What is a Chillum?

Chillums have been around for thousands of years.  But it is only recently that they have gained popularity in the western world.  What is a Chillum?  A chillum is a straight pipe with an end to end channel.  Chillums do not have the carb hole that regulates air flow to the mouthpiece.  Traditionally, Chillums are made of wood or clay, but most are made of glass in the west.

What is a Chillum?  Here is a simple one sitting next to some hemp flower.
A simple Chillum next to some hemp flower…

Chillums are believed to have been first used in ancient India by Hindu monks dedicated to the god Shiva. Rumors have it that all they were allowed to carry was a beggar bowl, a walking stick, and a Chillum.  It is believed that these monks have been using chillums for thousands of years, even before tobacco was introduced in India. Because of England’s colonization of India and also their colonization of the western world, many Indians were brought to the Caribbean during the slave trade.  This is how chillums made it to the western world!  Rastafarians, being heavily influenced by this, have been using chillums for many years now!

Chillums are known for their strong and direct rips, making them grow rapidly in popularity. With a lack of airflow restriction their hits tend to be more potent than an average pipe. Chillums are becoming more and more trendy and can be purchased at almost any smoke shop now.

Traditional Hand Pipes VS Chillums

Chillums are sometimes also referred to as bats or one-hitters. Because of their simplicity, they are smaller in size than any other style of hand pipe. The most notable difference between chillums and other had pipes is that chillums are straight.  On a normal hand pipe the herbs are held in a bowl that is positioned straight up, while in a chillum the bowl sticks straight out. Many people don’t like this aspect of chillums, they fear that the herbs will fall out of the pipe easier, but this doesn’t tend to happen.

Chillums also don’t have a carb, so there is less control of the airflow in the pipe.  However, chillums are much smaller in size to traditional pipes and the smoke doesn’t need to be cleared from the piece.

Because of their simplicity chillums tend to be much smaller than the traditional pipe.  Much easier to conceal and hide. However, for many of us, this also means that they are easier to misplace.

How do You Use Them?

Follow these quick steps on how to use a chillum and you will be a chillum master in no time!

  • Grind your herbs
  • Pack the bowl of the chillum
  • Put your mouth on the mouthpiece
  • Light the other end
  • Inhale

Benefits of Using a Chillum

  • They are very discrete
  • Chillums are easy to pass in a group session
  • Very simple to pack
  • They aren’t difficult to clean
  • Can be inexpensive

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