Do’s and Don’ts: masking the odor from your cannabis garden

Soft Secrets
17 Jun 2020

The smell from your cannabis garden can be overwhelming. And with nosy neighbors around, it might be an issue you might want to manage.

What’s that smell? One of the perks of homegrowing cannabis is enjoying the pungent smell of marijuana, coming from your indoor or outdoor garden. However, that same intoxicating smell might be a hellraiser and even expose you to some legal issues, depending on the homegrowing laws and restrictions in your area. Our two cents: keep your cultivated pals a secret, and learn how to disguise the odor of your cannabis garden.

While controlling the odor from your cannabis garden is not rocket science, it has its fair share of challenges. Such as setting a proper air replacement system should you be home gardening a larger amount of plants.  Skim through our do’s and don’ts, and test and try what works best for your garden.

How to mask the cannabis odor from your garden

1. Try odor neutralizers

Odor neutralizers are an easy way to mask the smell that’s spreading from your cannabis plants. However, this is a solution that can only work for small gardens. Neutralizers are also cheap so they won’t require a lot of spending.


Try out simple neutralizers such as aromatic candles if you have two to three plants that you keep tucked in a corner of your house. While items like candles or air fresheners may only help and cover up the unique strong smell of marijuana from the air, you might want to look for more substantial odor neutralizers. If you are looking for something more than just a quick fix, search for special gels and oils that are better at neutralizing the smell in the air. There are a lot of odor neutralizing products available, designed to catch and bind with the terpenes compounds emitted from the cannabis plants. 

To distinguish what cannabis terpenes are: terpenes are aromatic oils that originate from the same glands where THC and CBD are secreted. These are your plant’s aromatic oils that give your buds the specific sweet or fruity hints and aromas. So, the odor neutralizer binds with the terpene compounds and counteracts the smell.

Ideally, you should place your odor neutralizer in a room or a position adjacent to where your growth is. If you are keeping your plants in the closet, place the neutralizer in the hall. This would be enough to diminish the smell in your living room and avoid awkward questions from curious guests whom you would rather not inform what’s in your closet. 


Cannabis smell absorbers such as odor neutralizers are not advised to stay within your grow room. For the simple reason that they’ll kill the original taste and smell of your buds.  Another tip on how to mask the cannabis odor from your garden: change your odor neutralizer frequently. Don't get hazy and lazy and check your house smell before you light up again. If you are growing a bigger garden, seek other solutions to camouflage the smell from your homegrowing marijuana. 

2. Install carbon filters

For your more significant enterprise of plants, what may work better is installing carbon filters. Carbon filters are currently promoted as the best product on the market that effectively kills the pungent weed smell. Carbon filters use activated carbon to purify the air and remove unwanted scents such as that coming from your grow room.

Activated carbon is a superior absorber, much better than the odor neutralizers mentioned above, so you can use it for the more spacious areas where you take care of more than just a few crops. 


There are various carbon filters, both in terms of their shape and size. The carbon filter works along with a fan that is part of your grow rooms’ exhaust system, so basically the filter is only part of the equipment you need to filter out odor.  If you don’t have a fan already, you may want to buy one as well. The fan forces the air through the filter and the filter purifies the air. During installation, ensure that these two parts are compatible with one another.  The filter should be powerful enough to remove odor sufficiently.

This depends on the filter size but also on how much space you need to manage.  Your fan and filter are supposed to help you replace the air in your grow room every five minutes or so. Let’s say your grow room is 250 square feet. In which case, you should choose a fan and filter that can cope with filtering 50 cubic feet per minute (CFM) to ensure there is new air in the 250 square feet space every five minutes. 

Check whether your filter has an equal or slightly higher CFM rating than your fan upon purchase or on the package of your gear. This information may also be indicated somewhere on the body of the fan so inspect closely.  Both the fan and filter need the same duct diameter, too. Six inches is standard, but double-check just to be on the safe side. Otherwise, you’ll have difficulties attaching the two parts. 

Of the two main types of carbon filters, the block type is generally more effective. The block filter is supposed to help you if you host a bigger grow room. This type of filter has a larger carbon surface area and is more capable to filtrate the air thoroughly.  For smaller grow rooms, test with granular filters. 

How to install the carbon filter?

You should be able to attach the filter to the fan’s intake side either with a metallic duct tape or airtight clamp.  You also need to affix the filter and fan, best by adding hangers around them. Use hooks to attach the hangers to the ceiling.  Connect the filter and fan with the ducting, which is usually set almost parallel to the ceiling and enters the wall. 

See this instructional video if you need help. If you need extra help, call your friend who can engineer this with you and who’ll appreciate some nugs after a hard day of labor in your grow room.


There are three more things to ensure your carbon filter is running properly and replacing the air in your grow room as needed.

  • Don’t forget to change the carbon filter. Carbon filters can last up to a year, but you may want to replace them earlier than that. You’ll notice that your carbon filter needs change when the odors return in the room. It also helps if you keep track of when you changed the filter last time.
  • Don’t switch off your filter. Your living room air conditioner may freshen up the air by working for an hour and the new air will last you for days, but this is not how a carbon filter for your grow room is going to work. Cannabis plants produce odor relentlessly, so you run your filter 24/7 during growth season.
  • Don’t keep a humid grow room. Carbon filters are optimal for room conditions where the humidity is well managed. It may help to install a device in your grow room that will additionally measure and/or regulate humidity. Keep humidity below 70% for best filter performance. 

What else can you do to control the odor of your ladies?


There’s one more technique to complement your carbon filter, which is setting up negative space air pressure. You can achieve negative space air pressure by setting a strong and powerful outtake fan that will be able to pull the air from every inch of your room. This method adds additional protection, ensuring that odor from your grow room is not going to escape to other parts of your house or building. 


Don’t buy air filters to fix the odor issue. Air filters are designed to work like carbon filters, but they make for poor substitutes. Air filters are convenient to use if you for instance have mold issues at home; they can only slightly improve the air of your cannabis garden.  Lastly, one last key thing in regards to how to mask the odor coming from your cannabis garden is to perform regular maintenance of your equipment.

That is if you set up a larger grow room and invest in the right equipment that will neutralize the smell without altering the smell and taste of your weed. The first symptom that smell is leaking from your sealed, air-controlled room is the odor itself. Not from the joint you just lit, but stay alert if there’s any scent spreading in the morning when you didn’t do any. Don’t wait until this happens, but routinely check your filter as well as your ducting for holes or issues with your seals. With little care and caution you can easily mask any odor coming from your cannabis plants.

Soft Secrets