At what age do cannabis plants start to smell?
The answer is that each individual strain and plant is different. But here’s what to keep in mind:
But when growing weed, do the plants start smelling? And how much?
Short Answer: The smell starts at 3-6 weeks old (depending on strain) even in the vegetative stage. But the smell gets much worse after plants start flowering/making buds.
The cannabis buds we know and love have a noticeable smell. They stink. I love the smell, some people hate it, and every strain is different.
The leaves of a cannabis plant smell a little, but the buds smell a lot. When plants are young they don’t make a lot of smell, but once the plants get big and start growing buds, the smell can be intense.
After the tenth week of growing, when cannabis flowers emerge, the scientists cut, cured, and dried the cannabis for 11 days. The concentration of VSCs — and the potency of the skunk smell — dropped significantly 10 days after the curing process, showing how cannabis smell weakens with time.
The researchers also confirmed what many regular cannabis users already likely know: Time can affect the potency of cannabis smell. In other words, they seem similar to typically pungent spices in that the odor has a shelf-life.
Most of the science exploring cannabis’ stink focuses on a class of secondary compounds in the plant known as terpenes or “terps.” These compounds come from the plant’s trichomes — stalky appendages on the surface of the cannabis flower. Cannabis sativa has more than 200 known compounds or metabolites associated with scent. Terpenes are different from cannabis’ primary compounds, like cannabinoids.
The researchers conducted smell tests, which “confirm that VSC3 is the primary source of the characteristic scent of cannabis, while the remaining compounds VSC4– VSC7 may further intensify or modulate this aroma.”
How does age affect cannabis smell?
The type of packaging may help obscure the scent of weed — but it has to be the right type of packaging.
“Indica’ varieties are known for a more mellow high and a terpenoid profile with an acrid, skunk smell, whereas ‘sativa’ varieties are known for a more exciting high and a sweet, herbal aroma,” researchers write in a 2020 study into the matter.
According to the data, cannabis tested four days after packaging had a VSC concentration nearly three times greater than cannabis tested 46 days afterward.
Why does some cannabis smell like skunk?
A study published earlier this year in the American Chemical Society reveals a family of chemical compounds are likely responsible for the distinctive pong of marijuana. The findings offer a new way to consider not just the chemical origins of cannabis’ particular scent, but also a way to examine its untapped health benefits.
In Colorado, where recreational use of cannabis has been legal since 2012, reports have been emerging in recent years about complaints related to cannabis smells. The Denver Department of Environmental Health even created a “Nasal Ranger” position, which involves measuring detectable levels of odors from weed, among other things. (The acceptable level is one unit of odor per every seven units of air, in case you were wondering).
But you may not be the only person trying to spot a cannabis farm on your street. The sinister side to these booming businesses is that they have become lucrative targets for harder and more violent criminals looking to rob them. These people are constantly on the look out for farms within our communities, which in turn exposes the rest of us to potential violence. What’s the solution? The dealers and criminals I spoke with all said that legalisation would put them out of business.
Security Growers live in a paranoid world, always wondering when their door is going to get kicked in – not only by the police but by “enforcers”, violent criminals who make their living by stealing cannabis crops. For that reason many of them adopt Fort Knox-like security. Portcullises on the doors, bars on the windows and even CCTV cameras are not uncommon.
I n the course of making a film about Britain’s cannabis industry, I have learned a lot about how to spot a cannabis farm. I have been schooled by policemen who raid them, gangsters who rob them and growers who set them up and produce more than 80% of the cannabis smoked in the UK today.
Heat Those lights also give off a lot of heat, so the old theory was that the house growing cannabis in the loft would be the one with no snow on the roof in winter. But nowadays growers use internal tents, that isolate a lot of the heat. This makes farms harder for police to spot using their infra-red cameras.
Good neighbourliness If the grower is in residence then it can go the opposite way. Perhaps the most surprising tell for having a grower next door might be their over-the-top neighbourliness as they overcompensate in their efforts not to annoy you or make you suspicious as to what they’re up to. As one grower told me: “I’m the nicest, most law-abiding citizen on my street, because the last thing I ever want is to give someone a reason to want to call the police to complain about me.”
Smell Follow your nose. A cannabis crop takes about three months to produce. During the final four weeks, the plants stink. Earlier this year, Crimestoppers helpfully issued cannabis-farm scratch-and-sniff cards to 210,000 homes in the UK to help you identify the exact bouquet.
Activity Not all farms are inhabited by the grower so watch out for signs that there is no one actually living there: unkempt front gardens, or if your neighbour never leaves out any bin bags on collection day.
The latest Independent Drug Monitoring Unit report suggests there are now as many as half a million people growing cannabis in the UK, which equates to roughly one on every street. So how can you spot the cannabis farm next door to you?
Conor Woodman’s film Exposure: Britain’s Booming Cannabis Business is on ITV on 16 October at 11.05pm