Cannabis is a flower. Do you ever think about that when you’re consuming it? You probably do, but it’s easy to forget that it’s just like other odiferous flowering plants we know. Other flowers are packed with terpenes that build its complex odor, and cannabis is no exception. Roses, tulips, and daisies are just a few of the fragrant flowers we know and love, but add cannabis to the growing list.
When you're smoking, it’s understandable you might not want the entire house smelling like weed. Eliminating the smell of cannabis as you actively smoke is a tall order; the smell is just so strong. But, there are steps you can take to reduce it. Unlike other flowers, cannabis’ odor is entirely unique.
It’s often compared to the smell of skunk, but even skunks don’t capture the true smell of the powerful plants. There’s nothing that smells quite like cannabis does! It’s not like other smelly things that can be easily covered up with a candle or air freshener.
Why does cannabis smell?
Terpenes are responsible for giving the plant its unique smell, and terpenes are found in trichomes. Trichomes are the frosty parts of cannabis. They are resinous, oily glands and they are sticky. The smell is sticky, too! Trichomes produce kief when you grind frosty flower in a three-chambered grinder, as many cannabis enthusiasts know.
One cultivar (or strain) might have citrusy notes, while another tastes peppery. That’s because of the plant’s individual terpene profile. Strains high in linalool, a terpene, will carry floral notes. No matter which terpene you’re smoking, if it was grown, cured, and dried well: it will be smelly and strong!
The best method of reducing the smell is prevention. Listen, you can spray Febreze all you want. But at the end of the day, it’ll honestly just smell like someone smoked weed and then tried to cover it with Febreze. That’s because cannabis isn't like other odors, it’s much more fragrant - which is what people love about it.
Reducing Cannabis Smell: Setting the Scene
Picking the right environment is the first step to reducing the smell of cannabis. As cannabis legalization sweeps the United States and the rest of the world, many people are comfortable lighting up at home. But, your neighbors might not appreciate that!
If you live in an apartment complex, it becomes much harder to reduce the smell entirely. Also keep in mind: if you don’t own the home you’re in, your property managers might have an issue with you smoking cannabis indoors and even outdoors, as that isn’t your legally-owned property - even if you’re in a state where cannabis is legal.
For this scenario, we highly recommend investing in a vaporizer. Vaporizers dramatically reduce the smell of cannabis. When you smoke cannabis, it’s combusted, aka it burns all the way through. Vaporized flower doesn’t combust, rather the coils of the vaporizer heat the flower just enough to release the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis plant compounds. In turn, this drastically reduces the smell of cannabis while you smoke! Vaporizers allow you to heat the cannabis only as much as you’d like, you can control the temperature as you see fit. They don’t produce much, if any smoke at all, so it’s a safe option for people smoking potent weed in close quarters.
Vaporizing is also said to be a lot healthier than smoking, but that isn’t 100% confirmed. Some studies say smoking cannabis isn’t nearly as harmful as smoking cigarettes. At the very least, vaporizing is less harsh than smoking and a great choice for someone looking for a “clean” experience.
If you own your house, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to reduce the weed smell, assuming you live in a place where cannabis is legal. Or at the very least, it’ll be a lot easier to not upset anyone around you. If you live in a legal state, you’re allowed to smoke cannabis on your own property. However, you might still have neighbors and they might not appreciate clouds of cannabis smoke drifting in their yard. So, consider a vaporizer for outdoor smoke sessions or light up in the garage where you have a little more privacy if you don’t want to smoke inside the house.
Reducing Cannabis Smell: Invest in the Right Tools
Like we mentioned, Febreeze is only going to get you so far. You need to prevent the smell of cannabis from building up in order to reduce it. Personal air filters, and even combining them with large air filters to purify an entire room, is a great first step. The Smoke Buddy, is a tried and true personal air filter almost every stoner has heard of, and likely tried. Just unscrew the cap and blow smoke through the smaller end. Odorless smoke, and a whole lot less of it, will come out through the other side after passing through the Smoke Buddy’s activated carbon filter. The cap is easy to screw and unscrew, so the entire experience is user-friendly with a pipe in hand. There’s plenty of colors to choose from, and it makes reducing the weed smell that much easier.
If you want to go the extra mile, and we suggest it, try a large air purifier with activated carbon filters. The Smoke Buddy also features activated carbon material, so you’ll double-up on odor reducing power if you combine the two. Activated carbon is important, as that’s been shown to be the best filter for minimizing the smell of weed.
Combining the Smoke Buddy with a large air purifier is the best move because as soon as you exhale, the smoke will be minimized through the Smoke Buddy’s filter. Once that minimized smoke is released in the room, the air purifier will continue the job and continue cleaning the air. For a more aesthetically-pleasing personal air filter, grab this bamboo one. It’s portable, discrete, and nice to look at.
Whether you get a large air filter or not, you absolutely need a fan! A good fan will keep the air moving, preventing it from becoming stagnant and stale in your space. If you don’t have a ceiling fan, grab a box fan. They’re powerful and affordable. Ideally, you’d be in a position to open a window or two while you’re smoking so the weed smell can escape.
Reducing Cannabis Smell: Refresh the Space With Terpenes
Diffusing essential oils release terpenes in the air, just like smoking cannabis. Terpenes are one of the most prominent compounds in essential oils, so combining the two will create a blended, even soothing, aromatic experience. Pick an essential oil matching the plant profile you’re smoking and a diffuser to go with it.
Before we go any further: be aware essential oils are strong. It’s important to not overdo it with essential oils, and if you have pets or small children, some essential oils are not safe to diffuse with them around. You should never ingest essential oils unless you’re under the guidance of a certified aromatherapist.
Linalool-dominant cannabis cultivars (linalool is a terpene) would pair nicely with lavender essential oil in the same space you smoked. Amnesia Haze, Zkittlez, and Do-Si-Dos all have a fair amount of linalool. A strain high in beta-caryophyllene, like Sour Diesel for example, could be blended with black pepper essential oil. Black pepper essential oil is one to watch out for. It’s considered a “hot” oil, so exercise caution when using it. Lavender oil is a lot gentler, but regardless, be smart when you diffuse it.
Prevention is your best bet to reduce the smell of cannabis smoke, not damage control. Choosing what you smoke with is important, too, because blunts and joints are smellier than smoking with glass. Build a custom bong with VITAE Glass and customize your piece to your needs. Our easy-to-clean glass prevents smells from sticking to your piece to keep your space smelling fresh.