I previously wrote about the successful High Thai Convention in Chiang Mai. Aside from the Convention’s importance to the Thai cannabis community—it was a really great time. An opportunity to hang out with the many quirky personalities of our industry and smoke some excellent cannabis. The following is a loose collection of memories of the personalities and cannabis I engaged those three high days in Chiang Mai. Some of this is repetitive and has already been reflected on our IG feeds. For the sake of completeness all buds (all local) and friends (old and new) encountered have been included.
Be forewarned that there is no overriding message, direct or implicit, in this diary. These are just the nostalgic and ramblingmemories of a middle aged toker. Be prepared for name, strain, farm and dispensary drops—our friends are called out at nauseum herein.
December 9, 2022
My first stop upon arriving Friday in Chiang Mai was to Thai Top Shelf in Nimman (after a wrong turn and an unfortunatewalk towards the hills). Despite never meeting the gents behind Thai Top Shelf in person I converse with them on a regular basis and am a big fan of their YouTube channel. I often use that channel as reference and inspiration when looking for a newstrain. My partners, Tom and Nick, joined and we were given a tour of the dispensary and finally situated ourselves with the TopShelf gents in the “Hot Box”. Around a half dozen strains were displayed and presented to us, but the two strains which Thai Top Shelf was particularly excited about were Dirty Bird and Gas Face from master growers Cannis Major and Infamous Gardens respectively.
Over the last week I have been falling over myself singing the praises of Cannis Major and his Dirty Bird buds. There is good reason for this. Dirty Bird is an absolute gem of a strain: sweet and candy like aromas with a pungent gassiness hit the noseaccompanied by an equally delicious, sweet and citrussy taste.Initially I thought Dirty Bird was a chill but alert sativa—I was wrong. Dirty Bird is a creeper and its high goes from alert, energetic and chill to super relaxed, couch locked—but conscious and aware. We spent upwards of three hours in this state—enjoying (abusing?) Thai Top Shelf’s hospitality and never getting to try Gas Face (I will try this at home in Bangkokand review separately).
We were supposed to catch up with Brett from Thai Terps in town, but Dirty Bird left us less than mobile. Brett had to come to the Hot Box and he brought with him Todd and a bag full of his Yaksha Rolling Co. Blunts. Even though we were perfectly toasted—we could not resist the blunts in front of us packed with Jack the Ripper (Money Moon Leaf Farms and supplied by Thai Terps). The wrap was sweet and tangy and the smoke itself spicy, citrussy, earthy and smooth. The blunts complemented our existing high: relaxed and slow, but with an extra bit of energy. The energy was necessary to engage in the conversation between HighThailand, Thai Top Shelf, Thai Terps and Yaksha Rolling. A mini congress of cannabis.
This was the end of our cannabis intake for the day. The HighThailand gang stayed in Nimman moving on to dinner and dropping in on various dispensaries with zero ability to ingest any further THC. At the conclusion of our evening—prior to returning to our hotel and beds—we stopped by the Old Town Dispensary. The scene was dynamic and social—but I was stoned and static and could not bring myself to enter and socially engage with other humans. While my partners entered the dispensary, I stood outside for an undefined amount of time staring at the goings on inside. This attracted the attention of two friendly gents who turned out to be the Thailand Dank Squad and Baba Fats. The gents excitedly introduced me to their ownpungent and beautiful bud: Fruitonium. While I did not smoke the bud that night—it did become and big part of the weekend which I will describe further below.
December 10, 2022
Saturday was a new day. A new beautiful clear day—covered in the residual fog of Dirty Bird and Jack the Ripper. We were due on stage at 11:45 at the Convention and made our way to the old town’s Cannabis Café arriving slightly after 10. Folks were slowly streaming in—and there was a tangible energy and excitement in the air. Familiar faces and names were all around.I bounced from booth to booth. From dispensary to grower to baker to glass blower and back again. Adrenaline quicklycleared the post indica fog clouding my mind.
Earlier in the week Artemis Farms and I exchanged messagesand was eager to meet them in person. Their booth was filled an overwhelming array of cannabis. They urged me to try their Royal Haze, assuring me of a burst of sativa clarity and functionality for our upcoming talk. I saved the joints for later—figuring that I probably should not smoke before getting on stage.
