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The Fragrance of Marijuana Before and After Consumption

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Cannabis has psychoactive and medicinal properties because of its chemical makeup.

Marijuana can be rolled up in a handmade cigarette (a joint), in a cigar, or in a pipe (a bong). It can be used for pain relief, to treat anxiety, or for recreation.

In many states, the sale and use of marijuana without a prescription is still illegal.

You can usually tell if someone has been smoking marijuana by detecting the scent of piney, slightly skunky grass that smoked cannabis leaves behind.

But figuring out for sure if what you’re smelling is weed can be a little difficult if you aren’t attuned to the scent. Various strains of marijuana can smell different from each other, making it even more complicated.

This article will cover what marijuana smells like in different stages of its use and consumption, as well as some differences between strains.

The strongest factor in the way marijuana smells is the age of the cannabis plant when it’s harvested. Cannabis that’s harvested earlier in its life cycles has a milder, less skunky scent.

It’s also less powerful when you smoke it. Cannabis that grows older before it’s picked and dried will have a stronger odor.

Organic compounds called terpenes are found in all plants, including cannabis. Myrcene (mango), pinene (pine), and limonene (lemon) are terpenes found in some strains of cannabis.

Terpenes change the scent of marijuana. For example, cannabis strains with pinene will smell more like pine.

Marijuana plants smell similar during the growing process and when they’re harvested and dried. They give off a slightly weedy, piney “skunk” scent that gets stronger as the plant grows older.

When cannabis flowers and blooms, the scent becomes powerful.

Indica vs. sativa

For decades, botanists and marijuana connoisseurs claimed that indica and sativa are different species with distinctly different effects on the body. Indica strain smells more acrid, while sativa smells more spicy or sweet.

But it would appear, at least to some experts, that there’s no way to smell the difference between indica and sativa definitively. Part of the reason is that there’s a lot of crossbreeding between these two particular strains.

However, one small study did find that participants who had purchased weed within the prior several months were able to smell the difference between several different strains of marijuana.

Marijuana consumers describe the scent of the plant as earthy, herbal, and woody. Sometimes the plant scent carries notes of lemon, apple, diesel, or plum.

Dried marijuana smells a lot stronger than some other dried plants.

When you’re smoking marijuana, the natural scent of the cannabis scent is amplified by the smoke it creates. Fire, smoke itself, ash, and the smell of rolling paper add additional layers to the scent.

When a person is smoking cannabis, notes of lemongrass, pine, fire, and wood may stand out. The distinct “skunk” smell of marijuana is often reported.

Learn about what gives marijuana its distinctly "skunky," strong odor, and how marijuana smells in plant form, when it's smoked, and more.

Cannabis users who start by smoking skunk up to five times as likely to become dependent, study suggests

There is growing momentum behind national and state legalisation but little regulation or research of cannabis potency despite increasing availability of high THC strains

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Cannabis users whose first experience with the drug is with potent “skunk” strains are nearly five times more likely to go on to show signs of dependence, US researchers have said.

Researchers found higher concentration of THC, the molecule which causes its psychoactive “high”, increased the likelihood that users would develop cravings or risky drug use that disrupts their day-to-day life.

Despite medical or recreational cannabis use being legalised in a growing number of states and countries there is little regulation on potency – even though this is routine for drugs like alcohol which also cause impairment and dependence.

“THC has linearly increased over two decades,” said Dr Brooke Arterberry, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University who led this research.

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“Based on the results, states may want to think about the available potency levels of cannabis products, especially with the changing legal landscape of cannabis.”

Increases in THC content have been made possible because of modern growing techniques and in America average levels have risen from 3.5 per cent THC in 1994 to 12.3 per cent in 2012.

In the UK high-potency skunk has pushed out virtually all other types, and experts warn that mental health disorders like psychosis are more common in people who use these stronger strains.

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For the study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Dr Arterberry and colleagues used data from a long-running health survey of young people age 11 to 26 who have family history of substance abuse.

In annual follow-ups, users who reported that they had started smoking skunk – with an average THC content of 12.3 per cent – were 4.8 times more likely to have one or more symptoms of cannabis use disorder when compared to those smoking a 4.9 per cent strain.

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Cannabis is not typically thought of as addictive in the same way as heroin, cocaine, or even alcohol, where withdrawal can have serious physical health effects. However it can cause irritability, sleep disruption and other effects that make heavy users dependent.

“This is the first step toward understanding the influence of potency,” Dr Arterberry said. “While more research is needed, the risk associated with higher potency highlights the need for early intervention and targeted prevention efforts.”

1 /1 Skunk ‘five times more likely to hook new users’ than other cannabis

Skunk ‘five times more likely to hook new users’ than other cannabis

There is growing momentum behind national and state legalisation but little regulation or research of cannabis potency despite increasing availability of high THC strains

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There is growing momentum behind national and state legalisation but little regulation or research of cannabis potency despite increasing availability of high THC strains ]]>