Depending on who you ask, the smell of cannabis is either an iconic reminder of all the good times pot has given them, or it conjures an image of a hippy lay-about who hasn’t washed in years.
It can go either way. And it’s such a pungent smell. Just a couple of pulls of a joint is enough to turn every head in the room.
It’s worth remembering that ganja buds are flowers, and one of the chief functions of a flower is to create scents to attract the birds and bees that spread their pollen. Every gram of cannabis is packed with hundreds of different terpenes, and humans are actively cross-breeding plants to create funky and unique new flavor profiles.
It’s no wonder it’s one of the most instantly recognizable smells in all corners of the planet.
Stanky cannabis – why hide it?
Most cannabis users love the smell of weed. The first thing someone does when they get handed a bag is open it up and take a whiff. Seasoned pros can tell you the name of the weed just from its aroma.
But there’s a whole bunch of situations where leaving a room smelling of dank smoke, or walking into a room smelling of dank smoke, is not the best idea.
Some extra pungent herb smells out an entire room just sitting in your pocket, and you just know everyone’s thinking the same thing.
Maybe you’re staying at your parent’s house over the holidays. Perhaps you’re meeting the in-laws. Maybe you smoke before work and you don’t want questions.
Whatever the reason, we’re about to run down the top ways you can make your smoke sesh a little more discreet.
The ones that don’t work
Okay, and I’m talking from personal experience here, some techniques definitely don’t work. I tried all kinds of tricks as a teenager, and my mum saw through them in an instant.
Towel under the door
For some reason, people who smoke honestly don’t realize how much it stinks out an entire house and continues to linger for days. I used to think a towel under the door would magically obliterate the smell and stop it drifting into the next room.
It didn’t. It does nothing. Honestly, if this is your only trick you need to read on, the towel under the door ain’t cutting it.
Burn some toast into actual ashes
This was a real thing I used to do. I’d close all the winders and open all the doors inside my house, then grill a piece of toast until it was literally on fire. I’d then bask in my genius as the smoke filled every room of the house and completely eradicated the smell of cannabis.
The plan achieved its primary goal. The problem is that the smell of burnt toast is worse. It’s bitter and scratches your throat, and it hangs around for a WEEK.
So go ahead and use this one if it’s an absolute last resort.
Clean yourself up
If you’ve just had a blaze-up session and you have to go work, or on a date, or basically anywhere you can’t take the slightest risk of being outed as a known stoner (imagine the shame) you only really have one option.
The smell of weed sticks to everything: clothes, hair, skin, your pashmina.
Smelling of weed can be enough to get you sacked or hauled up on charges if you’re pulled over in your car.
The only thing you can do to erase all trace is take a full shower, brush your teeth, wash your hair, and put on a fresh set of clothes. As Ripley said, “It’s the only way to be sure.”
Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
Blaze up outside
As I said earlier, most users enjoy the smell of ganja. But if you own your own home you’ll probably agree after a while, constantly smoking in one room of your house stanks it up beyond repair.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen inside the home of someone who has smoked indoors for years on end in the same room. It’s enough to put you off smoking entirely. Every surface gets coated in a sticky brown residue. The walls, the ceiling, all the fittings. At that point, your only choice is to redecorate.
Lighting up outside is an obvious way to avoid this.
Get yourself some outdoor seating for the garden, or throw an old couch in your shed or garage, and make it your own little 4:20 space.
Cannabis producers have long been competing with one another to create the funkiest, strongest-smelling weed on the market. Great news for cannabis connoisseurs, but a pain in the butt when your supply is sneaking up the noses of anyone who comes within 50 meters.
There are some really great smell-proof bags out there, designed specifically for this purpose. They’re much better than the standard bag you get from dispensaries and will cover your tracks if you gotta catch a bus or get close to the public while you’re holding.
If we’re talking about ounces in your cupboard stinking out your whole home, you definitely want to invest in some mason jars. They come in all shapes of sizes. Not only do they stop your house from smelling, they keep the buds tasting fresh and prevent rot and mildew.
If you’re a grower and trying to mask the smell, you’re going to have to invest in some kit. If it’s just a few plants, a grow tent will reduce most of the damage. Any more than that, you’re looking at some serious industrial air movement systems.
If you really must blaze up inside, but you don’t want your place smelling like a college dorm, you’re going to need to get some kind of airflow going. You’ll be surprised how much difference an open window makes compared to a hotbox.
