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A Thai stick is a form of cannabis from Thailand that was popular during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It consisted of premium buds of seedless marijuana which were skewered on stems. Several rows of fiber found in the stalk of the marijuana plant were then used to tie the marijuana to the stem and therefore, keep it in place.[1] Thai stick bud may also be tied around bamboo sticks with a piece of string known as a “rasta hair"[2], and buried to 'cure' the flower in cool, dark conditions.[3]

The Thai stick formulation exhibited considerably higher potency in comparison with other cannabis available in the United States at the time. It was rumored that this added potency was due to the Thai sticks being dipped in opium. One reason given for its decline was the advent of more potent marijuana in the late 1970s displaced the use of Thai, however, the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 and the reduction of military troop transports (as was the primary means of export) between Thailand, particularly Bangkok, and the United States, was likely the most influential reason for its eventual disappearance.

In modern terminology, Thai stick often refers to marijuana tied to stem as documented above and then dipped into a hashish oil, a potent cannabis derivative which saturates the buds and lends to a stronger smoke. Some California cannabis clubs sell this product. Originally, this was a frequent practice of the 1970s with the actual Thai stick. There are still some surviving recipes from Cambodia where high quality marijuana and hash oil are used.

Until recent times, Cannabis farming had been a cottage industry of the northern mountain areas and each family grew a small garden. The pride of a farmer in his crop was reflected in the high quality and seedless nature of each carefully wrapped Thai stick. Due largely to the craving of Americans for exotic marijuana, Cannabis cultivation has become a big business in Thailand and many farmers are growing large fields of lower quality Cannabis in the eastern lowlands. It is suspected that other Cannabis strains, brought to Thailand to replenish local strains and begin large plantations, may have hybridized with original Thai strains and altered the resultant genetics. Also, wild stands of Cannabis may now be cut and dried for export.

Strains from Thailand are characterized by tall meandering growth of the main stalk and limbs and fairly extensive branching. The leaves are often very large with 9 to 11 long, slender, coarsely serrated leaflets arranged in a drooping hand like array. The Thai refer to them as "alligator tails" and the name is certainly appropriate.

Most Thai strains are very late-maturing and subject to hermaphrodism. It is not understood whether strains from Thailand turn hermaphrodite as a reaction to the extremes of northern temperate weather or if they have a genetically controlled tendency towards hermaphrodism. To the dismay of many cultivators and researchers, Thai strains mature late, flower slowly, and ripen unevenly. Retarded floral development and apparent disregard for changes in photo-period and weather may have given rise to the story that Cannabis plants in Thailand live and bear flowers for years. Despite these shortcomings, Thai strains are very psychoactive and many hybrid crosses have been made with rapidly maturing strains, such as Mexican and Hindu Kush, in a successful attempt to create early-maturing hybrids of high psychoactivity and characteristic Thai sweet, citrus taste. The calyxes of Thai strains are very large, as are the seeds and other anatomical features, leading to the misconception that strains may be polyploid. No natural polyploidy has been discovered in any strains of Cannabis though no one has ever taken the time to look thoroughly. The seeds are very large, ovoid, slightly flattened, and light brown or tan in color. The perianth is never mottled or striped except at the base. Greenhouses prove to be the best way to mature stubborn Thai strains in temperate climes.


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This page uses some content from Wikipedia. See this Wikipedia article: Thai Stick. The list of authors there can be seen in the page history there. As with the Cannabis Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.