The next familiar name was Shanti—a store I pass frequently in Bangkok and a name I have heard my partners speak fondly of. I had yet to meet them in person. They graciously offered a bowlof Super Silver Haze in a Cannabis Hardware vape. I explained that I would shortly be speaking with my partners and that I would be happy to vape later. But Shanti assured me that I would be fine, it was a sativa, and would be helpful. Sound logic which I eagerly followed. Cannabis Hardware produces enormous flavorful clouds of vape and this was no exception. I cleared the bowl in two hits—pulling all flavor and THC out of the flower before it became dry and burnt in taste. The bud was strong and after an initial intense head high, left me upbeat, energized, and hyper—I immediately procured a gram and slipped it into my tote bag. I was urged to partake in a second bowl and was close to doing so—but Tom came running towards me yelling “Mendel, they are waiting for us on stage!”
I followed Tom to the lecture room and found our MC and moderator, Noah, waiting for us with Nick. We jumped on stage and Noah introduced HighThailand and the topic: Building a Cannabis Community. The mixture of the Super Silver Haze and the energy on stage was thrilling, exciting, wonderful and addictive. I thoroughly enjoyed myself—spoke more than I should have—and could have stayed on stage forever talking and answering questions from the sparse but attentive audience. Alas, all things come to an end and as quickly as we were called on staged we were once again off.
We were done speaking for the day and my thoughts turned to weed and food. A taco stand, Dinky’s BBQ, beckoned me but upon my arrival I was told that the gas was not functioning. I would need to come back. I turned to the Artemis Farm Royal Haze joint—sparking it and quietly walking around—enjoying the surroundings and the mild and pleasant sativa.
I lit the second Royal Haze joint just as my friend Arkadientered the Convention coming directly from the airport. The joint disappeared quickly but was mercifully replaced by Nick with a delicious Fruit Cake joint (grown by Kush Maniac alsoprocured from Shanti). This joint was incredibly fruity, citrussy sour and tangy and just plain good. The whole group was in a super good and social mood. We greedily devoured the joint—and then a mess of tacos (which by the grace of God were finally available)—before wandering around in our blissful high.
Arkadi had a bit of catching up to do and I diligently introduced him around the different stalls. A Durban Poison pre-roll from Lanna Botanical was purchased and slipped into my High Thai tote bag joining the Super Silver Haze.
At some point we fortuitously found ourselves in front of Baba Fat and the Thai Dank Squad booth. These kind gents—the salt of the earth—rolled us a joint of their own sun grown Fruitonium—the same strain introduced to me the night before.Wow! Fruitonium is something else! This gassy and citrussy bud smells and tastes like a sativa—but it is a flower which goes beyond customary descriptions (but I’ll try). Fruitonium’s high is euphoric, dreamy but not sleepy, incapacitating but not mind numbing, and borderline psychedelic. It is a trippy bud, coming and going in waves, along the lines of a superior Blue Dream—but perhaps even more.
With the effects setting in strong we found ourselves sitting outside with the HighThailand gang and their plus ones. The sun was hot, we were sitting under a canvas overhang which did little to block the ever penetrating rays. Rather than succumb to the strength of the sun, I convinced Arkadi to retreat to the airconditioned lecture room where Silk Legal was providing an overview of the laws pertaining to cannabis in Thailand. The discussion was excellent, highly informative, practical, and well presented. But, to the side of the stage was an alter with a goldenBuddha surrounded by intricate decorations. The sun found its way into the lecture room through the glass windows and reflected off the statue’s surface. I was intently listening to the lecture, but my eyes were square on that Buddha illuminated by the same sun which chased us into that lecture. Fruitoniumcreated an ephemeral high—and a unique legal and religious experience. My eyes and ears were completely fulfilled.
While I was floating in the strange hybrid world of jurisprudence and the supernatural, Arkadi was focused on food. He convinced me to look for ice cream outside the Convention—but once outside we found our way into a car heading to a steakhouse in Nimman. We arrived at 1740 and immediately ordered a KG tomahawk. The manager informed us that it would take 25 minutes to cook. We ordered appetizers and salad to help pass the time—the manager then informed us it would take45 minutes. No problem—we were equipped and ready for the wait. The appetizers and salad arrived and were devoured as soon as they hit the table.
The 45 minute mark came and went and there was no steak in sight. We took this opportunity to go outside and smoke a spare Malawi joint grown by my friend Ilya on his recently purchased farm outside Bangkok. It was delicious, earthy, sweet and smooth. We enjoyed the joint—taking breaks from the jointwhen families and elders walked by so as not to interfere with their holiday weekend. The bud relaxed us and we went back inside to devour our awaiting steak. There was, however, no steak on the table. We were informed it would take another 20 minutes.
