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What Does Weed Smell Like? Recognize Good Weed From Bad

Liam on May 28, 2017 0 Comments

What does weed smell like

There’s no smell quite like it – if you’ve smelled it once, you’ll know it right away.

It’s an aroma that favors apartment stairwells, college dorm halls, and lingers in movie-theater parking lots late at night.

If you haven’t smelled it by now, you’re probably wondering: just what does weed smell like, anyway?

And even if you have, you might now know why weed smells the way it does, or if that potent smell alone is enough to get you high.

Can just smelling weed be enough to fail a drug test? Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions and more.

Putting a Scent into Words

If you ask people who smoke “what does marijuana smell like”, you’re going to get a dozen different answers.

Skunky, herbal, fruity, tangy, dank, citrusy – they’re all true, because the scent of marijuana depends on the unique strain.

Why in the world does it matter, anyway? To put it simply, good weed smells good.

Sure, it may smell a bit skunky, but it shouldn’t smell bad. It’s pretty easy to tell – bad weed will smell like hay, grass, or nothing at all.  

What Does Synthetic Weed Smell Like?

Synthetic marijuana (Spice) is a concoction of mind altering chemicals mixed into plant matter.

It’s an incredibly dangerous substance because you can never be sure what chemicals are in it, and you have no way of knowing how your body will react.

Is there a way to smell the difference between natural marijuana and these dangerous synthetics?

The scent of synthetic marijuana is often described as “potpourri-like” – a mish mash of different fruity, minty, and citrusy smells, almost like incense. 

Usually, spice does not have the characteristic “skunky” smell of real marijuana.

Indica vs Sativa: Can You Smell the Difference?

There are two main types of marijuana plant – Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. The two different strains produce two different highs.


  • Effect: Sedating. Good for calming anxiety, relaxing with a movie, or falling asleep.
  • THC Level: Higher than average
  • Examples: Afghan, Northern Lights, Purple Urkle


  • Effect: Socializing. Good for creating art, relaxing in a party atmosphere, and boosting a bad mood.
  • THC Level: Lower than average
  • Examples: Sour Diesel, Maui Waui, Blue Dream

Is there a way to smell the difference between the two, and does one smell better than the other?

While there are exceptions to the rule, it’s generally understood that indica strains have an earthy, more herbal scent, while sativa strains are more fruity and sweet.

If it’s hard to distinguish, chances are it’s a hybrid.

How to Get Rid of the Smell

Marijuana with a high THC content is potent, and it can be difficult to get rid of the smell in your car, in your home or on your clothes.

Even in states where cannabis is a legal substance, you may still not want the scent following you to work or lingering in your car when you have to drive your grandmother to the store.

How to Get Rid of Weed Smell in Your Car – Do’s and Don’ts

If you want to know how to get rid off weed smell in your car, this is what you need to keep in mind:


  • Spray a dozen cans of air freshener
  • Drive with the windows up immediately after smoking


  • Use hanging air fresheners
  • Use an air sanitizer like Ozium to eliminate smoke odor
  • Smoke with the windows down if you can

This isn’t exactly a “do” or a “don’t”, but keep in mind that fabric car seats absorb more odor than leather ones.

How to Not Smell Like Weed

You don’t want to go into work smelling like weed from your recent smoke sesh.

If you’re looking for tips on how to not smell like weed, we’ve got you covered.

  • Keep body spray handy at all times
  • Use mints/gum after smoking, or brush your teeth if you can
  • Wear a “smoking jacket” to protect the clothes you have on underneath
  • Avoid smoking in your bedroom so that the smell doesn’t get on your bedsheets/clothes
  • Throw your clothes into the dryer with a scented dryer sheet for a few minutes

Can You Get High From Smelling Weed?

Can you get high from marijuana smoke

Just getting a whiff of the keef in your weed grinder isn’t going to get you high, not even a little bit.

That’s because what you’re smelling is terpenes, the plant oils in cannabis.

Terpenes aren’t exclusive to cannabis – they’re responsible for the smell of fruits and flowers as well.

While terpenes can affect the type of high you get, they aren’t what actually gets you high – that’s THC’s job.

How Weed Actually Gets You High

So you know that it’s the THC in marijuana in THC that gets you high, but how? If you can light it and cook it, why can’t you get high off the smell of it?

To get high, THC has to enter your bloodstream. Just smelling dried up marijuana leaves won’t get you high just like smelling a meal won’t fill you up – it has to enter your body in the form of smoke or a baked edible.

That being said, inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke might not get you high, but it might be enough to mess you up when you need to pass a drug test, so be careful.

Final Thoughts

A simple smell test can tell you a lot about your weed, from whether it’s any good to the type of high it might give you.

While a potent smell usually means a better high, it can be difficult to get that odor out of your car and your clothes – difficult, but not impossible.

Did you find this article helpful? Be sure to leave any questions or additional insight in the comments below.

Photos from: PavelPrichystal / depositphotos.com, modfos / depositphotos.com, wollertz / depositphotos.com

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