The chillum pipe is not a new invention in the world of smoking weed, but it has only recently reached the modern collective mind. This trendy way of smoking herbs actually started hundreds of years ago with Hindu monks and has roots in Asia and Eastern Europe. In recent years, the chillum pipe has made its way into popular culture and has now become a fashionable (as well as convenient) way to smoke marijuana.
So, what is a chillum pipe exactly? It's basically a very simple pipe. In fact, it's a pipe that has the most straightforward design imaginable when you compare it to other weed pipe designs. It functions in a similar way to a cigarette. The pipe is a thin tube that connects the mouthpiece to the bowl in one straight line. This is different from a regular handheld dry pipe which usually has the bowl facing up, perpendicular to the mouthpiece. That kind of pipe also has a carb hole which, once released, allows you to have a little control over the smoke and airflow in the pipe. The chillum pipe, however, has no carb. This is one of the reasons the pipe is also commonly referred to as a “one hitter” pipe - it’s intended for you to take one swift puff. That’s how to smoke a chillum!
The chillum pipe itself is very small, portable, light, and easy to use, but some knowledge is helpful before diving in. The fact that the pipe is straight in shape can create some issues. Firstly, you don't want the herb to drop out if you hold it too straight, so angling it upwards at least 40 degrees when you bring it to and hold it in your lips is best. Secondly, knowing how to pack a one hitter properly will definitely help. You want to press it into the bowl pretty firmly - because it’s so shallow, it won’t be too hard to draw air through such a small amount of herb. Just don’t pack it insanely tightly or you might not be able to puff.
The other issue is, of course, catching ash or herb at the back of your throat during a hit. Hindu monks often placed a small pebble in the bowl to protect the herb and ash from being sucked down the pipe. Another (more modern) option is to use a bowl screen. Both options are relatively easy ways to protect your throat while you smoke. Preventing scooby snacks, which is what those bits of ash and herb are often called, is a huge part of how to use a one hitter.
One more thing that can both prevent scoobies and help your chillum constantly deliver smooth hits is knowing how to clean a one hitter. First, use a toothpick or cotton swab to get off as much excess resin buildup as possible. Then, run hot water through the pipe for a minute or two. Finally, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and use it to scrub away the tough resin spots. Oh, and don’t forget to thoroughly rinse your one hitter after this, otherwise your next hit will taste a lot like rubbing alcohol.
Chillum pipes come in a wide variety of styles. Glass chillum pipes are a popular choice for many. As always, glass is a preferred material as it tends to keep the hit cleaner and smoother than other materials. Chillum pipes made from glass are also valued for their decorative versatility. The glass can be designed in unique and artful styles that add to the smoking experience. Chillum pipes also come in other materials, including titanium and ceramic, with various patterns and designs ranging from cigarettes to donuts. You’ll find a whole variety of options but it’s always best to go with something that is both functional and expresses your style.
Chillums are simply one of the most convenient ways to have a speedy solo smoke session. In most cases, they’re fairly small, conveniently light, and easy to bring along with you wherever you go. Due to their versatility of design, they’ve also become quite fashionable. All in all, the chillum is bound to be of use at some time or another. They're a great addition to your smoking collection of tools and paraphernalia for their inconspicuousness and suitable for toking alone.