in the 21st century is also much better than having them a century ago, as technology gives us some simple workarounds for our isolation woes. In fact, some cannabis industry leaders are even holding a virtual town hall to discuss the industry at large without the need to meet up in person.
This is precisely what people can do this 4/20, which is to set up a Skype, Zoom or Houseparty call with your friends while you all simultaneously watch a stoner flick and laugh along in the comfort of your own homes.
While you may be stuck at home this 4/20 month, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
This post originally appeared on The Green Fund — Australia’s leading source of cannabis information.