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The Chillum: Everything You Need To Know

2 min

Using a Chillum is one of the lesser known ways of smoking cannabis, yet its popularity is making a resurgence, so it only seems right to have a fresh look at these traditional pipes.

Looking for a way to add a little old-school to your smoking experience? A chillum may be the way to go. This traditional pipe is still seen as one of the best ways to enjoy marijuana, especially by older generation smokers – who remember the glory days the chillum once enjoyed.


What Is A Chillum: A Little History

The chillum is a straight conical smoking pipe of unknown origin, traditionally used for smoking cannabis and opium. Although no one is completely certain who used them first, their earliest use dates back to the 18th century, where they were used by the holy men of India (Sadhus) and Hindu Monks from the Himalayan region. In fact, the loved phrase "boom Shankar" comes from the use of a chillum, where holy men would raise the pipe to their forehead upon lighting it, to invite Shiva and the other Gods to come and enjoy the pleasure of their bountiful hash with them.


The chillum became popular with Western stoners back in the 60's. This was largely down to its spiritual significance, as well as the traditional use of the chillum, which would see the pipe passed around a circle of users. For the hippies of the 60's this helped create a feeling of oneness and family when smoking, making it an essential piece of kit among friends. As such, chillums are still extremely popular with the smokers of that generation, although, they have fallen by the wayside a bit with younger crowds - thanks to the oversaturation of smoking paraphernalia available on the market today. This is slowly changing, though, and the chillum is once again enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

Chillumsview chillums


The Effects Of Using A Chillum

Another reason the chillum is such a popular piece of kit is thanks to its effect. Although extremely basic in build (especially compared to more modern pipes and bongs etc.), the use of a chillum creates a very distinct experience. Its shape and size allow for the rapid cooling of smoke, as well as allow for a large quantity of smoke to accumulate. This results in an extremely smooth experience, and a much harder hitting high than if a conventional pipe were used. Also, the larger the chillum, the greater its effects on the smoke.

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Using A Chillum

As a rule of thumb, you will need about 0.5-1.5g of hash, and enough tobacco to create one normal cigarette. You can also use bud, but hash is what is traditionally used.

You need to crumble up the tobacco, then add in the hash and rub it all together with your hand, before placing the final mix into the bowl of the chillum, above the stopper.

To smoke the chillum, place a filter over the mouth piece, heat the bowl, and take a few short puffs followed by a deep inhale.

Also, make sure you clean the chillum properly after each smoke. This will ensure that it doesn’t absorb the lingering contents of the smoke, keeping the flavour of future smokes fresh and unadulterated.


The Types Of Chillum

Although the basic design of the chillum has remained the same throughout history, the materials they are made with has slowly changed and evolved, offering slight variations to the experience as a whole. For example, a glass chillum is much more efficient at cooling smoke and easier to clean than its wooden counterpart. Whereas a wooden chillum can be much more ornate and traditional in feel. Typically, chillums are available in glass, wood, soapstone or clay.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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