A Brief History of Glass Chillums

Hey everybody, and welcome to a brief history of the chillum pipe. Most of us have smoked out of a chillum at one point or another. What is a chillum? It’s a small, cylindrical hollow tube with a bowl on one end and a mouthpiece on the other. Originally, they were made of glass or occasionally stone, and early versions came with a small stone for a plug. For some, it remains their favorite means of smoking that sweet sticky green goodness. For others, it’s reserved as a pocket-friendly way to spark up on the go. Whether you’re a daily chillum user, an only on the go chillum fan, or if you’ve never heard the word until you started reading this, this piece will likely include information that’s new to you. With that said, lets dive briefly into the history of this centuries-old smoking device. Pack up a fresh one for the ride. If you don’t already have a chillum to smoke with, it’s alright. We won’t judge. But we will point you in the direction of some pretty sweet ones to check out in case you’re interested. Anyway, let’s jump right in. 


Origins


The chillum or “chilam” has a long, varied history. Many of the earliest found versions of these often crudely made hand pipes have been found throughout Asia and the Middle East. These early versions have been dated as far back as the early 18th century. Today, they can be found in practically every country on earth and can most definitely be purchased at most if not all smoke shops in America. The chillum likely made its first big splash here in America in the 1960s. Soldiers serving overseas and tourists visiting areas of the world that had previously been inaccessible to American travelers brought them home as souvenirs and it was love at first sight. Soon thereafter the chillum became a staple of any self-respecting stoner’s stash box. To this day, they are prized possessions of many midnight tokers that recognize their deep, rich history.

Glass chillum pipe

 


How To Use A Chillum 

How a chillum is used today is pretty different from how they were used when they were originally invented. At first, there were two pieces involved with smoking out of a chillum. There was the chillum itself and there was what was called the chillum stone or chillum rock. In its infancy as a smoking device, the chillum’s bowl had a large hole in the bottom for airflow. For this reason, a stone or rock would be used as a type of plug for the bottom of the bowl to prevent the herb or tobacco from falling through the device and being inhaled while it’s still lit. These stones worked similar to a modern glass screen. Today, with modern glass blowing techniques, we have managed to mitigate the need for stones or glass screens. In fact, some modern chillums even have an inverted cone in the mouthpiece that helps prevent ash or embers from getting into your mouth even if you do end up sucking in some nastiness. Sound interesting? Check out our Chameleon Glass Ash Catcher Chillum. 

Glass chillum pipe


Modern Chillums 


Today’s chillums are modern works of art, painstakingly crafted over for hours by artisans in small workshops across the country. These artists take extreme care in their work and pride themselves on craftsmanship through and through. They also have respect for the origins of this treasured piece of smoking history and it shows in the quality of work that is seen in today’s glass chillum production. In most shops across the country, even the world these days, you can find chillums of every shape, size, and design. There are chillums that glow in the dark, ones that have your favorite cartoon characters from when you were a kid on them, even ones that contain liquid you can freeze to help cool down your hits. Sure, some of these chillum variations are purely novelty, the blessings the chillum continues to bring us as a species are anything but. 

Glass chillum pipe

In-House Recommendations 


Perhaps you’ve made it this far into the page and are sold on chillums, but you just don’t know which one would be right for you. If that’s the case, not to worry. We’ll go over some popular and unique versions of the chillum you can scoop right here on the Brothers With Glass site and have shipped right to your door! First up, we’ve got the previously mentioned Chameleon Glass Ash Catcher chillum. While we’ve already touched on this one briefly, it’s worth diving a bit deeper into in our opinion. 


  1. Chameleon Glass Ash Catcher Chillum – These things are awesome! Not only are they compact and cool looking. They’re also super functional. They work exactly the same as a regular chillum, only at the mouthpiece there is a pointed, conical tip that points inward. This creates a higher and tighter hole for the smoke to travel through. This means that if your ash falls through, since ash is heavier than smoke and air, it will get trapped under the cone and not end up in your mouth. A pretty nifty invention from the guys over at Chameleon Glass. 

  1. Mathematix Glass Pendant Chillum Hand Pipe – If you are looking to scoop yourself a new chillum but don’t have a ton to spend, this one may be for you. While the price tag may be low on this pipe, the quality is not. In addition the quality craftsmanship that comes with any Mathematix Glass piece, this chillum also comes with a kick of convenience. With a glass loop attached to the side and a small necklace chain or string through that, this chillum can go with you wherever you go, even if your pockets are already full. 

