The History of the Thai Stick

Artisan Canna Cigars was created by my partner Nathan and myself, only after acknowledging how much we could accomplish by working together within this amazing way of life. It developed into something much greater than we could’ve anticipated or imagined.

A year and over 50 collaborations later, we’ve developed a franchising company. I’ve gotten to meet incredibly talented and wonderful friends along the way, much like the remarkable @h1tmanlou. His skill trait is something of wonders, and we will always be building our craft and positivity to its fullest potential.

The strain “Thai Stick,” grown by the hill tribes in northeast Thailand, was some of the highest quality marijuana found in the ’70s. The hill tribes of Thailand generally used silk line to hold “Thai buds” together around either bamboo sticks or hemp stalks.

I’ve heard many incredible stories from various veterans, my father included, who engulfed himself within this rich untold history. I would hear stories of such sensational highs about these opium dipped thai sticks.

In the book Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade, Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter explain how surfers who were declared “Draft Dodgers,” were moving shipments of Thai sticks from farms in northeast Thailand to the states.

These guys ended up creating one of the most complex smuggling channels in history, not to mention opening the states up to one trippy ride!

The Modernization of the Thai Stick

To me, it seemed impossible for this particular craft to have completely fallen out, even with the taboo that comes along with it. I then discovered a character known as Afgoo_head, who had been lingering on the social media site Instagram for a while creating in-depth posts regarding basic work with this medicine, along with the day-to-day fun that comes along with cannabis exploration.

Using the basic method of applying cannabis to a stick, he was able to transition this old school trade to the clean and all natural pure cannabis cigars you can find today.

The moment he posted a description and image of his first attempt, I was hooked! I engulfed myself within this way of life and spent hours discussing techniques with Afgoo_head.

For several weeks and months, we had conversations that opened new doors, within vastly different realms I had not been mentally exposed to yet. From the detailed personal descriptions he graced me with, to my first few failed attempts at forming it, I was able to truly educate and mold my own style in this new craft.

As he proceeded on with creating specialty designs and multiple stick crafts, I took in every detail and began to understand my own capabilities. Through constant effort and intense amounts of time, I began to notice a flow or rhythm to my own art form.

The most important thing I learned was to not put a cap on my abilities.

Only he and I, at that point, had formed cannabis cigars using this technique and as to how far this might extend around us, I was personally not prepared for.

Each craft is vacuum-sealed after each leaf layer is applied, which allows the craft to solidify at a quicker rate. This layering process is repeated three times within a two and half week period.

By giving each stick time to compress and solidify even further, you allow each craft to enter itself through an infusing process. At this point, the oils and concentrates begin to seep within the hardened stone-like cannabis cigar, which allows each person to feel an almost indescribable high.

The most frequent statement I’ve heard people say when inhaling the rich smoke is, “I feel like I’m high for the first time again!”

The effects that these formations have on the body and mind are a powerful thing; in just a few hits, you’ve open yourself up to even more healing capabilities—and in a completely natural way.

We all hurt and heal for different reasons, but pain still remains with us all. For any person who is remotely interested in cannabis and its many uses, be sure to follow up soon for more in-depth blogs and summaries.

Special thanks to out friend @Afgoo_Head for the inspiration! Your work lives on! A lot would have not been possible without you!

And don’t forget to follow @artisancannacigars on Instagram for more of their incredible work!

  1. Fellas, your information on Thai Sticks is completely erroneous. I smoked many Thai Sticks in the early 70’s. They had no wrapper and were not a cigar of any sort. They were not smoked by pulling out the stick. Your pictures look nothing like real Thai Stick. It was not draft-dodger surfers that first brought them back but American Soldiers who took leave in Thailand. A Thai Stick was simply small buds removed from a large bud and wrapped with a thin thread of what I assumed was cannabis but perhaps silk on a skewer of bamboo. To use it you unwrapped enough small bud to roll a joint and that was that. The bamboo was never dipped in hash oil or sugar water. The bud was tied on the stick. It was simply a custom. The weed was exceptionally stoney and spicy with a flavor unlike anything else. Good Thai Stick was golden color and had a smell and taste unique to it’s own. Sometimes they were opiated. Opiated Thai stick was the Holy Grail of weed. Like opiated hash was too back in the day. I’ve been smoking weed for fifty years having grown up in Palo Alto where we got the best drugs. I often hear comments that weed is so much stronger now which is simply untrue unless your talking about commercial grade mexican garbage. Thai weed, Hawaiian, and Columbian varieties were killer stoney and tasted uniquely different and had flavor modern weed can’t touch. If you love weed, trust me, the old school weed was fantastic. There is a lot of great weed around but much of this indoor chemical product is terrible and every one thinks its great because they don’t know better. Anyway, that’s what Thai Stick was. This Afgoo_Head is full of s*&t.

