It depends on several factors, such as the potency of the CBD oil, what carrier oil was used, what terpenes are present, etc. CBD is often touted as a non-intoxicating, medicinal alternative to marijuana. However, CBD comes from the same plant. Does that mean CBD smells like marijuana? Wondering about does CBD Oil smell? Generally, only CBD products made from high-grade, full-spectrum extracts will smell like weed.
Does CBD Smell Like Weed? CBD Oil Smell For Beginners
When it comes to smells, there are few things that divide people more than the distinct scent of cannabis. Some love it, while others don’t – and that’s perfectly fair.
But after being on the market for some time, millions are familiar – and seemingly fine – with the hemp oil smell.
Does CBD smell like weed? The answer is complicated and simple at the same time. To answer the question, we need to deconstruct cannabis plants and see how they affect the CBD oil smell.
Does CBD Smell Like Weed?
Yes, CBD smells like weed because it is weed. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana and hemp aren’t real plants. The words aren’t used in botany, medicine, or any scientific field.
Understanding the Cannabis Plant
The word “cannabis” is also used interchangeably with THC “marijuana” strains. However, cannabis is a plant genus, not a species.
Marijuana and hemp are chemotypes (broad categories for plants genetically similar but chemically distinct) of the species cannabis sativa L. (or simply “cannabis sativa). Specifically, hemp belongs to the third cannabis chemotype (Chemotype III), referring to cannabis sativa L. plants with overwhelming CBD content, up to 1% THC, used for drug or industrial purposes.
Chemotypes I and II refer to high THC and balanced CBD:THC strains respectively. A fourth and fifth also exist, which don’t focus on THC or CBD.
The term “chemovar” may also come up. A chemovar is a chemotype as well, but its classification goes deeper than just THC. Instead, chemovars take into account terpenes and other cannabinoids.
So why the confusion? We’ll get to that soon. Right now, let’s look at another reason CBD does smell like weed.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
Science aside, why do these terms exist? We can attribute it to two things.
The differences between marijuana and hemp boil down to THC content. Anything with less than 0.3% THC is federally legal hemp. “Marijuana” contains over 0.3% THC, making it a federally controlled substance. It’s an easy way to separate legal from illegal products but serves no scientific purpose.
The second reason these terms took off is marketing. Long before the 2018 Farm Bill greenlit federal hemp cultivation, CBD vendors stressed the alleged differences between hemp and marijuana. Consequently, many people were led to believe that hemp and marijuana were two different species.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are aromatic oily compounds found throughout the plant kingdom, and cannabis is no exception.
What makes the cannabis plant so unique is that it can contain terpenes from various plant species. Many cannabis chemovars contain limonene or pinene, along with a slew of others.
What are Terpenes for?
What are CBD terpenes for? That depends on who you ask. Humans enjoy terpenes for the flavor they add to fruits and other edible plants, along with many potential therapeutic benefits.
Health supplement companies also extract the terpenes for essential oils, whose scents may have medicinal properties.
Terpene aromas can vary from sweet to spicy and everything in between. Next time you get ahold of some cannabis flower, smell it carefully. You may notice some of the following terpenes and scents.
What do Terpenes Smell Like?
What do terpenes smell like? The better question is “what don’t terpenes smell like?” Terpenes give fruits and plants their aromas. Although cannabis doesn’t have every terpene, it still carries a broad range of these compounds.
Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis, more commonly found in strains of the indica variety. Myrcene smells earthy and slightly fruity, with an aroma resembling cloves and grapes.
As its name implies, pinene is common in pine trees, which gives them their distinct forest musky scent.
Identifiable by its pepper and spicy notes, it’s no surprise caryophyllene is common in plants like black pepper. One unique thing is that, unlike other terpenes, caryophyllene acts on our CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. A 2016 paper published in Nutraceuticals refers to caryophyllene as a “dietary cannabinoid.”
Linalool is a terpene that gives lavender its floral scent. It’s a rare cannabinoid compared to myrcene, pinene, or caryophyllene.
Humulene is common in hops, given them their spicy, earthy smell. One reason humulene stands out is that it’s an appetite suppressant. Cannabis high in humulene will lower or eliminate the desire to eat.
