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What is a Chillum? Types? How to use it?


a blond woman smoking a glass chillum pipe

If you appreciate cannabis, tobacco, or other dry herbs, you've probably heard of the humble chillum pipe.

Known for its portability and simplicity, the chillum is one of the oldest types of pipes out there, and its popularity continues to this day.

If you're new to chillum, you may be want to know what is a chillum pipe? and wondering how to use it.

In this article, We'll explain everything you need to know about chillums and help you pick the right one for you!

What is a chillum?

a blue and yellow glass chillum pipe

The chillum pipe is a traditional smoking device that has been used for centuries by various cultures.

It is a straight, conical-shaped pipe that has a conical bowl on one end and a mouthpiece on the other.

To avoid inhaling ash, some chillum aficionados place a small stone or screen at the bottom of the bowl.

One factor that sets chillum pipes apart from others is that they do not have a carb hole, which can regulate air flow to the mouthpiece.

History of chillums

an Indian man smoking a clay chillum type hand pipe

Chillum is thought to have originated in India, and was first recorded in English in the late 18th century.

Chillums are traditionally used to smoke cannabis and opium by Hindu monks in and around India. They were used a lot in medicine and spiritual rituals.

The chillum hit European and American culture sometime in the 1960s.

Hippies on all continents brought chillums from India and these practical smoking pipes slowly made it to shelves of modern times.

In recent years, chillums have become popular among cannabis enthusiasts in the West, thanks to their simplicity and convenience.

5 Different Types Of Chillum Pipes

Chillum pipes come in different shapes, sizes, and materials.

Traditionally, Chillums are made of wood, stone or clay, but nowadays, they are predominantly made of metals and glass.

The intricate designs and carvings still exist, but the newer chillums tend to favor sleek, elegant designs.

Each type offers its kind of vibe when smoking, so what you choose boils down to personal preference and how it feels in your hand or looks on the shelf.

1. Clay Chillums

Clay chillum hand pipes

Clay Chillums are formed out of clay. The clay is then baked to harden, and it becomes a hard pipe.

This type of chillum has been used for centuries by many cultures to smoke and enjoy herbs.

They are easy to use with Durable construction, delivering tasty, clean hits and cool down quickly.

2. Wooden Chillums

a decoratively carved wooden chillum pipe

Wooden chillums are artistically made that often come with intricate carvings and designs.

Wooden Chillums provides a natural flavor to the smoke being exhaled, but they are often harder to clean.

3. Stone Chillums

five carved stone chillums

Stone chillums are made from any tough stones (marble, quartz, onyx, or granite), or soft stones (Steatite or Catlinite).

They are often dark-colored and polished, highly durable and smooth, delivering a smooth hit without sacrificing taste.

4. Glass Chillums

five colorful glass chillums

Glass chillums are probably the most common type. They are made from medical or food-grade borosilicate glass.

These are pretty easy to clean, resist heat, and also cool down relatively quickly as well.

These come in different shapes and sizes but are most fragile out of all the other types.

5. Metal Chillums

two metal chillums

For those seeking durability, metal chillums are a robust choice.

Not only does it withstand accidental drops, but also easy to clean.

5 Benefits of Using a Chillum Pipe

1. Intense smoking experience: Chillums are known for their strong and direct rips, making them grow rapidly in popularity.

With a lack of carb hole - no airflow restriction, and not being filtered by water, their hits tend to be more potent than other pipes.

2. Portability: Smaller and more discreet profile than a spoon pipe, chillums are great for the on-the-go smoker.

3. Efficiency: The small bowl size of chillums makes you smoke all your herb in one go, and nothing gets wasted!

4. Easy to Clean: The chamber from the bowl to the mouthpiece is typically one long tube without any angles, making cleaning the pipe a breeze.

5. Affordable: And finally, most chillums are quite affordable. There's such a huge number available and you'll find that almost none of them will set you back a small fortune.

How to use a chillum? Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare Your Herbs

Be careful to grind your herbs to the proper consistency before using your chillum.

To achieve a consistent burn and improve the smoking experience, a grinder is highly effective in this situation.

Step 2: Pack the Bowl

The ground herbs should be carefully packed into the bowl end of chillum .

Be cautious not to overpack since this can impede airflow and cause uneven burning.

Step 3: Light It Up

When you Inhale through the mouthpiece, light the herbs with a lighter. For a consistent burn, rotate the chillum.

Step 4: Enjoy and Find Your Rhythm

Enjoy the natural flavor of your herb from your favorite chillum!

Acquiring the rhythm necessary to smoke a chillum is an art form. As the smoke cools down before entering your lungs, take slow, steady breaths.

How to Hold or smoke a chillum?

Chillums are traditionally held between your ring and pinky finger with your hand cupped over the end.

Use your fist to create a smoke chamber by placing your mouth over your cupped hand.

It cools the smoke and catches embers, making smoking a more enjoyable experience.

Chillums should be lift at 45 degrees to prevent losing ashes and flower.

How to Clean a Chillum?

It is very important to clean the Chillum after use in order to avoid odors from the Chillum and to keep the future smoke taste fresh and pure. Just follow the steps below:

Grab a sealable plastic bag and add some isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt inside it.

Place your chillum in the bag and swish it around to ensure the liquid gets into all the nooks and crannies of your chillum.

Then, if it's especially dirty, let it sit for a little bit. This will allow any built-up residue to soften.

Once you've finished soaking, grab a pipe cleaner, brush, or cotton swab and push it through the stem of the chillum. This will get anything left out of your marijuana pipe.

Soak it again in the bag as many times as you need to to get the debris out, rinse it with warm water, and then let it dry.

Chillum Vs One Hitter: Which One is Better?

Chillums and one-hitters serve similar purposes as small, discreet smoking devices.

However, one-hitters are typically designed with a narrow bowl and are used for quick, single hits, while chillums have a bigger bowl and allow for more extended sessions with multiple hits.

Chillum Vs Bong: Which One is Better?

One of the most apparent differences between chillums and bongs is their size. Bongs are larger and cumbersome, while chillums are small and compact.

In Chillums, cannabis flower is burned and its smoke is inhaled. You inhale a lot of harsh and hot smoke at once which may irritate your throat.

In bongs or Water Pipes, cannabis flower is burned and its smoke is cooled and filtered through water before being inhaled.

Bongs provide a smoother and cooler hit than pipes thanks to their water filtration systems.

Chillum vs Spoon Pipe: Which One is Better?

Spoon pipes with L or spoon shape are more popular, bigger and can generally hold more herbs. They generally have a carb hole built into the side of the bowl, which can make taking hits easier.

Chillums are a straight pipe with an end to end channel. They are much more simple, discreet, compact and convenient hand pipe option than Spoon pipes, making them great for on-the-go smoking.

Chillum pipes can be harsher on your lungs and throat thanks to the lack of a carb hole: the smoke goes directly from the bowl to the mouthpiece.


Using a chillum can be a wonderful experience and this is evident by its longevity and use dating back centuries.

It seems that chillums will never go out of style and will only get better with time.

Chillum pipes are an especially great choice for those who want to maximize nature taste, travel often, or need to be discrete.

Their main drawback is that they give harsher hits than other types of pipes like water or spoon pipes.

The only way to know for sure if the chillum pipe is for you is to give it a try!