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Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
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Nothing beats the feeling of getting home after a long day, taking a shower, and unwinding with some weed. But, while relaxing, cannabis smoke may give off a strong smell that can bother your roommates or family members, especially if they don’t use cannabis themselves. It can even bother you, as you may not want to smell cannabis all the time.
You can use numerous methods to eliminate the weed smell in your home, car, or clothes, including using air fresheners, opening windows, cooking, baking soda, and more. But before we dive deeper into these methods, here’s what you should know about weed odor.
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“Weed Smell” 101
The cannabis plant has various compounds called terpenes that are responsible for its strong and distinct smell. These terpenes include myrcene, which gives the plant its musky, herbal scent; limonene which gives off a citrusy smell; and pinene, which smells much like the pine tree.
Different cannabis strains will have different aroma profiles. The smell in your room or car will depend on the weed strain you smoke. However, many varieties of cannabis carry a similar, distinct “cannabis aroma.”
When cannabis is burnt, it typically gives off a pungent, herbal odor with skunky notes of diesel and earth. This scent may linger in the room and find its way to your hair and clothes. However, since cannabis smoke is less dense than cigarette smoke, it clears out of the room faster and travels further.
This means that if you’re smoking at home, the scent may be detected by other residents in your building. Don’t worry; there are numerous tricks you can use if you’re wondering how to get rid of the unwanted weed smell (more on that later).
The other reason cannabis smells is because of the volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in cannabis. All varieties of cannabis contain similar VSCs but in different concentrations. One compound that is found in most, if not all, types of cannabis, 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (known as VSC3), has a particularly “skunky” smell. VSC3 is similar to the VSCs in garlic or onions. These scents can stick to your skin and clothes.
The method of consumption matters as well:
- Burning cannabis releases more smoke, which adheres to clothes and skin.
- Vaping cannabis tends to leave a less pungent smell, but some faint odor may be detectable.
- Topicals tend to contain other ingredients to mask the smell.
- Tinctures and edibles are less pungent and are not usually easy to detect, except if you’re making them.
Ways to Get Rid of the Weed Smell in Your Home
When you smoke inside your house, the marijuana odor is likely to linger. Curtains, couches, carpets, and other items in your home that may have absorbent fabric will retain this unwanted smell.
Here are a few ways you can eliminate weed odor.
Getting Rid of the Cannabis Smell in the Air
Wondering how to eliminate the weed smell left in your living room after smoking some marijuana? One of the easiest ways of doing this is investing in air fresheners. These include aerosol sprays, gel-based scents, and plug-in fresheners.
Plug-in air fresheners are ideal since they give off a fresh scent all day long; this implies you don’t have to spray the room every time you smoke cannabis.
Scented candles are also great for masking the weed odor in your room. Consider using a candle with a natural scent, like pine or lavender. Such smells aren’t too overbearing — using a too-strong scent may make it clear that you’re trying to hide something or be even more off-putting to the people you share the space with.
Cooking may also help mask the smell of cannabis, especially if you use aromatic spices such as garlic, bell pepper, and rosemary.
Lastly, you should ensure all windows are open and that air is circulating inside your home. You could turn on the HVAC unit, air purifier, or fan to aid in ventilation. This will ensure all the smoke is blown out the window.
How To Get Smoke Smell Out of a Couch
When cannabis smoke gets into the fabric of your sofa, ottoman, bedspread, and other similar furnishings, it may be hard to get rid of it. This is because the odor molecules in the smoke adhere more easily to the fiber than they do to the air.
However, you can spray odor remover sprays directly onto your couch to remove the smell of weed. Such sprays combine directly with the odor molecules in the fabric and help neutralize the smell rather than simply mask it.
You can also deep clean the couch using baking soda. Spread a generous amount of baking soda over your couch and cushions before thoroughly vacuuming.
If your throw blankets smell like weed smoke, throw them in the washer and rinse them in sweet-smelling fabric softeners. This should get rid of all the weed odor.
Eliminating the Smell of Weed From Your Carpets and Rugs
Carpets and rugs, especially the thick fluffy kind, retain odor molecules easily. If your home smells like weed, your carpet may be why.
To remove this weed odor, start by vacuuming thoroughly to get rid of all the dust, lint, and ash that’s holding the smell.
After vacuuming, you can use a natural cleaning agent to clean the carpet. White vinegar and baking soda work brilliantly. Sprinkle it over your carpet and let it sit for a day or two before vacuuming again.
Afterward, top it off with carpet shampoo to ensure no cannabis odor remains.
