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The Truth About CBD: Does It Smell Like Weed?

The Truth About CBD: Does It Smell Like Weed?

does cbd smell like weed

Everybody who wants to switch to CBD products has wondered, “Does CBD smell like weed?”  If you are one of those people, then do not worry, as we bring you all the necessary information that will clarify your query on the subject. 

What Does CBD Smell Like?

What Does CBD Smell Like

This is a popular question that we have encountered countless times. So today, we are here to provide a conclusive answer to the question, ‘Does cbd smell like weed?” The simple answer is ‘sort of,’ but you are not here for the simple answer.

The general aroma of your CBD product largely depends upon the kind of product you are using. Mostly, CBD products do not smell like weed, However, there are products that do give off that iconic skunky aroma of weed. The primary reason behind that odor is the presence of a biochemical known as terpenes.  

THC and CBD are essentially odorless and have no distinctive flavors associated with them. In fact, the compounds that are the primary reason behind the aroma or flavors are essentially these compounds called terpenes. In fact, terpenes are not just exclusive to weed and hemp plants. Every plant on this planet has some level of terpenes present in them. So to understand the discussion properly, let us examine what terpenes are.  

What Are Terpenes?

What Are Terpenes

Terpenes can be best explained as biochemical compounds that are highly aromatic. It is present in all plants that are characterized by a strong aroma, like lavender, rosemary, lilies, etc. In fact, scientists also found terpenes in certain animals that have a strong aroma/smell. Terpenes are so popular that it is also a key ingredient for making different perfumes or fragrances. Therefore, its application is well beyond the horizons of CBD.

Terpenes play a vital role in nature; they attract pollinator agents that facilitate pollination. On the other hand, it can repel predators in order to keep the respective plant/ flower safe. Therefore, it is a common substance that adds aroma to different plants and animals. As a result, it can be termed as a means of communication between plants and animals. 

Where Does The Weed Smell Originate From?

Where Does The Weed Smell Originate From

Now that we are up to speed on terpenes and what CBD and CBD products might smell like. Let us examine where the iconic weed smell comes from. If you are a cannabis aficionado like us here, you would know that distinctive skunky smell that weed gives off. While some strains might have some earthy, fruity, or sweet undertones, the general aroma of weed is quite skunky and earthy. 

Users suggest that the skunky smell reminds them of pine trees or pine forests. This aroma intensifies as soon as the weed starts burning. This rich aroma is due to a family of biochemical compounds called terpenes, which have already been discussed.

‘Terpenes’ is an umbrella term to signify a class of chemicals. Hence a whole range of biochemicals falls under the umbrella term. Usually, marijuana contains concentrations of terpenes like pinenes, limonenes, and myrcenes. Different combinations of these chemicals add variation to the characteristic aroma of the substance. 

If a strain has a higher concentration of myrcene, then the strain would be more skunky. Meanwhile, if your strain has a higher amount of limonenes, then the strain will have a strong fruit-like smell to go along with it. In fact, there are around 200 different types of terpenes present in a cannabis plant. Therefore, think of it like infinite numbers of permutations and combinations that produce unique aromas of cannabis plants

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Therefore, if your product contains even trace amounts of these terpenes, chances are that your CBD product can sell like a bud of weed. Now that we know how does cbd smell like weed in certain instances.  

Different Extracts And Their Aroma?

Different Extracts And Their Aroma

CBD products are generally produced using Hemp extracts. Therefore, let us look at some of the hemp extracts and how they smell in general. Primarily, hemp products can be broadly classified into three primary forms. These extracts have different concentrations of CBD and therefore have different aromas.

  • Full Spectrum CBD Products: These products contain the highest concentrations of CBD. These come in different formats, like oils, capsules, or sublingual drops. In a full spectrum product, manufacturers make sure to use the whole plant. While the impurities are filtered out, all other chemicals like the THC, CBD, and Terpenes are retained. Hence, these products do have the iconic smell of weed. 
  • Broad Spectrum CBD: These are similar and different from what a full spectrum is. In broad spectrum CBD products, THC is filtered out along with the impurities. Therefore, it only contains the CBD song with the respective terpenes. As a result, a broad spectrum product will also contain traces of a weed-like aroma. 
  • CBD Isolate: This is probably the most complex chemical you can come across. Manufacturing CBD isolates is not at all an easy process as it includes several steps. Some of the methods that are involved in the manufacturing process include chromatography and distillation in order to isolate CBD from other chemicals like THC, Terpenes, etc. Therefore, this is a pure CBD product that does not contain traces of any other substances. As a result, it is essentially an odorless liquid. Therefore, if you are looking for a product that does not smell like weed, then this is the perfect one for you. However, if your CBD isolate does smell even a little like a weed nug/bud, then you have been duped, as the product the seller pushed has impurities in them. 


So, do you have an answer to the question, “does cbd smell like weed?” We think you do. CBD is essentially a colorless, odorless liquid, but other biochemicals like terpene, present in your marijuana or hemp plant, might have traces of some iconic weed-like smell.

Therefore, if you want to completely avoid this smell, then you need to switch from other CBD products to CBD isolates, as explained earlier. Keep following our page for more CBD-related content. 

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