Before we explore how to enjoy cannabis products on 4/20 without getting high, let’s take a brief look at the history of “420.” The unofficial holiday has become the Labor Day of cannabis — people celebrate, but aren’t exactly sure why.
According to History.com, 420 originated from a group of five California teens in the 1970s who would hang out by a wall outside their San Rafael, California school — a meeting spot that inspired their nickname, “the Waldos.”
As History’s “Hazy History of 420,” article explained, the now-celebrated day began with an obscure rumor.
“In the fall of 1971, the Waldos learned of a Coast Guard member who had planted a cannabis plant and could no longer tend to the crop. Provided with a treasure map (some say by the pant’s owner himself) supposedly leading to the abandoned product, the group would meet at the Louis Pasteur statue outside their high school at least once a week to conduct a search. Their meeting time? 4:20 p.m., after practice (they were all athletes). The Waldos would pile into a car, smoke some pot, and scour the nearby Point Reyes Forest for the elusive, free herb. One of the original members of the Waldos, Steve Capper, told the 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.’”
History.com “A Hazy History of 420”
How Cocaine Bear is a movie and this isn’t, is beyond me. Anyway, from there, 4:20 grew to the International Day of Joy that it is today. While the origins of 4:20 were blazing up while searching for free weed, the celebration, like the cannabis industry itself, has evolved.
David Spreckman, Verano’s EVP of Marketing, spoke with Cannabis & Tech Today to share his views on the perception of cannabis and how it has evolved. “For somebody who is of a much older [generation] or never engaged in any cannabis products, they might have a certain view of cannabis, thinking of the dried flower plant. The second you can show it doesn’t involve smoking or inhaling or eating but does offer a material benefit, I think you open a door, especially with things like chronic pain. We’re just scratching the surface, but more people are discovering that cannabis can mean a whole lot more than just smoking.”
While the Waldos were on their quest for free bud, they likely never thought 4:20 would shift from a time of day to a holiday celebrated by millions. Or that it would include things like a soothing bath, moisturizing your elbows, massage oil, or rubbing down your aching joints after a good workout. But yes, these are all things you can do on 4/20 and not get high.
“The environment that it exists in has changed, so more people have opened up eyes and ears and I think public perception has obviously changed quite a bit. Cannabis products have certainly come a long way in ten to twenty years. The idea of these bath bombs and lotions probably weren’t something that you would have thought of when you heard the word cannabis,” noted Spreckman.
Many products have THC but don’t have a psychoactive element, meaning they will relax you, but not get you high. Spreckman said that’s the beauty of these kinds of products, “You can be a cannabis enthusiast and never use anything that’s psychoactive and I think that’s sort of the beauty of it. It’s very unique down to the individual.”
If you’re not down for lighting up a Bogart Cannabis Pre-Roll (personally tested and recommended), or gulping down a Camino Midnight Blueberry gummy (again, two thumbs up), here are some great ways to celebrate 4/20 and not get high.
Avexia Lavender Bath Soak 100mg THC — A cannabis infused version of an Epsom salt bath balm infused with 100 milligrams of THC. It’s got lavender, sunflower oil, Jojoba oil, aloe vera and a few other goodies, which makes for a soothing, calming bath salt that will relax you, not get you high.
Pro Tip – Use this in a hot bath, giving your pores an opportunity to open up, giving the THC and the other sorts of essential oils an opportunity to really absorb much faster. $30
Element Apothec Face Serum 500mg Broad Spectrum CBD, 50mg CBG — Technically not THC but the same neighborhood, so we are giving it a pass. It has been proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, restore your skin’s youthful elasticity, gently detox your pores without disturbing your skin’s natural microbiome, and hydrate the skin without leaving you oily. $90
They also have an Essentials Skin Care Kit for $30 that includes a tube of their Nourishing Lotion to help keep the rest of your body smooth and soft.
It’s science! Studies show broad-spectrum CBD might have anti-inflammatory properties that can minimize redness and swelling associated with existing acne breakouts via endocannabinoid receptors in our skin, while also helping to regulate oil production and reducing the chance of future acne breakouts.
Research says phytocannabinoids’ anti-inflammatory properties might help our skin and overall well-being. The broad-spectrum CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG in Element Apothec products are what make them different.
Her Highness Pleasure Oil 500mg THC (CBD version as well) — Make 4:20 a night to remember. Let’s be clear this is not a “lube” but an Orgasm Oil, the difference being, when you use “lube” it’s all about coverage and quantity, with Orgasm Oil, a little bit goes a long way. The 30ml bottle has been known to last up to a year and that’s from a reviewer with a pretty active sex life.
There are several brands on the market but Her Highness Pleasure Oil is pretty unique.
Beyond the THC they use a plant extract that has become popular in some cocktails, we are not allowed to divulge the name of the plant (lest we don’t get samples) but, here is a quote about the effect of the plant when you add it to a drink: “When you chew it, the sensation is like having a sparkler in your mouth, but without the second degree burns. It numbs. It tingles. It’s an explosion of sensation.” Now picture all of that below your belt.
Co-Founder Allison Krongard tells us the mission of Her Highness is “female joy though cannabis.” Meaning the products main focus is for female use and pleasure.
While some THC lubes have a certain period of time for things to take effect as they absorb into the body, Her Highness activates fairly quickly, and reports have shown 100% of users report having a better orgasm.
The person using most THC based oils and lubes generally won’t get high from using them, but if you end up eating the lube, you can. We will leave that right there for you to ponder. $70
Avexia Pain Relief Balm and Lotion — When you are like me, 55 and training for a marathon, you get a little banged up and need a little help. Really if you are dealing with pain, tweaked muscles, soreness, etc., who couldn’t use a little relief?
That’s where we go back to Avexia Pain Relief Balm and Lotion, both 100mg THC and 100 mg CBD. I don’t believe in magic potions (well, the THC lube is close), but Avexia balm and lotion are as close as it gets. I have yet to have an ache or pain that these haven’t been able to settle down. I carry some in my car, I rub it on neighbors, friends, family members, and anyone who talks about something that hurts.
Topicals like Avexia topicals provide potent pain-relief and muscle relaxation effects. When applied topically, THC activates your CB2 receptors more than it activates your CB1 receptors. While the brain’s CB1 receptors get you high, the peripheral nervous system’s CB2 receptors regulate pain and inflammation.
CBD, for its part, doesn’t interact very much with either your CB1 or CB2 receptors. Instead, it interacts considerably with the TRP and 5-HT receptors, which are critically involved in inflammatory and neuropathic pain respectively. $50-53
Element Apothec makes a 35mg CBD wellness patch you can stick to the part of your body that is causing you discomfort and it provides 24 hours of relief. $60 for a pack of 10
Koi Naturals also has a CBD Balm with 1000mg of CBD — It’s infused with premium Koi PRIZM broad spectrum hemp extract so no matter where 4:20 takes you, it leaves your skin feeling smooth and muscles feeling rejuvenated. $56
Back to what David Spreckman said earlier, it’s about your individual taste and the great news about a lot of these brands is they have both THC and CBD versions of their products, so if you live in an area where cannabis isn’t legal or readily available, move! If you can’t do that, then you’re in luck and can access the CBD version.
420 has come a long way from the Waldos initial hunt for lost treasure. With more people from differing ages and demographics joining in on the fun, it can only continue to grow from here.