What does cannabis really smell like? For many people, the smell of cannabis is one of the most distinctive and recognizable aromas around. But what does it actually smell like?
Checkout this video:
The Various Aromas of Cannabis
Cannabis has a variety of aromas that are determined by the terpene content. Myrcene, for example, is responsible for the earthy, musky smell often associated with cannabis. Other common aromas include citrus from limonene, floral from linalool, and pine from alpha-pinene.
The “skunk” smell
The pungent, acrid smell that is often associated with cannabis is often described as being “skunky.” While this smell is often off-putting to those who are not fans of cannabis, many people who do enjoy the herb find it to be pleasantly earthy and musky. This signature smell is actually the result of a group of compounds known as terpenes.
The fruity smell
Fruit is one of the most common aromas you’ll find in cannabis. Many fruity strains smell like citrus, mango, or berries. Some even smell like grapes or melon. Fruity aromas are usually associated with sativa strains, but there are some indica strains that smell fruity as well.
The musky smell
The musky smell of cannabis is often described as being skunky. This type of aroma is usually caused by a high concentration of myrcene. Myrcene is a terpene that’s also found in hops, lemongrass, and thyme. Musky cannabis smells like a combination of these three things.
This aroma is often enjoyed by people who are looking for a sedative effect. Myrcene has been shown to increase the sedative effects of THC. Musky cannabis is often used by people who are trying to fall asleep or relieve pain.
The Impact of Smell on Cannabis Use
The smell of cannabis can have a significant impact on its use, with certain smells often associated with different strains or effects. Some users may associate certain smells with particular effects, such as a citrus smell with a more energizing effect. Others might find that they enjoy the smell of cannabis in general, regardless of the effect it produces.
The role of smell in the “entourage effect”
Cannabis contains over 400 different chemical compounds, including more than 100 compounds that are unique to the plant. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. CBD is another well-known cannabinoid that does not produce intoxicating effects.
The unique combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals in cannabis produces a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.” This refers to the synergy between these different compounds, which magnifies the therapeutic effects of cannabis.
The entourage effect is thought to be one of the main reasons why cannabis can be effective for such a wide variety of conditions. For example, THC and CBD work together to reduce inflammation and pain. THC and terpenes such as myrcene and limonene can boost mood and energy levels. And CBD and terpenes such as linalool and bisabolol can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.
The role of smell in the entourage effect is not well understood. However, it is clear that smell plays an important role in how we experience cannabis. Different strains of cannabis have distinct aroma profiles that are created by their unique combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes.
When you smell cannabis, you are actually smelling the terpenes that are present in the plant. Terpenes are responsible for the characteristic aromas of different plants, fruits, and spices. They also have numerous health benefits on their own.
For example, myrcene is a terpene that is found in several strains of cannabis. It has a musky, earthy aroma with notes of mango and lemon. Myrcene is thought to be responsible for the sedative effects of some strains of cannabis, as well as their couch-lock potential.
Limonene is another common terpene that gives citrus fruits their characteristic smell. It is also found in several strains of cannabis, particularly those with sativa genetics. Limonene has energizing and mood-boosting effects that can offset some of the anxiety caused by THC.
The aromatic profiles of different cannabis strains can be used to guide your choice when selecting a strain for specific purposes. If you want a strain that will help you relax and fall asleep, look for one with high levels of myrcene or linalool (a terpene found in lavender). If you want a strain that will boost your energy levels and help you focus, look for one with high levels of limonene or pinenes (a pair of terpenes found in pine needles).
The potential for smell to affect cannabis potency
Cannabis Terpenes: The potential for smell to affect cannabis potency
The term “terpene” refers to a large class of organic compounds that are produced by a variety of plants, including cannabis. Terpenes are responsible for the characteristic smells of many plant-based products, such as citrus fruits, cloves, and pine trees. Cannabis plants produce a wide variety of terpenes, which contribute to the distinct aroma of different cannabis strains.
research suggests that certain terpenes may modulate the effects of THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. For example, one study found that the terpene myrcene increased the psychoactivity of THC in rats (1). This effect was attributed to myrcene’s ability to increase THC’s permeability through the blood-brain barrier.
Other studies have shown that certain terpenes can affect cognitive function and memory (2,3). These effects are likely due to the ability of terpenes to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating these functions.
Due to their potential role in modulating THC’s effects, terpenes may also play a role in determining a person’s response to cannabis. For example, people who are sensitive to THC may find that strains with high levels of myrcene produce more intense psychoactive effects. Conversely, people who find THC intoxication undesirable may prefer strains with low levels of myrcene.
The vast majority of research on cannabis terpenes has been conducted in animals, so more research is needed to determine how these compounds affect humans. However, the available evidence suggests that smell can play a significant role in determining both the desired effects and potency of different cannabis strains.
The Significance of Smell in Cannabis Culture
Cannabis has a rich and varied history, and its smell has played a significant role in its cultural evolution. The plant’s distinctive odor has helped it become a sacred herb in many cultures, and its unique smell has been used to identify both its medicinal and recreational uses. Today, the smell of cannabis is often used to market the plant’s many different strains.
The use of smell in cannabis breeding
In the world of cannabis breeding, smell is a key factor in determining which strains are worth pursuing. For growers and breeders, the ability to identify different aromas is a valuable tool in developing new strains or variations of existing ones.
Cannabis plants produce a wide variety of chemicals that contribute to their characteristic smells. Some of these compounds, like terpenes, also have important effects on the plant’s flavor and efficacy. As such, breeders often go to great lengths to select for desirable aromas when creating new strains.
In recent years, the use of high-tech tools like gas chromatography has allowed breeders to get a more precise picture of the aromatic compounds present in their plants. This information can be used to fine-tune the breeding process and create even more aromatic strains.
The use of smell in cannabis culture extends beyond just breeding and cultivation. For many people, the aroma of cannabis is an important part of the experience. Different strains can produce vastly different smells, ranging from sweet and fruity to pungent and skunky. These characteristics are often used to describe cannabis in popular culture, and they can be helpful in distinguishing one strain from another.
Whether you’re a grower, breeder, or consumer, the sense of smell plays an important role in cannabis culture. The next time you take a whiff of your favorite strain, take a moment to appreciate all the effort that went into making it smell just right.
The use of smell in cannabis product marketing
Cannabis companies have long used scent to market their products. The plant’s signature smell—a pungent, skunky aroma—has been used in everything from scented candles to air fresheners. But as the legal cannabis industry has grown, so has the use of scent in product marketing.
Many cannabis companies are now using unique smells to help their products stand out from the crowd. And as more states legalize cannabis, we’re likely to see even more innovative uses of scent in product marketing.
So what does this all mean for cannabis culture? Well, for one thing, it demonstrates the power of smell in product marketing. But it also shows how the legal cannabis industry is maturing and adapting to a mainstream market. So whether you love the smell of cannabis or not, it’s worth paying attention to how these companies are using it to promote their products.