What's a Chillum?
The Chillum is a time-tested, simple, hand pipe that continues to enjoy popularity among smokers of all types. They don't come with any of the fancy features you'd see in modern bubblers or bongs, but they're very easy to operate and incredibly affordable. Its simplicity is what gives teh Chillum its edge as a hand pipe.
To put it very simply, the Chillum is, essentially, a smoking pipe. They've been around for a few centuries now (started in the 18th century). People used these simple but handy pipes to smoke cannabis, opium, and other herbs in the past.
History of Chillums
Chillums enjoyed a cultural significance in earlier societies. They were a means of social interaction and bonding. Passing a chillum around was a good way of nurturing close bonds around a fire. In countries like India, you would see it used mostly by men and primarily for religious reasons. Their use has gradually decreased since the early 1990s because of more modern and advanced smoking devices that were invented. But it still offers the class and vintage feel for those who still prefer to have one.
What are Chillums made of?
The Chillum is the oldest form of a one-hitter, but with more variety in size. Bigger chillums can accommodate more herbs for a bigger hit.
The most common materials for chillums in the past were clay, wood, or stone. The material can change depending on the time and culture. But the classic conical shape has remained the same. And they're no longer confined to the initial styles. Today, you can find Chillums that come in ceramic, quartz, metal, or even glass.
Chillums are believed to help in preventing unwanted particles from entering while inhaling. Also, they're more efficient than blunts because you get more of the smoke with less wastage.
How do you use a Chillum?
The Chillum is a discreet and simple device that isn't complicated at all. So, using it doesn't need a lot of skill or expertise. However, like any other device, there are some best practices that will help you use it better.
The best tip is to try and smoke it slowly. If you take in the smoke too slow though, you'll miss out on the optimal hit. On the other hand, if you draw in too quickly, you may inhale a hit that's too hot for your throat and lungs. So, if you don't want to be underwhelmed or end up in a coughing fit, a slower moderate draw is usually the best option.
Stuff you'll need
- A simple (or fancy) chillum
- The substance/herb to smoke
- A wet cloth
To begin, preparing the herb or substance is an important bit before you start smoking. Once your herb of choice is ready to go, pack it firmly into the right end of your Chillum. Remember, the packing should be a snug fit without being too cramped. Use the wet cloth as a covering around the pipe to allow easier handling when it gets hot. This step is optional for those who know your Chillums well and can control the heat levels as you smoke.
How to Smoke
Hold the Chillum Correctly
Place the Chillum between your ring finger and the little finger, clamping it tightly in place. The packed end of the Chillum should be pointing slightly in the upwards direction. If you're alone, make a fist and enclose the palm of your hand since you'll need the other hand to light up the pipe. If you're with a friend, you can use the other hand to form a 'hand-chamber' of sorts.
Light your Chillum and smoke
Let your friend light up the Chillum as you hold it firmly in place. Make a small opening between your index finger and your thumb to create the 'mouthpiece.' Use this opening to inhale the smoke at a moderate pace, so you get the full flavor of the smoke. If you're on your own, you can inhale the same way. But you'll have to use one fist as the 'chamber' and the other hand free to light up the end.
Cleaning your Chillum
Cleaning your Chillum isn't the most fun part of owning one. But it's important not to ignore these maintenance tips so that you continue getting the full benefit out of it.
Why clean your Chillum
The main reason here is that you don't want to inhale the remnants or debris from the last time you used the Chillum. Used chillums have to be kept clean to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold spores, allergens, etc. These are expected since your herbs are also organic compounds to start with. Also, combustion and lighter fluids can leave harmful compounds or toxins in the pipe. You don't want to be inhaling these compounds when you light up the Chillum again the next time. Finally, even if you magically manage to avoid all these health effects, the residue will still create a taste that will affect any new herbs or contents you put into your Chillum. So, cleaning your Chillum regularly is a good idea to avoid toxins, health effects, and bad flavor.
The good news here is that cleaning a chillum is a pretty straightforward process. It doesn't take time, and as long as you don't let the dirt build-up, the methods are fairly easy.
How to clean your Chillum
Stuff you'll need
- A non-toxic container (Ziplocks work great).
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Pipe Cleaners
Take the non-toxic container (Ziplock bag) and fill it with an adequate amount of rubbing alcohol. It should be enough to submerge the Chillum completely. Place the Chillum inside and add some salt to the alcohol before you shake and seal it completely.
Take out the Chillum and sprinkle some salt on both ends of the pipe. Don't add so much salt that it prevents the liquid alcohol from passing through freely. Then, place the Chillum into the container (Ziplock) and shake it so that the alcohol easily goes through the pipe.
You should see the color of the alcohol change slightly as the debris gets cleaned. Now, you can take out your pipe for some additional cleaning. Take your pipe cleaners and q-tips to scrape or clean out the remaining 'gunk' in the pipe. The rubbing alcohol should have loosened them enough to come out easily. Once you're satisfied, give the Chillum a thorough rinsing with water and let it completely dry.
Regardless of the design and material of your chillums, this process should work for you. However, if you have a specific type of Chillum that requires unusual methods, check out the manufacturer's instructions. They usually include the 'dos and don'ts' of how to clean and maintain your Chillum.
Why Chillums remain Timeless
If there's anything we know about trends and practices, it's that 'old-school' is always cool. These vintage devices invariably make a comeback, whether it's clothing, hairstyles, cars, or chillums!
Chillums have never completely gone out of style because they're affordable, reliable, discreet, and easy to use. They'll give you a quick hit of your favorite herb, whether you're at home or out on the road. You don't get this convenience with the more complicated, modern bongs.
With a growing variety of styles and appearances, they can also fit into any affecionado's collection. As they're easy to maintain, cheap, and convenient, they make an excellent choice for beginners who want to start with something basic and affordable. DestinationSmoke.com has everything you need from Chillums themselves to the supplies needed to clean them.