The ultimate 420 guide

Published on March 28, 2023 · Last updated April 17, 2023
the words 'Guide to' in a green circle next to '420' in big white numbers' on a background of yellow, green and purple doodles
(Illustration: Sasha Beck / Leafly)

420 (aka 4:20, 4/20) is a cannabis culture idiom for ‘time to meet up and smoke weed.’  “420” started out as secret code in the prohibition-era 1970s in Northern California, but spread throughout the world in the subsequent decades. Today, 420 is a well-known signifier for marijuana culture, a time to light up each day (4:20 p.m.), and a major cannabis holiday of the year, April 20.

Got questions about 420? Leafly’s got answers. Learn about the history of 420, get tips on how to smoke and celebrate, and find the best 420 deals on cannabis, accessories, and more.

What is 420?

the phrase 'what is 420' on a background of green and mustard yellow, with a pot leaf drawn in the '0' in 420
(Illustration: Sasha Beck / Leafly)

Wondering why we celebrate 420? Although several theories have emerged over the years, most people trace the holiday’s origins to the California town of San Rafael.

In 1971, a group of five high school athletes caught word of a secret cannabis grow in the woods near their school. They gathered at 4:20pm daily to search for the mythical grow. Lamentably, they never found it, but 4:20 eventually morphed into a catch-all term for weed, and a code that it was time to smoke.

420 has a storied place in marijuana history. Learn all about the background and origins of 420 and how this date (and time) became ingrained as a calling card, a code word, and a cause for celebration in cannabis culture.

420 deals

The phrase '420 DEAL$' on a green and pink background with dollar signs and weed leaf doodles
(Illustration: Sasha Beck / Leafly)

Retailers across the country offer great deals on 420 on cannabis and accessories. Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or dipping your toe in for the first time, you’ll find deep discounts on all sorts of products. And it’s not just cannabis that’s on sale—manufacturers of pipes, papers, vaporizers, and other accessories offer deals as well.

420 essentials 

the phrase '420 essentials' with drawings of gummies, plants, a vape pen and pre-rolls on a green background
(Illustration: Sasha Beck / Leafly)

420 is a time for everyone who appreciates cannabis to celebrate and enjoy this special plant in all its forms. Whether you’re rolling a joint to enjoy on the porch or baking enough pot brownies to distribute to a group of friends, and whether you’re an old head or a fresh face to the cannabis community—whatever your chosen method of cannabis consumption during the month-long 420 celebration, Leafly is here to help you get the most out of it.

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420 cannabis basics

What do the indica, sativa, and hybrid mean? What does a gram of marijuana look like? How long does it take for cannabis to leave your system? Get grounded with foundational facts about cannabis by clicking on these articles that break down the basics:

How to smoke, vape, and eat cannabis on 420

Smoke it. Vape it, as either a flower or an oil. Eat it in a brownie, a cookie, or gummies. Put a little bit of a tincture under your tongue. There have never been more ways to consume cannabis than there are right now. But having so many options can make it hard to decide how to consume cannabis this 420.

Learn about the many ways you can enjoy marijuana and which one is right for you, and how to get the most out of it.

420 recipes

Check out some of our favorite base recipes to make your own cannabis-infused food to add a little touch of 420 to any dish. We’ve got such as cannabis-infused butter and cooking oil recipes, as well as classic marijuana-infused recipes like pot brownies, a staple of any self-respecting 420 celebration.

How to celebrate 420 responsibly

how to help a friend who got too high
(Gillian Levine for Leafly)

420 celebrations can be a blast, but it’s important to keep in mind that you can get too much of a good thing. If you or a friend have overindulged in marijuana goodies, there are plenty of ways to bring an intense high back to earth, or shake off the cobwebs that can accompany the morning after taking a hit or two over the line.

Learn how to stay safe and comfortable while celebrating 420:

420 entertainment

the phrase '420 ENTERTAINMENT on a green and purple background with drawings of a bowl of popcorn and a painter's palette with splotches of color in the shape of weed leaves
(Illustration: Sasha Beck / Leafly)

April is a heavenly month for noobs and seasoned stoners alike to revel in the luxury of cannabis. Need some things to keep you busy? Give these a try!

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