Cannabis 101: How to Get Rid of That Weed Smell

What's YOUR favorite smell?
What's YOUR favorite smell? /

Although more people are embracing cannabis around the globe, there’s no denying that a fair amount of controversy still surrounds the plant, especially in regions where it remains illegal. 

And because cannabis has an unmistakable scent, people at times need to know how to not smell like weed. 

If you want to avoid attracting attention, here are a few tips for discretion with cannabis flower.

How to Get That Weed Smell Out of Your Car

Smoking up in the car can be fun ... just don't plan on driving anywhere afterwards.
Smoking up in the car can be fun ... just don't plan on driving anywhere afterwards. /

“Hotboxing” a smoke session is a rite of passage for any cannabis connoisseur--a.k.a., smoking your greens in a small enclosed space so the smoke can fill up the area and maximize effects. Because most rooms are too big to successfully hotbox, the go-to location for this brand of session is someone’s car. 

Although hotboxing can be a great time, make sure not to partake in the session if you plan to drive somewhere right after. Driving while impaired with any mind-altering substance is never a good idea, and cannabis is no exception. 

Before you spark up, make sure you are parked in a safe location (preferably outside your home), and either go for a walk afterwards or go back inside--but you should not be operating a vehicle for at least a few hours after you’ve consumed cannabis. 

That being said, hotboxing is a great time. And it will definitely leave your car smelling strongly of skunky goodness. From quick fixes to more thorough solutions, there are a few different options if you need to know how to get that weed smell out of your car.

1) Masking Fragrances

For more of a temporary fix, there are quite a few options for finding the right fragrance to mask the smell of weed for the time being. Masking fragrances are strong scents that temporarily cover other odors, like Febreze or Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day. These types of sprays only work for about 4-6 hours though, so if you’re looking to immediately rid your car of the weed smell instead of just covering it up with a different smell, keep in mind this is a temporary solution to get that weed smell out of your car.

2) Odor Eliminators

For more of a lasting fix, your goal is to completely eliminate the odor rather than simply masking it. Luckily, there are quite a few natural and simple ways to go about this without having to turn to harsh chemicals. 

One option is baking soda. If you’ve ever used baking soda in your refrigerator or freezer, you already know what’s up. Baking soda is known for absorbing and neutralizing odors, and it works great in this situation. Simply sprinkle some baking soda (more or less depending on how pungent the weed smell is) on your seats and carpet, wait about 15-20 minutes, and then vacuum it up. Magic!

Another great odor eliminator that is cheap, eco-friendly, and likely in your kitchen already is white vinegar. White vinegar is used in a lot of cleaning supplies and is known for its disinfectant properties. Using white vinegar to get the smell out of your car is as simple as filling up a cup with the liquid and leaving it in your vehicle overnight. You can also mix the vinegar with some water in a spray bottle and tackle the scent that way. 

Minimizing Weed Odors in Your Home

Burning sage is a great way to deodorize a room in a hurry. Just don't use it around pregnant women or babies.
Burning sage is a great way to deodorize a room in a hurry. Just don't use it around pregnant women or babies. /

While smoking at home seems like the safest option (and is one of the very few places you are legally allowed to consume in most legal states), you still may have to practice discretion depending on who you live with, who you live next to, and, if you rent, how your landlords may or may not feel about you sparking up. 

Of course, all of the aforementioned techniques for getting the scent of weed out of your car are also applicable to your home, but since your home is likely larger than your car, there are additional simple fixes to not smell like weed.

While it may be slightly more difficult to get the danky aroma out of your car than in your home, if you live with someone who is very sensitive to the smell of weed, this brings up a whole new challenge. At the end of the day, you can pick and choose who you allow inside your car, but if you’re sharing a living space with someone who doesn’t consume cannabis, it might not be so simple--especially if you’re trying to smoke while they are home.

