Have you ever wondered what the most discrete, portable, and simple way to smoke is? If you’re like most cannabis users, you’ve probably wondered if there’s a way to smoke without the obvious appearance of hitting a pipe and one that is more portable than typical water pipes. Well, you’re in luck - today you’re going to learn all about the chillum pipe, also known as a one-hitter.


These extremely portable, discrete, and simple smoking devices resemble a tube, usually wider at the top and smaller at the bottom, into which a small amount of cannabis is placed at the top. The device is held in the fist or sometimes like a cigarette, which allows you to smoke in public undetected far easier. Chillum pipes come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny glass ones to even ones that appear exactly like a cigarette on the outside but have a small area on the top where you can pack your cannabis flower instead.


How to Use a Chillum


Chillums can get very hot and clogged up quickly due to their small and simple design, so take caution when smoking out of one for the first time. Traditional chillums use a “stopper”, which is placed in the top to prevent ash and debris from getting into the user’s mouth, and modern ones can use metal screens or a piece of fiber like a net to catch this. Some small glass chillums won’t need this, and the user will just take caution not to allow ash and debris to escape down the pipe.


To use a chillum, follow these steps:


  1. Grind your herb into a consistent texture
  2. Place the chillum between your index and ring finger, or wrap your index finger around it
  3. Cup the hand holding it into a fist, creating a smoke chamber which gives the smoke room to cool and collect
  4. Once the herb is lit, feel free to bring your other hand down and cup it around the hand holding the chillum to increase the size of the chamber
  5. Use your mouth to inhale from the smoke chamber, inhaling from the space between your fingers and palm
  6. Remove the stopper or screen to clean the device, or if you aren’t using one of these take a straightened paper clip or other tool and poke it through the chillum to clear it


While the concept of creating a smoke chamber with your fist and inhaling from that might sound complicated, it’s really a lot easier than it sounds. If you don’t feel like doing that, you can also just hold the chillum like a cigarette or between your thumb and index finger like a joint and inhale directly. The most important step comes next: enjoy your relaxing cannabis high, and go experience life in your enhanced, tuned-up state of mind!


History of the Chillum


Chillums can be found all over the world, but are mainly associated with the India region where cannabis largely first evolved. Back then, cannabis wasn’t nearly as strong as it is today, so they mainly smoked concentrated hashish or other forms of cannabis resin. Chillums are an ancient smoking method, believed to be the oldest method used to smoke psychoactive herbs in the world.


For many Europeans, the chillum was their introduction to marijuana, when they took trips along the infamous “Hippie Trail”, which consisted of mainly buses and other tours going from London to Kathmandu, and making many stops along the way.


These Indian and other Asian cultures mostly smoked what they called “Charas”, or finger-hash, created by rubbing the sticky oils and resins off of the flower buds by hand and pressing and rolling it together. This became a lucrative trade in the 60s, as smugglers found it very easy to ship large amounts of hash into other countries as opposed to flower buds, and in many Asian countries there weren't any laws against producing hash or growing cannabis yet.


In the Hindu culture where hashish originated, the chillum is given a ritualistic and sacred preference. Some rural cultures restricted its usage to men only, or only for special religious events or gatherings. When they smoked it, they would light the pipe, raise it towards their forehead, and say the words, “Boom Shankar” as a ritualistic invocation to their deity Shiva, inviting him to partake in the sacred cannabis plant with them. 


Chill Out With a Chillum


Chillums are truly an underappreciated smoking device in the modern day. When it comes to smoking at home in your living room, a bong, bubbler, or other water pipes will certainly provide cooler smoke and better filtration of ash and other particles. But if you’re looking for a cheap device that you won’t have to worry about passing around to careless friends who might break it or a way to smoke while on the go, there’s nothing better than a chillum!