Everything you need to know about growing cannabis at home

A Complete Guide to Managing the Smell of Growing Cannabis

by | May 30, 2022 | Cannabis, Getting Started, Troubleshooting

Cannabis odor has been a constant problem for a cannabis grower, especially when cannabis is grown indoors. No one wants to live next door to intense cannabis facilities that bombard your house with non-stop odor (well… maybe some people might). Cannabis odors are notorious for being pungent and linger in the air for long periods of time. So what causes cannabis odor? What can you do about it? And how do different strains affect cannabis smell? Read this complete guide on cannabis odor control so that you can manage your grow space without having to worry about offending your neighbors or losing customers inside your own business.

What causes cannabis odor?

Cannabis, or Cannabis sativa, is an amazing plant with many different uses. One of cannabis’s most popular use cases is as a recreational drug, or for medicinal purposes. However, cannabis has quite a reputation when it comes to its odor. While cannabis does not have any known adverse health effects from cannabis-related odors, despite what some people think, cannabis can create some uncomfortable social situations if the smell becomes too strong and noticeable.

Cannabis odor is caused by the cannabis plant’s glands, which produce organic compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes. These aromatic molecules are what give cannabis its unique smell. The type and amount of cannabinoids and terpenes produced by a cannabis plant will depend on the strain, growing conditions, and maturity of the marijuana plant. Cannabinoids and terpenes are both produced in the trichomes, which are tiny, mushroom-shaped glands that cover the cannabis flower. The trichomes are also where the THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, reside which is the substance that gets you high. The trichomes are what fall off the plant when harvesting or in storage and, when separated from the plant, become kief.

Also the plant will produce different aromas at different stages of growth and the smell during the flowering stage will likely be stronger and differ than the smell during the vegetative stage or seedling stage.

Do different strains of cannabis have stronger or lighter odors?

Yes, the odor produced by cannabis can vary depending on the strain. Some strains produce a more pungent aroma, while others have a more subtle scent. However, it is important to note that cannabis odor can also be affected by the growing conditions and maturity of the plant. For example, cannabis that is grown in a warm, humid environment will produce a stronger odor than cannabis that is grown in a colder, drier climate.

How do I manage cannabis odor in my grow space?

The best way to manage pungent cannabis odor in your grow space is to take some simple precautions.


First, make sure to use a good ventilation system in your grow space. This will help keep the air circulating and prevent cannabis odor from building up. We recommend using at least two oscillating fans in a small tent grow, one above the canopy and one below it. This will also help circulate any hot or stagnant air.

Intake and outtake exhaust fans are also important in managing cannabis odor. Once your air inside your tent or grow space is being circulated, you will need a mechanism to remove the old air from your grow space. This is where intake and outtake exhaust fans come in to help you and your grow. You will need one intake fan to bring in the fresh air (although this is always necessary depending on your space) and an outtake exhaust fan to take the old air away from the space. Make sure to have your exhaust fans pointed away from public areas and keep them clean to prevent any cannabis odors from escaping. Your exhaust system should also vent to the outdoor, if possible, to eliminate the odors from your home. Additionally, you can use activated carbon filters on your intake and outtake fans to help absorb the smell of cannabis.

Air Scrubbers

Another option for managing cannabis odor is to use an air scrubber. Air scrubbers work by using a filter to trap the molecules that produce cannabis odors. This can be a great option if you are having trouble with cannabis odor escaping your grow space or if you live in a place where cannabis legalization has not passed and it is still illegal. There are many different types of air scrubbers on the market, so be sure to do your research and find one that fits your needs. Air scrubbers are similar to air filters but are installed into your HVAC system so it might not be the best option for a home grow although they are more effective than charcoal filters.


As noted above, another way to reduce cannabis odor is by using strains that produce less of an aroma. There are many cannabis strains that have been bred specifically for their low odor.


If the fans are not enough, odor-absorbing gels can also help to manage cannabis odor. There are a number of different types of gel on the market, but some work better than others depending on your situation and needs. We recommend using an activated carbon-based odor control product that uses activated carbon to help absorb cannabis odors from passing through it.

Sealing your Grow Room

Finally, cannabis odor can be managed by ensuring the room your tent is in does not have many places to escape. Simple draft blockers under doors, ensuring windows are sealed (unless using it to vent your exhaust outside), and using cannabis-odor removing products will help prevent cannabis odor from leaving your grow room.

Some growers even go so far as to use plastic insulation on windows and doors that are used in the winter to keep cold air out. It will all depend on you and your comfort level with the odor and the limitations of your grow space to determine what will work best for you.

Is there a way to prevent cannabis odor?

Yes, cannabis odor can be prevented by using specific products to help reduce the smell such as some of the basic precautions listed above. Ensuring your exhaust fans are clean and pointing them in a direction away from public areas or other homes is one of the best ways to reduce odor.

Humidity and temperature can affect odor too. For example, if you have a dehumidifier in the grow space this can help eliminate odors by trapping them in the moisture. However, we wouldn’t recommend getting one just for odor and only put one in your grow space if you need to bring the humidity down.

The temperature while growing can also affect odors by slowing down or speeding up the growing process and making the cannabis smell more or less pungent. When a room is hotter, at the molecular level more molecules evaporate into the air too, which can increase the smell. This is why odors are stronger on hotter days.

What are the best strains to minimize cannabis odor?

There are many cannabis strains that have been bred specifically for their low odor. Some of the most popular strains include White Rhino, Northern Lights, Durban Poison, and Jack Herer. However, it is important to note that not all strains will produce the same results in terms of smell. You should do your own research to find the best strains for you and your grow space.


There are a number of different ways for effective cannabis odor control in your grow space. Fans, exhaust systems, strains, and gel products can all help reduce the smell of cannabis. Taking some simple precautions in your grow room can also go a long way in preventing cannabis odor from escaping your grow room. When using activated carbon filtration systems on fans and using cannabis-specific products like odor-absorbing gels, strong odors can be managed and prevented. This is especially true if you are able to vent your exhaust air outside away from people. Temperature and humidity can also play a role so it is important to always monitor both, not just for odor. If the odor is a problem for you, make sure to buy strains with low odor profiles such as White Rhino and Jack Herer.

If you have any further questions, please see our other articles regarding temperature, humidity, intake/outtake exhaust fans, and VPD.

To learn more about growing cannabis at home consider checking out our guides on: Getting Started, Troubleshooting, and Optimizing your Grow or search our Knowledge Base.

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