By now, almost everyone has heard of 4/20, the cannabis-centric holiday celebrated every year in April. From humble beginnings, 4/20 grew into an international movement and became a fixture of cannabis culture worldwide.
There’s a new date on the “stoner holiday” calendar: 7/10. Throughout the last decade, 7/10 has emerged as a new holiday that embraces innovation and the evolution of cannabis by elevating concentrates, highly potent oils and waxes derived from the cannabis plant. With the advent of 7/10, could we be witnessing the rise of a new 4/20?
What is 7/10?
Often dubbed National Dab Day, 7/10 is a cannabis holiday focused on concentrates such as oils and waxes. In fact, that’s precisely where the holiday gets its name and date: 7/10 flipped upside down resembles the word “oil.”
July 10 focuses on a very specific sector of the cannabis industry: a rapidly-growing category of highly-potent concentrate materials with levels of THC much higher than a typical joint. These materials, a longtime favorite of cannabis consumers can be vaporized with a dab rig or compatible portable vaporizer, formulated for vaping and used in a vape pen, or even drizzled on blunts to bring even more potency to a product.
How did 7/10 become a cannabis holiday?
While it is difficult to pin down the precise origins of 7/10, the holiday first started making appearances in online publications as early as 2011. While that helps demonstrate when 7/10 first started becoming a mainstream cannabis holiday, it still doesn’t answer the question of who started it, or when.
A possible, and most likely, origin of 7/10 came from cannabis advocate and rapper Taskrok. Along with some industry friends, Taskrok came up with the idea in 2010 after the date had already passed. So, July 10th, 2011 appears to be the holiday’s first birthday. Taskrok also took the opportunity to release an album on that day, entitled The Movement, which featured plentiful references to cannabis oil, dabs, and shifting the well-known 4:20 pm to 7:10 pm. While Taskrok confirmed the rumors in an interview, he made clear that Taskrok maintains no propriety over the holiday, stating, “it belongs to the community now.”
How is 7/10 different than 4/20?
While the spirit of 7/10 is similar to 4/20’s goal to bring cannabis out of the shadows, it is focused primarily on concentrates, a niche (but rapidly growing) part of the emerging cannabis industry. Concentrates require a value-added process that takes a great deal of labor and technical understanding. In short, producing an extract involves the use of a solvent to draw all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids (read: the good stuff) out of a plant and then further refining them into small, yet highly-concentrated, cannabis products.
Concentrates in all their forms are popular for their potent THC content and versatility. Concentrates can be used with cartridge vaporizers or portable vapes that support the use of oils and waxes. They can also be used to enhance the potency of standard joints or blunts. Whether these concentrates are vaped in a vape pen or smoked when enveloping a blunt, they contain extremely high percentages of THC, with some reaching up to 90 percent. Concentrates also boast a rapid onset time, taking effect almost immediately and lasting for several hours. There’s also a wide variety of concentrates, giving consumers many choices of specific types of oils and wax, like budder, shatter, or crumble. For all these reasons, concentrates have quickly gained the attention of cannabis consumers everywhere, and it makes sense why people are celebrating concentrates with a holiday of their own.
While most concentrates are focused on heightened levels of THC, other cannabinoids are quickly becoming the focus of extractors as well. For example, hemp-derived CBD shatter is a concentrate made from industrial hemp, which contains little to no THC but very high levels of CBD.
Concentrates are in increasingly high demand
Concentrates have a broad appeal to a wide range of consumers across all demographics, which is evidenced by the explosion of concentrate sales. Market data shows that concentrates are rapidly gaining market share in virtually every state where cannabis has been legalized. Since 2014, when concentrates made up just 10 percent of legal cannabis sales, the sector has grown to hold 27 percent market share.
Primarily boosted by vaping, the concentrates market eclipsed $3 billion in value in 2018, a 49% increase over the previous year. And there are no signs that growth is slowing down. According to industry research group Arcview, sales of concentrates in the U.S. alone are estimated to reach $8.4 billion by 2022, which would put it on par for the projections of cannabis flower’s value at that time. As concentrates continue to erode cannabis flower’s market share (along with the increasingly-popular edibles, which are often made with cannabis oil), establishing a holiday to celebrate these extracts only seems appropriate.
A celebration of concentrates and an evolving cannabis industry
Celebrating concentrates for their potency and versatility is all well and good, but the emergence of 7/10 as an international holiday highlighting cannabis concentrates points just as much to an evolving cannabis industry and consumer culture. Whereas years ago, concentrates were known to just a handful of hardcore consumers, they are now widely celebrated among medical and adult-use consumers alike. That evolution is largely thanks to the ever-growing legal cannabis industry, which makes it easier than ever for consumers to learn about and obtain these innovations that were once only available to the most initiated of cannabis consumers.
Whether you’ll be celebrating with oil, wax, or even just regular old flower (go ahead, we won’t judge), 7/10 is as much a time to celebrate just how far the cannabis community has come despite stigma and prohibition. So, from all of us here at CannaContent, happy holidays and consume responsibly.