If you’re a smoker, toker, or micro-doser of herb then you have probably heard of a “chillum” before. However, if not then you should definitely read on and learn more. A chillum pipe can be the perfect companion for those who like to take small toke throughout the day or want to be extra discreet when smoking herb. Chillums now come in a variety of forms and fashions, but not all of them function the same.
Let’s start with explaining exactly what a “chillum” is. A chillum is a common term used to describe a type of hand pipe used to smoke dry herb or other plant matter. It is traditionally narrow and tube shaped, with one end acting at the mouthpiece and the other as the bowl. These pipes are well known for being just what you need in a pinch and small enough to store in your pocket.
They do not typically have a carb however, which places them just below traditional pipes when it comes to a smooth inhale. They are also made from a variety of materials, including glass, ceramic, and metal and come in many shapes and sizes. Some chillums are disguised as a basic cigarette, while others fold out from a compact box to make a functional pipe. In general though, they are great for a sneaky toke or a quick micro-dose of dry herb.
If you’re used to using a pipe then a chillum will feel fairly familiar to you. However, there are a couple of differences and tricks you should keep in mind when using a chillum. The key to having a good chillum session is to pack the bowl properly.
You’ll want to start with grinding your dry herb down to a consistency that is medium to fine, avoiding big chunks and grinding it to dust. Once your herb is ground perfectly, you can start packing the end of the chillum with herb. You’ll want to pack it not too tight, not too loose, but just dense enough. If you pack too much into a chillum it might feel impossible to get a good pull. But if you pack it too loosely then you risk pulling the herb right through the chillum and into your mouth. It might take a couple of tries to find the sweet spot, but we are sure you will get there.
Once you have your bowl packed perfectly, you can set fire to your herb and puff, puff, and pass if you please. You don’t have to hold your lighter up for the whole hit though. It is best to tap the flame against the loaded bowl of the chillum, to allow it to catch but not get torched. With a few quick inhales, it should get your bowl to cherry and burn smoothly throughout the rest of the session.
The last and most important step of using a chillum is to make sure to ash it at the end of a session. Since a chillum is very compact, it can quickly build up resin from ash lingering in it longer than needed. You’ll want to be extra careful when ashing a glass chillum, and use a poking tool to dig out the ash instead of running the risk of breaking it. You can also choose to blow through the chillum to get the ash to eject out of the other end. Depending on how often you use your chillum pipe, you’ll want to give it a periodic deep clean to keep your hits tasting as fresh as possible.
There are a few different types of chillums made to choose between, each with a different advantage to their design. The first type of chillum is referred to as a “one-hitter” and is the most compact version of this type of pipe. As the name hints at, these chillums are designed to take one hit from instead of being able to handle enough herb to host a session. One-hitters are usually made from wood or glass and have a slim design. The glass versions do offer smoother hits though and a pipe that is easier to clean in the long run.
The next common type of chillum pipe is the “dugout pipe”. These types of chillum pipes are designed to look especially discreet, and have a one-hitter built into a compartment for storing. They can be blocks of wood with a one-hitter extending from them, or be shaped more like a lighter. These types of chillums are best for smokers who prefer to be discreet and store their pipes in plain sight.
The last type of chillum pipe to consider is the referred to as a “monkey pipe” and was believed to be invented in the 1990s. It is a chillum that can fold away to be a discreet box that looks like a pocket knife. When folded out though, it functions just like a typical chillum pipe or one-hitter. It fits easily in your pocket and can be a great pipe option for those who like to smoke discreetly on the go.
The type of chillum that will fit you best will depend on what you are looking for. If you want a pipe that doesn’t look like one then a dug out pipe or monkey pipe might be the best fit for you. But if you are looking for function over form, then sticking to a one-hitter made of glass might be best. There are a ton of options out there though and they are all fairly affordable, so why not check out a few different styles and see what fits you best? These pipes are simple to use, simple to clean, and a simply obvious option when you want a quick session.
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