Thai stick has been quite popular in Thailand. For the longest time, it has remained one of the most efficient ways to enjoy marijuana by locals and tourists alike. Now that weed has been decriminalised in the country, it is only reasonable to expect Thai sticks to make a strong comeback. However, these sticks are a work of art – they require care, craftsmanship, and plenty of patience for the ultimate high.
This article will tell you about Thai sticks, how to make one, and more.
Thai sticks are an ancient way of enjoying weed. You combine flower, hash oil, and/or resin by placing them on a bamboo skewer, curing and rolling them with either silk thread or hemp wick to keep them in place. It is then layered with cannabis leaves (coated with hash oil) to form a cigar-like item. Curing these sticks is a crucial part of the process – which removes the moisture and allows the buds to harden and release their flavours – thus becoming a whole unit.
Thai Sticks – the Original Cannabis Cigar
Cannabis cigars, or cannagars, are pretty famous in the West. But not many know that Thai sticks are the original inspiration behind cannagars. These are essentially huge joints – full of premium buds, flavours, resin, and hash oil – then rolled with hemp leaves rather than the traditional rolling papers we use for spliffs. These green cigars get you baked, and they burn for quite some time – just like a cigar.
Thai sticks have essentially laid the foundation for modern weed cigars. Of course, the cannagar makers these days have refined the process to suit the growing demand, scalability, and an increased high – but the old school way is still popular.
History of Thai Sticks
No one knows when Thai sticks came to be or how old they are. However, we know they originated in Thailand’s hilly, North, Northeastern, and Lao regions. We also know that weed has been widespread in Thailand – since its introduction centuries ago from India – for various reasons. Therefore, it can be reasonably concluded that hill tribes in the regions mentioned above invented Thai sticks to enhance the ganja experience. As a matter of fact, these sticks were among the best ways to enjoy marijuana in Thailand for a good several decades!
Of course, this should not be surprising as we Thais are known for cannabis-related innovations – the other being bong. Yes, bong comes from the Thai word ‘buang’, which loosely translates to a bamboo tube used for smoking cannabis.
Back to the sticks, while their use was fairly common in the country, the acceptance by the Americans caused them to explode in popularity. In the 1970s, during the Vietnam War, the US used Thailand as a base of operations. As a result, American GIs got introduced to the local ganja seen and experienced the legend of Thai sticks themselves.
Before you knew it, soldiers took home these loaded, potent joints, and America soon got a taste of some good weed.
It became unbelievably popular. Thai hill tribes were already manufacturing a far superior product years before American farmers mastered the art of growing seedless, premium strains with high THC concentration, trichomes, and all those fancy traits. Impressively, they were doing it all without our current sophisticated technology. All this weed came from the wild mountains in North Thailand – grown and harvested per traditional practices.
What sold for $3 a kilo in Thailand sold for almost $4,000 in the United States. This legendary marijuana was smuggled by the tonnes – with as much as 1,000 tonnes shipped to the US from Thailand between 1968 and 1972.
The boom died down shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, combined with the Thai Government’s crackdown on the marijuana scene – supported by the US. As a result, Thai sticks effectively became a novelty and rarity everywhere in the world – and they slowly faded from the scene.
How to Make Thai Sticks
What makes Thai sticks unique is the way they are prepared. Many believed they were laced with opium at the peak of their popularity. Instead, some said the holy combination of hash oil, resin, and the most delicate flowers – when given sufficient time to cure – made the high so refined.
If you want to make Thai sticks, you will be happy to know that it is a relatively simple process requiring little work. What is needed, however, is time and the following items:
- Buds of your choice – we recommend buying something from our online store
- A bamboo skewer/chopstick
- Hash oil/cannabis concentrate/sugar water – we recommend sugar water since cannabis concentrates with THC above 0.2% are still illegal in Thailand
- Parchment paper
- Cannabis fan leaves
- Hemp wick
The bit to remember is the curing part. While there is a shortcut to it, nothing comes close to the traditional methods.