The worst part of the cannabis smell is when it’s stagnant and baked in, and a good bit of ventilation cuts this part out off the bat. It stops the smell clinging to your curtains and carpet and upholstery. Even just a fan does enough to stop the smell from setting in as much.
Even with good ventilation, sometimes you wake up the following day after a heavy session, and your whole house is potent from the last night.
That’s when it’s time to grab a bottle of Febreze and pull that trigger like you’re Clint Eastwood. Some people swear by this, and every day after they smoke, they run around the house spraying every square inch of fabric with deodorizer.
Then they’ll tell you how amazing it is, because it actually eliminates the odor rather than masking it. Yeah, I’ve seen the advert Carol.
Any excuse to buy a fancy candle in a jar. Scenting your home is fabulous whether you’re trying to hide the weed smell or not. It can set a relaxing mood or stimulate memories of times gone by.
There’s a ton of different options you can try. Everything from $40 coconut rice cream candles to incense sticks, reed diffusers, oil burners, and potpourri. You can pretty much make your house smell like any fragrance in the world. Go wild.
You can even buy electric plug-in diffusers nowadays that emanate a fine-smelling mist throughout your house. Luxurious.
Switch to a vaporizer or edibles
I know everyone says it, but the dispensary near me has the BEST edibles. They’re just the perfect dose to take you away for a few hours without leaving you drained. I found myself switching over to edibles and buying herb less and less, To the point where a friend asked if I’d stopped smoking marijuana because I no longer reeked of it.
That’s when I realized the true stealth power of edibles. They are THE most discreet way of getting high by a long shot. There’s no smell, no rolling or setting up or grinding… you just open a sweet wrapper. 99 times out of 100, nobody will bat an eyelid.
If you want a bit more discretion without sacrificing the satisfaction of breathing something into your lungs, vaporizing weed is your best bet.
Whether it’s a dry herb vaporizer or an e-liquid vaporizer, both devices produce considerably less smell than smoking, and e-liquid sometimes has no cannabis smell or taste whatsoever.
Okay, I’m not going to lie, I had never heard of a sploof before I started writing this article, but during my extensive research, I came across this homemade air filtration device which is apparently well known amongst the world of stealth stoners.
Making a sploof is pretty simple. You just need a toilet roll tube, a couple of elastic bands, a piece of cloth or fabric, and one of those scented tumble dryer sheets. Stuff the dryer sheet into the toilet roll, pull the fabric to cover one end, and use the elastic bands to hold it in place.
Congratulations, you’ve just made a sploof! You just blow the offending smoke down the tube, and the dryer sheet (apparently) takes the smell away. Now, I’ve never tried this, and I’m not gonna vouch for it, but if it’s a low-stakes situation, go ahead and make a sploof and see how it works for ya.
Deep clean your car
Homie, I hate to tell you.
If you’re hotboxing your car on the regular, that stagnant, stale weed smell is ingrained into the very fabric of your interior. Your vehicle is stained with the stench of a thousand doobies on a molecular level. You’ve gone too far.
If you want to take your grandma to church on Sunday, a pine freshener on the rearview ain’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to take it to the garage and get a full deep clean on it.
These guys are the pros, and they’ve got a different chemical for every surface. Grandma won’t believe her eyes.
The bathroom trick
In times of desperate need, when it’s too cold or too risky to nip outside, and you’re caught somewhere you can’t leave any evidence…you’re going to have to employ the cheeky bathroom trick.
It’s not foolproof, but it’s good enough. I’ve tried it in pretty much every hotel room I’ve ever been in, and it hasn’t let me down yet. It goes like this. Go into the bathroom, get the hot water running in the shower, and the fan revved up. Once a bit of steam works up, get smoking.
The fan and the steam are working a two-fold strategy, one capturing the smell, the other sucking it out. You can even throw your towel over the bottom of the door for good measure (yeah I know I dissed it earlier, but you have a towel right there…)
Double points if you get on tippy toes and blow the smoke directly into the fan intake. Once you’re done, open up the windows, and hopefully all the smoke gets taken out with the steam. This trick works exceptionally well in completely tiled bathrooms, as weed smoke loves to cling to fabric.
So many choices
Well, there we have it. The smell of cannabis is both a blessing and a curse. It’s one of the finest aromas on planet earth, but it’s also the biggest giveaway that you’re currently high as a kite.
Unfortunately, this giant red flag is attached to a plant that is still illegal in many places, so it’s always best to err on the side of discretion if you can help it. I hope some of these weed hacks get you out of a tight spot when you need it!