Eliminate Cannabis Odour
5 min

How To Eliminate Cannabis Odour

5 min

Cannabis exudes pungent aromas, which sometimes need to be disguised. Discover the smartest ways to keep your cannabis endeavours low-key.

Cannabis exudes amazing aromas. Taking a whiff of one's stash once in awhile is a common activity practised by many cannabis enthusiasts. However, there are many cases when you may need to eliminate or cover up the smell.

The neighbours might be asking questions, parents might be getting suspicious, etc. Terpenes and terpenoids are mostly responsible for generating the unique cannabis aromas. That’s what makes some strains smell like tropical fruit, lemon, pine, fuel, or skunk.

Cannabinoids, however, are virtually odourless; it’s the other, previously mentioned constituents we’re dealing with here. As we know, cannabis plants can be extremely aromatic and hard to conceal from trained noses. Let’s go through some tips and tricks to eliminate, or at least minimise, that weed smell.


What Can You When Growing Cannabis Indoors

Growing cannabis indoors and keeping it stealthy can be a tricky business. The main reason? Smell. For those who live out in the middle of nowhere, with no neighbours or passing traffic, it is a concern that rarely bothers; yet for everyone else, great care has to be taken not to upset those around you with the sweet, pungent smell of weed. It isn’t just a case of keeping your grow hidden from potential thieves, but also one of common courtesy. So how do you keep the air smelling pure and clean? With these three methods.


A carbon filter, also sometimes referred to as a carbon scrubber, is the go-to method of air filtration for most indoor growers. These devices attach to the end of your grow room ventilation exhaust, removing any smell that passes through it. They do this with active carbon, which is able to absorb and bind the molecules in the air responsible for the smell.

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How To Use Carbon Filters To Control The Smell Of Cannabis

A decent carbon filter will remove all smell without any kind of leakage. However, they require the air to be actively pushed or pulled through them using a ventilation system. This, combined with their reasonably large size, can sometimes make them unsuitable for those with super constrained space, or those conducting a micro-grow. However, for the vast majority of growers, a carbon filter is the way to go.

It is worth noting, when it comes to carbon filters, you get what you pay for. It is well worth investing in a reputable model than a cheap generic one that is likely to fail very quickly. All carbon filters have a lifespan and can only absorb so much – but high-quality ones last a great deal longer.


Not to be confused with harmful ozone generators, a negative ion generator gives air molecules an electrical charge. When they encounter other molecules, such as those carrying the smell of cannabis, they neutralise them, removing them from the air. It is completely safe to breathe, with some studies even finding them to be a health benefit. However, you will not want to put them in your actual grow room, but in the rooms outside them. In the grow room they will eliminate odour, but eliminate it too much, vastly reducing the flavour and aroma of your bud.

A negative ion generator is sometimes known as an air ioniser. They are a great addition to grow room security and very handy for the especially paranoid. The fact that they don’t need to be linked up to an exhaust also makes them a good choice of those growing one or two small plants in a very constrained space, although they will not be as reliable as using a carbon filter.


HEPA filters work by trapping molecules larger than 0.3 microns. This allows them to remove dust, allergens and other pollutants from the air. They can also be used to filter out some of the odour created by cannabis – especially if they have activated charcoal in them. Notice how we only say some of the odour; a HEPA filter is unlikely to completely remove smell, making it unsuitable for use on its own.

That being said, they can be extremely useful as a supplementary filter in the grow room, as they do not actually affect the cannabis plants themselves. They usually come with an inbuilt fan, forcing air through them and filtering out smell. This is particularly useful in situations where you can’t use ventilation system that vents outside, such as when using a grow tent; or when you just want that extra assurance that odour is not going to escape.

So, as you can see, there are a few ways of eliminating cannabis related odour from an indoor grow. Without a doubt, investing in a decent carbon filter is the best option, but there are other precautions you can take - especially if you are only growing 1 or 2 plants in a small area. Don’t take odour control lightly. At the end of the day, it is always better to be safe than sorry.


