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What the Hell Is a Chillum?

These one-hit wonders are perfect for seshing alone

chillum pipes
Gear Patrol

Looking for more weed content? Check out our guides to bongs, vapes, bubblers and rolling papers, too.

Picture this: you’re in the mood for a little weed, but you don’t want to break out a bong, nor do you want to roll up a joint. A pipe, additionally, is not the vibe. “Just one-to-two hits, that’s all I want,” you scream to no one, fists in the air. Suddenly, you hear a small plink behind you: A chillum pipe has dropped from the sky! You dip your chillum into your grinder to pack it and light up, with your weird weed fairytale-fever dream-mission to have simply two puffs complete.

But what exactly is a chillum? Sit back, relax and let us explain (and give you a few recommendations).

What Is a Chillum?

A chillum is a small, hollow tube with a bowl on one end and a mouthpiece on another. Unlike their friends, pipes and bowls, chillums lack a carb (a hole in a pipe or bowl that controls airflow).

History of Chillums

The history of the chillum is unclear. Ancient chillums have been spotted in India, Nepal, South America, Jamaica, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa, among other places.

The first chillums were made from clay, stone, animal horns or wood. Now, chillums are typically made out of glass, aluminum or stainless steel. It’s also not clear why the chillum came to the United States — some say it’s American visitors bringing them back as souvenirs, some say it’s the hippie movement — but it’s generally agreed upon that they came to the U.S. in the 60s.

Although some argue that chillum pipes are not the same as one-hitters or bats, we’re including one-hitters and bats in this round-up since their function and composition is similar.

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What Are Chillums Good For?
session goods pipe
Session Goods

On-The Go Chilling

If you’re looking for something discreet and portable, look no further than a chillum. They don’t need a lot of prep — all you need is a chillum, a lighter and some bud. They fit in your pocket and you can find some that look like cigarettes if you really want to be sneaky, or just look like a cool person who enjoys a ciggie from time to time.

Private Matters

Chillum pipes are perfect for a solo sesh, thanks to its bowl size. And, if you’re new to ingesting cannabis, chillums are a great starting point: all you have to do is load, light and slowly inhale.A

Little Dose Will Do Ya

Chillum pipes are perfect for microdosing — no more accidentally being too high because you decided that just one more hit would be fine.

What's Not So Great About Chillums?
charlotte pipe
Laundry Day

Bated Breath

Chillum pipes can be harsher on your lungs and throat thanks to the lack of a carb: the smoke goes directly from the bowl to the mouthpiece. And, depending on the chillum’s design, and how strongly you inhale, you might be at risk for inhaling ash, embers or rogue pieces of unlit cannabis. Mesh screens prevent this, and some chillums have built-in mouthpieces to solve this problem.

Not Good in Groups

You can use your chillum in a group setting, but it’s going to be a lot of re-packing. Not to say you can’t use a chillum with the homies — just a disclaimer. It might be worth using a bong instead if you’re seshing with the crew.

Caution: Contents Hot

Chillums can get very hot despite the cooling capabilities of the pipe. Be careful if you’re new to using one — you can easily burn your lips and mouth if you’re not careful.

Best Overall Chillum
Vessel Helix

Helix is a patent-pending piece made of pure, non-toxic brass for clean inhalation. The piece features an interior spiral shaped like a double helix that doubles the length of the smoke path and filters as residue builds up to result in a smooth, cool pull every time. The company’s Air Glass one-hitter — which come in a three-pack — is also a fabulous choice in case you can’t shell out the dough for a Helix. 

Best Splurge Chillum
Dynavap Omni

Consider this the Aston Martin of one-hitters. Made in the U.S. out of lightweight, long-lasting titanium, the Dynavap Omni puts the power of a vaporizer into the size of a one-hitter. The company recommends you use a butane torch-style lighter to heat up the device, which is not much of a limitation as long as you’re comfortable using that kind of lighter. It has a dial indicator for quick and easy airflow adjustment, a notched dosing chamber that functions as a built-in grinder, and an Adjust-a-Bowl feature that allows the user to change the size of the dosing chamber. RIP Inspector Gadget, you would have loved this thing (he’s not dead, the show just isn’t running anymore).

Best Budget Chillum
Session Goods One Hitter

This pocket-sized borosilicate glass one-hitter is perfect for small tokes, solo sessions or a quick hit. In order to prevent your fingers from burning, the one-hitter comes with a silicon tab to protect your precious phalanges. You can pack it with your ground flower of choice or use it with a Session bong. Or, if you don’t want to pass or touch a soggy joint with your fingers, use this one-hitter to hold your pre-roll. 

Best Classic Chillum
Ceramic Cigarette Bat

This bat, which looks like a cigarette, combines timelessness with sneakiness: when you think “one-hitter,” you think of something that looks like this. It comes in aluminum as well. 

Jane West Solo

This chillum offers the perfect two-puff serving. It is covered in kitchen-grade enamel to prevent wear and tear, and comes with a custom-fit multitool for easy cleaning on the go.

Best Wearable Chillum
Tokyo Smoke Pipe Necklace

This stainless steel one-hitter is perfect for those who like to tell their friends, “actually it’s a [vibrator, flask, ring with a chamber for poison, etc.].” To use, unscrew the lid and pack your herb of choice into the hollow chamber. 

Best Versatile Chillum
Laundry Day Charlotte Pipe

This piece isn’t a one trick pony. In plenty of colors to fit your vibe, this glass piece can be used like a one-hitter or packed like a full bowl. The company also sells mesh screens for their pipes. 

Best Chillum with Built-In Pipe
Pulsar Honeycomb Chillum

This borosilicate glass chillum features a built-in honeycomb style disc that help prevent accidental ash inhalation. 

Best Unbreakable Chillum
Eyce Shorty

Featuring a snap-in borosilicate glass bowl design, this one-hitter features a cured silicone body and a lifetime warranty, meaning you won’t be heartbroken if it rolls off the table. It also includes a key chain loop, and the bowl can be removed for cleaning or swapped with Eyce’s titanium or quartz nozzles to turn it into a compact honey straw.

Best Neat Little Guy
Grav Labs Helix Chillum

This chillum gets the honor of “best neat little guy” because, well, just look at it: That’s a neat little guy. But, its specs also make it worthy of being a neat little guy: It’s just 3 inches long and features three air intake holes that cool and spin smoke. A colored marble prevents the chillum from rolling between uses. Neat, right?

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best weed vaporizers
Henry Phillips

Getting smoked out doesn’t mean you have to spark up.

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