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Cannabis Column | June 21, 2022

Do cannabis plants smell?

Growing cannabis can be a great way to save money on weed, but if you're not careful the smell can become a problem. If you are considering growing cannabis but find yourself hesitating because you're wondering, "do cannabis plants smell" you've come to the right place!

We've put together this article to answer all of your questions about cannabis smells and odor control. By the end of this article, we'll answer questions such as “do marijuana plants smell?”, "when does weed start to smell when growing?”, “how to mask the smell of weed growing outside?”, “do weed seeds smell?”, “how far does weed smell?” and more! 

If you're ready to learn if cannabis plants smell and how to implement cannabis odor control for outdoor plants, then keep reading!

Do marijuana plants smell?

People new to cannabis and cannabis cultivation often wonder: "do marijuana plants smell?" The answer isn't straightforward. Some cannabis plants have a very strong and distinct smell, while others may be nearly odorless. The main factor that determines how smelly a particular plant is are the plant's genetics and how the growing environment affects terpenes.

Cannabis plants smell because of terpenes

Terpenes are natural compounds found in plants that are responsible for the aroma given off by a plant. There are an estimated to be hundreds of different terpenes in cannabis, of which 15 terpenes are the most dominant and well-known. Each terpene has a unique aromatic profile and contributes a set of attributes likely to produce a specific experience.

Different cannabis strains produce different terpenes, which determine how much the cannabis plant smells. Some popular cannabis strains with strong-smelling buds include:

  • Skunk weed
  • OG Kush
  • Durban Poison
  • Blueberry bud

Certain strains of marijuana are more likely to produce a strong scent than others. Strong smelly weed can have a range of scents such as:

  • Ammonia
  • Citrus
  • Cheese
  • Diesel
  • Earth (or dirt)
  • Hops (or beer)
  • Lemon
  • Musk
  • Pepper
  • Pine
  • Skunk

The way that cannabis is cured also can affect the smell.Curing marijuana is the process of drying and storing the finished flower. Proper curing is crucial to preserve both the quality and the aroma of the bud. When done correctly it will result in a more potent and pleasant-smelling product.

Do weed plants smell outside?

Growing conditions impact the strength of a plant’s odor. For example, if a plant is grown in an enclosed space with poor ventilation, the scent of the grow area will be much stronger than if it were grown outdoors in the open air.

However, marijuana grown outdoors may have a stronger smell than if it were grown in a well-ventilated indoor facility. When exposed to air, the natural ventilation of the wind disperses the fragrance just like any other flower.

So, do marijuana plants smell? Yes, in general, cannabis plants have a strong smell, but a marijuana plant’s smell depends on a variety of factors.

But what about other forms of cannabis like hemp or hash? Does hemp smell like weed? Does hash smell like weed?

Does a hemp plant smell of weed?

Hemp is a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. Hemp and CBD derived from hemp are legal under 2018 Farm Bill. A hemp plant's smell does not smell much different from a normal cannabis plant, which has caused problems for hemp cultivators and law enforcement alike.

Does hash smell?

Hash, or hashish, is a concentrated form of cannabis that contains high levels of THC and some plant matter. It's made by removing the resin gland from the cannabis plant. It is so easy to make that you can make hash at home.

The smell of hash varies depending on the strain of cannabis used to make it, as well as the method of preparation. Hash does smell, but the smell is a little different from the cannabis plant itself.

When does weed start to smell when growing?

A concern many home cannabis growers have is when their plants will start to smell. Let's ease your nerves and dive into what you can expect. There are various stages of growing a weed plant, with some stages of growth smelling more pungent than others.

Do weed seeds smell?

Weed seeds have a very mild smell and are often undetectable to the human nose. At the very beginning of the cannabis plant's life, it has not produced many aromatic compounds.

When does weed start to smell?

When growing marijuana, it is natural for the plant to emit a pungent odor as it reaches maturity. As the plant reaches maturity, it will start to smell stronger. This is because the terpenes that give marijuana its distinctive smell are most concentrated in the buds, which are usually the last part of the plant to mature.

Mature buds will produce more odor than younger leaves and tendrils, meaning that young plants may not produce much scent. In general, weed starts to smell about three to four weeks before flowering begins. However, it is possible that your plants may not start to actually produce the distinctive "weed smell" until they start blooming and developing buds. So if you're wondering when does weed start to smell when growing, look for signs of budding and don't forget that growing conditions and ventilation (or the lack thereof) impact how much or how little cannabis smells.

How far does weed smell?

The answer to this question is complicated. There are many factors that impact how far marijuana smell travels such as:

  • The strain of cannabis and it's concentration of terpenes
  • The growing conditions (indoors, outdoors, etc)
  • The curing process
  • How much cannabis there is (a massive field versus a single plant)
  • Weather conditions (humidity, wind, heat, etc)

In general, the stronger the weed smell, the farther the scent will travel. It's nearly impossible to give a definitive answer to the question “how far does weed smell” because there are so many variables at play.

How to mask the smell of weed growing outside

If you are growing weed outside, your biggest concerns are odor control for outdoor plants and your ability to mask the smell of growing weed. There are many reasons a cannabis grower might want to mask the smell of weed growing outside. For example, perhaps they live in a legal state and want to avoid bothering their neighbors.

We've got you covered. Here are a few cannabis odor control techniques when growing weed outdoors:

  • Choose a site with natural ventilation (i.e. breeze)
  • Plant thick vegetation around your plants to absorb excess odor
  • Surround your plants with a greenhouse
  • Plant symbiotic fragrant plants around your weed like lavender
  • Place activated carbon filters around your plants to eliminate weed smell molecules rather than trying to mask them

By using these techniques, you should be able to minimize and mask the smell of weed growing outside.

Key takeaways about the smell of cannabis plants

1. Cannabis plants do smell. The smell varies depending on the strain and its terpene content.

2. The smell of weed will be more pungent in mature plants than young plants.

3. It is difficult to say how far the smell of weed will travel, as it depends on a variety of factors.

4. There are many ways to control the smell of weed if you are growing it outdoors, such as using a greenhouse or activated carbon filters.

Get started on your cannabis wellness journey

Have you started your cannabis wellness journey? Jointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover purposeful cannabis consumption so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how well they helped you achieve your goals, and track and optimize 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. These 15 factors include your dose, the environment in which you consume cannabis, who you are with when you ingest, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how much sleep you got last night, and more. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or the Google Play Store to get started on your cannabis wellness journey.

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