Appreciating the Aroma of Cannabis

Appreciating cannabis aroma

Guest post by Louis Levey

Long before we see cannabis, we usually smell it. Whether wandering close to home, relaxing at the beach, or strolling through a park, the aromatic sensation we experience from nearby consumers is a pleasure for some. But for others, the scent causes confusion. The smells of marijuana can be off-putting to the average person who has never explored cannabis and the wide assortment of high-quality strains available. However, a true connoisseur of flower understands the variety and appreciates the treasure trove of scents these plants emit.

The aromatic layers of cannabis fragrances are intimately connected to taste. Similar to coffee beans or wine grapes, each strain provides a unique experience. For growers who enjoy cross-breeding cannabis plants, the aromatic possibilities are almost limitless. But what aromas should you expect from high-quality cannabis strains? Let’s move past the science of it all and define the most common cannabis aroma descriptors.

Defining Cannabis Scents


Earthy cannabis strains offer the aroma of fresh soil. This is a natural scent comparable to taking a shovel and plowing through some semi-moist earth. Earthy scents from cannabis are not overwhelming. Instead, the smell is warm and inviting, like how the air smells after it rains. Cannabis flower with an earthy aroma is perfect for staying home and unwinding with a good book or binge-watching your favorite Netflix series.


Floral cannabis aromas are generally comparable to flowers. Some familiar floral scents include lavender or roses. But other floral aromas can characterize buds depending on the strain’s genetics. This aroma promotes a relaxed feeling. The scents are similar to resting in fields of flowers while puffing away without a care in the world.


Cannabis can have several fruity aromas, but citrus is the most common scent buds offer. Like cutting open a fresh lemon, orange, or grapefruit, some cannabis strains give off a citrusy smell. However, some strains have a fruity smell more comparable to ripe berries or fresh tropical fruits. Other strains might have a strong mango or red grape scent. Regardless of the comparison, these fruity scents provide additional pleasure while consuming high-quality buds.

Gas or Diesel

Some might describe the scent of cannabis as a gas- or diesel-like odor. These aromas are experienced with popular strains like ChemDawg, Sour Diesel, and hybrids containing similar genetics. These scents smell similar to fuel or chemical cleansers. Some people say it’s comparable to decaying plant matter. Flower with a gas or diesel aroma usually packs a potent punch, providing a sharp and pungent scent that’s especially appealing to connoisseurs of these strains.


Skunky cannabis strains bring a powerful scent to the table – some people compare this aroma to a skunk’s spray. While this might sound unappealing, an appreciative canna-consumer sees it as a sign of potency – the stronger the smell, the more powerful the strain. Next time you’re walking in the woods or at the park and smell something skunky, it might be someone enjoying a particularly potent strain of cannabis.


Spicy strains won’t make your eyes tear, but they do provide unique scents characteristic of specific strains. Some spicy strains smell similar to basil, while others bring to mind eucalyptus or mint. For those who enjoy variety in the smell and taste of their bud, spicy cannabis strains are the go-to.


You’ll love woody strains if you’ve walked in a forest and enjoyed the innate scents. These aromas evoke oak, pine, and cedarwood. If you’ve ever been around freshly cut timber, you can expect a similar sweet aroma. Some people describe the scent as a reminder of Christmas or a pine forest. Woody strains ease the mind with aromas characterized by nature vibes.

Minimizing Potently ‘Elevated’ Odors

For Consumers

While appealing to cannabis consumers, potent cannabis flower odor can be problematic. Sometimes, it’s best to hide the sweet yet pungent smell of high-quality herb. For those times, use these tips:

Tips to Remove Cannabis Scent from the Air

    1. Use an air purifier: For those who smoke indoors, an air purifier will handle the smoke as it’s being produced.  This prevents the stale cannabis smoke scent from accumulating on your upholstery, carpet, and walls.
    2. Location, location, location: Avoid smoking in an enclosed area. If you can find a smoke spot that’s well-ventilated, the smoke won’t linger, and neither will the aroma.
    3. Use a sploof: A “sploof” is something you can make on your own. While some similar products exist, there’s nothing like this classic home-made device for handling cannabis smoke. Take a toilet paper or paper towel roll and stuff it with dryer sheets. You can also use fabric that’s dampened in Febreze. Each time you inhale your cannabis, exhale the smoke through the device to cover the scent.
    4. Switch to vaping: Vaping is an excellent alternative to smoking cannabis. You’ll bypass the carcinogens as you steer clear of the potent cannabis aroma. All in all, this cannabis consumption method is a win-win and is highly recommended.

Tips to Remove Cannabis Aroma from Skin, Hair, or Clothing

Sometimes, a shower or a wardrobe change isn’t feasible. For these times, consider

  1. Bodysprays and essential oils can cover the scent of cannabis on your body and clothes.
  2. Chewing gum and brushing your teeth/tongue as soon as you finish your sesh will remove the smell from your breath.
  3. If you have long hair, keep it pulled back while you’re smoking. This will prevent the smoke from attaching so readily to your hair.
  4. Go outside and let the UV rays remove the cannabis residue from your body and clothes. This usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.

Smell-Proof Cannabis Storage

For Growers

Without odor mitigation, growers’ yields are at risk. Whether complaints or criminals, the distinct smell of a grow can cause trouble.

“Growers must take precautionary measures to protect their assets,” says Lorenzo Nourafchan of Northstar Financial Consulting Group. “This is one of the first things we recommend to our clients operating in cannabis because the smell can attract thieves, which increases a grower’s risk of getting robbed of plants, product, and equipment.”

Local governments and municipalities have also created new laws forcing growers to cover the aroma coming from their operations, sometimes even suing growers trying to bypass compliance. Protect your grow using these odor-control tips:

UV Solutions to Cannabis Aroma

UV tech is becoming increasingly common in the cannabis industry. This technology can resolve odor problems in and outside the facility. Carbon filtration, air treatment and oxidation systems, and masking or neutralizing agents work wonders to minimize grow operation odors.

Neutralizers & Odor Mitigation Systems

Odor mitigation systems incorporate neutralizers. Some systems provide perimeter treatment, while others offer point-of-source treatment for cannabis aroma. Perimeter treatment involves an oil-based neutralizer paired with a water-based high-pressure fog system or a water-based evaporative system. The point-of-source system uses air filtration, water-based high-pressure fog, and an oil-based neutralizer to minimize cannabis odor.

Molecular Filters

Indoor grow facilities can use molecular filters too. This filter absorbs specific molecules to eliminate odors. Carbon filters are one type, though others exist. They’re also commonly used in HVAC systems.

After reading this post, do you feel more comfortable with cannabis aroma? Do you feel confident that you can eliminate unwanted odors with ease? Also, do you have any tricks you think we should include on this list?

Louis Levey is the Content Success Manager and Founder at No Strings Content. He’s passionate about helping cannabis business operators use content to attract, educate, and convert audiences. His hometown is Boca Raton, Florida, but he currently lives and works remotely in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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