Types of CBD Products
Initially limited to hemp oil, the market is full of exciting and innovative options, including:
- Vape products (oil and e-juice)
- Imitation cigarettes
- Dissolvable powder
But we’re not nearly done. Any of those CBD products can fall into three main categories.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Isolate
Terpene content makes CBD smell like weed – and the other way around. But aroma varies depending on the kind of extract you buy.
Currently, there are three CBD product options, each with advantages and disadvantages.
Full-spectrum CBD (or “whole-plant”) uses every part of the cannabis plant to extract and retain as many cannabinoids and terpenes as possible. Its goal is to be a carbon copy of the source plant.
As a result, full-spectrum CBD also carries hemp’s full aromatic profile. One sniff of this CBD product will hit you with a potent, “hempy” taste, along with other notes depending on your oil’s terpene content.
Broad-spectrum CBD is identical to full-spectrum in most respects. The only difference is that broad-spectrum extracts are processed to remove all of the THC, but leave the other compounds untouched. The filtration process can cause collateral damage and reduce the other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Many vendors infuse their products with terpenes after, but this isn’t the same as natural retention. Vendors like Colorado Botanicals minimize the problem with their more efficient proprietary CO2 extraction.
Broad-spectrum is the best choice if you want the benefits of full-spectrum CBD without THC. That being said, the similarity means broad-spectrum CBD smells the same as its full-spectrum counterpart.
CBD isolate is in a league of its own. Isolate extraction filters out everything else, leaving behind a plain, flavorless product containing up to 99% CBD.
Despite its purity, isolate is the least potent choice. Other plant compounds complement – and sometimes control – the nature and intensity of CBD’s effects.
However, isolate is THC-free. Its flavorless, odorless properties make it perfect for dissolvable powders and tinctures for mixing with food.
Isolate may have some faint cannabis hints, but aside from that, don’t expect any scent or flavor.
What Does MCT Oil Taste Like?
MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride oil) is commonly used as a carrier for CBD oil and other similar products. It also has applications in the food industry.
Although it’s extracted from coconut or palm oil, the process filters out any traces of the source, isolating the MCT.
Much like CBD isolate, MCT oil has no taste or smell.
Does CBD Smell Like Weed When You Smoke?
No, CBD doesn’t smell like weed when you smoke. The cannabis containing your CBD, however, will smell like weed because – again – it is weed.
CBD alone doesn’t give off a smell when you burn it. Just like burning wood has a distinct campfire smell, cannabis’ chemical composition gives it its distinct odor when burnt.
But the burning plant matter’s aroma is universal. If you think your hemp flower is going to smell better, we recommend you step outside before lighting up.
Does CBD Oil Smell Good?
Yes, CBD oil smells good – if you like the smell of cannabis plants. Perhaps the better question is “does CBD oil smell bad?” While many of us may not like that particular aroma, most customers don’t think it smells terrible. If hemp scents aren’t your thing, it won’t be hard to at least tolerate the smell.
Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?
CBD is often touted as a non-intoxicating, medicinal alternative to marijuana. However, CBD comes from the same plant. Does that mean CBD smells like marijuana?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. It’s revered as a non-intoxicating alternative to marijuana, offering similar benefits without making users feel high.
While CBD remains federally legal throughout the USA, marijuana is not. Many CBD users are understandably concerned about whether or not their CBD products are going to get them into trouble due to the potential “weed-like” smell.
The truth is that some CBD products can smell like weed.
However, isolated and pure CBD products that contain no THC shouldn’t smell like weed at all. This article will explain how and why different CBD products may have different smells and what to buy if you want to avoid the weedy aroma.
Table of Contents
Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?
The answer to this question largely depends on what type of CBD product you’re using. CBD is used in many different ways. It can be vaped, taken in capsule form, or ingested through the use of oils and tinctures. Some of these products release a stronger smell than others.
Generally, only CBD products made from high-grade, full-spectrum extracts will smell like weed. This is because most of the odor from cannabis is the result of terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic phytochemicals that are known for producing strong aromas.
Isolated CBD, however, has no odor. If you’re concerned about the smell of marijuana, you may want to make sure you invest in some CBD isolate.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
(Moderate weed smell)
$49 – $229
Royal CBD Oil 30 mL
5 / 5
|Total CBD:||500 – 2500 mg|
|Potency:||16.6 – 83.3 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.12 – $0.18|
Full-spectrum CBD oil is made using all of the active cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
Throughout most of the United States, CBD products are derived only from agricultural hemp. Hemp is legally defined as any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. As such, there may be trace amounts of THC found in the end product.