Luckily, cannabis consumers over the years have tinkered with different techniques for eliminating the odor during and after your session. Here are some of the most effective ways to consume your cannabis and not smell like weed (hopefully):

1) Burn Incense

If you need to mask the smell of you smoking, the easiest way to do this is to burn something else while you’re burning your weed! Incense or herb sticks are cheap, easy to find, and smell fantastic. From palo santo to jasmine to sage (which is particularly effective), there are a variety of scents that are strong enough to cover up the cannabis smell, either while you’re smoking or after you’ve finished and it’s still lingering. Burning incense is also great for meditating, doing yoga, or just practicing mindfulness, which are all amplified when you’ve smoked weed too!

2) Essential Oils

A similar idea to burning incense, you might consider throwing your favorite essential oil into a diffuser during your smoke sesh. Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus are great for relaxation, sinus relief, and much more. Not only will the powerful scents cover up the weed smell, but they’ll have you in an even deeper state of relaxation and euphoria.

3) Hawaiian Hotbox

Every true cannabis connoisseur has dabbled with this practice at least once or twice, but if you’re new to the culture, a Hawaiian hotbox is when you smoke cannabis in the bathroom with the shower running. Turn your shower head to maximum hotness before you spark up--the steam from the shower will dissipate along with your weed smoke. 

A pro tip for ultimate discretion is to place a rolled-up towel at the bottom of the door to fully enclose yourself. This method is a win-win--you’re saving your housemates from the smell and simultaneously reaping the maximized effects from the hotbox. 

How to Store Your Stash to Avoid Weed Smell

Smoking is definitely the quickest way to make yourself and your immediate surroundings smell like weed, but sometimes your stash itself is what’s giving you away. From a gram to an ounce, if you’re storing any amount of flower in your car or room, it’s pretty likely that it will begin to smell.

Rather than constantly having to be proactive with masking fragrances or smudging sage, you might want to consider investing in a stash box--a.k.a., a smell-proof bag or container designed specifically to cover up that weed smell.

There are many different brands with their own versions of this technology. Prices range from around $15-$300 or more, but that depends entirely on how much you’re willing to spend and how sophisticated you want your stash box to be, and how much storage room you need.

If you only ever have an eighth on you at a time and mainly roll joints or smoke out of small pipes, you’re not going to require as much storage space as someone with a substantial amount of weed and several bongs, rigs, and other pieces and paraphernalia. 

How to Consume Without Smoking to Avoid Weed Smell

Edibles are just one way to avoid smelling like cannabis entirely.
Edibles are just one way to avoid smelling like cannabis entirely. /

Although these methods are pretty tried and true among weed smokers of past and present, at the end of the day, you may feel like it just isn’t worth the extra effort. If smoking cannabis is just too risky for you but you still want to partake, that’s no problem. As the industry continues to evolve, more and more options for smoke-free consumption continue to arise.

1) Edibles

The obvious first alternative to smoking your weed? Eating it instead. While edibles sometimes have that skunky scent to them, it usually isn’t noticeable unless you’re within a few feet of them. It’s easy enough to grab a brownie or two at your local dispensary and keep them stashed in your room until you’re ready to partake. No smoke, no smell, but a whole lot of hazy goodness for you.

2) Vape Pens/Dry Herb Vaporizers

While vape pens and vaporizers do emit vapor, it’s an incredibly small amount compared to burning the actual plant. The smoke also dissipates easily and within seconds, and doesn’t smell nearly as pungent as the real thing. They’re also incredibly discreet for traveling or smoking on the go--just make sure to be safe when it comes to smoking and driving. Vaporizers can hit harder than flower, and you should still practice caution and stay away from the wheel while you’re partaking.

3) Transdermal Patches

Another great way to consume cannabis without actually smoking is to use a transdermal patch. These are becoming increasingly popular within the medical and adult-use cannabis communities alike. 

Transdermal patches allow the cannabinoids to penetrate the skin and enter your bloodstream directly, so much like edibles, they definitely pack a punch. They are absolutely scent-free, smoke-free, and easy to keep away from plain sight.

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