Curing of weed is done to prevent it from rotting or decaying. First, the moisture from the flower and leaves is removed, allowing the extracts and all those cannabinoids and terpenes to emerge – remember the entourage effect! Secondly, curing also improves the flavour and smoking experience of the cannabis, resulting in a smoother toke and better high. If you don’t cure the sticks, they will not smoke well.
Here is how you do it.
- From your weed flowers, select the softest, fluffiest buds. This ensures the buds are compressed smoothly, allowing maximum flavour and goodness.
- Coat the bamboo skewer with hash oil, sugar water, or another cannabis concentrate, depending on how high you want. This is done so that the weed sticks properly to the skewer.
- Take the weed gathered in the first step and place them on the stick as tightly as you can. Ensure no gaps are present in the ‘joint’ part of the stick – thoroughly coat it with the buds. You want to give it a bit of volume so that when the stick is removed, there are no empty spaces or gaps.
- Wrap this weed-covered stick with the hemp string generously – this will give shape to your cannabis cigar. Do ensure that the thickness is uniform throughout.
Curing stage: part 1
- Put the stick in a parchment/paper bag and store it in the fridge for two-three days. This initiates the curing process, where the cigar begins to take shape. The buds harden and stick more firmly to the stick by solidifying in one place.
- After the first curing phase, carefully remove the hemp wick from the stick and save it for later use. The buds will likely fall if you do not use enough hash oil or sugar water on the stick. Similarly, if you do not use enough buds, you will see empty spaces on the stick – which is not good as it will smoke properly.
- Now comes the fun part. Coat the weed stick in your preferred choice of concentrate and wrap the whole thing with fan leaves – which are essentially the leaves from a growing marijuana plant.
Curing stage: part 2
- Now you have a choice. You can take the traditional method of re-wrapping the leaf-covered weed stick with hemp wick and putting it in the refrigerator for another 24 hours. However, you will need to repeat this process with every leaf you cover (three layers in total). After 24 hours, remove the wick, coat the stick with another layer of hash oil, wrap it with leaf number two, tie it, and put it back in the fridge. This means waiting for up to 72 hours.
- Alternatively, you can skip this part and apply all three layers of leaves in one go. That is, concentrate -> roll it in leaf -> concentrate -> roll it in leaf -> concentrate -> roll it in leaf.
- Here comes the fun part – once the stick is layered with a sufficient number of leaves, wrap it in parchment paper and heat it on a pan for a few seconds. This ensures that the hash oil spreads thoroughly between the leaves and reaches the buds. It also makes a perfect seal between the layers.
Curing stage: part 3
- Remove the stick from the paper and wrap it in a hemp wick. All that remains now is the final curing stage. Traditional Thai practices dictate sealing the sticks underground for up to a month and letting them cure. You can put the Thai stick in a sealable bag and bury it in your background.
- The other option is to seal the stick tightly in a Ziploc or sealable bag and put it in the fridge for a few days.
- You can also just smoke it right after the heating process, but your high will vary compared to smoking the more cured sticks.
Smoking the Thai Stick
To smoke the stick, unwrap the hemp cord carefully and remove the stick from the middle (like a kebab skewer). Then, light it like your regular cigar and inhale the smoke more once the end is lit properly.
For an ultimate Thai stick, the secret lies in the following:
- Type of flowers and the amount you use. 1-2 grams should suffice nicely for one stick. The choice of weed also matters – mixing a few strains here may seem a better idea!
- The time spent in the curing stage – if you wait, your patience will be rewarded. We suggest testing three Thai sticks after the final heating process – one for immediate use, one for fridge curing, and one for underground curing.
- Using hash oil for sticking. Since we are using everything cannabis-related here, it is only fair you use the hash oil. You can also coat the outer layer with kief or marijuana wax – but be mindful of the potency!
Thai sticks are set for a huge comeback following the legal acceptance of cannabis in Thailand. The old practices are not lost – it is just a matter of reviving them – and you can do so right at home. Remember that the stick has a lot of weed, which has been cured to increase potency. The kick may be strong, so brace for that.