January 12, 2020 // UrbanAroma Staff

What Makes Weed Smell Like Skunk?

Have you ever wondered why some strains of marijuana have a sweet, pleasing aroma and other marijuana strains smell like cat piss? Some weed strains smell like a skunk, and that's not an exaggeration! What is even more interesting is that some people love marijuana with a skunk aroma, if you can believe that! Why does some weed smell so stinky? The answer lies in the terpenes of the cannabis plant.

What Are Terpenes?

Much research has been conducted in recent years concerning cannabis. Weed smokers have learned a lot more about the biology and chemical make-up of the cannabis plant. Most smokers know about the cannabinoids weed contains, like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, some still don't know much about terpenes.

Marijuana is rich in terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic oils that are secreted by the same glands that produce THC and CBD. These oils are what make each strain of weed have a unique aroma, which can range from a sweet fruity smell to that pungent skunk smell.

The terpenes in weed can improve its adaption rate and how well it can survive, by keeping damaging predators away and attracting beneficial pollinators. There can be more than 100 different terpenes in each marijuana flower. Terpenes can also be found in many other plants and foods, like rosemary and lavender. They can even be in other living species like termites, which use terpenes to ward off other predatory insects.

One of the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis is myrcene. Myrcene can make up as much as 40 percent of all terpenes in some strains. Myrcene will often smell musky, and may also have a red grape-like smell.

Does Skunky Weed Get You Higher?

Marijuana that has a skunky smell may get higher, or it may not. Skunky-smelling weed is usually high in terpenes, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is higher in THC.

The one thing that can make skunky-smelling weed more potent is when the plant was harvested. The longer a marijuana plant is allowed to grow, the richer it can be in terpenes like myrcene. This can also mean the plant is more potent in THC and CBD. However, the cannabinoids and terpenes found in different strains of weed can vary a great deal. The THC and CBD found in cannabis do not contribute to the marijuana smell. So, in short, just because the weed smells skunky doesn't mean it will get you higher.

Advantages Of Weed With Skunk Smell

In recent years, researchers who study marijuana and its benefits have discovered that it's not just the cannabinoids that are important. The aromatic terpenes are also important. Researchers have found that the cannabinoids work together with terpenes to cause what is referred to as the entourage effect, which makes the cannabinoids more effective.

This has also been found to be true when it comes to different terpenes working with cannabinoids. Myrcene is the terpene responsible for the skunky smell in cannabis. It is through the entourage effect that myrcene enhances the effectiveness of cannabinoids and other terpenes.

Myrcene is thought to have the potential as an anti-mutagenic, an anti-inflammatory, an analgesic, and a sedative. It is believed some of these same benefits are found in CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. It kind of just makes sense that all of these cannabinoids and terpenes working together provide more medicinal benefits.

Disadvantages Of Weed With A Skunk Smell

It doesn't take a genius to figure out what the disadvantages of skunky-smelling weed can be. It is, of course, the stinky aroma. Marijuana smoke is sticky and will cling to any surface it lands on, including you. This is why when you smoke weed, the smell lingers on clothes and your body. The same goes for the surfaces in your home and your car.

For those that like to keep their marijuana use private, it's a hard thing to do when your weed has a strong, distinct smell. Marijuana that has a skunk smell can be easily identified. Anyone in the home with you will smell it and even nearby neighbors if it happens to blow in their direction. There are many products available today that can help mask the smell of weedThe stronger the weed smells, the harder it is to cover.

Luckily, cannabis is gaining widespread acceptance, and soon we should all be able to be open about our love of skunky, funky weed.