Smoking a Chillum: What You Should Know - HEMPER

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Everything You Need To Know About Smoking a Chillum

Author: Angel Ferrer

What Is A Chillum?

A Chillum- also known as a Hookah Chillum – is a tried and true pipe that tends to be less expensive than some of its more feature-rich competitors on the market today. It is a simple tool, to be sure, but effective and reliable just the same.

In the simplest of terms, a Chillum (pronounced cilam or shillum) is a pipe used for smoking. Chillums have been around since the 18th century. This straight conical pipe was used to enjoy opium, cannabis, as well as other narcotics and herbs.

It’s Use Throughout Time

Chillums were used as a social way to bond with other individuals. It was usually passed around a room and helped to create close bonds with those who shared it. In India, a Chillum was traditionally used only by men and was usually in religious worship of their gods. The popularity has died off since the 1990s. At that time, more high-end smoking paraphernalia entered on the scene. Chillums are still used by older consumers who like to pass it around and share with others.

Materials / Construction

Think of this pipe as being similar to a one-hitter, but available in different sizes. The larger the pipe, the more capacity for herb.

A Chillum can be made out of any number of different materials, but the traditional cone shape stays relatively the same. The original Chillums were made out of clay, stone, or wood. Today they can also be made out of glass, quartz, ceramic or metals.

A Chillum can help prevent a smoker from inhaling unwanted debris, providing a cleaner hit. These pipes are also efficient, meaning more smoke will make it into your lungs rather than diffuse into the air around you.

How to Use a Chillum

A Chillum provides a cost-effective, discreet, reliable and safe way to enjoy your favorite herb unencumbered.

Chillums are both discreet and portable allowing you to smoke in places without drawing a whole lot of attention. For the best effect, a Chillum should be smoked slowly. Draw in too slow and you won’t get optimal burn, inhale too fast and forcibly and you’ll end up with a hot draw that will likely have you coughing up a lung (not really, it’ll just irritate your lungs and make you cough).

Before using, you will need the following:

  • Chillum of your choice
  • A substance you wish to smoke
  • Wet cloth

To start, begin by preparing the substance you want to smoke. The herb should then be packed into the correct end of the Chillum pipe, and snug but not too tightly packed. You can wrap a wet cloth around the pipe if you’re worried about it getting too hot.

Using a Chillum Pipe:

  • Know how to hold a Chillum
  • Light the substance
  • Inhale slowly

You should clamp the pipe between your pinky and ring finger with the packed end pointing up. If you happen to be smoking with someone else and plan on sharing, you will then cup both hands to form a finger chamber. Have your friend light the pipe while you draw in the smoke from between your thumb and pointer finger. If you are smoking alone, you can hold the pipe the same way and make a fist. This will seal off your hand as much as possible, leaving your other hand free to light the Chillum.

How to Clean A Chillum

Cleaning a Chillum is an important step that (despite not being the most fun part of the process) shouldn’t be neglected.

A clean Chillum means that you won’t risk inhaling any impurities from the last time you smoked. Dirty, uncleaned chillums are a breeding ground for bacteria, allergens, mold spores and more. Not to mention impurities and leftover toxins from your herb and torch/lighter fuels can form a layer of film that is harmful and dangerous to breathe in. Not to mention that a dirty chillum will impact your next smoking session, giving off “off flavors” that ruin the aroma and taste of your new herb.

Lucky for you, cleaning a Chillum is a fairly simple process and doesn’t take more than a few minutes to tackle as long as you do it on a regular basis and don’t let it get too far out of control.

What you will need:

  • Ziplock bag, an or other non-toxic container
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Q-tips
  • Salt
  • Pipe cleaners

Take your ziplock bag or other container and fill it with enough rubbing alcohol that will allow you to fully submerge your pipe. Next, add salt to the bag or container and seal it before shaking the bag or stirring the mixture vigorously.

You will then want to pour a few grains of salt into both ends of the Chillum. Don’t use too much salt, you want the rubbing alcohol to flow freely through both the stem and the bowl. Once you have treated the Chillum with salt, place it back into the Ziploc or container and repeat the shaking or stirring process for another 30-40 seconds.

Once finished with that step of the process, it's time to remove your pipe from the bag or container. Now that the “gunk” is safely loosened up and bacteria effectively killed, use Q-tips and pipe cleaners to scrub the interior chamber and stem of the pipe. This will remove any residue that was loosened up by the rubbing alcohol and salt. For the final step, simply rinse your pipe in water and let it dry.

Even though Chillums can be made out of different materials they can generally all be cleaned in this way. If you have any questions or if the manufacturer’s directions say otherwise always follow their guidance.

Why Chillums Rule

Although new devices have flooded the scene, “old school” ways of doing things tend to make a comeback, and the same can be said of the Chillum.

Chillums are cost-effective, efficient, reliable, portable and discreet. They can save you money and offer you a clean hit of your favorite herb, at home or on the go. It’s a device made with sharing in mind, but can still be enjoyed solo if that’s what you want. Coming in a wide variety of materials and colors, there is a style or design out there for just about anyone.

The easy to use style of a Chillum draws in a lot of first-time smokers. It appeals to the need for an experience, not just a desire to get high. Since it’s easy to clean and easy to control, it is a great choice for someone who is trying cannabis for the first time. If you’re looking for a new way to smoke with friends, the Chillum should seriously be considered. Hemper crafts their own chillums with exclusive designs you can check out here.      


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