Full-spectrum extracts also include all of the terpenes and other phytochemicals that are found in the hemp plant. These terpenes are responsible for most of the strong, skunky cannabis smell.
However, hemp plants are generally much less smelly than normal marijuana plants. As such, full-spectrum CBD oil made from hemp plants may have a mild weed smell. However, it is very unlikely to be as potent as regular marijuana.
Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
(Some weed smell)
Penguin CBD Oil
5 / 5
|Potency:||8.3 – 166.7 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.06 – $0.18|
|THC Content:||0 mg|
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is made in a similar manner as full-spectrum CBD oil. The main difference is that THC is excluded from the final recipe. Other psychoactive compounds, including terpenes, are often omitted from the end product.
This allows the manufacturers of broad-spectrum oils to market their products in regions where THC remains illegal.
Most of these products will not have much of a weed smell. However, some manufacturers choose to include or add terpenes to their broad-spectrum oils. These products can, indeed, smell like marijuana.
CBD Isolate Oil
$88.00 – $148.00
Eir Health CBD Isolate Oils 30 mL
5 / 5
|Total CBD:||1500 – 3000 mg|
|Potency:||50 – 100 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.05 – $0.06|
|Extract Type:||CBD Isolate|
CBD isolate oils are made using extracted, isolated CBD.
To make these oils, CBD is extracted from hemp plants and completely separated from other cannabinoids and terpenes. As such, these oils won’t have much of a cannabis smell.
These oils smell most like the carrier oil that they are diluted in. Most high-end CBD manufacturers use MCT oil for their CBD tinctures. MCT oil produces a unique but fairly subtle scent. Other companies may use hemp oil or even olive oil for their CBD isolate oils, so you can expect these products to smell like their respective oil.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is an infused oil made from cannabidiol, one of the active compounds found in the cannabis plant.
Many of these benefits are associated with cannabis. However, across the United States and most of the world, cannabis remains strictly regulated. Most countries strictly outlaw its usage. Those that do allow it usually only make exceptions for medical patients who purchase their cannabis through the government.
CBD oils are generally made from CBD derived from the hemp plant. As mentioned, hemp is legally defined in the USA as any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. These hemp plants are often grown for the express purpose of producing CBD oils.
Will CBD Oil Make Me High?
CBD oil will not make you high. For the most part, the most significant psychoactive changes that people notice after taking CBD involve relaxation and sleepiness. Even so, most of these effects are not strong enough to impair their day-to-day functioning.
The reason CBD oil doesn’t make you high is because of the way that it interacts with your body.
Cannabinoids interact with a system known as the endocannabinoid system. This is a system present in all mammals that regulate things like appetite, mood, pain sensation, sleepiness, and stress levels.
Our bodies produce a number of cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids found in marijuana and some other plants interact with this same system, causing different effects.
THC is a direct agonist of the endocannabinoid system. This means that it directly binds to and activates the receptors that are found in the system. This allows THC to cause direct and profound effects.
CBD, on the other hand, works indirectly. It does not bind directly to these receptors, instead of causing a number of different reactions indirectly. This allows it to affect the human body in
Does Delta 8 THC Oil Smell Like Weed?
Delta 8 THC is one of the many compounds found in cannabis. It’s very similar in effects to delta 9 THC, which is the ‘alpha’ cannabinoid in marijuana. When people refer to THC, they’re most likely referring to delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 THC, however, has gained traction because it falls into a legal grey area. Delta 8 THC can be found in hemp plants, which are currently legal across the United States. This means that many people interested in a THC experience can resort to using delta 8 THC instead of delta 9, which is often illegal.
Delta 8 THC can also be synthesized from CBD. Since CBD is also derived from hemp, products made from it (including delta 8 THC) can be considered hemp-derived products.
On its own, delta 8 THC doesn’t have much of a smell. Again, it’s the terpenes in cannabis that are largely responsible for its skunky odor. In order to make delta 8 extracts, these terpenes need to be removed during production. Therefore, raw delta 8 THC has no smell to it.
With that said, some manufacturers add these terpenes back into the final product. If this is the case, then the product will likely smell like weed.