  1. Stone Tech Glass Mushroom Chillum Hand Pipe – Looking to scoop something a little more on the artistic side? Not to worry. These Stone Tech mushroom chillums are not only functional, they’re also beautiful. The design of these pieces might have you wondering how the artist pulled off making glass look so much like stone. All the while, its functionality will leave you wondering how it feels so much like a stone. Plus, these cool little things are so pretty, they can be used as decorative pieces in your house. Your landlord will be none the wiser (no promises). 

Well, there you guys have it. A breakdown of the history, how to use, and where to find a chillum. Now that you have a base of knowledge on them, hopefully you can use it to seek out the perfect chillum for your specific needs. Finally, we want to remind you that no matter what your needs are, we have a huge selection of pieces for smokers of every shape and size and we hope we can help you find the perfect piece for you! 

35 comments

kendal blanton

kendal blanton

I’ve lost many lungs to these things when I was younger.

kendal blanton

kendal blanton

I’ve lost many lungs to these things when I was younger.

devin woodsome

devin woodsome

I remember the first time I use a Chillum it was awesome hiding out back behind the school yard smoking some bud before school always rocking and chillum

Matt

Matt

Chillums are my go to love the stealth and ease to carry

David

David

Chillum is used by sadhus today in India. I think the first chillums were probably wood or stone way before glass was used.

Ann

Ann

I never knew what these were called… aptly named for sure!

yogi

yogi

I have an OG Chillum that is the go to inhalation device when I share a smoke with my wife.
She has MS and is paralyzed, except
for the use of her left hand.
A simple device like a chillum works best, as I can gently hold the chillum to her lips, combust it with hemp twine, and voila, she’s happy & high!

DENISE Boyd

DENISE Boyd

I learned something new, thank you.

Neil Keidel

Neil Keidel

Interesting history. I didn’t know the have been around so long!

Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn

Interesting read! I’ve had a chillum for so long and I’ve never used it.. might have to break it out.

Rodney

Rodney

The stone look is what makes me want one

Matt

Matt

Love chillums perfect EDC pipe for the quick head change

Ro

Ro

Interesting post. Learned a bit from it. Let’s burn

Michael Kline

Michael Kline

I love chillums, great for concerts

Danny Martinez

Danny Martinez

I started on the chillums! It’s a go to for any travel smoker!

Damion Uitvlugt

Damion Uitvlugt

I started this article without any clue as to what a chillum was, and finished with knowledge about them and some ideas for a new piece to add to the collection

Niki

Niki

Chillums are a must have and y’all’s Mathematix one is 🔥

Ron Burroughs Jr

Ron Burroughs Jr

I was big into beaker bongs for ever. Simple and easily replaced. When I started smoking top shelf I found chillums. I’ve loved them ever since. It’s all I use now, with the occasional beaker hit or 2. But I will never replace using chillums. Most are easy on the wallet and are hard to break. After some online searching the design and colors are never-ending.

Adam

Adam

Chillums are the easy go-to!

mikesisul

mikesisul

I never knew they may of come from Asia 🌏 COOL FACT

Emily

Emily

Hey, I could use one of these! ⚡

Sarah

Sarah

I bought a bubbler but I think one of these is going to be next!

Tyler Leach

Tyler Leach

So interesting! Just started making some wooden chillums again Glad to got to learn some of the history!

morgan morris

morgan morris

Appreciate the education

reed porter

reed porter

Awesome article! Always loved chillums and the history behind them. When you really get a proper clay one and add hash it is a wild ride. The oxygen to smoke ratio is amazing and really boosts the experience

Gosickkid.com

Gosickkid.com

Very cool!

Jerry Ourada

Jerry Ourada

There is no better piece to use than a chillum in the lawn at a big show! Enjoyed the PIECE guys!

Andrew Colman

Andrew Colman

Nothing beats a nice glass chillin for on the go use. Great selections @ Brothers with glass

Jennifer M

Jennifer M

I love chillums

Thomas

Thomas

I just love these pipes!

Different Joe

Different Joe

I love the simplicity of chillums, but i truly appreciate having a carb to make things a little bit smoother.

Alex

Alex

Chillums are a smokers necessity. I miss my first green glass chillum from liberty 503 so much :(( would highly recommend a chillum to any new smoker

Julie

Julie

Soooo is that where the term “getting stoned” came from!?

Rich

Rich

This is the only type of smoking device I’ve never used. Now I’m interested.

Joe

Joe

Chillums are great pipe for on the go, fits in your pocket nice.

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