Chillum pipes are one of the simplest, easiest pipes to operate and definitely one of the most intuitive – it’s a pure cylinder that has dry herb placed on one end and a mouthpiece on the other (make sure not to get it confused in the dark or in a rush, it could lead to a rather nasty effect). Overall, another great tip is to remember that the chillum can very easily overheat given the smaller stature and ‘straight shot’ design it incorporates. However, a chillum is one of the most reliable and easy to maintain pipes for smoking dry herb on the market.
The answer really is carefully. While someone can just stick a ripped-off chunk of herb inside, it is better to have an herb grinder to make sure that, when lit, there is an even burn and no pockets or burnt chunks develop that can fly back into someone’s throat. This isn’t to say that, without care, this can’t happen with an herb grinder but it certainly makes a more convenient overall smoke. Moreover, make sure that the herb isn’t packed too tightly (otherwise no oxygen will get through to allow a burn) or too loosely (as this can also cause material to fly back). Follow the goldilocks rule to get it ‘just right’ – tight enough to keep it together but loose enough to feel airflow.
This isn’t rocket science – just make sure to watch your fingers and, with the really small pipes, watch out for your face. Furthermore, make sure that the pipe has cooled down in between hits and touching the ends (or putting it back into a pocket). Nothing ruins a good smoke sesh like having a burn on the end of a finger. Making sure to pack the chillum properly also goes a long way to making sure that the smoking part is smooth and without issue. When the chillum is able to burn clean all the way through there is less need to touch the other end before it cools or for an excessive number of hits. Remember, these pipes are sometimes incorrectly often referred to as ‘one-hitters’ because of their smaller size and don’t need to be pulled on as hard as a bong or larger pipe (more on the difference below). If there is a great deal of pressure needed, this is probably a sign that the chillum needs to be cleaned properly and pronto.
Basically, to make sure that the pipe doesn’t burn a finger or part of a face just make sure that it’s extended out as far as it can go from the mouth – meaning don’t keep half of it in the mouth. Place the lips on the mouthpiece end just like a bowl and the chillum should be large enough that the heat from the lighter won’t be felt too harshly on the face or fingers. Remember, however, that the glass on a smaller pipe can heat up much quicker. Also, given the often smooth, cylindrical nature of a chillum keep in mind that a good grip is needed. It might be wise for the clumsier smoker to think about purchasing a chillum that already has a grip built-in. This makes the entire process much easier to work with and reduces the risks of dropping and breaking the chillum – especially if it’s glass.
Given the straight, tube-like structure chillums are rather easy to clean. Not to mention that they are often smaller than other types of pipes. Basically, start by clearing any solid wastes out with a cotton swab, toothpick, or other favorite thin, digging-like tool. Once that is complete make sure to look into whatever types of cleaners are most amicable. For some people, rubbing alcohol is a natural go-to. For others, the clean, natural feel of salt and vinegar is the best way to go. For others, a commercially-bought 420 cleaner is the only way to make sure that all the grime and gunk is gone. It doesn’t really matter which of these is chosen as long as there is something to get rid of the caked-on and dry resin that has built up. A great thing to do is find a sacrificial Tupperware container that can be filled with some cleaner and shaken around. A plastic bag is also a great substitute. Make sure to put enough cleaner inside to get all throughout the chillum and the bag/container. If using vinegar do not be shy on the gritty salt as this will help to peel and scrape away the resin from the glass. It will probably take a few tries to make sure that the entire chillum is clean, however, this is the drill for most pipes (they just usually require more cleaner and longer amounts of time). When satisfied that everything that can be shaken away is gone don’t be afraid to scrape a few places out just in case. Also, make sure to completely clean off any cleaner. While vinegar is certainly not going to kill anyone, it will definitely negatively affect the taste of the herb when smoked.
As mentioned earlier, there is a difference between a one-hitter and a chillum pipe. Keep in mind though, the difference isn’t big enough to get worried about the misclassification. In general, chillum pipes are considered to be about a full step up above a one hitter. They have larger bodies, larger bowl sizes, and can be smoked by more than one person without too much annoyance or a problem. One hitters, on the other hand, really lend themselves to single-person use and as such are often shaped like cigarettes to make them easier to conceal. The point of a one hitter is to very discretely take a puff or two. A chillum, while meant to be discrete and convenient, is designed with the simplicity of a tubular/cylindrical design with the feel and power of a bowl, relatively. So, while interchanging the names isn’t likely to cause too much confusion just make sure to remember that when searching in a search engine.
If thinking about a chillum as a step above a one hitter is helpful, think of a bowl as a step above a chillum. Slightly more complex, slightly more going on, and probably a little bit more capacity, detail, etc. This isn’t to say they are inherently better but just remember that a bowl is going to have more surface area (more grip, then) and probably a bigger bowl pack. Not to mention, the glass could be thicker (although this isn’t always the case).
A dry herb vaporizer is much different than a chillum. Vape pens, usually, will vaporize and not burn the dry herb. This means the hits are smoother (although combustion vapes still burn). Also, battery power instead of a flame is required and this can be better or worse depending on the situation. A vape is also going to possibly be compatible with more than dry herb and be more complicated than a chillum.
Think about it – this is a straight tube with not many places for resin to collect. The more it’s used the more it’s going to need to be cleaned. Don’t go overboard but definitely think about a scrape ‘n shake when it gets harder to take a hit.
Be careful, again, about not getting burned in the face. While this is ‘easily’ avoidable (don’t be stupid with it) the smaller stature has been known to surprise people. Don’t be that guy.
Obviously, besides a one-hitter, there isn’t a pipe easier to pack up and just go. Almost all chillum pipes will fit easily in a pocket or purse.
Chillum pipes can be found in gas stations, smoke shops, and on plenty of websites. Particularly, when thinking about purchasing a quality chillum pipe, don’t forget to check out the variety of chillum pipes at vapevetstore.com where all orders shipped in the USA are 100% absolutely FREE!
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