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What is a chillum?

Chillums are small pipes that were first used by Hindu monks and holy men in India.  It is believed that these monks have been using chillums for thousands of years, before tobacco was even introduced in India.  Chillums have been associated with spirituality and meditation throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, but the chillum reached western popularity during the 20th century.  Chillums grew in popularity for their strong and direct rips, usually more powerful than the average dry handpipe.  Now, chillums are considered a trendy and portable handpipe style, and can be found in stacks at any local headshop.

Chillums vs. handpipes

Also known as “bats” or “one-hitters”, chillums are generally much smaller than other styles of handpipes, including spoons and sherlocks.  Chillums also do not use a carburetor, or the small hole on the side of the bowl.  The carburetor is meant to be covered with a thumb or finger to direct the airflow from the bowl to the mouth.  When the thumb or finger is removed from the carb, the bowl can be cleared and all of the smoke inhaled.  Chillums do not have a carb, meaning there is less control over airflow in the pipe.  This is usually what makes them “one-hitters”; the bowl will continue to burn for as long as it can sustain itself, since there is no direct way to control the airflow.

Due to their size, chillums are best lit at a 45 degree angle to prevent dry herb from falling to the floor.  Some smokers will use something small or round to hold the herb in the bowl, such as a small nut.  Traditional clay chillums are smoked using a closed fist or a piece of cloth as a filter.

Chillums at Smoke Cartel

Smoke Cartel offers a nice collection of chillums for sale.  The Twisted Fumed Chillum from GlasseX is one of our functional favorites, and emphasizes the classic feel and portability of the common chillum.  GlasseX also offers the “Galileo’s Finger,” a chillum shaped like a finger bone.  Chillums designed to resemble common objects include the Shroomy Chillum and the “Pocket Monster Flute” from Empire Glassworks.  Mia Shea even brings her own spin to the chillum with her “Voluptuous Ladies.”

If you think a chillum is the right kind of pipe for you, you can always look to Smoke Cartel to carry a variety of awesome and high-function chillums.  Smoke Cartel is always interested in stocking new and innovative pieces, so keep looking back and you might just find the chillum of your dreams.  Keep smokin’, and consider adding a chillum to your collection for the meditative staple you’ve been looking for.

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