A Thai stick is a form of cannabis from Thailand that was popular during the late 1960s and 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 to keep it in place. Thai stick bud may also be tied around bamboo sticks with a piece of string known as a “rasta hair.”
The Thai sticks exhibited considerably higher potency in comparison with other cannabis available in Western countries at the time. This added potency was rumored to be caused by the Thai sticks being dipped in opium or in hash oil. However, the more widely accepted reason is that Thai cannabis growers had for hundreds of years selected seeds from their strongest plants, which coupled with Thailand's long growing season, high temperatures, and rich volcanic soil, conspired to produce an exceptionally potent product. A number of reasons have been cited for the decline of the Thai stick; stricter policing of cannabis cultivation; dilution of traditional cannabis populations by earlier maturing, less psychoactive cultivars imported from Pakistan and Afghanistan; the burgeoning indoor growing industry in target markets; and the reduction of military troop transports (which was the primary means of export) between Thailand, particularly Bangkok, and the United States, at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
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 and Washington 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.