Twenty minutes passed and we smelled the aroma of seared beef wafting through the air. Our mouths watered as the sound of sizzling go louder and the tell tale smell of beef got stronger. The server brought the platter out and walked straight past us, delivering a plate of beef sausages to the table behind us. The same server informed us that our steak would take another 15 minutes. We ordered a plate of beef sausages and went outside and lit the Durban Poison joint from Lanna Botanicals. Durban Poison was almost void of aroma and Arkadi wanted to move directly to the Super Silver Haze but I urged patience. This was the right thing to do. The taste was solid—earthy and a bit spicy—an acceptable flavor for what turned out to be a very good strain and a very nice joint. The effects of the Durban Poison complemented the previously smoked Malawi, giving a bit of clarity and energy and reviving our resolve to eat that steak.
We went back into the restaurant just as the sausages were delivered to our table. They were delicious—I wish I had some right now. We inhaled the sausages and then beckoned the manager over and inquired about our steak. “Oh, it will take another 10 minutes. You see normally Thai families call 3 hours ahead for a tomahawk so we have a chance to defrost it and cook it for when they come. Next time you should call us.” Normally this answer would send me into a fit of anger—giving an initial estimate of 25 minutes but then rebuking us for not calling 3 hours ahead is unacceptable. But we were high as can be and could only muster a few defeated laughs and a smile. The manager continued, “I think if you have any joints on you, you should go out and smoke some ganja. That’s what I like to do when I have to wait for something. I especially like sativas.” We followed that advice, rolled, smoke and finished the gram of Super Silver Haze. The bud was super fragrant with citrussy aromas and a corresponding flavor. The initial intensity had has search for our bearings—but this subsided and we were soon alert, chill and once more and focused on our steaks.
When we returned to the restaurant the steak was waiting on the table. Overcooked, it was nonetheless edible—acceptable for a couple worn out tokers. We ate the steak, rolled out to After You and concluded our night with cake and chocolate covered strawberries.
I am embarrassed to admit that I missed the Srirajah Rockers. I was looking forward and excited to hear and meet them. But afull day of toking took its toll on me and a I blissfully drifted off to sleep as they took the stage at the Convention. Next year I will adjust my behavior accordingly. Mea Culpa.
December 11, 2022
I woke up Sunday and lay around in bed—happy that I had no place be—no responsibilities—no pressure. HighThailand was not due on stage until 1300—seemingly an epoch away. Tom and Nick were heading to the Convention on the early side as they both had to exit Chiang Mai soon after out talk. I floated to a nearby McDonalds and polished off a classic fast food sausage breakfast.
Arkadi met me at the McDonalds eager to smoke the first joint of the day—I convinced him to wait until the Convention. This expedited our departure and around 10am we jumped in a carand made our way once more to the Cannabis Cafe. On the way through the entrance Baked Thailand offered me a micro-dose cookie. I’m wary of edibles in general—but I was assured that the micro-dose was not enough to send me in the wrong direction. It definitely did not send me in the wrong direction. But as I subsequently ingested massive of amounts of cannabis smoke all I can say for sure is that the cookie was delicious . . . and I would like more.
There were more people than I expected mulling about—chilling—slowly setting up—making their rounds. We had a good three hours before we had to speak so I figured I could relax a bit more and meet more folks. In the world of HighThailand the spheres of social media and reality are often blurred—and my familiarity with the folks or businesses of IG sometimes flowinto my own reality. I excitedly greeted my good friends from Green Dog . . . good friends who had no idea who I am since our friendship is based on a one sided social media stalking. But cannabis people are good people and they generously offered me a bong hit of Captain Kush. Afraid that a bong hit would be a bit too extreme prior to going on stage—I opted to smoke (and share) a gram joint instead.
Captain Kush could be an every day strain for me. It has mildsweet and earthy flavor and burns smooth and easy. Animmediate feeling of energy and alertness gave way to a relaxed, chill and happy but strong high. Strong enough to force me to sit down and rest. This is where Tom and Nick found me and informed me that we would be going on stage earlier so that Nick could catch a flight back home. I was pretty high, on the cusp of being stoned, but still felt that I could function on stage. At least my brain and tongue could—but my body was far too relaxed to stand and hold my head up on stage.
