The smell of marijuana is easily distinguishable if you’ve ever been around it. Due to its increased legality, this is an odor you might encounter more often. Before or after it’s smoked, marijuana has a strong musky odor, similar to a skunk, with other herbal undertones. If you have not been exposed to this scent before, there are a few key factors that can help you identify it.
The smell of weed can be exciting when it hits the nostrils. It can also be so difficult to disguise, it could land you in trouble. Here is our guide to keeping the stench from cannabis under control. 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.
It’s a huge list, but here are some typical cannabis scent groups: Citrus (lemon being the most common, but orange and a sort of ‘generic citrus’ scent are also common), Red Berry (cherry, strawberry, raspberry), Dark Berry (blueberry, blackberry), Earthy (like rich loam/soil, or sandalwood, or scented rosewood, or even like tobacco – the fresh stuff though, not the chemical-laden weirdness in cigarettes). Chocolate is a thing too although it’s more approximately chocolate-like than literal (that is, it isn’t quite identical to real chocolate, but it’s closer to that than anything else). Pepper, dessert spices, cooking herbs (rosemary and thyme in particular, but basil and others too), mango, pineapple, even cool mint-like overtones, conifer aromas (pine, fir, et cetera)… I could go on for ages and ages. There’s even candy-sugar-sweet and bubblegum-like scents.
What the plant smell Like
The marijuana plant will vary in scent depending on how mature the plant is. Immature plants tend to smell less, and if stored appropriately, a scent may not even be detectable. More mature plants will have a stronger odor. The plant can smell earthy, floral, or woody and have notes of pine and skunk, depending on the strain. The weather can also influence scent with heat intensifying the odor, so you may notice the smell more on hot days.
What weed Smell Like when Smoked
During the smoking process, marijuana will smell like the dominant notes in the strain. However, smoking adds some other layers to the odor, including the scents of fire, smoke, and a stronger skunk smell. Some strains have fruity scents, while others tend to be more earthy, musky, and herbaceous. The smell can be strong enough to stink up a room or even an entire house, depending on how much was smoked. If someone is smoking in a car, the scent can penetrate the upholstery and can be difficult to cover or get rid of.
What weed smell like after being smoked
Marijuana smells very similar after being smoked as it does during the smoking process. This is especially true if the smoke gets on your clothes, sheets, upholstery, or other fabric sources that tend to absorb smells. Most people note that it smells like the dominant strain notes mixed with a skunky odor. For example, if the strain has a lot of lemon notes, after it has been smoked, it will smell faintly of lemon and skunk.
What else Smells like Marijuana?
There are many other living things that can smell like marijuana. The following have the potential to trick your mind into thinking you’re smelling marijuana:
- Skunk cabbage: This is a wetland plant that can smell like marijuana or rotting flesh during its blooming season. You may encounter it on the woods or on hikes.
- Skunk: Marijuana can smell skunky, depending on the strain. The skunkiest strains include Chronic, Uncle Andy, and Master Kush. However, skunk generally doesn’t include the undertones of herbs.
- Hoppy beer: Hops and marijuana may be genetically related, hence the similar scent.
- Moss phlox: This flower has a smell so similar to marijuana, it triggered a police raid.
- Spider flower: Many people say this flower smells musky, lemony, and skunky with leaves that resemble marijuana leaves.
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.
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.
Why does weed smell like skunk?
Cannabis smells like “skunk” because of one of its terpene components — myrcene. Myrcene is in lots of other highly fragrant plants, such as bay leaf, mangoes, hops, and thyme. Different strains of marijuana can contain more or less myrcene. It’s interesting to note that the sedation and calming faction in many cannabis strains is linkedTrusted Source to the myrcene content of the plant. Marijuana strains that smell more fruity or skunky may have more “couch-lock” effects.
What does hashish smell like?
Hashish is a distilled, highly concentrated form of marijuana product. It’s made from the compressed resin of the cannabis plant. Hashish smoke smells similar to marijuana smoke — an earthy scent mixed with notes of fires and ash.
What does synthetic weed smell like?
Synthetic weed is produced in a laboratory and mixed with other chemical elements. Chemicals are sprayed on plantlike material that is then distributed to be smoked like weed. It’s sometimes called K2, mamba, or spice.
Synthetic marijuana is not related to the cannabis plant. It’s not regulated, and really could contain any kind of chemical. Because of this, there’s no standardized synthetic weed smell.
Marijuana gives off a distinctly skunky, strong odor. It might be hard to identify at first, but once you’ve smelled or been in contact with it, it’s quite unique.
Marijuana smells slightly different depending on what kind is being smoked and how strong the strain is.