History & Future of 420

April 10, 2023

Every April, marijuana enthusiasts celebrate their hobby and come together to enjoy new and exciting products. Cannabis has become more widely accessible than ever, and even people who formerly had no access to or interest in the marijuana industry are taking notice and giving it a try.

But where did cannabis come from, and where is it going? Why do we celebrate marijuana on 4/20 anyway? Whether you’re new to the hobby or a veteran of cultivating or simply enjoying it, take some time to think about the history of this popular plant and how it will shape the social landscape for years to come.

Where Did Cannabis Come From?

Cannabis isn’t a new trend. In fact, the origins of this famous plant can be traced back thousands of years—all the way back to 2800 BC. In China, an emperor by the name of Shen Nung (sometimes written as Shennong or even Yán Dì, his more esteemed name) is believed to have taught the people of China how to manage agriculture and use herbal medicine.

He is so revered as a legendary figure that he is sometimes considered to have ascended to godhood. Within his pharmaceutical encyclopedia, cannabis is listed for its variety of medicinal properties.

This marks the first of many historical mentions of marijuana. Shiva, one of the gods of Hindu legend, is sometimes referred to as “Lord of Bhang” because his favorite food was cannabis. Greeks, Romans and even Egyptian pharaohs all relied on marijuana to ease pain, help with sleep and relieve the stress and difficulty of childbirth. However, marijuana wouldn’t make its jump into western Europe and the Americas until later in 1841.

cannabis plant in 3d graphics

In this year, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, an Irish physician, had been traveling the world to learn more about the plants and medicines that other cultures offered. It was during this expedition that he discovered cannabis in India and quickly shared it westward after seeing its many uses in action—including its success in stopping a young child from having a seizure. From there, the product quickly disseminated worldwide.

Unfortunately, the early 1930s began the demonization craze of marijuana, with films like Reefer Madness and public campaigns pushing for the restriction and outright prohibition of cannabis products. Thankfully, as we have seen in recent years, this stigma is easing now, nearly 100 years later.

In part, this has come from a transition in generations coming into political power, but it has also been fueled by consistent advocacy and scientific advances, such as the isolation of THC in 1964, the discovery of cannabis receptors in the brain in 1988 and 1993 and the resolution of schizophrenia symptoms due to cannabis in 2012, among many others.

Maybe we celebrate 420 on 4/20 out of respect for the urban legend of high schoolers who would get together at 4:20 PM after school to enjoy cannabis. Maybe it’s because HP Lovecraft’s short story “In the Walls of Eryx” depicts the narrator getting high at the moment his watch ticks past 4:20 PM. No matter the reason, the industry continues to thrive outside of this annual celebration.

Where Is Cannabis Going?

Now, we sit here at the junction between the former negativity surrounding marijuana and its increasing popularity and favor. Where will the industry grow in the future? Right now, marijuana is seeing a surge in popularity resulting from increasing legalization nationwide. This has led to a saturated market, as growers and dispensaries are flooding the market, trying to gain a foothold. This highly active time is not anticipated to last.

However, that may not be such a bad thing. As the temperature cools surrounding cannabis, what will be left are reliable dispensaries and a greater knowledge of cultivation developed during this surge.

Once things stabilize, this will allow more time for new developments like improvements to edible recipes, greater access to the tools necessary for private hobby cultivation and even new variants. As marijuana becomes more ubiquitous, more creativity enters the field to revolutionize the many strains that keep the cannabis hobby diverse.

In other words: the future is bright for cannabis. Creativity and accessibility will breed (literally) new and exciting varieties that can be shared more broadly than ever before. This, coupled with the end of establishment and growing pains for successful dispensaries, will lead to a more streamlined cannabis industry that suffers fewer fluctuations.

Some dispensaries are already well on this track toward success, empowering minority and underrepresented communities to join the hobby and overcome the former stigma that cannabis posed.

flowering cannabis buds before harvests

Get Cannabis from a Local, Minority-Owned Dispensary

We can’t say what the future holds, but for cannabis, things look exciting. At Pure Oasis, we are excited to share this hobby with both veteran enjoyers and newcomers. Our staff are eager to help you decide which products are right for you, and we carefully curate the quality and dosage of our cannabis to ensure that you enjoy the best experience possible.

Pure Oasis is also proud to support our local community through education events, scholarships and more. As a Black-owned business, we strive to make our products accessible, no matter your experience level. Stop by to see what we offer or to ask questions!

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