A chillum is a style of hand pipe composed of a slender conical tube with a bowl on one end and mouthpiece on the other.
Chillum vs Pipe
Interestingly, chillums lack a carb hole which controls airflow and is standard on most pipes. Instead, the bowl will burn on its own as long as the flame sustains itself. And since airflow cannot be directly controlled with a carb, these pieces tend to deliver even more powerful hits than a traditional pipe.
On the other hand, the bowl is also much smaller than a normal pipe since it forms part of the tube itself. This means that although it’s naturally a heavy hitter, the chillum offers a certain amount of control over how high you get since you are limited by the smaller bowl size. This makes chillums particularly good for microdosing or solo seshes.
If you are used to smoking bowl after bowl or having group seshes you’re better off with a traditional pipe or a bong. However, if you are looking for powerful hits and don’t mind the harshness that comes with it, the chillum definitely delivers.
Chillum vs One Hitter
You may have heard people use chillum and one hitter interchangeably and with good reason. Chillums are a style of one hitters because they lack a carb hole. However, chillums can vary in the number of hits they deliver. Some are traditional one hitters, delivering a single hit, although most deliver roughly 3-4 hits.
Brief History of the Chillum
The history of the chillum is rich with ancient pieces found in Pre-Columbian America. Originally made from wood, clay, stone and even horns, these pieces are now predominantly made from glass, bamboo or metal.
Originally used by Sadhus in India in the 1800s, they spread from Asia to Africa, subsequently gaining popularity in Jamaica during the 1930s, followed by the U.S. in the 1960s.
They became especially popular in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district and New York’s Greenwich Village, where American folk artists sold carved bamboo styles on street corners.
And today, they are a staple in smoke shops and online headshops worldwide for their stealth, portability and ease.
Why Do Stoners Prefer Chillums?
Stoners looking for a discreet, portable and easy to use piece will find ultimate peace of mind in the chillum. The chillum is one of the most underrated pipes out there, perhaps because of how simple it is. But for many stoners that’s precisely the draw.
The chillum is a small, slender tube that slides effortlessly into your pocket. Measuring roughly 4-6 inches, these lightweight, hollow tubes don’t take up any space, making them perfect for on-the-go seshes when you need to be discreet.
Often made from thick glass, chillums are generally more durable than other styles. Their tight, cylindrical shape also makes them less prone to fractures.
Given its small size, chillums are one of the more affordable styles with most ranging between $10-30, depending on the crafsmanship and complexity. Basic cheap chillums can cost even less, roughly $5-10.
Considered heavy hitters, chillums generally offer more powerful hits than a traditional spoon pipe. This is in part due to the lack of a carb to control airflow.
Easy to Use & Clean
Chillums require next to no prep. All you need is to load your ground herb, light and you’re ready for takeoff. Their basic, hollow structure also makes them easy to clean. So if your friend’s chillum is looking grotesque, take no prisoners.
Microdosing & Solo Seshes
The chillum’s small bowl size makes it ideal for microdosing and solo seshes. If you’re looking for a few good hits on your way home from work or just before clocking in, look no further than the chillum.
Less is More
The bowl size also gives you more control over how much you smoke. If you find yourself getting too high time and time again, a chillum pipe is one of the best styles to keep your high in check. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s one too many edibles or one bowl too many, there’s nothing more unpleasant than getting too high. With a chillum, you can always repack and the extra step is a blessing in disguise because you have time to size up your high.
Cons to Chillums
Although the chillum pipe has a lot to offer, there are a few drawbacks.
Since there is no carb, hits can be harsher on your lungs and throat. Also, depending on how hard you inhale and the chillum’s specific design, you may accidentally inhale ash and burning embers. Ouch! However, if the chillum features a built-in mouthpiece or you have a mesh screen, these will effectively block scooby snacks.
Prone to Clogging
The main drawback to the chillum’s small size is that it is more prone to clogging than a traditional pipe.
Chillums are not designed for smoking in groups. If you find yourself in a pinch you definitely can but you’ll be repacking every homie or two. If you plan on bringing a piece to the rotation, bongs are better suited for passing around.
Did we mention chillums get notoriously hot? Because of its small size chillums have been known to burn lips and fingers if you’re not too careful. That’s also partly why they are undesirable for group sessions since repacking and lighting repeatedly doesn’t give them a chance to cool down sufficiently. Typically, longer chillums (6+ inches) are better for beginners because the smoke will not be as hot as shorter ones.
How to Pack a Chillum
Learning how to pack a one hitter chillum for weed is fairly simple. Just follow these steps below:
Grind – Use an herb grinder to grind your flower.
Pack the Bowl – Once you’ve achieved a fine grind, dip the bowl end of your chillum into your flower. As you turn the chillum between your fingers, the twist motion will pack the herb into the bowl.
Check – Lift the chillum slightly and take a good look at the bowl.
Repeat – If you want to add more, repeat the process of twisting the bowl end into the ground herb.
Note: The better packed the chillum is the less likely it is you’ll inhale ash. But airflow is restricted when packed too tightly so it’s about striking a delicate balance. You can also use a wooden dugout to pack it more delicately if you have one at the ready.
How to use a Chillum
Once you’ve packed your chillum using the twisting method, you’re ready to learn how to use a one hitter chillum without burning yourself. Using a chillum can be tricky at first, especially if you’re on your own.
Solo: To light on your own, first place the chillum between your ring finger and pinky finger at a 45 degree angle (so the herb doesn’t fall out) and cup your hand over it. Then, put your lips over your cupped hand and use your other hand to light. Inhale slowly and repeat.
With a Friend: Generally, a friend will light it for you so that you have both hands available to cup the chillum, creating an even larger chamber.
How to Clean a Chillum
Cleaning a glass chillum is similar to cleaning most glass smoking accessories. The most effective method by far is using a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and sea salt.
Mixture – Pour a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and sea salt into a ziplock bag
Soak – Put the chillum inside and let it soak for 20-30 minutes
Shake – Shake the bag for 10-20 seconds.
Rinse – Remove the chillum and rinse with hot water.
Repeat – If you still notice residue on your chillum, repeat the process. You can also use pipe cleaners or Q-tips to scrape off harder to remove residue.
Chillums for Sale
Stoners Rotation is an online headshop that sells everything from chillums to bongs. Below are some of our best selling chillums for sale.
Onie Glass Chillum Pipe – This one hitter chillum for weed is perfect if you’re looking for a cheap onie that doesn’t break the bank. Made from borosilicate glass, this unbreakable glass chillum is durable, easy to clean and affordable.
Swirl Glass Chillum Pipe – Another thick glass chillum pipe, this piece is an absolute stunner. Beautifully blown from borosilicate glass, it features a unique swirl fuming and three marble feet so that it doesn’t roll off the table.
Twisted Thick Glass Chillum Pipe – If you’re looking for a traditional chillum with a twist, look no further. This chillum one hitter made from thick twisted glass brings out an iridescent rainbow of color that will blow your mind.
Vine Glass Chillum Pipe – Inspired by nature, this heady chillum for sale is a heavy little hitter with marbles that climb up the sides for enhanced grip.
The Ritual Continues
The shiva chillum was used as a spiritual tool by the Sadhus in India and later by the Rastafarians in Jamaica. And in essence, the act of smoking continues as a ritual of sorts, practiced to this day by cannabis enthusiasts all around the world.