Tom guided me to the lecture room where I intended on finding candy to lessen my high. I also planned to prepare chairs on stage so that I wouldn’t fall on my face. Noah was on stage about to give a presentation on the art and science of glass blowing (which was fascinating). He kindly prepared the chairsfrom behind stage as I fumbled around failing to lift chairs from the audience. Tom liberated three candies from his girlfriend’s bag (which I had earlier ridiculed for being filled with candy). The candies did their job—bringing me down enough to get on stage and enjoy the interaction between Noah, HighThailand and the audience. Our topic was Six Months In—where the Thai cannabis community is today and where we are going. Our talk came and went in a couple breaths and once more I was sad to leave the stage. That was that, HighThailand was finished presenting for the 2022 Convention—I did not want it to end.
With our speaking engagement finished, my attention turned to food and cannabis. Tom’s girlfriend, the same girl who saved me with candy, recommended a pre-roll sun grown Super Silver Haze from Lanna Herbology. One dry pull off the joint revealed tasty citrussy odors and I was convinced. Arkadi and I headed towards the Lanna Herbology booth, walking straight past the Thailand Dank Squad booth and a freshly prepared Fruitoniumjoint and a most fortuitous invitation to light up. The bud sent us to the next level—back into the ephemeral wavy world of trippy cannabis.
How could it get better? Food. We made a beeline for Dinky’s BBQ—stopping briefly at Lanna Herbology to purchase the pre-roll which I chucked into the tote for later. Sandwiches overfilled with delectable smoked pulled pork with bbq sauce and coleslaw were ordered and delivered. Manna from heaven. Situating ourselves once more under the canvas overhang in front of the DJ booth we sank our teeth into our respective sandwiches. Each bite melted in my mouth—hitting every taste bud square on with delicious goodness. The DJ (I apologize for not paying attention to his name) was awesome—spinning a combination of reggae, Middle Eastern and Indian tunes, gen-x rock and hip-hop (it very well could have been two DJs). What the sandwich did for my appetite and taste buds—this DJ did for my ears and soul.
I am not sure how long we sat there. I do know that Nick peeled off first to the airport, followed by Tom who started his drive back to Bangkok. The afternoon was getting warmer and the sun’s strength motivated us to move once more. We made our rounds to say goodbye and once more found ourselves in front of the Thai Dank Squad booth. “You guy always show up when I finish rolling joints!” A very true statement. “Here you guys go, this one should last you a while.” We received yet another joint and went merrily about floating through the Convention.
With our endocannabinoid system fully engaged and our hunger satisfied we decided to further enhance our bacchanalian weekend with a massage. Heading back to Nimman we bounced from one shop to another getting the same response, “Can you come back in two hours? Full now.” We stopped for a fresh coconut to regroup get our bearing. Not one to give up I reached into the tote bag and found an emergency SFV OG joint which Ihad brought up from Bangkok (Blaze dispensary) just in case.The joint—tasty, sweet, and citrussy—motivated us to continue the search through Nimman’s streets for a massage shop which would take us.
We finally found a shop with available rooms and masseuses. The shop keeper, a kind individual of undeterminable sex, welcomed us in and patiently waited as we perused the menu before determining that we wanted two hour oil massages. The massage was like having another joint. Each application of pressure got me higher and more relaxed. At the end of two hours I was relaxed, sleepy, content and completely stoned.
I would have gladly floated off to my hotel and to sleep—but hunger got the best of me. Adjacent to the massage shop was a large parking lot with a Korean grocery store and a Japanese bbqrestaurant. Lacking the ambition and motivation from the earlier hours of the day we set our sites on the bbq restaurant. But first, for the sake of completeness, decided we should spark that sun grown Super Silver Haze joint buried deep in my tote bag. The joint was perfect for the time and place. The smoke was smooth—not as flavorful as its indoor cousin—but good nonetheless. The effects were gentle enough to allow us to enjoy spending time in a parking lot, watching an endless queue of cars (seemingly from Bangkok) maneuver and jostle for spaces only to be chased out by the lot’s attendant. We stood there smoking for as long as it takes to get through a .7 gram joint—watching and laughing—having the time of our lives observing cars fail to park and the visible frustrations of the drivers.
That was the last joint of the trip. After the smoke we devoured a two hour buffet of barbequed beef and went to our respective hotels, passing out knowing that on the other side of our slumber our flights and Bangkok routine were waiting for us.
Chiang Mai, the Convention, the weed scene, the ability to smoke freely (for the most part) was just awesome. I can’t wait to go back.