Back in the day — as in, before marijuana was legal in many states, and we had to clandestinely exhale smoke out of our dorm room windows via paper towel rolls — weed was a smell we were always looking for ways to cover up. Scented candles, sprays, incense, air freshener — you name it, we used it. But these days, cannabis and its chill cousin CBD are so mainstream that not only do we not need to cover up the scent of a sesh, there are luxury candles being created to mimic the singular scent of Mary Jane. Peruse through these relaxing, sigh-inducing slides and find your dream cannabis candle. From smoked hemp aromas to fruity munchie-inspired cereal bowls, there are plenty of all-natural fragrances ahead.
Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabis has psychoactive and medicinal properties because of its chemical makeup.
Marijuana can be rolled up in a handmade cigarette (a joint), in a cigar, or in a pipe (a bong). It can be used for pain relief, to treat anxiety, or for recreation.
In many states, the sale and use of marijuana without a prescription is still illegal.
You can usually tell if someone has been smoking marijuana by detecting the scent of piney, slightly skunky grass that smoked cannabis leaves behind.
But figuring out for sure if what you’re smelling is weed can be a little difficult if you aren’t attuned to the scent. Various strains of marijuana can smell different from each other, making it even more complicated.
This article will cover what marijuana smells like in different stages of its use and consumption, as well as some differences between strains.
What impacts the smell of marijuana?
The strongest factor in the way marijuana smells is the age of the cannabis plant when it’s harvested. Cannabis that’s harvested earlier in its life cycles has a milder, less skunky scent.
It’s also less powerful when you smoke it. Cannabis that grows older before it’s picked and dried will have a stronger odor.
Organic compounds called terpenes are found in all plants, including cannabis. Myrcene (mango), pinene (pine), and limonene (lemon) are terpenes found in some strains of cannabis.
Terpenes change the scent of marijuana. For example, cannabis strains with pinene will smell more like pine.
How a marijuana plant smells
Marijuana plants smell similar during the growing process and when they’re harvested and dried. They give off a slightly weedy, piney “skunk” scent that gets stronger as the plant grows older.
When cannabis flowers and blooms, the scent becomes powerful.
Indica vs. sativa
Two common strains of cannabis plant are cannabis indica and cannabis sativa.
For decades, botanists and marijuana connoisseurs claimedTrusted Source that indica and sativa are different species with distinctly different effects on the body. Indica strain smells more acrid, while sativa smells more spicy or sweet.
But it would appear, at least to some experts, that there’s no way to smell the difference between indica and sativa definitively. Part of the reason is that there’s a lot of crossbreeding between these two particular strains.
However, one small studyTrusted Source did find that participants who had purchased weed within the prior several months were able to smell the difference between several different strains of marijuana.
What does marijuana smell like at the point of purchase?
Marijuana consumers describe the scent of the plant as earthy, herbal, and woody. Sometimes the plant scent carries notes of lemon, apple, diesel, or plum.
Dried marijuana smells a lot stronger than some other dried plants.
How it smells while smoking
When you’re smoking marijuana, the natural scent of the cannabis scent is amplified by the smoke it creates. Fire, smoke itself, ash, and the smell of rolling paper add additional layers to the scent.
When a person is smoking cannabis, notes of lemongrass, pine, fire, and wood may stand out. The distinct “skunk” smell of marijuana is often reported.
What does weed smell like on a person after it’s smoked?
The smell of marijuana smoke can cling to a person’s hair, skin, and clothing. The “skunk” odor mixes with the scent of fire and smoke, and can also layer (and amplify) the smells of sweat and natural odors people naturally produce.
Some people say the after-smoking scent can take on notes of mustiness or a faintly foul, overly sweet scent.
ive in a college dorm and can’t stand one of your dormmates? Hide a few pot-scented air fresheners in the room and call the R.A. Want to freak your parents out one day? Leave a Pink Kush burning in their bathroom after a family dinner. You could even mess with the cops when they pull you over. If your car is clean and you don’t have any THC in your blood from the day before, it might be fun to watch them search for nothing. Even if they don’t put your car all the way back together, it could still be worth it.