Where did “dab day” come from, and where is it going?
7/10/2019 is almost upon us, and concentrate enthusiasts all over the world are preparing to dab all day (not that they don’t do that most other days). If July 10th seems like just as random and arbitrary of a day to celebrate vaping concentrates as April 20th is to celebrate smoking flower, that’s because it is. 710 and its association with cannabis concentrate follows a grand stoner tradition of a few enthusiasts coining a term for personal use and then watching in bemused wonder as it’s swiftly adopted by the cannabis subculture and then the world at large. In the case of 420, in the early 1970s a group of highschoolers dubbed “The Waldos” would meet up at 4:20 to smoke and look for a rumored secret cannabis crop, and their practice of saying “420” as code for these activities spread until the number itself was associated with cannabis consumption.
710 (or 7/10 or 7:10) has a similar, if less well known, origin story. Everyone can agree that the number itself was chosen because it spells “OIL” upside down, but from there, things start to get a bit more hazy (vapory?). Some claim that it vaguely emerged into stoner culture around 2012 when the earliest 710 Cups happened, while others claim it comes from viewing oil caps on cars upside down. In fact, as far as anyone can tell, 710 as we know it today originated in a Tinychat shared by a few people involved in cannabis companies and the up and coming dab culture. On 7/10/15, Mitchell Colbert of The Leaf Online reported on his investigation of the early dabbing scene, which led him to Taskrok, a rapper and founder of the dab accessory company Highly Educated TI.
In 2010 Taskrok was in a Tinychat with fellow dabbers from Health Stone Glass and Beehive Oil Clothing. The group was discussing the need for a new time specifically designated for dabbing, and Taskrok suggested 7:10 because it spells oil upside down. Thus 710 was born. The concentrate code spread quickly throughout the community, helped along by an album Taskrok collaborated on called The Movement. This was a reference to moving the traditional smoking time from 4:20 to 7:10, and the second track is simply titled “7:10” (although it’s not 7 minutes and 10 seconds long, which seems like a missed opportunity). Soon enough it was common to find 710 in everything from Cup titles to strains to products.
Fast forward to today, and the 710 legacy is stronger than ever. This year Phoenix will hold its 4th annual 710 Degree Cup, a festival complete with live music and vendors that revolves around judging the best concentrate products from all across Arizona. In Dairy, Oregon, revelers at the 710 Camp Sesh can celebrate their love of oil throughout the 7/10 weekend with a myriad of stoner-friendly events. And of course, all year round there are oil and hash producers, vape pens, cleaning products, and head shops that include 710 in their name as a quick signal to concentrate enthusiasts that this is a brand that’s in the know and understands their needs. Like 420 before it, 710 has transcended simply being a time or a date and become its own slang for a method of cannabis consumption.
Just 9 years after its very first usage, 710 is well on its way to being a common phrase that even those outside of the cannabis community will recognize. Which in a way will make it effectively useless as a signal that only alerts those in the know, and keeps the nature of a business or an activity on the down low to everyone else. The wide use of 710 is an indicator of how popular dabs and other concentrates have become when they used to be a fringe form of consumption within the already underground cannabis industry. But it’s no surprise that the phrase “710” has been co-opted and commodified so quickly. As with any other industry, it’s common to find cannabusinesses rushing to be the most knowledgeable, the most cool, the most authentic, and the highest paid. CBD boomed so fast that it’s become common on shelves across the country before the FDA has even decided what they want to do about it, or anyone really understands its true health effects. Entrepreneurs who have never even smoked are jumping into the cannabis industry with their startup money because they smell a good opportunity. Obviously the positive effects of legalization hugely outweigh any negatives, but it’s clear that whenever legalization happens, commercialization is soon to follow.
In reference to his creation of 710, Taskrok said, “I don’t want to try to own it though. It belongs to the community now.” But plenty of people now own the profits they’ve made off of slapping the phrase 710 on their business or product. In his original article about 710 Mitchell Colbert wrote, “710 is a concept that extends beyond its founders, across time and space, and serves to unite a counter-cultural movement.” It’s a nice sentiment, but in 2019 I think we can all agree that the “counter” part of “counter-cultural” is pretty much gone. Of course that’s not a bad thing. Overall the mainstreaming of cannabis and concentrates specifically has helped huge amounts of people, from avoiding incarceration to being able to access needed medicine or high quality and consistent product for recreational use. But it does raise the question of how long an industry so intent on selling every part of itself can retain some aura of being cool or underground. On that note, be sure to check out our 7/10 Sale. We’ve got some sick deals.
What do you think of “710” and the way it’s used today? Let us know in the comments below!