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How Does a Chillum Work

Chillum pipes are portable smoking devices that are conveniently handy for any dry herb smoker on the go. Despite its small size, a chillum provides a simple yet potent way to deliver powerful hits to any smoker, making it a favorite among users.

The word chillum is believed to have originated from the word (Challam) borrowed from Hindu or Persian culture. 

Chillum pipes were traditionally used as decorative items for religious rites, meditation, or spiritual exercises. These smoking pipes are popular as East Asian or Indian pipes. 

Chillums made their way into western culture in the 1960s and were popular among hippies. Since then, smokers have started using these devices both for recreational and spiritual purposes.

Chillum pipes are just one of the many ways you can enjoy smoking your favorite herb. If this is the first time you’ve heard of this hand pipe, you may be asking, “how does a chillum work?”

In this guide, we will walk you through the nitty-gritty of chillums and what’s in it for you to make the most out of your smoking experience.

What chillums are made of

A chillum is essentially a straight, conical smoking pipe, sometimes known as a "hand pipe,” that has a bowl and a mouthpiece. Chillum designs today vary depending on the materials the pipes are made of. 

These small smoking pipes may either be made of glass, wood, metal or, traditionally, clay.

Chillums are typically hollow inside and take the shape of a pipe or tube. Its structure allows smoke to build up inside its chamber while cooling it down immediately, giving a smooth inhalation and a more potent hit.

Although a typical chillum is shaped as a straight tube while others are either enclosed or customized. One example of a distinct type of chillum is the “monkey pipe.” This pipe resembles a pocket knife and has a joint in the middle so you can swivel it to close.

Chillum stone

To keep yourself from inhaling the debris while smoking your herb, a chillum stone does the trick. Chillum stones work like a filter in your smoking pipe, keeping embers from getting ingested as you inhale the smoke.

Chillum stones are conical, tight-fitting, and flat-top, with a tiny hole in the center. The slits on the side of the stone let the smoke pass through while filtering the ash.

Chillum vs. bongs or dab rigs

While others prefer using dab rigs or bongs, hand pipes such as chillums are not only easier to carry but discreet as well. Chillums are also easier to clean, considering their small size. 

Chillum pipes, however, deliver hotter smoke as compared to bigger smoking devices such as bongs. With chillums, the smoke’s distance of travel from the burning herb to your lungs is pretty much shorter, hence, less time to cool the smoke down.

Bongs and dab rigs, on the other hand, deliver cooler smoke because of its size. These smoking devices present a chambered design that keeps you from ingesting any ashes and a liquid filtration system that filters out the smoke as you enjoy the good stuff. 

However, despite their filtration system, bongs and dab rigs are less practical because of their large size and the risk of water leaking if you were not able to keep it upright.

Choosing your type of chillum

Clay chillums are traditional types of chillums that are long and require another person to light it up for you. Modern chillums, on the other hand, such as those made of glass, are easier to use and can be lit by yourself without the need for someone else’s help.

A chillum’s size is also another factor you might want to consider. Shorter chillums usually deliver hotter smoke as compared to longer pipes. Thus, shorter pipes are not suitable for smokers who are just starting out, as the smoke may get too hot for them to handle.

For experienced smokers, the standard size 4.5-inch pipes are manageable enough to deliver a good hit.

How chillums work

Chillums offer a great way to enjoy your favorite herb for a clean hit. These devices are easy to use, cost-efficient, discreet, and very handy, whether you’re at home or on the go.

When using a chillum, embers and ashes are filtered by the chillum stone. Unwanted debri is blocked from getting ingested, giving you a smooth and pleasurable smoking experience.

Packing your herbs into the chillum

In order to achieve your desired high, it is important to pack your herb properly inside the chillum pipe. Packing your chillum pipe is easy, however, you would need to grind the dry herb with a herb grinder before you can put it into your pipe.

After grinding the herb, you should be able to pack it into your chillum pipe with ease. Make sure that the pipe’s end with the bigger opening is filled in lightly with your herb. Packing too tightly could make it difficult for you to get a good draw.

Once the herbs are nicely settled inside the pipe, light it up with an open flame and gently inhale to smoke to your pleasure.

How to hold a chillum

A traditional method of smoking on a chillum is to clamp the pipe with your ring and pinky finger while cupping your hand to cover the packed end. If you’re with someone else to share the smoking session with, have your companion light the chillum while you draw the smoke.

If you’re smoking alone, you can do this process the same way, however, you have to make a fist to seal off your hand while freeing your other hand to light your pipe. Your fist will act as your smoke chamber to catch the embers.

To sum it up

Chillums are your best option for an easy-to-carry, smoking pipe that wouldn’t attract a lot of attention. The smaller types of chillums, also called one-hitters, provide stronger hits and are more discreet than the other types of smoking devices.

After some practice, chillums should be easier for you to use regardless if you’re a novice or an experienced smoker. Take your time savoring the powerful hit when using the chillum, especially when sharing a smoke with your buddy.