    1. Right, it was just small-budded Thai weed that was tied to a stick for curing. First really good bud I ever smoked. We usually smoked it in a bong, instead of rolling joints with it.

    2. Tues 22/02/2022
      Hi Steven I just read your story about what we used to call here in New Zealand back in the 70s and 80s Bhudda sticks and I agree with you 100 per cent on what you said that the weed they have these days have no effect on you than what it did in those days.
      Thanks for your story.

    3. Your account is spot-on! In the 70’s SoCal we had the REAL Thai Sticks exactly as you described. The most unique aroma; and the Acapulco Gold I saw was orange and again a very unique aroma.
      I’m in Nevada now, with a Dispensary in my office building…. I continue to sample various varieties in search of the flavor real Thai Stick and Acapulco Gold… NOTHING even resembles the taste, smell, or high. We had various strains of Hash and Hash Oil in those days too. ((Sigh))

    4. My friend and I in Bangkok had it in 1982..
      Coudnt taste much inhaling it ,lady that sold it to us said smoke only a small amount. We just rolled single paper joint. We woke up with room full of smoke I dropped joint in my bag which was smouldering.. I told mate I had outerbody experience, looking down on myself. he said he had same experience. Maybe laced with Opium. But I tried opium in Penang not same experience. I thought Thai Buddha was buried with hessian
      and cow manure at full Moon. I did have Californian University study on MJ. Which ssid MJ had connections to Moon. Stupid me gave it to someone to read, it never returned. Apparently rare publication.

  2. Wow…High Times has really gone down hill. This stupid article was presented as “a history of the thai stick”, but it gave no accurate information on the history of thai sticks. This was just an advertisement for some guy’s stupid cannabis cigars, and those cannabis cigars are absolutely nothing like legitimate thai sticks.

    Shame on you High Times,….now you are veiling advertisements in the form of fake “history” lessons.

  3. I did a year at an Air base in Thailand, you could buy Thai sticks just about anywhere off-base. It always came on thin sticks and the buds or clumps were held to the sticks by a thin thread. The sticks were about 4 to 5 inches long, and you would get 10 sticks for $3 U.S. Some guys would break it down, chop it up and smoke it in a bamboo bong, roll it in papers, but we would mostly take 2 sets of papers and roll up both ends of the stick, the papers would overlap about an inch or so in the middle. We just left the thread on it when we rolled it and smoked that as well, we’d pull the stick out with our teeth, which would leave a nice air passage through the middle. It would be thicker than a cigarette, but not quite as thick as a cigar. And it was a lot more powerful than most stateside weed.

  4. I was in Junior High School when introduced to the Thai stick. There was also the boodah Thai stick, which was larger than the typical stick. There was also an opium-coated stick that was incredible. Definitely worth a few extra bucks. These were the best times of my smoking experience and I have been searching for this taste ever since.

  5. I had a connection for the real deal Opiated Thai Sticks back in ’74 – ’75. They sold for $20 – $30 each but I could get a batch of 10, rolled up in Thai language newspaper for $160. About 3 grams of small slim trichome covered Sativa buds would be tied tightly and compactly onto a 6 inch cut of Cannabis branch with a slim strand of Hemp fiber, and the stick was soaked in liquified Opium. When opening the package, all you’d smell was Opium. We would break off a small piece of bud and hit it in a bamboo bong. The taste was a pungent, yet sweet Sativa mixed with Opium. We would be glued to our seats from the O, while experiencing the soaring, psychedelic Sativa high. Seasoned potheads couldn’t do more than 3 bong hits in a session. It would seem like a good time to listen to some Grateful Dead but I couldn’t find the album or operate the stereo system while under the influence of those magical nugs. These true Thai Sticks were not to be seen again after 1975. Fake “Tie Sticks” would appear now and then but they didn’t come close. From the late ’70s to the mid-80s, bags of loose Thai buds would show up occasionally. Some examples were extraordinary. Growing the seeds would produce Sativa plants with the skinniest, narrowest shade leaves I ever saw. (No seeds in the original Sticks) The best of those Thai seeds were used to breed the early, true Haze strains. In 1999, I procured some Super Silver Haze that was bred in the Netherlands. It was the best high in years, due to the Thai genetics therein. These days, I score at a medical dispensary. My favorite is Gorilla Glue (aka GG or GG#4). It’s the best newer strain and… it’s 15% Thai! This is the truth about Thai Sticks.

