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As the name implies, a one-hitter is a small pipe designed for just one hit at a time. One-hitters often have the bowl facing straight out, away from the mouthpiece, rather than on the top of the pipe, and usually don’t have a carb. 

“I love my one-hitter—it looks like a cigarette, so no one knows I’m smoking weed until I exhale.”

What are one-hitters?

One-hitters are commonly known as “chillums,” which are a straight, conical style of one-hitter originally used by holy men in India for centuries before spreading to the rest of the world.

Chillums are traditionally held between the ring and middle finger, with the hand in a fist, and the smoker inhales through the top of their hand. The hand can be opened and closed to form a carb. This form of smoking allows multiple people to use the same device without touching their lips to the device, making it more sanitary (as long as their hands are clean).

There are now countless different styles of one-hitters, and one common trait of all is a focus on discretion. Many one-hitters look like another object, such as a cigarette or a tube of mascara. 

How to use a one-hitter

The first step in using a one hitter is to prepare your bud. It helps for bud to be broken up by hand, or roughly ground, rather than using a solid nug or finely ground bud. Loading in one solid nug is likely to just burn it around the edges, which is especially true for dense strains. On the other hand, if bud is too finely ground, it will fall out or you’ll end up sucking in ashes.

Pack the bowl holding the one-hitter vertically with the bowl up, or slightly angled if you’re worried about bud falling through it. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth, light the bowl end, and inhale as with any pipe, and you may want to keep the one-hitter angled up, rather than straight out.

If smoking the traditional way, place the one-hitter between your fingers, make a fist, and inhale through the opening between your thumb and index finger, keeping the one-hitter vertical.

Clean your one-hitter by soaking it in rubbing alcohol, rinsing it clean, and letting it dry.