How Do I Use a Chillum?
How Do I Use a Chillum?
Chillums are traditionally an Indian or East Asian pipe that have been used by holy men for meditation and spiritual purposes for hundreds of years. But beginning in the 1960s, chillums were brought to the West and they're now used by casual and serious smokers for both group and personal purposes. It’s likely you’ve seen them being sold in smoke shops near other glass one-hitters.
The advantages to using a chillum are numerous. It delivers a stronger hit than a one-hitter, and it’s more compact than a normal glass piece. However, there's more than one correct way to use one, which we're about to explore. In this article, we’ll explore the best ways to use a chillum and how to get the best hits off of it.
Packing a chillum is similar to using a one-hitter. Chillums are usually longer pieces with has a conical bowl end, which you can fill up with whatever you’re smoking. To pack it, you can put a pile of tobacco or leaf on a table, or use a wooden dugout to delicately put the leaf inside of it. Make sure to pack tightly so that it’s less likely it goes into your mouth - there generally won't be a filter to protect you from burning embers.
Some chillums also use what’s called a “chillum stone,” which is traditionally a random pebble that you find on the ground. Modern chillums can come with their own special fitted stone, which you can use to filter debris and dust that would otherwise flow into the smoke chamber.
When using a traditional clay chillum, they’re so long that you’re supposed to have someone else light it for you. However, with modern glass chillums, you can light it yourself with a little practice. You can, in theory, just put the chillum in your mouth and spark it, but this means that the device gets very hot very quickly.
The traditional way of using a chillum is to cup your hand over the chillum over the end and place it between your ring and pinky finger, then place your mouth over your cupped hand. This avoids the heated end of the chillum, and creates a smoke chamber inside your fist to both cool the smoke and catch embers. As we said earlier, the traditional way of lighting a chillum is to have the person next to you light it for you as you cup the piece, which allows you to use both hands to create an even bigger chamber, kind of like a bong sans water.
Another way to use a chillum pipe if you don’t have a friend around is to use it as an adaptor on a larger water pipe. This has the distinct advantage of getting all the potency you would normally get from a chillum plus the added airflow and cooling effect of using a water pipe. All you have to do is put the filled chillum next to the bowl, light it, and take a pull off the water pipe.
This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for the chillum. Any item that can be used as a water pipe can then, with a little bit of creativity, be used in tandem with the chillum pipe, wherein the chillum serves as the bowl for your makeshift bong. This means more powerful hits out of any household item that converted into a water pipe.
So there you have it, that’s how to use a chillum. It’s better and more fun with friends to help you out, but no less satisfying by yourself.