Modified on: 16/05/2023
Everything you need to know about the cannabis pipe.
The cannabis pipe is a device used to smoke marijuana or hashish (also CBD cannabis and legal hash), alone or with friends. It is an ancient tool: first cannabis pipes date back at least 4,000 years, although many are replacing it with the most common papers. It is still widely used by the most significant fans and consumers of ganja.
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But what is the cannabis pipe history, and why do so many people praise it as the best tool for smoking cannabis? Find out in this in-depth study!
The origins and history of the cannabis pipe
The cilum (also spelt chiloom, chilum, chillum and in many other respects) is a pipe currently used to smoke grass, but its origins seem to date back to ancient Egypt, at least 4000 years ago. Remains of pipes and tobacco leaves have been found in Egyptian sarcophagi dating back to 2000 BC. Still, we cannot exclude that the tradition of smoking with a pipe began even before the era of the ancient Egyptians.
As you probably know, ceremonial pipes were also used by the Native Americans, the “American Indians”, during prayer ceremonies, at the end of wars and battles, and as a symbol of a union at social gatherings. The Amerindians believed that the smoke produced by the pipe could send prayers to the spirits. In contrast, after wars and battles, they were offered as a gesture of reconciliation (the famous “peace-pipe”).
The use of pipes to smoke cannabis (and we are certainly not talking about CBD weed), on the other hand, probably dates back thousands of years when holy men (the Sadhus) from India and the Middle East smoked a pipe instead of a hookah.
Marijuana connoisseurs currently use pipes as an alternative to joints.
Read also: “Chemical hunger”: why and how to manage it?
The advantages of using cannabis pipes as an alternative to ‘spliffs’.
Many people prefer to use pipes to smoke marijuana rather than rolling joints. There are many reasons for choosing pipes over spliffs, but we have summarised the main ones below:
- They are extremely quick (and easy) to prepare and use. To smoke the pipe, grind the CBD flowers or classic weed, fill the bowl and light it. Forget the lengthy preparations for stems, blunts and bangs – a pipe is ready in less than a minute!
- Produce less smoke and therefore less odour and are consequently more discreet than pipes and bangs.
- They are ideal for solo smoking and group sessions. It all depends on the size of the pipe: you may be able to buy a smaller one to use when smoking alone and a much larger one for smoking with friends.
- Some people argue that pipes produce fewer toxic substances than pipes, but we can’t give our word on this as there is no evidence for this… Even if you use a pipe, you don’t burn the papers, which often contain a lot of toxic substances, and you can also avoid mixing grass with tobacco. However, consider that burning itself is a process capable of producing substances that are harmful to our body.
- Moreover, the pipes are easily portable, easy to clean and easy to find, both online and in dedicated shops. There is a wide variety of pipe models available in many different shapes (especially glass pipes – you can swear you’ve seen them as hot dogs!).
Read also: Cannabis vaporiser: what it is, how it works and how to choose the best one
Cannabis pipe models available on the market
There are many varieties of pipes on the market. Among the best known are the following:
- Spoon Pipes or Hand Pipes. These are tiny types of pipes (they can fit on the palm of one hand). They consist of a bowl-shaped head, a torch – where there is both a hole to allow the smoke to travel inside the pipe and a carburetor to regulate the flow of air – and the mouthpiece, from which the smoke is inhaled. Spoon Pipes are the most common on the market and the most used for cannabis (with THC or CBD) because they are very small and comfortable. They are usually made of glass, but if you look hard, you can also find some made of wood and metal.
- The One Hitters, are small pipes that can go from 5 to 10 cm in length. They are long and tubular and have a mouthpiece on one side and a small stove on the other side where you can insert tobacco or CBD buds.
- Steamrollers: these are a cross between the One Hitters and the Hand Pipes. Cylindrical in shape, similar to cilums, they have a reasonably large burner and an open hole at the front of the torch which allows you to modulate the airflow (the system is similar to that of the hand pipe carburetor).
The materials can also be different: glass, wood, brass and even more unique materials such as silicone and even an ear of corn.
It is up to you to decide which one best suit your needs, also taking into account that smaller pipes are more difficult to clean than others (you usually can’t break them down into different parts) but easier to carry. In comparison, larger pipes can be bulky – even if they fit comfortably in a backpack – but much easier to clean because they can be taken apart very quickly.