If you want something that doesn’t smell, go for pure, unflavored, pure delta 8 THC oil.
What Type of CBD Oil is Best?
There are different benefits associated with the different types of CBD oil that we’ve described today. Whether or not any of them are ‘better’ than the next is a matter of your personal preference.
Objectively, however, most experts agree that full-spectrum extracts are better. This is because of a concept called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a cascade reaction that occurs when all the active compounds in cannabis work together to produce ‘emergent effects,’ benefits that aren’t necessarily attributed to any individual compound.
In other words, CBD oil tends to work better when you use it as nature would have intended. Who’d have thunk?
Different types of CBD oil have other benefits, though. If you’re concerned about legality, you’ll want to use either a broad-spectrum or a CBD isolate oil.
Broad-spectrum oils are for people who want to take advantage of the entourage effect but can’t legally acquire THC. CBD isolate oils are for people who want to enjoy the benefits of CBD on its own. Isolate oils are also generally cheaper.
Final Thoughts: Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?
CBD itself doesn’t have much of a smell, but some of the CBD oil products might smell like weed.
Terpenes are the compounds responsible for most of the skunky cannabis smell, so if you’re purchasing an oil infused with terpenes, you can expect that it might smell like marijuana.
However, many other CBD products are terpene-free and don’t have any smell at all. Broad-spectrum extracts without terpenes, as well as CBD isolate oils or pure delta 8 THC oils (without added terpenes), will produce the same benefits without any of the weedy aroma.
Does CBD Oil Smell Like Weed?
We’re often asked and the answer is complex. Many of the CBD-related items you can buy are marketed as ‘fragrance free’ – but when it comes to CBD, that’s not necessarily what you want. Here’s our take on why, in this instance, a little aroma is exactly what you need to answer your question does CBD oil smell?
Hemp vs. Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
Science aside, why do these terms exist? We can attribute it to two things.
The differences between marijuana and hemp boil down to THC content. Anything with less than 0.2% THC is legal hemp. “Marijuana” contains over 0.2% THC, making it a controlled substance. It’s an easy way to separate legal from illegal products but serves no scientific purpose.
The best CBD products do, in fact, have a distinctive (perhaps familiar!) scent; the fruity, earthy and woody smell we associate with cannabis. That’s because when creating full spectrum CBD, the entire cannabis plant is used, as the various components work together in harmony. This is known as the ‘entourage effect’; each chemical found in the cannabis plant interacts symbiotically with the other. It’s the inclusion of the plant’s buds or flowers that creates the recognisable fragrance, which is why it’s actually a great thing if your CBD oil smells fairly strongly.
These buds contain terpenes, naturally-occurring hydrocarbons that give all sorts of herbs and flowers their distinctive aromas (think lavender, rosemary or magnolia; all of those amazing smells come from terpenes). The other composite parts of CBD products – THC and CBD itself, for example – are actually odourless, so when you catch that distinctive scent, you know that terpenes are present.
So why not buy a CBD isolate, and reduce the smell? Well, on top of being responsible for scent, terpenes are believed to have therapeutic benefits, so they play a big part in how successful your CBD products are, particularly if you’re using them for their reputed relaxing or pain relieving properties.
Does CBD Oil smell and what do Terpenes Smell Like?
Terpenes are also a key element of full spectrum CBD’s entourage effect, as they help the body to absorb some of CBD’s most powerful actors. They work by enhancing the chemicals’ ability to cross the blood-brain barrier which increases the product’s efficacy. This is why some CBD manufacturers boost their products’ terpene profile, adding beneficial terpenes such as Beta caryophyllene, Myrcene, Limonene and Pinene after the CBD has been extracted; this makes their products work even harder for you.
These terpenes are all present in foods we eat and plants we use daily. Beta caryophyllene features in cloves, rosemary and hops, myrcene is found in bay leaves, limonene is what gives citrus fruits their zesty fragrance and Pinene is in pretty much any herb you can think of, from basil to parsley. Each one works in a slightly different way, so look out for which terpenes are used when you’re establishing which product is right for you. They can alter the flavour, too, making it fruitier or more earthy.
So it turns out that, given the myriad plus points of a high terpene content in CBD, it makes sense to seek products on the smellier side – it’s likely to mean they’ll benefit you better!