  6. I also have a lot of experience with Acapulco Gold (circa 1971) and Santa Marta Gold Columbian (last batch ever was 1979). Guess what? Santa Marta Gold was grown from Acapulco Gold seeds! (Kona Gold too, most likely.) There was, and maybe still is, only one true Gold Marijuana strain. If y’all want to hear the truth about the legendary Gold, I might write a commentary soon. One more factoid – the highest quality Columbian Red Bud was grown from Panama Red seeds. I smoked them both, and they’re the same!

  7. Old Thai Buddha in Australia in the 80s was nothing like any weed you’ve smoked , one cone would blast you into another stratosphere for hours an hours , it would lay fully grown men on the ground , you would have auditory hallucinations an trip right out , it was golden browny colour , one of them joints Yous guys are talking about would blow out 50 people , hybrids of today are crap compared to old Thai hazes

  8. The stuff I smoked in the 70’s was really good shit the Gold The Red the Thai stick I got was opiated the best shit around .You smoke enough you would see things The best I had came from Hawaii that shit was smoking a head high for hours.The craziest shit I vere smokes was Gold with hash oil black hash and gold and a little Thai .Wipe you out for hours you would melt see strange things.You.looked at your hand long enough it looked like it was melting.That 70 and 80′ shit nothing could compare to it today

  9. One week in jail and $ 100.00 fine is what I got in 1974 in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta for the cops finding 4 – 1/2 thai sticks in my shirt pocket, I’m glad they didn’t find the other 30 I had stashed in the van.

  10. Just came upon this site and was wondering about the old Thai sticks. They came through Hawaii where I was born and raised in the very early 1970s mostly on commercial airlines from Thailand.

    They looked nothing like the photos on your site as they were essentially Thai sativa buds wrapped on a bamboo stick and held together with a very thin string that I think was hemp fiber.

    One or two hits and you would wander around totally buzzed for hours. It was a very intense and stimulating high. Never smoked it in the cigar form just unwrapped
    the buds and smoked them individually in a pipe.

    And they were not dipped in opium..just pure sativa.

  11. Some of the information in this article is incorrect. The thai sticks that my uncle brought back from vietnam wernt dipped in anything. and wernt covered in leaf to smoke as a cigar, and the stick (which was a small hemp branch) wasnt visible until you unwrapped the thing,they were cured tiny buds that were tightly wrapped in what looked like thin hemp fibers or tiny hemp roots, and they wernt very pretty to look at there were some that were marbled with opium but my uncle could not save those for his return trip, they were hard to come by and the soldiers coveted them for their pain relieving qualities. the bud was very high quality and i remember getting so high that i was certain these things were magical. they were definitely a sativa strain and they tasted very spicy tasting and i thought they were a bit citrusy as well. my uncle never sold any of them so i dont know about price, and NONE of them were ever covered in any type of coating other than the fibers, my uncle also brought back Nepalese hashish, which WAS marbled with opium but he didnt share any of that because of the addictive nature of the drug.

  12. Back in the late 70’s we used to buy thai sticks in vancouver some of the best grass around back then. The author doesn’t even get close with his description and the photos look terrible. We would buy the thai in bricks of about 50 sticks of some of the stickiest weed you ever saw often you had to steam the bricks apart, this was in the days of true afghani hash not that crap every grower makes now by mixing crystal from shake and pot oil together but true finger hash from Afghanistan so strong you really need to mix it with tobacco. Bit back to the thai I remember people talking about opium on the sticks but I always thought it was But what do I remember after other than good quality grass was really hard to get back then compared to what we have available now even the seed banks in the 80s all were in Amsterdam to access as the seeds rarely showed up on the mail we would fly to Amsterdam and return with the seeds. Oh well another joint another story

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