Glass Chillum Pipe
Of all the many ways to smoke CBD flower, the chillum, or one-hitter pipe, is perhaps the most underappreciated and underutilized of them all. This discreet and straightforward smoking apparatus has been in use in America for decades. While many other accessories get more attention when discussing preferred smoking methods, the chillum offers several elements that bowls, bongs, and papers simply do not.
When you select a chillum as your smoking device of choice, you get a quick and easy yet potent delivery system for your CBD flower that’s not so easy to detect to the untrained eye, so you won’t have to worry about sideways glances from the uninitiated. If you’re interested in getting into the chillum pipe lifestyle, there are a few essential things to learn beforehand—from what a chillum pipe is and how to use one to the best way to clean one out, and more. Let’s take a closer look at some of those details.
What Is a Chillum?
It’s more than a cool name. The chillum is a straight pipe with a conical-shaped bowl traditionally made from clay but is more frequently made from either wood, metal, or glass today. These pipes are also sometimes known as one-hitters because of their smaller-sized bowl, which generally lends itself more to quick personal use than the sort of pass-around style of a bowl or joint.
The use of chillum pipes dates back to India in the 1700s, where it was used in religious practices by sadhus. These people were holy men who renounced worldly pleasures in favor of religious devotion. Chillums have come to be a vital part of Rastafarian ceremonies, known as reasoning sessions, as well.
In America, the chillum has been a part of smoking culture since sometime during the flower power movement of the 1960s when artists would handcraft their own from bamboo and sell them on New York City and San Francisco street corners. Although many other smoking methods have proven more popular than this small and durable one-hitter, there’s still much to be said for the chillum’s convenience and cool look, especially the glass chillum, which can be molded into some vivid and stylish designs.
How to Use a Chillum
Now that you’ve been convinced to become a member of the chillum community, you’re probably going to need some specific instructions on precisely how to use one. It’s not all that complicated, but there are actually some unique aspects to this device that you’re going to want to know.
If you were an Indian sadhu, you’d need the help of a friend to smoke your chillum, as they were traditionally too long for one person to use by themselves. However, the modern chillum is a lot shorter and simpler to smoke with than the 18th-century devices used in religious rituals. The modern one-hitter bowl will fit easily in your pocket and doesn’t require any complex procedure. To get a hit out of it, you just need to pack it properly and incorporate a little technique into the hitting process so you don’t wind up burning your lips.
We’ll get into how to pack your one-hitter a little further along. Just note that there is very little space between your mouth and the bowl piece of a chillum, which makes it rather easy to pull too hard and get a mouthful of debris. For that reason, you’ll definitely want to use the proper packing methods, which we’ll outline later in this article.
The pipe’s shortness also brings you closer you the smoke (and, ergo, the heat), which is why many people create a hand chamber between their mouth and the mouthpiece. This method will allow for the smoke to cool considerably. For more details, read on.
How to Clean a Chillum
Chillums are compact, discreet, and easy to use, but their small size means they get dirtied up pretty quickly. When that happens, you quickly begin to lose the excellent flavor profile of your flower to the far less palatable tastes of resin and tar. To avoid wasting those terpenes, you’re going to want to do your best to keep your chillum as clean as possible. Whether you’re working with a glass one-hitter or any other material, the accepted methods of cleaning are generally identical, and they are as follows:
The easiest way to keep one-hitter pipes as clean as possible is to maintain them on a daily basis. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually really simple and much less of a hassle than waiting until your pipe is so stuffed up that you have no choice but to give it a deep clean. All you need to do is grab a pipe cleaner or a cotton swab and run it gently through the chillum a few times to clear out any resin, tar, ash, or moisture collected in there.
Unless you’re rather meticulous about your daily maintenance, there will come a time when a deeper clean is necessary to ensure the best pull and the highest quality of flavor. When that day comes, you can use boiling water to clear out all of that hard-to-reach gunk inside of your chillum. Just boil some water in a small pot, grab the chillum in some tongs and hold it over the sink, then gently pour the water into the chillum and allow it to work its magic. Always exercise extreme caution when using this method.
If you’d rather avoid boiling water, isopropyl rubbing alcohol can also be a highly effective method of cleaning your pipe. Throw some in a Ziploc bag, toss the chillum inside, and allow it to soak for a few hours. Afterward, you’ll probably want to run a pipe cleaner or Q-tip through a few times to make sure you’ve cleared it out sufficiently. And always be sure to allow ample time for the alcohol to dry off of your pipe before using it, or you may wind up having a profoundly unpleasant experience next time you try to light it up.
How to Pack a Chillum
Packing a one-hitter may seem like a pretty straightforward process, but there are a few little tips and quirks you’ll want to know. The best way to get a great pack on your chillum is to put the broken-up flower onto a flat surface and press the bowl end down onto it. After that, you can pack the bowl a little tighter with some extra flower. A nice tight pack is essential because it prevents unpleasant pull-through from occurring.
The Chillum Stone
Another way to avoid that awful pull-through is to use a chillum stone. A chillum stone is a simple pebble used to plug up the smoke chamber enough so that debris and dust can’t find their way into your mouth, but smoke can still pull through. Chillums today often come with their own custom-fitted stone, but if you’re working with a more traditional piece, you may need to find your own chillum stone.
How to Smoke a Chillum
You’ve got all the gritty details down. Now you probably want to know exactly how to smoke from your brand new chillum. Don’t worry, folks. It’s not rocket science. Smoking from a chillum is relatively easy; all you need to do is follow this straightforward step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Pack It
First things first, you’re going to need to load up your chillum’s bowl with flower. Whether you use a grinder or break it up by hand is totally up to you, but it’s relatively easy to pull finely ground flower through a chillum into your mouth. For that reason, you should either keep your flower a bit rough or use a chillum stone.
Step 2: Light It
Assuming you’re not an 18th-century sadhu, you can light your chillum all on your own rather efficiently. Fire that lighter up and inhale to pull the flame toward the flower and begin combustion. One important tip is to make sure you angle your chillum upward when lighting. If you don’t take this part of the step, you could lose flower from the bowl.
Step 3: Inhale
You probably already know how to do complete this step. Although, it’s worth noting that many people—from the sadhus and the Rastafari to the flower enthusiast down the road—enjoy creating a chamber of sorts between the chillum and their mouth using their hands. To do this successfully, you should hold the mouthpiece with your pinky and ring finger, make a loose fist, and then inhale through your hand. This approach allows the smoke to cool a bit before hitting the lungs.
Step 4: Exhale
There are no special chillum-only techniques when it comes to exhaling, but be sure that you don’t forget about the burning cherry inside your one-hitter glass pipe while you’re taking in its smoke. Cherries can result in flaming embers finding their way onto you, your friend, the floor, or anything else in the vicinity.