How to get rid of weed smell

If you've ever lit up a joint, then you know all about that telltale weed smell. While most of us cannabis connoisseurs embrace it as part of the experience, not everyone in your household or apartment complex may be a fan of those funky, skunky aromas. In this article, you'll learn just what causes that telltale weed smell, how to prevent the smell from taking over, and how to cover it up in a hurry. 

What causes that weed smell?

Harvest time is one of the biggest factors to impact how strong or weak that weed smell is. If a cannabis plant is harvested at full maturity, it's more likely to carry a pungent odor when smoked. In contrast, harvesting a young cannabis plant will result in a scent that's not quite so powerful. 

weed smell
Harvest time, terpenes, and linalool play a role in in how odorous marijuana may be.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Terpenes also play a role in how odorous marijuana may be. Infusing cannabis with an abundance of potential therapeutic benefits, terpenes simultaneously deliver potent effects and odors. Linalool bears a strong citrus scent and is known as one of the most fragrant terpenes.

Cannabis strains that are high in linalool, such as Amnesia Haze, Pink Kush, and OG Shark, may also smell stronger due to their high concentrations of the fragrant terpene. Other strains are notorious for their intense odor. Here are some of the top strains that will fill your space with that signature skunky weed smell:

In fact, the skunky smell derives from the most plentiful terpene present in cannabis: myrcene. Hops, cardamom, and lemongrass are also natural sources of myrcene, which explains why they have subtle undertones of earth and musk. 

Finally, the smoking experience itself creates that penetrating weed smell in the air. The combination of rolling paper, ash, fire, and smoke all contribute to the unmistakable smell of weed floating across a room. 

Tips to prevent weed smell

There are several strategies you can try if you want to avoid that weed smell taking over in the first place. Your non-smoking housemates will thank you if you try any number of these tips to minimize or prevent weed smell.

  1. Choose a cannabis strain known for its light fragrance. Northern Lights, Blue Mystic, Polar Express, Papaya, and perhaps surprisingly, Sharksbreath, are all reputed to be low-odor strains.
  2. Store your cannabis properly in an airtight container so that it stays fresh rather than turning skunky. 
  3. Consider methods of consumption that don't involve smoke like vape pens or edibles
  4. If your only option or preference is to smoke, go for a pipe rather than a joint or bong. Pipes produce less smoke than joints and bongs, and therefore don't smell quite so strong. Flower vaporizers and one-hitters may also offer the same advantages. 
  5. If you have dryer sheets, toilet paper, and a rubber band lying around, try making a sploof and exhaling smoke through it. 
smoking sploof out window
Exhaling smoke through a sploof will help eliminate cannabis odor.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

If all else fails and you find that weed smell is pervading your home, there are plenty of ways to cover it up. 

How to cover up weed smell

Masking weed smell is not that complicated if you know a few pro tips. Here are some ways you can get a breath of fresh air into a space that smells like a joint:

Deodorize: If opening the windows isn't enough, you can spray some air freshener and breathe new life into the room. Look for an organic, non-toxic deodorizer, especially if there are children or animals in the environment.

Aromatherapy: Air fresheners only layer on top of the smell of weed. A mix of incense and essential oils transform the smell, adding a spa-like quality to your space and relaxing your senses at the same time. Try a blend of potent essential oils like eucalyptus, citrus, peppermint, and rosemary to diffuse throughout the room. These oils may offer additional benefits as well. Peppermint oil, for example, has been reported to ease the pain of headaches. Just be aware that some essential oils are toxic for dogs and cats. 

Cook: Toss a bag of popcorn into the microwave and let the kernels get just a little burnt. The smell of the charred popcorn could overpower the smell of the weed. Or better yet, try cooking a spicy stew. Any dish with aromatic spices will help cancel out the weed smell in the room. 

Clean: To get rid of the smell in the air, try the tips above. To get rid of the smell on yourself, the only way to effectively do it is to jump in the shower and change your clothes. It's not the easiest or quickest solution, but hey, at least you'll be squeaky clean. 

Bottom line

Enjoying your favorite cannabis strain doesn't have to mean enduring the stinky aftermath if you put a few of these tips to use. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on October 23, 2020.