If you’re a fan of cannabis, you might have heard of Thai sticks or even seen pictures on Instagram of what look like giant blunts with skewers coming out of the middle of them. What is that all about? Purple Rose Supply has the answer. It involves airflow, compressed cannabis, a niche smoking method that dates back decades — and an updated version of the same idea.
What is a Thai Stick?
First things first. Thai sticks are impressive-looking cannabis concoctions featuring cannabis flower rolled in concentrates, covered in fan leaves, and wrapped in hemp string with a skewer going through the middle.
Thai sticks originated in northeastern Thailand and date back centuries or more among Thai people in the region. These potent creations entered the American consciousness during the Vietnam War in the 1970s.
Traditionally, Thai sticks were made with landrace strains native to Thailand. Supposedly, early Thai sticks were sometimes dipped in opium. Either way, Thai sticks are made of compressed, cured cannabis flower and hash oil and are, accordingly, quite potent.
What is a Cannagar?
Cannagars are also known as cannabis cigars. They are made from compressed, cured cannabis and are usually wrapped in hemp leaves. On this level, Thai sticks and cannagars are fairly similar. However, there are a few key differences.
Cannagars vs. Thai Sticks: What’s the Difference?
Cannagars can be made with any combination of cultivars and concentrates, while Thai sticks traditionally use Thai landrace strains and hash oil.
Cannagars can be decorated and customized any way you want, and while there is some room for customization with Thai sticks, the construction is traditional and relatively precise.
When it comes to ease of construction, cannagars come out on top. Thai sticks require several rounds of wrapping and curing before being smoked, days or weeks after you start the rolling process. Cannagars, however, are easy to put together and only need to be cured overnight.
Why Use a Skewer When Rolling Thai Sticks and Cannagars
Using a skewer while you roll will leave a hole in the center length of your Thai stick or cannagar. That hole creates excellent airflow and is why cannagars and Thai sticks burn so well. The flower is as compressed as possible, but the skewer means you will always get a smooth, full draw.
Good airflow also means that the unlit end of a cannagar or Thai stick can get very hot. Be careful the first few times you hit one, or add a sleek mouthpiece to protect your lips from the heat. Additionally, a tip keeps the end from getting soggy, which is especially important if you’re smoking with friends.
How to Use a Skewer in a Cannagar, Blunt, or Thai Stick
How you use a skewer in different smoking methods varies slightly, but it serves the same purpose: promoting airflow.
How to Use a Skewer in a Joint or Blunt
It’s possible to use a skewer to get better airflow in your joints and blunts, but the process is a bit of a pain, especially because neither joints nor blunts burn for very long — we’d choose a cannagar that uses the same amount of weed any day.
Using a skewer in a joint will give you what’s sometimes called a “plumber’s joint.”
How to Make a Plumber’s Joint
- Wrap a skewer with rolling paper and seal it tightly.
- Cut or burn away the excess paper.
- Fill another rolling paper with ground cannabis flower.
- Place the paper-wrapped skewer into the flower-covered paper like a hotdog on a bun.
- Carefully roll the joint around the skewer, making sure it stays in the middle of the joint.
- Pack more flower into the ends as necessary.
- Seal up the joint.
- Carefully remove the skewer, leaving behind the inner tube of paper.
- Add a filter, if desired, and light it up.
It’s a finicky process, and it’s hard to pack the weed tight enough to merit the airhole when rolling a joint or blunt. Still, showing off to your friends can be fun if you’re the designated roller and they don’t mind you making them wait while you fiddle with rolling papers.
How to Use a Skewer in a Thai Stick
Using a skewer in a Thai stick is more straightforward than using one in a joint or blunt, though it’s also a multi-step process requiring patience.
How to Make a Thai Stick
Start with a bamboo skewer that has been generously covered with hash oil.
Roll the sticky, hash-covered skewer in fluffy cannabis flower until it is generously and evenly coated.
Completely wrap the flower-and-hash-covered skewer in hemp wick or twine, then roll the whole thing in parchment paper and put it in the refrigerator to cure for a few days.
Remove your baby Thai stick from the refrigerator and gently untie the string.
Coat the whole thing with hash oil and wrap it with a hemp or cannabis fan leaf. Repeat this process until you have applied three fan leaves, almost completely covering the flower underneath.
Re-wrap in parchment paper and cure again, if desired.
Trust the process and heat a skillet on your stove or a hotplate (no, this hasn’t become an edible recipe). Gently warm the parchment-wrapped Thai stick until it’s heated through, and the hash oil has melted into the surrounding flower.
Remove the heated parchment paper, wrap your Thai stick in string, add a new layer of parchment paper, and put it back in the refrigerator for a couple more days.
After this round of curing, you have a few options. Traditionally, Thai sticks are buried in the ground for a month to finish curing. You can also leave it in the refrigerator for another few days or go ahead and smoke it.
When you’re ready to smoke, unwind the hemp wick, remove the skewer, and burn it down.
If you’re okay with waiting over a week to smoke your Thai stick or want to try a traditional smoking method, this can be a very cool process. If you don’t want to wait, try a cannagar, which is ready in a few hours or overnight, depending on your timetable.
How to Use a Skewer in a Cannagar
Cannagars are the easiest way to incorporate a skewer for superior airflow when smoking one down.
How to Make a Cannagar
- Insert a skewer into the Purple Rose Supply cannagar mold of your choice.
- Pack in flower a little bit at a time, using the included compression tool to press it down as much as you can between each addition.
- Once the mold is full, cure it in a cool, dry place. The curing time can range from 3 hours to overnight, depending on the amount of flower in your cannagar and the mold size.
- Gently unmold the cannagar, remove the skewer, and roll in your favorite wrap.
- Add a mouthpiece and ensure the tip is fully lit before you start toking.
Cannagars are easier to make than plumber’s joints or Thai sticks, have a longer burn time, and are ready sooner.