The Best Ways to Cut Down on Cannabis Smoke Stench
So you’ll never get in trouble or bother your neighbors again.
Published on January 16, 2017

Dear Weed Mother,

Sometimes the strains I use are very pungent. I live in an apartment and would like to mitigate the aroma. Suggestions?

— Pungent Pothead


Dear Pungent,

Cannabis has such a distinctive aroma that it can be hard to keep what you’re doing on the DL at times. Plus, not everyone loves the smell—WHAT?! I know—and if you live in a shared housing situation with roommates or children, or just have nosy neighbors, this could be an issue. But have no fear! Mama’s here and I’m happy to help figure out ways to lessen the odor.

There’s always the “sploof”—the old college dorm room trick of using a toilet paper or paper towel roll outfitted with a dryer sheet affixed to one end with a rubber band. When you smoke, you exhale through the open end of the tube, allowing the smoke to filter through a fresh, summer day. It’s not the most foolproof or low-scent method, but it definitely works in a pinch.

However, since we’re not in college anymore, let’s take a look at what else is out there. Air purifiers are an excellent investment for those who smoke cannabis. Not only will they aid in neutralizing the odor, but they will also rid the air of any impurities. Some are super costly, but you can find a decent one that uses a charcoal filter for around $100. There are many that are tall, thin, and discreet, so they’ll blend into your living space.

I’m not sure how you enjoy your cannabis, but I’ll assume you smoke it. One method to try that will certainly help cut down on a strong scent is vaping. Vaping oil will produce hardly any odor at all, and vaping actual herb can be extremely effective and only produces a light, fleeting scent that is fairly unnoticeable.

If you prefer to actually combust your herb with flame, use a one-hitter or a bowl with a lid. While not as exciting as a bong or joint, it will produce much less smoke and is a lot easier to contain the smell (either smoking near an open window or fan). There are a variety of these types of accessories, and some are really cool—check out this wooden bowl with a lid for example!

If you do end up smoking something besides a vape, remember that you also need to put away your pipe, bong, or other smoking apparatus afterward, because otherwise the smell will linger. Placing your bowl in an airtight container will help contain the smell. Also, remember to properly clean your accessories, which will help keep the stench down as well, because nobody likes the scent of burning residue.

One way that smokers commonly try to reduce cannabis smell is with air fresheners, but be wary of this method. A lot of them only mask the smell, created a weird, sweet mix of heavy perfume and smoke. It doesn’t so much take away the smell as it compounds it and makes it worse. If you must go the spray route, get one that is proven to neutralize odors or work specifically on smoke, like Ozium. But, I’ll be honest: I have yet to find a spray that doesn’t remind me of one of those old-school bowls of potpourri, twigs, berries, and all.  

Besides only vaping 24/7 and ensuring your stash stays in airtight containers, you might just have to come around to the fact that there will always be some scent associated with cannabis. But, at least you can do a number of things to lessen it!

— Mother

Mother Knows Best
Mother Knows Best is written by a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience with cannabis. And yes, she also happens to be a mother, just not yours. Reach her with your question at [email protected]
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