Weed is aromatic, without a doubt — cannabis is infamous for the strength and variety of its scents. Typically, the more pungent the aroma, the higher quality of cannabis. Many consumers “follow their noses” to find their favorite cultivars. While we love the delicious smell of each strain's terpene bouquet, sometimes cannabis odors must be kept to a minimum.
Where Does Cannabis' Smell Come From?
Cannabis' signature scent comes from compounds inside the plants' trichomes called terpenes, or terpenoids. Terpenes are organic, aromatic compounds that provide the aroma and flavor in cannabis and a variety of other organisms, including plants. Each cultivar has its own unique arrangement of terpenes, and there are more than 200 terpenes in cannabis alone. This is why different cultivars can deliver citrus, pine, coffee, spicy, diesel, herbal and tropical flavors — they each have distinct terpene profiles.
What Affects the Strength of Weed's Smell?
Multiple environmental factors contribute to how powerful a cultivar's odor is when you first open the cap. Are you smoking your flower indoors or outdoors? Is your AC running, and how good is the airflow in the room? Are your windows open? All of these play a role in how long strong your weed smells throughout the smoking problem.
Using different consumption gear can also minimize the strength of your weed's smell. Glassware like a bowl or, even better, a bong produces less stink than a constantly burning joint or blunt. Vapes are even better, as they can burn cannabis at lower temperatures that reduce the smell. However, it's important to keep your gear clean, as a dirty bong or vape can sometimes give off stronger aromas with the buildup of plant matter.
Storage also plays a huge role in the strength of your weed's smell. Keep your flower in dark, glass jars in a cool, dark space—not only will this put a literal lid on your flowers' smell, but proper storage also minimizes exposure to light and air degradation. When properly stored, well-grown and well-cured cannabis can maintain its terpenes and cannabinoids up to two years.
How Do I Minimize the Smell of Weed?
After a particularly strong-smelling smoke session, you may find yourself needing to minimize the odorous evidence. Helpful deodorizers like Febreeze or scented deodorant will mask the smell, though not eliminate it entirely. Burning incense or scented candles can also keep the smell at bay.
In real-time, blowing smoke out of an open window or into an air conditioner vent will help circulate the cannabis smell out of a room. You can also make a blow tube, sometimes called a sploof, to catch the smoke. A sploof is a tube of cardboard with a dryer sheet wrapped around one end that will “catch” and diffuse the smell of weed.
Finally, if you need to smoke in stealth mode, make sure to wash any clothes that smell like weed to completely remove the scent. When you burn cannabis, you release additional compounds into the air, including ones that stick to your hair, skin, clothing, and other surfaces. Even if you can't smell it (thanks to the interesting phenomenon called olfactory adaptation, when aromatic molecules bind to the receptors in our noses and prevent us from detecting a specific odor), it's worth it to do a cursory rinsing off of the evidence.