The cannagar has emerged as the newest luxury toking method for high flying aficionados. These premium smokes exhibit all the prestige of the classic cigar, but with none of the tobacco, and are rapidly becoming the smoking choice for those special occasions. Despite seeming modern, however, the story of the cannagar is surprisingly long. So, let’s explore the history of this luxury specialty.
What is a Cannagar?
A cannagar is like a cigar but, as the name would suggest, it’s not filled with tobacco. Typically, herb is tightly compressed around a removable wooden skewer, and then wrapped in fan leaves to create a slow burning full flavored toke that can last for hours. They’re the toast of the town right now, and may seem new, but cannagars are actually a modern evolution of a much older idea.
The Thai Stick
The Thai Stick is considered to be the father of the cannagar, and unsurprisingly originates from Thailand, a country with a rich history of herbal cultivation and use. Traditionally, Thai Sticks were a method of creating a smokable product using only the parts available from the cannabis plant. The stem was used as a core around which to press flower, and then wrapped in fan leaves and tied together with fibres from another stem, creating a cigar-like joint free of any tobacco. While the exact origins of Thai Sticks are unknown, they were hugely popular throughout southeast Asia during the ‘60s and ‘70s, and even made it to our shores thanks to a monumental event in American history.
Vietnam and The War on Drugs
During the Vietnam war, a huge cannabis industry sprung up selling weed to the tens of thousands of American GI’s stationed in Thailand. The Thai Stick was a huge hit, and soldiers would often smuggle them back when returning home, which ultimately introduced this Southeast Asian classic to the American weed smokers of the hippy counterculture. They became so popular in fact that they eventually drew the ire of the DEA, who in the midst of their war on drugs outlawed cannabis along with Thai Sticks in America, and even forced Thailand to do the same. As a result, the Thai Stick all but disappeared from cannabis culture in the US.