What does Weed Smell Like?

What does Weed Smell Like

Written and Fact Checked by: S. Zulfiqar  

Weed goes around by a lot of names. Whether it’s marijuana or weed, both are referred to as cannabis, a plant that’s popular due to its psychoactive properties. The plant is mainly used to make drugs that are meant for both medical and recreational purposes. Smoking weed usually has a short-term effect and is primarily recognized by the noses nearby. 

So What does weed Smell Like?

Although the exact smell of weed can’t be described in a single word, different scents can help detect that someone around you is having a good time. Marijuana consumers define the smell of weed as something earthy and herbal at the same time. Some of them even describe that the smell is sometimes woody with a slight touch of some fruits like lemon, plum, or apple. There are a few people that also think that the smell resembles that of diesels.

On the other hand, sometimes there’s a scent of piney, skunky grass after you’ve smoked weed. That’s because of the cannabis leaves that are left behind. You might have also watched the news seeing police search suspects and their vehicles by simply claiming that they smell weed. This means that there is the peculiar smell of weed, but figuring out the exact smell of weed might well be tricky – so tricky that an average person that doesn’t consume weed would not be able to recognize it precisely. The people who aren’t attuned to the scent would have a hard time knowing what the exact smell of weed is like.

Of course, there are different factors behind why weed smells like it does. The smell also seems to be different in the various stages of use or consumption. Furthermore, a handful of them carries their unique properties, and hence, they have their scent.

Perhaps the most significant factor behind the way weed smells is regarding the age of the plant. The cannabis plant harvested in its earlier life cycle would tend to have a less skunky smell. Similarly, it would probably have a much milder scent, and when it’s smoked, the smell would be less strong.

Terpenes have a Big Role to Play in How Weed Smells

The cannabis plant also contains organic compounds called terpenes. Myrcene, found in mangoes, pinene in pine, and limonene in lemon, are terpenes that are present in some strains of the cannabis plant. Various terpenes in different marijuana strains tend to change the smell of the weed. This means that the cannabis strain with pinene would smell more like pine and less like a lemon.

While smoking weed, different odours add to the original smell of weed. For example, when a joint is smoked, it would indeed contain the smell of weed, but it would also contain other smells like fire, smoke, and ash itself, and also the rolling paper. These scents add to the overall odour while the weed smell is amplified as the joint is burnt, puffed, and smoked.

How does a Person Smell like after Smoking Weed? 

The smell of weed tends to stick to the smoker. It can also cling to the people sitting around you, even if they weren’t smoking. The smell can hang on to you for a while. It can and will stick to your hands, hair, skin, and clothes. And as we already know that the smell of weed is amplified after it’s smoked, so the skunk odour will further mix up with the smell of the sweat and other natural body odours that we all produce.

On the other hand, there’s synthetic weed. How does it smell like?

The synthetic weed is prepared in laboratories and is often mixed up with other chemicals. These chemicals are gently sprayed upon plant-like materials before they can be smoked like the typical weed. With that said, it’s important to remember that the synthetic weed is not related to the actual cannabis plant, and therefore there’s no smell of it. Weeds like spice, mamba, and K2 are some of the examples of synthetic weed.

Sometimes, how we process our weed or how we store it plays a role as well. 

What to do If the Weed Doesn’t Smell Right?

In case you notice that your weed smells like there’s something off about it, the thought might be right as the nose knows. So the next time your stash smells funny, like a long-closed closet or a sweaty locker room, you shouldn’t proceed to smoke it. The stored weed might have gotten spoiled, and you would not want to consume that because the rotten weed is not safe to use. The fungus may be growing over your current stash without you knowing it. So consuming it might be dangerous as nobody would recommend you to use mouldy weed. If such lousy weed is inhaled, it can lead to potential damage to your lungs and cause infections. Knowing all is good is the only sign to go ahead and smoke, and if it smells terrible, it means that it might be bad for us as well.


The bottom line is that weed sure has a smell of its own, and sometimes the scent varies from strain to strain. Also, the kind of strain that you’re smoking and the potency of the strain matter. So it might be hard to identify the smell at first. But once you start smoking weed or having friends over for a smoky session, you will be able to identify the unique aroma of this fantastic plant. And when you start recognizing the smell of weed, you won’t be able to undo it.

In other words, later on, when you know what weed smells like, you will be able to know what weed smells like all the time. Even if you wake up after taking the nap of your life, you will be able to tell if someone around you was smoking weed all by themselves without even you knowing.

Related Reads: Strain Spotlight: Bluefin Tuna Kush, The Ultimate CBD, Edibles, Gummies Guide


  • Koguel C et al. Psychoactive constituents of cannabis and their clinical implications: a systematic review. Adicciones. 2018 Apr 15;30(2):140-151.
  • Sommano S, Chittasupho C, Ruksiriwanich W et al. The Cannabis Terpenes. Molecules. 2020 Dec 8;25(24):5792.

Leave a Reply