What’s in a Bong?

Hits from the bong, Tai – yes, Tai – style…

‘Bong’ is a word of Lao and Thai origin – from a length of bamboo pipe – but despite mostly getting used for cannabis in the West, in Southeast Asia bongs are used to smoke not just ganja but tobacco.

In pretty well every alleged “weed” or “opium” shot of exotic-looking Southeast Asian highland folk smoking long-stemmed pipes or huge bongs, the substance in the bowl is tobacco, despite what the captions say on Wikipedia or wherever.

This detail from a wall painting at a Thai Theravadin Buddhist temple, Wat Pho, is pretty unlikely to show a man smoking ganja.

Despite its eventual acceptance by Thai physicians as a medicinal herb in the 19th century, cannabis features in Thai historical literature as a sneered-at disreputable drug. In Thai epics and records, smoking ganja is disparaged as a habit of country bumpkins, village lowlife, and especially Lao people – which in the mind of all too many Thais to this day amount to essentially the same thing.

Classic Thai ganja (‘Thai stick’) was a product of Mueang Lao, the ethnic Lao regions of northern Isan (NE Thailand) and Central Laos, joined – not separated – by the Mekong River.

Customer reviews of our Highland Lao accessions:

“An absolute pleasure to smoke. Just a really clean lift and positive attitude, bit of silliness. You lose your head a little, but in a good way. Blissful. Really peppery on the exhale.

“A great experience, super clean and focused effect. Gets the brain working overtime, ready to tackle mental or physical tasks. Thought provoking. Smiles and giggles. Zero lethargy.”

“Makes you forget you exist. A complete exodus from the grips of The Matrix. Weed for space cases that need their space. 100% cerebral deep space exploration, no anxiety or paranaoia, but a heavy duty experience that keeps you wanting more. For me this is what I really look for medicinally in a true Sativa variety. Plants are naturally turning purple with no cold weather or temperatures influencing.”