Depending on who you ask, the smell of marijuana is either one of the best or worst parts of the plant. Either way, it’s certainly unmistakable, it’s pungent, and it’s prone to following you around for the rest of the day–and worst, it can stay in your car.
Sometimes you would rather not smell like weed all day. After all, other people don’t always appreciate the scent. Plus, it’s kind of a give-away about how you spend your downtime. When you’re concerned about your personal scent or the weed smell in your car, it’s time to learn how to get rid of it.
What Does Marijuana Smell Like?
To properly cover the smell of marijuana, you need to know what smell you’re trying to hide. It’s definitely potent and hard to miss. Every strain has its own special twist on the smell, but the basics are the same.
Depending on the person, weed can be described as “skunky,” “musky,” or “piney.” If you’ve ever been walking through a city and smelled something like a skunk sprayed a Christmas tree, someone was smoking bud nearby. This smell is the quickest way to tell whether someone has used weed recently.
Why Does Weed Smell Like Skunk?
Some people find the smell of weed unpleasant because it smells “skunky.” While not every strain gives off a super-skunky smell, many plants smell like that at least a little bit. That’s because the skunkiness comes from the terpenes that are common to all cannabis plants.
Terpenes are the source of just about every essential oil on the market. They are aromatic chemicals that give plants their characteristic scent and taste. Terpenes and cannabinoids are made by the same parts of the plant, so it’s hard to get scent-free weed.
There are certain terpenes that are found in just about every weed strain. The combo of these terpenes provides weed with its distinctive scent.
- Myrcene: This is the root of skunky scents in weed. It’s also the main terpene in hops, so if you’ve ever had a skunky beer, it’s probably the fault of the hops the brewer used.
- Alpha-pinene: This terpene is also found in pine needles. It’s the reason many strains of weed are reminiscent of a Christmas tree.
- Limonene: Limonene is the reason citrus fruits smell like they do. Citrus-y weed strains have a lot of limonene brightening them up.
The exact combination of these terpenes can vary from strain to strain. That’s why some strains are mostly piney, while others are heavily skunky. Other, less common terpenes can give the plant floral or sweet smells, too. However, there’s almost always going to be a skunky scent because of the presence of myrcene.
How Long Does the Smell of Weed Last?
The easiest way to get rid of the smell of weed is to let it go away on its own. Letting weed smell dissipate can take a while, though. You’ll be surprised when you find the answer to how long does weed smell linger.
If you aren’t doing anything to air out the smell, it can hang around for days. The smell of marijuana is pungent, so it takes a while to break down and stop being noticeable. Smoke is great at settling on everything in a room. The result is that weed smell can linger for up to a week if you don’t do anything about it.
If you do air out your room and wash your clothes, it will go away much more quickly. With open windows and a cross breeze, you can air out a room in an hour or two. Washing your clothes will get rid of the smell that sticks to you, too. A shower will help as well.
How to Get the Smell of Weed Out of Your Car
Smoking in your car is a great way to get some privacy. It’s a small space, it’s a place you own, and you can easily lock the door. On the other hand, smoking in your can will lead to the whole thing smelling like weed for a long time.
If you ever get pulled over, cops aren’t likely to appreciate that. Neither are any friends who hop in the car with you. Getting your car to smell fresh and clean is good for your social life and for your legal status. There are a few main methods to get rid of weed smell in a car.
Avoid Smoking in the Car
First and foremost, the easiest way to avoid having your car smell like weed is to avoid smoking in the car. You should also avoid wearing clothes that smell like weed or carrying weed openly in the car. If the smell never invades your car, you don’t have to get rid of it.
You can also try smoking methods that produce less of a scent. Vaping is a great method for using weed without that telltale smell. Since vape juice is processed to purify THC, the smelly terpenes are usually gone. If anything, they are replaced with flavors that are more pleasant and smell nothing like weed. Your car will smell like nothing, or like blueberry pancakes (or whatever your favorite juice smells like).
Store Weed Correctly
You should also store your weed in smell-proof containers. Any non-absorbent, air-tight container will work. For example, most glass leftover food containers are a great option. They’re designed to keep food fresh, so they keep air out. Glass is much less absorbent than plastic, so you can wipe off the container and the smell will be gone. Pill bottles work well, too, for the same reasons.
These are all strategies to keep the smell from happening in the first place. If that ship has already sailed, there are ways to clean it up, too. Depending on your car’s upholstery, it may be simple or you might be in for a process.
Cleaning Your Car After Smoking
Leather seats are the easiest material to clean. They don’t absorb smells, so you only have to worry about cleaning the carpets. Cloth seats will pull in the smoke, on the other hand. If smoking in the car is your only option, try to do it in cars with leather seats.
Once you’ve smoking in your car, you need to air things our ASAP. Roll down your windows or even open your doors. If you can angle the car so the wind blows right through, even better. That will help blow out a decent amount of the smoke.
If you close up your car and it still smells like weed, it’s time to get yourself some cleaners. Keep some lemon-scented wipes in your car to wipe down hard surfaces right away. Wiping stuff down gets rid of some of the scent. Meanwhile, the citrus and ethanol smell of the wipes will help cover many strains of weed.
You should also get some upholstery cleaner for the seats, carpeting, and ceiling. Anything that’s fabric will absorb smells. Using the upholstery cleaner on every soft surface will help your car smell good as new.
The ceiling is an especially important place to remember. Most people forget about their car’s ceiling, but it’s usually a soft material. Since smoke rises, a lot of weed smell can accumulate there. If you think you’ve scrubbed every inch of your car and it still smells like weed, you probably forgot the ceiling. Wipe that down and you’re back in business.
If you still notice smells even after using the upholstery cleaner, it’s time to go for long-term solutions. Get yourself a big box of baking soda and sprinkle it all over your car. Put extra anywhere that you smell weed particularly strongly.
