Up to this point, you’re probably most familiar with three or four main methods of getting your ganja game on: joints, bongs, dabbing and edibles. There is, however, a fourth method of which you might not be aware, and that method comes from the same country that gave the US its favorite super-spicy Asian cuisine: Thailand. The method itself? Thai sticks.
“What Are Thai Sticks?”
That is probably the question running through your head right about now. We don’t blame you. After all, Thai sticks are something that’s not only unique to Thailand, but our initial knowledge of them mostly extends to the Vietnam war era, and that’s pretty much it, thanks to anti-weed laws being passed on both sides.
Before we get into the history of Thai sticks, here’s what they pretty much are: weed buds on a stick, wrapped in bamboo and tied with hemp string, or “rasta hair” as it’s called in Thailand. Yes, that’s it, folks. It essentially looks like a great big blunt on a stick. We say “blunt,” because the finished product looks almost cigar like, it’s that thick, due to the buds just being stuck on the stick, shish kebab style.
More History Than You Can Shake a “Thai Stick” At
The Middle East and the Indus River region aren’t the only Eastern locations where cannabis is historically grown. Southeast Asia, including China, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia have a long history of growing the mighty Mary-Jane. China, in fact, was the first country to even record usage of cannabis, and that was back 2753 years before Jesus. Add to that the 2000-plus years after Christ, and that’s over four millenia of the herbal sacrament.
Western exposure to Thai sticks came about chiefly because of the Vietnam war and all the chaos that surrounded that time. US soldiers were introduced to the phenomenon and smoked them on the downlow out of fear of being court-martialed. This said, they spread the good word about the strength of Thai ganja. This strength was honed by millenia worth of trial, error and cultivating the strongest plants. Pair this genetic strength with the rich soil that can only be formed by volcanoes and a long growing season, and you have marijuana the likes of which the West never saw before the Vietnam war.
The disappearance of the Thai stick, at least from current Western knowledge, was more about anti-marijuana laws in both Thailand and the US, than about lack of interest. Part of the condition of Thailand’s joining the League of Nations (now known as the United Nations) was to deep-six the allowance of people smoking weed, even when marijuana had been completely legal up to that particular point. And of course, there were the Stateside laws that we’re now trying to change, little by little.
How To Make a Thai Stick
Okay, enough of the history lesson. Let’s get down to the business of letting you in on how Thai sticks are made. The original Thai sticks were made entirely with cannabis, including using some of the leaves to wrap the sticks, but subsequently, the Thai people started using bamboo. Since it is just about impossible to get bamboo leaves here in the US, short of stealing bamboo from a panda pen at a local zoo, it’s logical to actually go back to the Thai stick “recipe” and wrap the sticks with cannabis leaves.
What You Need:
• Your favorite strain, in nug form.
• Bamboo sticks or stem, if you can get it. You can use chopsticks instead and they’ll work fine.
• Hash oil or sugar water, depending on how strong you want your sticks.
• Hemp string or twine
• Cannabis leaves (pick and wash these after step 2 is completed).
• Parchment paper
What You Do:
Brush your sticks with the hash oil or sugar water to make sure your nugs stay on the sticks. Then, once you have the nugs on the stick, wrap your nugs with the twine to secure them firmly to the stick. This should form a cigar-like shape.
Secondly, place the “cigar” shape in parchment paper and put in the fridge for as long as you need to, to get the nugs solidified into one whole piece. This should take between three to five days. Once the nuggets are securely attached to the stick, take your time and carefully undo the hemp string. Give the stick another coating of hash oil or sugar water, then wrap your stick in cannabis leaves. Repeat this specific process until you have 3 layers of leaves on the stick.
Keep in mind that no matter how many layers you use, you’ll have to unwrap the twine, apply the oil or sugar water, and then add a new layer of leaves, then the twine and parchment again for curing. Yes, this is something of a time-consuming process, but in the end you’ll see the benefits.
Also, some experts recommend burying your Thai sticks in the ground in a plastic bag and leave it for 3 months. This allegedly creates the smooth flavor that many people crave. That said, there really is no hard and fast rule about how long to wait before finishing your sticks and smoking them. Just remember to take the string off before gettin’ your blaze on.
When finished, your Thai sticks should look like big long “blunts,” only made completely of cannabis and sticks, without an ounce of tobacco anywhere.
Now that you know how Thai sticks are made, you can keep repeating the process, even tweaking it a bit, so that Thai sticks can be brought back right alongside joints, bongs, dabbing and edibles, right where they belong.