I just finished reading the fascinating book, Thai Stick, by Maguire and Ritter. I highly recommend it. There are a number of things that I'm compelled to comment on.
I learned a lot about what I remember called honey oil. I always wondered what that was since my attempts to make this never matched the high quality that we smoked back in the 70s. B.T.W., I don't recommend attempting this. It is very dangerous, and I was lucky not to blow myself up. People are immolating themselves frequently in Oregon as people are learning how to create various Cannabis extracts. I won't go further into this because it was not from Thailand, Thai Sticks were far superior, and I made finger hash from a plant that was 50% Thai which was also superior to the honey oil.
What surprised me about this thread and backed up by the book was the idea that Thai Sticks varied greatly in quality. Being a consumer with one supplier for a decade and perhaps as many as 3 suppliers during a 15 year period, I was struck by the consistency of the quality. Obviously, my experience was filtered by my limited access, but I don't think I could have identified the differences in 3 very different products from at least 2 sources. Most of my experience was with the brown and green skinny sticks. I believe these were green and gold pictured in the book and this thread before the curing during the long sail over the ocean on their way to me. I did get to smoke some from a gold stick. It was as bright a gold/yellow color as any weed I have ever seen. The another type was the highly seeded loose pack Thai , probably from compressed brick. The high from all these 3 types we indistinguishable to me. All were highly electric, exhilarating to the point of scary at first, psychedelic, and very long lasting.
The other class of stick were fat ones with red string. These were world class quality and potency. They were arguably cleaner in effect, but also lacked the exhilaration and speediness of the skinny sticks. These were generally more well liked. I knew people who never smoked weed again after smoking the skinny sticks, but didn't see people "lose it" like that on the fat red string sticks. I would have been able to identify the differences of these in a blindfold test compared to the skinny sticks.
I got Sumatran weed that was probably somewhere in between the fat and skinny sticks. The last one I should mention is a Neville's Haze plant I grew. It had all the power, speediness, and exhilaration of the skinny sticks, but had a trippiness and euphoria that exceeded any pure Thai I have smoked. It had a trippy phase shift of consciousness that was as sudden as using psilocybin mushrooms or acid does. It is hard for me to believe that Neville's Haze does not have top quality Thai and top quality Mexican genetics in it that both expressed itself in what I grew. I have had Mexican weed that had phase shifty consciousness effects.
I still have seeds that are children from that Neville's Haze freak pheno I found. I've been saving these for when I have something of similar effect that I can breed to them because I have not found any children that express these traits, but I think that it is worth blending these Neville's Haze freak pheno genetics into the soup of my genetic blend that I have been growing. Last year's addition of Kali Mist has gotten my genetic soup throwing expressions that are close enough in effect to bring back memories of great Thai weed! I'm also being pushed to sprout these this year by the fact that it has been 15 years since I have been sitting on these Neville's Haze children. I will be lucky if those old seeds sprout.
In the next month or two, I'll be sprouting the Neville's Haze cross, Laos from the border of Thailand, the most Thai looking Zamaldelica I can find, Gypsy Thai x Mullum x Neville's Haze, and perhaps another cross of pure Thais. I have a Gypsy Thai x Koh Chang (Red Thai). I will blend the Neville's Haze with the Thai related plants, and also blend some Nepalese with the Thai plants. The goal is to add Thai genes into my Kali Mist cross that is early enough to ripen in my locale.
Speaking of my locale, I've read stories of Hmong people who were refugees that settled in the U.S. converging in N.E. California's Siskiyou county to grow ganja. I read that they are reminded of their homeland due to the geology of the area. The area has volcanic soils and a hot climate with cool nights. They may have been run off by now by the authorities and locals. Ugh! The Thai Stick book, and I believe Elmer Bud, mentioned the cool nights in N.E. Thailand. A wide daily temperature spread is a defining feature of the climate where I live, sometimes in the fall as much as a 60 degrees difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows. This is one of the reasons that mint and hops (aromatic herbs) were a couple of the crops that have historically been grown here.
Elmer - How cold were the nighttime temperatures in the northern Thai and Laos border area did you experience?