What Can You Do When Growing Cannabis Outdoors


Cannabis plants can take on different shapes, sizes, and aromas. Some strains exude less stank than others. One should avoid anything remotely close to Skunk and Cheese varieties. These were specially developed for their pungent aromas, which have the power to wake up the entire neighbourhood.

Durban Poison, a South African sativa-dominant variety is a great pick. This strain is praised for its energetic and uplifting effects, as well as its natural scent. Durban Poison can become relatively tall; if a shorter strain is desired, Northern Lights is a smart choice. It’s a stocky indica-dominant variety, delivering its consumers with a blissful chill. Grapefruit is another great pick. This strain grows quite fast and emits weaker fragrances.

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The process of covering the smell of cannabis greatly depends on the growing location. If one’s growing on the bottom floor of a block building where the vent will carry hot cannabis air into neighbors windows, it will be difficult to mask the smell. Indoor growers should purchase a carbon filter or an ozone generator to eliminate cannabis fragrances.

Outdoors, it’s easier to eliminate or at least cover the weed smell because the plantation is, well, outdoors, and there’s more space to grow companion plants and more air from the smell to diffuse. The best advice for indoor and outdoor operations is to grow autoflowering varieties, as long as they aren’t Skunk, Cheese, or Kush genetics. During the vegetative stage, the plants barely exude any aromas; it’s only in the flowering stage that the dank is expelled. Therefore, cannabis plants that flower for a shorter time, like autoflowers, are a better choice.

On the other hand, if is your goal to grow fragrant buds as smelly as humanely possible, check out our blog on Terpene Boosts!


A great way to minimise the weed odour is to plant other pungent flora as a cover-up. Planting some lavender next to your cannabis plants will not only smell amazing, passersby will simply say, “hmmm, interesting, it smells like lavender” and go on with their lives. Lavender also repels pesky insects and mice. Peppermint will also work miracles. The scent of peppermint entering the nostrils when hiking through a forest is amazing. Peppermint will help cover the scent of your cannabis plants, and can be used to make relaxing teas and mad mojitos. Rosemary, lemongrass, and other companion plants can also help with covering the weed smell.


Tips To Hide The Weed Smell In Public

You know that guy, the one who passes you on the subway, smelling like a tree? If you want to hide the smell of your stash, here’s how not to be that guy. First, don’t wear your hotboxing clothes after you just smoked your buddies out. Wear clean clothes, which weren’t involved in joint smoking sessions. Secondly, take a shower. Your skin and hair can absorb cannabis odours as well. Use some aromatic soap and deodorant. You’ll smell intense, but it will do the trick.


It’s recommended to carry dabs or hash instead of dry herb because they’re virtually odourless. However, if you have some dank herb on you, here’s what to do. Insert the weed in a plastic zip bag and seal tight. Double up on regular zip baggies and go for a bag-in-bag stash for extra security. Alternatively, you could also purchase zip bags that are guaranteed to be air and watertight.

Back at home, place your stash baggie in a jar or bag of coffee, and the stank will be virtually undetectable. Coffee works wonders in covering stash smells. The same can be said of pet food. The strong odour of kitty kibble is perfect for masking that weed smell, just hide your sealed-off stash in the bottom of the food bag. By the way, if plastic baggies aren't your thing, you may want to grab yourself a mason jar to keep the odour tightly contained.



It’s best to always use a vaporizer if possible. Most vaporizers don't actually burn the weed, so the odour is less significant. If a vaporizer is not available, a bong is a good choice because less weed is being burnt, which leads to less smell. Blunts and joints create a lot of smoke and should be avoided if stealthy operations are desired.

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One could build an old-school “sploof”, which is a plastic bottle or a toilet roll covered with kitchen towels and sealed with a rubber band. The smoke is then exhaled through the tube, which diminishes the odour, but doesn’t eliminate it. Direct masking of the weed smell is also an option.

Now you are ready to continue with your stank-free life. Remember all the advice, and keep it fresh. If anybody's looking at you suspiciously, just stay cool and smile - just not too much.

Steven Voser
Steven Voser
Steven Voser is an independent cannabis journalist with over 6 years of experience writing about all things weed; how to grow it, how best to enjoy it, and the booming industry and murky legal landscape surrounding it.
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