Anyone who’s smoked a joint, pipe, or bong knows burning herb produces a distinct woody and earthy aroma. At some point in time, some of us even went to lengths to conceal it (ah, the damp towel—a classic). So now that you’ve moved on to using a vaporizer, it’s natural to wonder, “Does vaping weed smell?” Technically, yes. It does. But the scent doesn’t last long, nor does it linger on hair, clothes, or the room you’re smoking in.
Cannabis Smell While Vaping
Vaping cannabis smells because the plant contains terpenes. These are naturally occurring compounds in plants that contain aromatic oils responsible for the smell and taste of plants, in this case, your herb.
The Difference Between Smoking vs. Vaping Cannabis Smell
The smell of herb is much more discernible and long-lasting when it’s smoked because the smell released by the terpenes mix with other by-products of combustion (i.e. burning the plant).
Mixing with these by-products makes it easier for the cannabis smell to stay in the environment and attach to other materials. It’s just like how you smell like smoke after a barbecue or a bonfire, except since it’s mixed with herb, now you also smell like cannabis.
Since cannabis isn’t directly burnt while vaping, the aroma doesn’t have that same lingering quality. It’s more subtle and, since it comes out as vapor, dissipates much quickly. However, the terpenes still release the natural odor of the plant, which is why it produces that cannabis scent.
Factors That Affect Cannabis Smell While Vaping
The aroma that is given off by cannabis, as well as how long it stays in the environment, mainly depends on your vape, your herb, and where you’re smoking.
Each cannabis strain contains a distinct mix of terpenes, which explains why the smell differs depending on what you’re vaping. Some are funky, while others can even be floral or fruity. Learn more about THCA.
Some vapes conceal the cannabis smell much better than others. For maximum stealth, vape pens are the way to go. Dab pens or vapes that use cannabis waxes are also subtle.
Dry herb vapes produce the most noticeable smell. That’s also because dry herb has a stronger aroma than its more processed forms. Just open a jar of your stash and you’ll get the picture. Those that run on conduction ovens usually give out a stronger scent, while those that run on convection ovens are more low-key. Read about the atomizer in a vape.
If you’re vaping outside, the cannabis smell can disappear as soon as you exhale it, especially if it’s a particularly windy day out. In a well-ventilated room (e.g. one with lots of windows), it can take just five to ten minutes to dissipate. Meanwhile, in a closed room, you may have to wait thirty minutes until the smell has fully cleared from the room.
How To Reduce Vaping Cannabis Smell
If you’re on a mission to vape cannabis without being detected, there are few things you can do to lessen the scent or make it disappear faster.
Clean Your Vape
Frequently using your vape can cause it to build up leftover cannabis material (especially if you’re using a dry herb vape) which can keep the smell fresh in your device. Cleaning your vape not only helps it function properly but also removes any remaining odor from your last high.
As mentioned earlier, vaping outside can get rid of the cannabis smell more efficiently. This is because the open environment allows the vapor to dissipate more quickly.
Mask The Smell
If you’re vaping and notice that the aroma is still too strong for your liking, light a scented candle, spray some perfume, or open a bag of popcorn to mask the smell.
Vaping Cannabis Still Smells—But Don’t Worry About It Too Much
Because of its natural biology, cannabis smells whatever you do with it—including vaping. However, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your session, since vaping cannabis isn’t nearly as noticeable as smoking it.
The aroma produced while vaping cannabis is cleaner and less discernible. Plus, it doesn’t linger, making it a better alternative to getting high stealthily.