Everything You Need to Know About Marijuana Smell

Soft Secrets
23 Jun 2020

Your nosy neighbor Jane doesn't like the smell of weed, so what can you actually do about it?

It’s hard to resist the smell of good weed. Marijuana gives off a distinctly strong skunky odor, and once you get accustomed to it, there’s no way to miss it when you accidentally catch its smell in the air next time. Marijuana smell is authentic, and smokers will already know: it’s an instant lure to the source of smoking and possibly a friendly stranger sharing a joint with you.

However, there’s little left to do with those that don’t approve of weed but to hide any trace that you are consuming, including hiding the smell from marijuana. It’s easy to tell when someone has been smoking pot. Its extraordinary scent is easily detectable. If you are not familiar with the smell, detecting weed from a simple sniff may not be so natural for you. That is in the beginning.  Obviously, if you do emanate marijuana smell every time you meet your disapproving mother or your nosy neighbor Jane, they might notice.

While mom might scold you like the little child you were, your neighbor may cause even further trouble by calling the police--that is if weed is illegal within your state or country.  Continue reading to get familiar with the “anatomy” of marijuana smell. As you learn to differentiate weed smell before and after smoking, soak in also some quick tips to help you hide marijuana smell from all nosy Janes you might have in your life.

What influences the smell of marijuana?

There are several factors that influence the smell of weed. Perhaps the most significant one is the age of the cannabis plant, or more precisely when were the buds collected from the plant. Weed that has been prematurely collected from the cannabis plant may have a less distinctive skunky odor. When you smoke it, this is also less potent weed. The chances are you are not going to get an ultimate high from smoking ‘young’ cannabis.

If you are homegrowing, you might want to wait for the right timing to harvest those colas. When the cannabis plant gets to a certain age, the weed it produces gives a more beautiful high. So, weed from older cannabis plants, dried properly after harvest, will have a stronger odor. The smell may also differ due to the different strains of marijuana. Cannabis plants contain terpenes, the organic compounds that give the distinctive odor of marijuana. So for instance, cannabis strains with lemon terpenes will give a distinctive lemon-like smell.

How do cannabis plants smell?

It’s a specific skunky, faintly weedy piney scent that becomes more distinct as the plant is aging. Most plants will smell similar both during the growing process and when they’re picked, dried and cured. The scent is more obvious and noticeable when the plant is in its flowering stage, however. That is why it’s important to control the odor of your cannabis plants in case you are cultivating at home.  Whether you want to tell the difference if you are growing Indica or Sativa plants, the smell might be helpful, but not necessarily. By default, Indica strains are supposed to smell more pungent, emitting more skunky and smellier aromas. Sativas may have enticing smells, enriched with sweet, fruity, or spicy terps derivatives, so they are generally less smelly.

Some people do not agree that you can tell the difference between Indicas and Sativas by the smell. In favor of their argument is the abundance of hybrids that fuse properties from both Indica and Sativa. If you are homegrowing cannabis, you are probably going to buy and try out several different seeds. After several months you should be able to differentiate smells that enter your nostrils. You may notice that the first plant you seeded smelled differently than the plant you seeded afterward. If you notice any such differences in the scents between the different plants you are growing, it might be an interesting aspect of the homegrowing. Note it down, especially if you are keeping a cannabis diary

You may also wonder why weed smells skunky. It does so because of some terps. Most cannabis plants have myrcene terpene compounds that are present in other vegetation, too. For instance, bays, hops, mangos, and lemongrass all have myrcene compounds. Those strains of marijuana that have a more skunk scent may give you a stronger stoner effect. This indicates that myrcenes contribute to more than just the smell of marijuana. Basically, the intensity of smell is important in determining the strength of the strain.  Know that not all weed originates from cannabis plants. Some weed is synthetically devised in labs. In this case, the weed is treated with various chemicals that might not be so good for your lungs. Since the chemicals used for synthetic weed are not controlled, it’s difficult to pin down the definite smell of synthetic weed. However, you should tell synthetic weed by its strange deviation from the standard cannabis smell, plus it may taste differently.

Weed smell: what it’s like before and after smoking?

The smell of buds may differ depending on the strain. Smell is also one of the ways that can help you determine if your weed is good or bad. Good weed is supposed to have a strong smell, woody and earthy. Strong aromas and odors that you pick with your nostrils as soon as you lay your buds in the grinder is a signal the weed is good.  When the beautiful pungent smell is absent from your nugs, it may mean the nugs are stale or musty. The weird smell after you light up should confirm that this weed is bad. You’ll still get high, but perhaps enjoy less high from this type of weed. Smoking itself augments the natural cannabis scent. The distinct skunky weed smell is dominant when smoking a joint. Smell emanates from the smoke, but also from the ash and the rolling paper that contains the joint. This is the smell that's going to stay on your clothes, your fingers, hair, and breath.

What’s the smell of marijuana on the person that smoked?

Marijuana smell can be felt in the breath immediately after smoking. It’s a faintly foul smell that can stay for a couple of hours unless you brush your teeth or neutralize it by getting some munchies. If you are an experienced smoker you can probably tell when someone smoked weed just by their appearance. You can also tell if they smoked when you feel the foul hint coming out of their breath as they greet you and talk to you. A person who is not aware of this aspect of smoking may notice the strange smell but may not know what it is, thus if you are trying to hide don’t always worry that the smell of your breath may be a giveaway sign. 

Hopefully, nobody is going to sniff your clothes or hair to check if you smoked cannabis, especially after you smoked somewhere inside. If you think that someone will sniff you and judge you, change the clothes and get a shower.  For those who are long-term marijuana consumers, you probably know that your sweat may also have a distinctive smell. Initially, you might not recognize this smell yourself as it’s normal to you, however, the person sleeping with you, such as your partner, might certainly tell how your body and sweat smelled before you started smoking and how it’s changed after let’s say three months of everyday smoking. The change of body and sweat odor due to smoking weed can be easily traced by a person who’s not smoking weed.

How to get rid of marijuana smell?

You already know the basics. Brush your teeth or chew gums to cover up your stinky breath. Change your clothes. Get a shower. Use perfume. This is supposed to remove the odor that stuck on you after smoking.  Remember that if you are smoking a lot, it will remain in your sweat and body. So, if you are hiding from your non-smoking spouse, watch out. If you want to get rid of the distinctive smell of your sweat the only solution might be to stop smoking for a while. This may not be an issue for occasional smokers, however.  Smoking outside can certainly help, especially if the weather is sunny. The sun naturally emits UV lights which are good at neutralizing any odor. So, if you get on the sun for half an hour or so as you do your nugs, the smoke should stay away--at least from your clothes and hair.

Outside, the marijuana smell will escape in the air, and hopefully, it won't reach any unwanted, stiff noses.  If you're smoking inside, it's recommended that you ventilate the space. If you are constantly smoking in closed spaces the smell may stay and absorb everywhere, including your furniture. Open your window when smoking or smoke on the window if you don't ventilate. You can also use air fresheners and odor neutralizers. You can even experiment with a doob tube, which is made from a paper towel roll, and it's stuffed with sheets of fabric that are soaked lightly with an odor eliminator from your household cleaning products. Then just use the tube to exhale the weed smoke through the tube. This should contain the skunky earthy smell of weed. The extraordinary skunky grass odor that comes from smokable cannabis cannot be mistaken for anything else. While you can love and appreciate marijuana smell as much as you want, it pays to be cautious and disguise the smell to avoid trouble.

Soft Secrets