Lorena Cupcake, voted “best budtender in Chicago,” has answered hundreds of questions from cannabis shoppers and patients during their time as a budtender. And now they’re turning that experience into a monthly advice column, Ask a budtender. Got a question for Cupcake? Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know 7/10, aka OIL day, is the concentrate-consumer equivalent of 4/20, but do stoners actually celebrate 710? Maybe they’re not filling public parks with dab vapor like it’s 4/20 2.0, but are they celebrating somewhere?
Unlike 4/20, which has layers of lore stretching back decades, 7/10 is a relatively new addition to the pantheon of cannabis culture. I took my first dab over a decade ago, but I only started hearing about 710 within the past few years. While it’s hard to pin down an exact origin story, most folks agree that 710 was modeled on 420, and chosen due to the mirrored resemblance of “710” to the word “OIL.”
Whether you call it butane hash oil, honey oil or dabs, there’s no denying that concentrated cannabis oil is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the cannabis market. Though the specialized — and sometimes scary — equipment used to make oils can turn novice consumers away from concentrates, those who dab regularly tend to be passionate about their relationship to the product.
In addition to celebrating the special bond that die-hard dabbers have with their budders and bubble hash, July 10th, similar to April 20th, is an opportunity to raise awareness around an oft-overlooked and misunderstood product category. Cris Rivera, SVP of retail marketing and store development at Chicago-based Cresco Labs, told Cannabis Business Times that the focus is on using the holiday “to see if we can get people who haven’t yet tried concentrates but seem to be heavy cannabis users to consider adding concentrates.”
How do people celebrate 7/10?
To learn how real people celebrate 7/10 — or if they even do — I messaged some of my favorite cannabis content creators here in Chicago. Shay, who posts under the handle @southsideshankie, had already heard the old story about the date resembling the word OIL. It’s just a lucky coincidence that it takes place the day after their birthday.
“In the past years that I’ve celebrated [7/10], I was already visiting Colorado for my birthday, and they promote it pretty heavily there,” she said. “I took advantage of the sales by buying new glass and saving on concentrates from the dispensaries.”
Jack, a budtender who posts his experiments with rosin under the name @cannajack129, also indulges in new glass for the holiday. “Most of my 7/10 celebrations included new piece purchases and sharing with friends,” he said. “A few have been larger planned things like 710 Cups. All celebrations include heavy day-dabbing, multiple cultivars and styles of concentrate, music, friends, and good food.”
When the big day rolls around, he plans to keep it lowkey. “This year, I plan to have a number of different cultivars on hand and have a day-long flower/bubble hash pressing sesh with friends. I have a personal rosin press, and nothing is more satisfying than dabbing rosin fresh off the press.”
While event producers like Dab Day Productions and The Errl Cup (errl being slang for oil) are beginning to announce 710-themed events, it’s likely that 7/10/21 will look similar to our past 4/20: record-breaking sales, but few public gatherings due to ongoing safety concerns.
I suggest taking a little inspiration from Danksgiving, a November holiday where grateful guests gather for a 420-friendly version of Friendsgiving. They don’t need expo halls, VIP passes or security checks to have a fun cannabis event; just some cannabutter in the mashed potatoes, or a few joints to pass around the dinner table.
This 7/10, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. I’ve come up with some ideas to get you started:
- Try a new concentrate brand.
- Bake live resin cookies.
- Make hash at home.
- Tie on a blindfold, and put your favorite strains through a blind sniff test.
- With a portable dab rig, you could go for a hike and vape wax on top of a mountain.
- Or take it easy, like Shay does, and plan to spend the day doing dabs with your partner.
Will 7/10 ever be as big as 4/20?
Will the story of 7/10 end up as satisfying as dropping errl on a hot banger, or will it fizzle out? “I think that it’s possible it could become a bigger thing,” Jack speculated. “As legalization occurs, I’ve been seeing more and more people moving into using concentrates. The stigma is lessened, and the necessary equipment becomes less scary (i.e. Puffco Peak over Blazer torches) so there’s more room for the average consumer to enjoy concentrates.”
Shay seems more convinced. “I do think that 7/10 will become a bigger deal within the cannabis community as I see a large number of creators and consumers who already dab,” she said. “I feel it will definitely require more marketing/promotion to spread the hype, and messaging in all the legal cannabis markets.”
Despite the optimism, 7/10 faces plenty of challenges. Growth in concentrate sales took a major hit in 2019 when safety concerns rose around counterfeit vape cartridges. People who casually smoke or vape might not have the tolerance required to truly enjoy dabs. High-quality, lab-tested extracts are difficult to source in areas without legalized cannabis, while the quality of extraction technology and talent in newer markets is still catching up to the high standard set by industry leaders in California and Colorado.
The future of 710
If you look at the trajectory of 4/20, it’s easy to believe that a once-obscure inside joke for those “in the know” could become a household name. After all, decades ago, the Cannabis Cup was an underground event held only in Amsterdam. Changing attitudes and expanding legal access have bolstered the size of the community that rallies behind these cannabis cultural touchstones.
Brands care about 7/10 the way that Hallmark cares about Valentine’s Day; it’s another opportunity to market themselves to you. A lot of companies stand to benefit if, like 4/20, the date becomes linked to landmark sales. Just like Green Wednesday and Green Friday, July 10th is an important day on the calendar for those of us who work in cannabis marketing.
However, it’s also an opportunity for real people to connect with others who share their interests. While it has room to grow before it catches up to 4/20 in cultural significance, 7/10 plays the same role as cup-style competitions, infused dinner parties and farmer’s markets: it gives us another reason to gather together.
Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps