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What Does Marijuana Smell Like

What Does Marijuana Smell Like Marijuana’s odor is distinctive and easily recognizable. It has been described as pungent and earthy. The unique smell of marijuana is due to aromatic compounds known as terpenes, and cannabinoids. The terpene profiles of different cannabis strains can lead to differences in scent. These include citrus, pine or floral notes. The smell of marijuana can be more prominent when it is smoked, vaporized or vaped. It can also linger for an extended period. The intensity of the smell can be affected by factors such as the strain, the cultivation method, and the consumption technique. The distinctive smell of marijuana is something that users should be aware of, especially when they are in an environment where discretion may be required due to social or legal considerations. The smell of marijuana is also affected by the freshness. Fresh cannabis that has been properly stored and cured will have a stronger and more pleasant scent.

What Does Marijuana Smell Like?

What Does Marijuana Smell Like

The smell of marijuana is usually earthy or woody. Depending on the flavonoids present in a particular strain, marijuana may smell floral or citrusy. Some say it smells skunk-like. The aroma of a plant is determined by its terpenes, harvesting time and form.

What influences the smell of cannabis?


Terpenes are aromatic hydrocarbons that give cannabis its distinctive smell. The terpenes in different strains of marijuana are what give them their distinctive scent.

Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs)

The skunky aroma of marijuana is primarily due to volatile sulfur compounds, which are more potent than terpenes. Many say VSCs are the biggest contributor to cannabis’s smell, particularly VSC3 (3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol). Cannabis with high VSC3 concentrations smells stronger than cannabis with lower VSC3.


Flavonoids, another chemical compound class that contributes to the aroma and flavor of marijuana. Cannflavins B, C, and A are unique compounds found in cannabis. They, along with VSCs are responsible for its taste and smell.

Harvest Time

Cannabis’s smell is also affected by the harvesting time. The aroma of cannabis will increase the later it is harvested in the season. The terpenes (the active ingredients of marijuana) and cannabinoids increase with the maturation of the plant.


Raw cannabis has a woody or earthy smell. The smell can change depending on the way it is consumed. The smell of cannabis will be much weaker if you vaporize it than if you smoke it in a pipe or on paper. The smell of cannabis can be altered by using scented papers when smoking it.


The smell of moldy marijuana will be pungent. The mold releases a compound known as mycotoxins that has a pungent smell. Mycotoxins can be toxic and cause serious health problems. Don’t consume marijuana that has a moldy smell.

The Most Common Cannabis Scents

It’s interesting to note that each person has a unique sense of smell. What one person finds pleasant may be unpleasant or overpowering to another. It’s best to try different strains of cannabis until you find the one that you enjoy.

The terpenes pinene and myrcene are responsible for the most common smells of cannabis. Each of these terpenes have their own distinct smell and taste.


It is a terpene that is responsible for the citrusy scent of certain cannabis strains. It is also found in plants such as lemon and orange trees. Limonene may have therapeutic effects and reduce anxiety, stress and sleep.


It is also found in plants such as rosemary. Pinene is a terpene that has many therapeutic benefits. One of them is to relieve allergy symptoms.


Linalool, a terpene responsible for the floral scent of certain strains of marijuana, is also found in lavender and camomile. Linalool may have some health benefits such as reducing anxiety and chronic pain.


Myrcene is a compound that gives cannabis its musky or earthy aroma. It can also be found in mango, lemongrass, and thyme. Myrcene can reduce inflammation, anxiety and pain.


It is also called the “pepper-terpene”, as it gives cannabis its spicy, woodsy smell. It can help with epilepsy, depression, anxiety and inflammation.

The following terpenes are also common and associated with scents:

  • Humulene : spicy, earthy and woody
  • Terpineol : pine, floral or peach
  • Alpha Bisabolol : sweet, citrus, and floral
  • Pulegone : mint

Why does cannabis smell’skunky’ after smoking?

Smoking marijuana releases the terpenes and cannabinoids stored in the resin glands, which gives it its distinctive skunky smell. The terpenes in the resin glands are released, giving the bud a distinctive skunky scent. Smoking cannabis strains with a stronger skunky smell will produce more THC.

What other cannabis products smell like?

CBD oil is made from cannabis and has a slightly earthy, woodsy smell. Others describe the scent as floral, while some say it’s similar to a cucumber. Full-spectrum CBD contains different flavonoids.


Hemp has a sweet and danky smell. The different flavonoids and terpene composition of different hemp strains will cause them to smell differently. Some strains may smell fruity while others are spicy.

Delta-8 THC

Delta-8 is usually odorless in its pure form. When infused into products, Delta-8 can emit a sweet, herbal or floral scent.

Synthetic Marijuana

Synthetic marijuana consists of a mixture of herbs, spices or shredded plant materials sprayed with chemicals to mimic the effects THC. The smell is pungent and strong. It can be very unpleasant.

What Do Concentrates Like Hashish Smell Like?

The resin of cannabis plants is used to make concentrates like hashish. The resin of the cannabis plant is extracted, and then processed into a variety concentrates such as shatter, oil, hashish and wax.

Hashish can be compressed into blocks or balls and has a similar smell to marijuana smoke. Hashish can be smoked or consumed.
It is common to melt wax and use it as a dab. This creates a vapor which is then inhaled. Wax is a natural product with a sweet smell.

The Bottom Line

What Does Marijuana Smell Like. The smell of marijuana is determined by the strains (cultivars), ingestion method, harvesting time, and freshness. It can smell earthy, woody, or skunky. Others hate the smell, but some people love it.


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