Leave it in your car for a few days with the windows rolled up, then come back and vacuum your car very well. Any lingering smells should be gone for good. Just make sure to vacuum super thoroughly, because white powder all over your car is more suspicious than weed smell.
How to Smoke Weed Without the Smell
The easiest way to avoid the smell of weed is to prevent the smell in the first place. The answer isn’t to avoid weed – it’s to be smart about how you smoke it. There are a few methods for how to smoke weed without smelling it.
There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors. One of the biggest benefits of smoking outside is just that – the fact that outside is big. Smoking somewhere with aa breeze will blow away the smell of your bud before it can become a problem. Just make sure your downwind neighbors won’t mind. A large backyard or a walking trail after dark can be great places to smoke without the smell.
Vaping isn’t just a good option for smoking in cars. You can vape instead of smoking to cut down on scent anywhere. Vape juice is usually free from the terpenes that make marijuana smell skunky. Since it’s vapor, not smoke, vaping also doesn’t produce the smell of burnt stuff. If you’re really paranoid about the smell of smoke, vaping is the way to go.
Use a Sploof
When you have to smoke inside, you should be using a sploof. These are handy devices that allow you to filter out most of the nasty smoke smell before it gets away from you. You inhale off of the bong or the joint, and then you exhale through the sploof. It catches the smoke and filters out the smell before it gets to the air.
You can buy sploofs at most headshops and dispensaries, or you can make your own. A basic sploof involves a handful of dryer sheets, a standard soda bottle cut in half, and a rubber band. Stuff a bunch of dryer sheets into the top half of the soda bottle, then cover the open end with another sheet or two. Use the rubber band to hold the sheets on the end. Exhale through the mouth of the bottle, and the dryer sheets will have your smoke smelling like laundry, instead.
Invest in an Air Purifier
If you’re smoking inside regularly, you should get an air purifier. These devices filter all sorts of stuff out of your indoor air, including smoke. Just run your air purifier 24/7 and it will keep your space smelling fresh. Just make sure you change the filter regularly.
How to Cover Weed Smell
If you’ve already built up some indoor weed smell, it’s time to cover it up or remove it.
Shower and Change Clothes
First and foremost, it’s important to stop smelling like weed personally. There are ways to cover up the smell in a room, but it’s harder on a person. The quickest method for how not to smell like weed is cleanliness. Dump your smelly clothes in the wash or a sealed trash bag, then take a shower and wash your hair. That will get rid of the evidence on you, so you can focus on the evidence in the room.
Air Things Out
Open every window you can, and maybe place a fan in the window to blow out air. You smell the smoke that is in the air, so blowing your indoor air outside gets rid of a lot of the smell. If you have rugs and bedding in the room, you can hang those outside, too. The more airflow, the better.
Invest in Incense
There’s a reason that stoners are associated with incense. Burning incense is the quickest and easiest way to cover up the smell of weed. Nag champa, patchouli, or and other serious incense works great. Plus, the smoke from incense looks a lot like the smoke from a joint, so it’s visual camouflage too.
If there’s not a lot of time, you can use Febreeze in a pinch. This is just covering up the smell. Spray it all over the room, but especially on fabrics and carpet. That should help cover the smell if you have someone about to show up. However, the Febreeze smell will go away before the weed smell does, so this isn’t a permanent fix.
Baking powder works just as well in your room as it does in your car, if you have time. Cover your room in a layer of baking soda and wait a day or two. Then come and vacuum everything up. You should have a fresh-smelling room and a bunch of weed-smelling baking soda that you can dump outside.
How to Store Weed Without Smell
Even if you always smoke somewhere else, your weed stash can give you away at home. Storing your weed so there’s no smell will help you keep your habits on the DL. Plus, if you can smell your stash, it’s slowly going bad. Keeping it from smelling like anything is a win-win.
You should always store your weed in an airtight container. If there’s no way for air to get to your weed, there’s no way for the smell to get out. A mason jar, a leftovers container, or a Ziploc bag can all work just fine for keeping smells inside. In general, if it’s designed to keep food safe, it’s great for your bud.
If you have a little bit of a budget, you can also purchase specially-made weed containers. These are designed to keep your weed fresh while keeping the smell contained. Some even look like soda cans or other common objects, so you can keep your stash stealthy.
How to Decarb Weed Without Smell
Decarbing weed is mandatory if you want to make edibles. Heating up the weed can lead to some smell problems, though. If you’re trying to decarb without a bad smell, you have some choices.
First, decarbing weed will always produce at least some smell. You’re heating up all the stuff that makes cannabis smell the way it does – that’s going to intensify the scent. However, you can minimize it if you’re careful.
First, if you don’t mind the smell hanging around for just a little while, you can decarb you weed like normal in the oven. After you’re done, just cook something even smellier! Make a stir fry with lots of garlic and onions, burn some popcorn, or microwave some fish. That will cover the scent just fine in most case.
Otherwise, you can make canna-oil in a mason jar. Grind the weed and put it in a mason jar. Use tin foil instead of the middle piece of your mason jar lid, and use the outer ring to seal it. This keeps the scent in the mason jar without the lid sealing shut. Put the mason jar in the oven at 240 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, shaking it every ten minutes or so. The weed should be a light toasty brown, but not dark brown or black. You have decarbed weed without most of the smell!
If you have a budget, there are also machine you can buy that decarb the weed for you. These typically contain the smell naturally. However, the often cost a couple hundred dollars, so they’re not for the casual user.
Weed smell has been with us for as long as people have used marijuana. There are plenty of ways to minimize it, cover it up, and get rid of it. You just need to find the right combo for your situation, and you’ll be able to get high worry-free.