Getting the Weed Smell Out of Your Car
You may enjoy smoking cannabis in the privacy and comfort of your car while listening to some music. If you live with people who can’t tolerate the smoke and smell of weed, your car may be your next best alternative.
However, as fun as hotboxing is, smoking in the car will leave it smelling like weed. The fabric of your seats will retain the cannabis odor, which may build up and become stronger over time. Also, the smell of cannabis in your car can bring suspicion that you are using cannabis while driving, which is illegal. If you can leave your windows open, do so. Also, it should go without saying that you should not use cannabis when driving.
Here are a few more tips you can use to purge the smell of weed from your car:
- Vacuum your seats.
- Scrub down all the hard surfaces (dashboard, door panels) using a soapy solution.
- Clean leather and vinyl seats using soap or any other cleaning agent.
- Use the baking soda and vacuum method to clean out fabric seats.
- Spray an odor eliminator onto your seats.
- Clean all the carpets in your car.
Eliminating Marijuana Odor From Hair and Clothes
You may brush your teeth, air out the room, and even plug in an air freshener, yet still reek of marijuana smoke.
Your hair and clothes are adsorbents and thus may retain the smell whenever you’re smoking cannabis. It’s, therefore, crucial to ensure you get rid of this cannabis odor before going out in public.
To remove the unwanted smell from your hair:
- Let your hair down and shake it loose so fresh air can flow through it.
- Walk in the sun — basking for 30 to 45 minutes will neutralize the odor in your hair.
- Use a deodorizer, hair perfume, or scented moisturizer.
- Wash your hair using a shampoo with a strong scent.
To remove the cannabis smell from your clothes:
- Use some perfume or body spray.
- Hang them out in the sun — the sun’s rays and the air are a magical combo that will quickly neutralize the weed odor.
- Wash them normally, add white vinegar to the rinse cycle, and hang them to dry.
- Soak them in baking soda solution before washing them with your normal detergent and drying them.
- Soak them in water and bleach, then wash and dry them normally.
Now that we’ve gone through how you can remove the smell of weed from your home let’s look at some of the ways you can prevent the odor from forming in the first place.
How to Hide the Smell of Weed
A great way to get rid of unwanted weed smells in your home is by limiting the amount of odor you produce while smoking. One of the ways you could do this is by switching to vaping.
Vapes allow you to enjoy cannabis without burning cannabis and rolling paper, which contributes to the strong weed odor. Vape pens are often flavored or filled with essential oils instead of flower, but they can still smell somewhat of cannabis. However, it is not as pungent as smoking, making it easier for you to enjoy your cannabis without drawing too much attention.
You could also buy gummies, brownies, and candies or even make your own edibles. This is the most discreet way of consuming cannabis.
Another way to keep the smell of weed at bay while smoking is using a sploof. Blowing smoke through these handy filters will absorb a fair amount of weed odor and terpenes.
Sploofs are typically made using dryer sheets, activated carbon, or paper towels sprayed with an air freshener or odor eliminator.
If you can, smoking outside — in your yard or even balcony — will help prevent your hair and clothes from smelling like weed. You can also use glass filter tips to ensure your fingers don’t catch the odor whenever you smoke. We also recommend choosing smoking clothes you don’t mind smelling like weed.
If you store your cannabis in your home, placing it in an airtight glass or metal jar will help keep its smell undetectable. Airtight glass jars are also great for maintaining the humidity of your bud and will prevent it from taking on the smell of anything you store near it.
The Bottom Line
Smoking weed and that distinct marijuana smell go hand-in-hand. However, there are things you can do to remove that musky, pungent odor from your home, clothing items, car, and hair. Similarly, you can also hide the smell by enacting some of the tips above.
And whatever smoking method you choose, did you know that medical cannabis cardholders can save significant money on sales taxes? Consider obtaining an MMJ card through Leafwell. Your next smoke session may smell the same, but it’ll likely be cheaper.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does the smell of marijuana last as long as the smell of cigarettes?
When inhaled, cannabis smoke is 20-fold higher in ammonia than that found in tobacco. Ammonia and water present in showers and air have one thing in common; they’re highly polar. Cannabis smoke is, therefore, more likely to cling to air particles and be carried away faster than cigarette smoke. Marijuana also doesn’t contain chemicals such as acrolein and formaldehyde found in cigarettes, which allows the smell of cannabis to disappear within hours.
Can weed smell go through walls?
No, weed smell won’t travel through walls, but it may slip into open windows, cracks, or any opening. If you want your cannabis use to remain discreet or your neighbor has zero tolerance for cannabis smoke, you may want to switch to vaping instead of smoking.