What Does Marijuana Smell Like Before & After Smoking It?

The smell of marijuana is easy to distinguish once you've smelled it. Many people compare the scent to that created by a skunk.

Marijuana has a very distinct smell that, once you’ve smelled it, is very easy to recognize. But not all marijuana smells the same. Different strains can have different odors. The way it smells before and after being smoked is different as well.

When someone is smoking marijuana, it generally has a skunky or burnt rope smell. This odor can linger for quite a while.

Smell Of Marijuana Before Smoking It

The smell of the marijuana buds can differ depending on the strain but it usually has a skunky, earthy, woody, or herbal smell. The distinctive skunky smell may also be present even before it’s been smoked. It’s one of the only drugs that can be detected even when it’s not being used.

But, depending on the strain of the cannabis plant, it may also have hints of lemon, floral, pine, apple, plum, or even diesel odor.

If you’re dealing with the cannabis plant before the leaves have been dried, it will smell earthy, floral, or woodsy. And how strong the smell is depends on the maturity of the plant. A younger plant likely smells less than a mature one.

Smell Of Marijuana After Smoking It

While being smoked, the dominant notes of the strain likely come out and mix with the odors of fire, smoke, and a stronger skunk smell.

Some cannabis strains have a fruitier smell while others have a more earthy or herbal smell. Whatever the marijuana smelled like as a dried plant will have even more pungency once you smoke it.

When smoking weed, be aware that the smell is likely strong enough to fill a room. It can also permeate upholstery and clothes and can stick around for several hours after.

Lingering Skunk/Smoke Odor

After being smoked, the skunky odor will be the primary thing you smell. The smell comes from the smoke but also from the ash and the rolling paper. This is the smell that stays in your clothes, hair, and breath hours after you’ve finished smoking.

The strain of the marijuana will also change the odor during this period as well. If the marijuana had lemon notes before it was smoked, you will likely smell that lemony odor hours after it’s been smoked as well.

What Influences The Smell of Weed?

Several different factors can make one strain of cannabis smell different than another. The biggest factor is the age of the weed but other things like the organic compounds or terpenes on the surface of the cannabis flower can affect it too.

Currently, over 100 different terpenes have been identified in the marijuana plant.

Some of the most common include:

  • myrcene: gives the weed an earthy, musky, herbal smell; myrcene is also found in bay leaves, mangoes, thyme, and hops
  • Β-caryophyllene: gives off a woodsy, peppery, or clove scent
  • Α-humulene: smells similar to beer with earthy and spicy notes
  • Α-pinene: has an odor like pine, rosemary, and basil
  • limonene: will have citrusy or fruity notes
  • linalool: has a floral fragrance similar to lavender and rosewood

Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs)

Marijuana also has volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) called thiols (or Vsc3). This is what produces the skunky aroma. Since thiols are also found in skunk’s “perfume,” it makes sense why marijuana has a similar scent.

The thiols in marijuana can also make it smell like garlic, natural gas, onions, or rotten eggs. Myrcene can also be attributed to the skunky smell as well.

Despite what some may think, the two main cannabinoids in marijuana, THC and CBD, have no effect on the smell no matter how high or low the levels are.

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Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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